(The above link will take you Poker Maximus III. For whatever reason Carbon doesn’t yet have a PMIII banner, but the Chip King banner will redirect you there)
How do I feel about poker? Well, with Stud, I get so excited. I picture scenarios in my head that involve Stud play (Stud, Stud 8, Razz). I see myself playing in tournaments, making the final table, playing with the world’s best, and holding my own. I see myself becoming better and better. I picture myself as a WCP in Stud, even if nothing else. I have the passion, the drive to become the best.
I remember when Andy Glazer asked me about my poker dreams in a Cardplayer interview, and I told him that. I have the perfect personality to become one of the best Stud players in the world. Mostly tournaments, naturally, since I have a passion for tourneys as well. Now, if I could become the best, yet no one would know my name…that would be heaven!
Anyway, I just don’t have that passion for Hold’em. Not LHE, not NLHE. Not cash games, not tourneys. It is just another game.
I know I should be, could be, capitalizing on the HE boom. I could make a fortune in cash games, if I did a little bit of work and applied myself. I could do well in tournaments. I just don’t care enough to even try. That is sad. The biggest boom we’ve known so far in poker history, and I don’t even love the game enough to take advantage of it.
I have been playing a lot of NLHE tourneys lately. I am way too tight, not making the most of opportunities when they arise. My timing isn’t always 100%.
I let myself get blinded down too often, and then have to rely on the mercy of the cards to keep me alive. Naturally this leads to lots of eliminations for me, when the situation could have been avoided. Someone said to me, “You take more bad beats than anyone I know!” Well, the truth of the matter is, I let myself get into those situations, needlessly, and then I’m at the mercy of the cards, I am subject to “luck” (someone else’s luck, lol). This is not their fault, it is MINE. I take complete responsibility for getting myself into that situation in the first place.
Here are some examples of tourneys I’ve played in the last week, to help illustrate my point:
1) The blinds are 4000/8000. The average stack is only about 30k, so the structure is horrible, yes, but it is such a soft tourney that I can’t pass it up. I am short with about 15k left. I post the BB of 8k. The SB is dead. It is passed to a very passive player on the button who limps in with 88 (let’s not discuss just how badly this guy played, lol). The flop comes down all spades, I have no spade, but second pair is a nine, which pairs my T9o. No better time than the present, I go all-in with my last 7k. This is not even a full bet, so the button has no problem calling me with his eights, because one of them is a spade, which he hits on the river. IGHN (I Go Home Now), in 11th place.
2) Blinds are 400/800. I have 2300 left. I have not voluntarily played a hand the entire tourney, over 1.5 hours. I’ve not had a pair nor a good ace. I have won two hands in the blinds, by others passive play, but have not voluntarily entered a pot. We reach the final table, but I am shortest in chips. A player two to my right raises to 2500 on a steal. I cannot even raise him with my AKo. He flips over KTo and gets the gutshot on the river, IGHN.
3) In the first hour of a rebuy tournament I have only won two pots. One was before the flop, one was on the flop. Both times I am certain that I held the best hand. I still have less than average chips due to loose play and multiple rebuys by others. On the last hand before the rebuys end, the blinds are 100/200. I am in the SB. I have about 1k left. The button raises to 600 as a steal with ATo. I re-raise him all-in with AKo. It is no problem for him to call the additional 400. He gets his ten on the river. REBUY!!!
4) The blinds are 1000/2000. I am down to only 1500. In LP, I go all-in with 88. The BB gets 500 back. She has 95o. A nine hits the river and IGHN.
5) The blinds are 500/1000. I am on the button with KQs. I am a short stack with only about 1500 left. I go all-in. Both blinds call with nothing. The BB has T9o and hits a nine on the turn. IGHN.
So here I am trying to illustrate that I have a big, BIG hole in my NLHE tourney play. I don’t need to let myself get blinded down so much that I can’t protect my hand. I am really good at monitoring that when the number of chips is pretty good versus the blinds, but when it starts accelerating faster than I could possibly get any decent hands, I wimp out, I become too tight. I stop taking chances that I would normally take. I try to be calm and rational in a situation that is anything but rational. I need to make way, WAY more moves, and much sooner. I know the structure, I see where it is leading, but somehow I still convince myself that I cannot play certain hands that I should be playing. Bad, bad, bad.
So I’ve gotten off on the wrong track. I can right that course easily. I will go back to taking notes during play. I will be more diligent about my chances of success if I let myself get blinded down to 10x the BB or less. Wake up, wake up. It’s time to get real, Felicia!