Since I lost my blog, I’m not really sure where I left off.
In November, I ended up taking 20th place. There were 2 hands of note:
1 – After being brain/situation/card dead for a couple of hours, I call an all-in with 9/9. He shows A/Jo. My 9’s hold and I have a little extra life.
2 – We combine down to 2 tables and on one of the first hands I’m in the big blind. I have Q/9o. It folds around to the small blind who completes. I laugh at him and say, “All In”. He looks at me like I’m crazy and then looks at one of the guys in early position… who still has cards. Uh oh. Early position calls, small blind folds. He turns over 7/7 and it’s a race…that I don’t win.
Wow, if this isn’t a good example of what Memphis Mojo likes to say (Pay Attention) I don’t know what is!
In December, I did considerably worse than 20th. Again, there were 2 hands of note:
1 – From the big blind I call a small raise with K/8h. The flop is K/2/8, 2 spades, no hearts. I check to the original raiser who c-bets a normal amount. Button calls. I raise. Original raiser folds, Button calls. Based on what I know of the player, I put him on a flush draw. The turn is a non-Spade 4. I bet, he calls. The river is a non-spade 5. I bet, he calls and shows A/3 of spades…for the runner runner straight. Yuck. Goodbye 2/3 of my stack…
2 – Again from the big blind, I have K/Jd and am able to see the flop for free. The flop is Q/10/x, 2 spades, no diamonds. I check and a late position player bets. I raise all-in with my over and straight draw. My opponent thinks and then calls…with A/3s. The board does not improve and he wins with Ace high… And I’m out in 35th place. That’s last place by the way.
In January, we played during what I would consider Christmas break. I was really looking forward to this game as I wanted to see if not having to go to work all day would improve my play. I also decided to take a 5 hour energy drink before play to see if that would also improve my concentration.
I started off like usual and won a little and lost a little. Early on I called from late position with unsuited overs, missed the flop but decided to call with my overs. On the turn I saw a tell that told me my opponent was weak so I raised and got him to fold with absolutely nothing. That’s a nice feeling.
Finally looked down at J/J and went to raise…and totally fumbled my chips. No surprise, no one called my raise.
After this I went back into the win a little, lose a little mode and then transitioned into short stack management. Shoving with things like 10/10 and A/K and able to get some small life back.
Then I got REALLY short stacked and started just shoving blind from late position when it made sense. I think this ended up working 3 times where I was able to get a random luck double up.
At this point I have a small, but increasing chip stack. From the big blind I have K/J and with 15 players left, probably 7 at our table, one of the early position folks goes all-in. It folds around to me and at this point it’s only 2,000 more to call. With only ~8,000 total behind I really don’t want to call, but decide to take a risk. She turns over A/J. Yuck, only 1 live card! However, I spike a King and take it down. Crazy.
So now I’m sitting on around 13,000 and might actually be able to play some poker. With 6 people at our table, I make a normal raise with Q/Js. SB and BB call. The flop is J/9/9 rainbow. SB and BB check. I jam the rest of my chips in thinking I can just take it down there, but the SB calls. BB folds. SB shows A/J and it’s good game for me in 12th place!
The 5 hour energy drink REALLY helped me keep my concentration. I will definitely be doing that again next month especially after a work day.
I’m getting VERY good at spotting steal opportunities. Some of the books I’m reading have given me some GREAT insight into what to look for.