Last night I played in my 6th Eastern Poker Tour (EPT) No Limit Hold’em tournament. It was my first time playing in the venue in Bellingham, MA. (The tournament was one of the “Central Massachusetts” region’s events.)
Nothing special happened. Got a couple of cards, but wasn’t on fire. Got a bad beat, delivered a bad beat.
Memorable Bad Hand
In one hand my pr 7s were beat by Q 6 off suit. Blinds were at $300/$600. An 8 came on the river, completing a Jack-high straight for me and making a Queen-high straight for the other player. He checked. I bet $5K. <– Okay, there’s my mistake. Naturally, he called – as he had called every bet I had made during the hand. When I bet, I knew immediately it was the wrong thing to do. I could hear Mike Sexton saying. “It’s a bad decision. There is no need to bet in this spot. The only ones who will call are the ones that have you beat. Very bad idea.” Oh, Mike you are SO very right.
Since an 8 completed my J-high straight, you know that 9 10 J were already on the board. It didn’t take any long-and-hard thinking to realize that if the other player had a Q, I was beat. I dismissed that as a possibility since he passively check-called the whole way. Now as I think about it, he had to continue calling because he was on a draw and needed an 8 to make a hand.
Notes to Self
? Remember that player who checked it all the way on a 4-card draw. (He made it to the final 16.)
? Think about the message I was sending. I meant to portray strength. He obviously wasn’t believing it – OR – maybe he had me on the “strength=weakness” and “weakness=strength” adage.
(I can’ t believe he check-called all the way to the River on a draw with only 4 outs.) When the 8 popped up, he cleverly checked and I bet right into his trap losing an additional $5K. Next time, I will need to slow down and think more about the cards that can beat me – and – see if I can channel Mike Sexton’s comments on my play before I make a mistake.
After that beat, I was relatively calm; mostly disgusted with myself. I was down to ~$2400 in chips. Lost over $7K on that hand. The 20-minute dinner break coming shortly after helped put some distance between myself and that ugliness.
After the dinner break, I was moved to another table. I had to sit out the first hand. There was confusion amongst my table mates as to what I was doing at the table. The floor manager explained and play continued. I had a little fun telling them that the floor manager said I was such a bad player (placing my hand near my measly $2400 in chips) that he moved me to this table to learn how to play no limit Texas hold’em by watching these guys who really know how to play no limit hold’em. So I was to observe the first hand, absorb and learn. We all had a good chuckle.
Knowing that I was going to have to go All In soon, I was patient for a little bit, waiting for a half-decent hand. Got one. Went All In. The table-high called and doubled me up. It was a very loose call for him… file under table-high’s profile for later analysis.
Memorable Good Hand
A couple of hands later I got the coveted Aces. Inside I was doing the happy dance (Yippee, WOO HOO). I tried to keep my face stern and concerned as it had been since I got to this table. I bet 2x the big blind. (The blinds were at $600/$1200.) One player called and then action was on table-high. He raised to $3600. Actually, he could have raised $3600 on top. I don’t know. I was listening for words that would give me an excuse to go All In, and $3600 sounded high enough for me to be able to go All In without raising suspicion. I looked distressed and looked at him and choked out a defeated “All In”. The other player folded and table-high immediately called. He turned over a pr 10’s. Then I turned over the Aces… They got appreciative ooo’s and ahh’s, and “I had no idea”‘s. The Aces held up and I doubled up through the table-high again. I was back in business with about $15K in chips.
The rest of the night was not so exciting…just your run of the mill game. Got mediocre hands, started to play a few then bailed. Chips were getting low and finally I decided to go All In when I was in the Big Blind. I had 5 9 off. The player who benefitted from my stupid play last week with the Js versus Aces, benefitted again last night. Flop was a rainbow mess. I had paired the 5, but, he paired an 8. Bye bye PokaPaloma.
I played the bad beat table and lost in a few hands. One player busted on the first hand in which I was involved. We had to wait 20 minutes for someone else to join before we could play heads-up. That player busted in 2 or 3 hands and we were heads-up. Other player had about 18.5K in chips and I was down to about 1.5K. wah…wah…wah
Sunday night I’ll play in Worcester.