Monday, April 25, 2005

Key Hand Analysis

Here are a couple of key hands for me in last night's tournament, perhaps they'll be interesting to some of you out there. Or perhaps not. If not, then "Screw you, Mellon!"

My first big hand of the evening was finding pocket K's on the button. A blogger named micon min-raises from UTG to T80. I re-raise to T200 and it's folded back to him. He pushes all-in and I quickly call. I figure if he's got AA, so be it; otherwise I'm here to win, not play timid. micon flips up AK and doesn't catch his A and I double up.

I'm quickly moved to another table and appear to have one of the bigger stacks at the table early on. My method to my madness was to be aggressive and force some action to accumulate chips. I'm then dealt JT of spades and raise 3xBB. F-train is in the big blind and defends. The flop is T-high with two spades giving me top pair (ass kicker) and a mediocre flush draw. F-train pushes and I think I'm good. I figure either I'm behind with a better draw or ahead with a worse draw. Unfortunately for F-train, I'm both ahead and have the better draw as he shows T3 diamonds. No two-outer for him (3-spades gives me the flush) and F-train is out.

Later in the tourney, I grab a big pot when I'm all in again with KK. This time I'm up against AJ and the flop comes AKx. Luckily for me no J showed up, because another A on the turn gave me the under-boat K's full of A's to beat out trip Aces.

Much later, when I think we're down to two tables, I'm in the big blind with pocket T's. Hank is on the button, and is playing a similar aggressive style. He raises a standard raise which is smooth called by Jason in the small blind. Rather than just call (a weak move), I re-raise to 3x Hank's original raise. He chats "I thought that was coming" and folds. Jason, re-raises me all-in, and based on his original call, I feel my hand is the better of the two and call. Jason shows pocket 6's and doesn't catch his set. Perhaps he didn't realize I'm immune to losing against trip 6's. I feel that my pre-flop re-raise won me that hand because the board showed a bunch of over cards like K's and A's, and would have most likely gave Hank the winner.

At the final table, my undoing came in the following manner.

I'm dealt AJ in middle position and made a decent raise, only to be re-raised by Joe from Obituarium. I call looking to see a flop, understanding that I might be behind. The flop is KJx and I check. Joe bets out T3000 which from my perspective is small-ish given the current size of the pot. I check-raise, but my mistake was only raising the min to T6000. Perhaps Joe read this as a steal attempt and went all in. I went in the tank and ended up folding to Joe's pocket Q's. He made a great read there, as pushing with Q's on a K-high board after getting check-raised was a bit on the risky side. That crippled me a bit to having only about 6xBB.

I ended up folding pocket 4's pre-flop in early position which turned out to be a good move as there was an all-in between pocket 6's and T's. A few hands later, I'm dealt pocket 3's and decide to raise. Bob Respert re-raises and it's folded back to me. At this point, I have to hope it's a race and have to call as I wouldn't really be left with a playable stack otherwise. I call to see Bob's pocket T's and don't improve. IGHN.

The railbirds seemed to predict that I'd make the final two along with Hank. It's odd, but I've not really put much thought into how my play is perceived by the other bloggers. Regardless, I certainly appreciate the sentiments and kind words. We truly have a great bunch of people out there and some damn fine poker players. Again, congratulations and best of luck to Bob in the WSOP!

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