Monday, March 10, 2008

The Problem With Taking Shots At Higher Levels

Summed up in two words, "False Confidence"


After tiring of the disheartening and recockulous suckouts I've been dealing with in various of FullTilt's $3.30 90 KOs, and other $2-5 buyin tourneys, often enough just before the money spots, I thought I'd take a flyer at a $10+1 90 player KO tournament, as an experiment to determine if the play quality was any higher.

And the worst possible thing happened.

I won. The whole tourney. Ship the first place monies and several KOs, for a nice payday (at least at my bankroll level).

What happens next? Later in the weekend, I chase further success. At least seven times. Only to not cash a single time, aside from a couple of KO bounties. The causes...plentiful. A couple suckouts, a couple of coolers (JJ v. QQ, or QQ v. AA), and yes, one recockulous suckout where someone determined to defend a blind calls my button all in with J3 offsuit and hits. Often, I would get off to a good start, but then being so card dead once the blinds kick in, that I can't even try to steal with a shrinking stack and even worse cards.

This leaves me in the position of not really knowing what to do -- I realize the sample size is small, but I think it's also axiomatic that the lower the buy-in, the categorically worse play becomes. (And yes, I do know that even the Sunday Majors see their share of horrible plays.) Do I stick it out another 4-5 attempts first? Or do I just fold my tent and go back to $3.30?

The worst case, though, was the beat I put on myself yesterday, when I went out 15th. After raising UTG with AQo, and being re-raised all-in (about 3x my original raise), and then called by a blind, I called, running into AK and JJ. I think I had the odds to call the re-raise, but with one of the blinds calling it, can I really fold there and have no better than 14th place micro-stack at that point?

Even Bodog was unkind to me yesterday, with the three tournies I played unceremoniously dumping me within two tables of $$$. So gross. I one, I went out six spots before the cash where I shoved late with 99, only to run into TT, and not catching the miracle. As with FTP, I'm running into these situations where I'm seeming to chip up very nicely indeed in the first hour or two, and then just when I need to be stealing, I'm either getting just truly horrible cards, or I'm having to fold to resteals when I try with barely-marginal cards (which compounds the problem).

I believe I've identified a current leak in my game to work on, though. AQ has gotten me into trouble repeatedly over the last couple of weeks. Not as much to pocket pairs, as to AK, which means I'm most likely failing to see something. Time to work on that.

Anyway, even with my nice hit, my bankroll is no better than it was heading into the weekend, not after seven failures in the $11 KOs, accomapied with an 0-5 in PokerStars WSOP Steps. I believe that particular experiment is over.

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