Every month, Cobra and I talk about how bad we run, how unlucky we are and how some other players don’t seem to have those problems. Normal poker talk right? We also say that the best way to combat those problems is to play ultra-tight early and then loosen up later. However, that’s easy to say and hard to do. In this game, I attempted to make it work.
Sat down a few minutes late, but within a hand or 2 picked up QQ in the small blind. It folds to me and I raise. The big blind gives me an “Eat shit and die look” and calls. Flop is good to me, I bet, he calls.v The turn is good, but I check for pot control. The river doesn’t do anything extraordinary, I bet, he calls and I take down a nice pot early on.
Near the end of either level 1 or 2 I raise with A/Qo and get 2 callers (one of them Gargoyle!). The flop completely sucks but I c-bet and get instantly raised by Gargoyle. He does this often to me when I miss with overs. I say to him, “Someday I’m going to figure out what my tell is when I miss.” His response is good, “You don’t do it every time.” Interesting, but I have no idea what I did. I fold.
Got Gargoyle back a few hands later when I don’t raise my pocket 10’s and check-raise a low flop. Revenge!
Soon after this I was moved to another table. We play with 4 tables and generally close table 4 as soon as we can. However, people busted out from all tables pretty evenly and I ended up being the first player ever to get moved TO table 4. Weird!
When I sit down, I’m greeted by all of the players except for Rich who says, “Ah, Joker, my nemesis!” What!?
I notice that I’m calling pretty light at this table and spewing chips and remind myself to tighten up.
To no one’s surprise table 4 doesn’t last long and I’m moved to table 1 with a great seat next to Blood Fued.
Nicely enough I’m dealt A/A. I raise and get 1 caller, JG2. The flop looks great and I c-bet. JG2 doesn’t look impressed and calls. The turn completes the flush draw and we both check. The river looks good and the board is King high. He bets and I call. He says, “I have a King” and looks very happy. I turn my Aces over and somehow shock everyone that I had a good hand. Didn’t anyone notice how few hands I was playing?
With the blinds going up my stack starts to dwindle. I jam on Blood Feud with Q/Q and he folds.
A few hands later I get A/A again and raise but get no action. Ok, they must have figured it out that I’m playing tight.
Somewhere in the middle of all this I get to see a free flop from the big blind. I flop top pair (Jack) with a crap kicker. I check, someone bets, JG2 calls and I want to raise or fold. I go into the tank and start trying to decide if I’m ahead. I finally decide that I’m ahead of the guy that bet, but not JG2 who has a very narrow range to call there, something like Q/J, K/J, 10/J. I fold. They take the hand to showdown and JG2 wins with Q/J. Boom, good read.
I jam again a while later with 8/8 after a raise from JG2 and he calls with A/x. He doesn’t improve and I’m up to 9k. Starting stack size again finally! Is JG2 my own personal ATM? Will have to investigate further.
No surprise to anyone, I end up jamming again in the near future. This time from the big blind with J/J after a raise from Giac. He calls with 8/9s, doesn’t improve, and I’m up to 19K. Wow, does this whole “play tight” thing actually work?
My last hand of note for the night was against Risky Business. What’s funny is that there’s a running joke where everyone calls him my name and me his name. Here’s why it’s funny: He raises a standard amount. I 3-bet with A/A. He jams, I call and say, “You’re not going to be happy…” and turn over my cards. He gives me the “eat shit and die look” and turns over his cards which are:
Crap! This happened to me once before a few years ago and I remember it being terrible. Neither one of us improved and we split the pot.
So here’s where my tight play may have been too tight. After this hand I start folding like I’m allergic to cards. I even mention to Blood Fued at one point that it seems like the only thing I know how to do is look at my cards and fold.
Finally the blinds catch up to me and I’m down to around 5 big blind. I jam from the big blind without looking (yes I still do this). Honey Badger calls with A/10. I turn over J/8s. Wow, not bad at all and one of my favorite hands. The flop is kind to me giving me a straight AND a flush draw. However, I don’t improve and bust out in 11th place, my best finish in many months.
As with all experiments I’m glad that I conducted it. I learned a lot about my current abilities, noticed a few leaks and have a good plan for next month.