Yo Soy En Fuego
by jnells | Published May 29, 2012
Poker has been going extremely well lately. I played a $180 two Fridays ago at Foxwoods which I lost, where I only played ok, but rebounded by winning $1150 playing cash at a $1-$2 game. The Friday night crowds are ridiculously soft, but it helps when people either donate or get coolered out of 3-4 hundred dollar stacks too. Then Finch and I went to Seabrook on Sunday because they were having a $250 MTT, which attracted a surprisingly large 67 player field. I felt like I played really well for the entire tournament, with the exception of 2 royally misplayed hands, one early in the tournament and one at the final table. Luckily I was able to rebound from both of these mistakes and I won the entire tournament with no chop for $4200.
And since only one 10+ hour day of poker is not enough for me, I also went to Seabrook yesterday to play the $150 tournament that they were having because of Memorial Day. I feel I played extremely well in the $150 but the cards did not break my way for a change and I lost 2 very large hands which played out pretty standardly. On the first I shoved over a Cbet on a flop where I had a gut-shot straight flush draw, and got snap iso'd by a player who had checked a set from first to act. The 2nd I raise called like 20ish BBs from EP with 99 against the BB who I knew to be a very crazy player sometimes, he had A5s and hit the A on the turn. Oh well as Jason Mercier #ontothenextone. For me the next one was a $85 tournament which attracted a fairly small 35 player field. I chipped up early on and that made it smooth sailing to the final table where I had a big chip lead.
Approaching the bubble I lost some all-Ins where I raise-called short stacks (in this tourney the average stack is a short stack but I was still opening fairly wide since the players did not know how to say all in nearly enough as they should) and was on the losing side of 60-40's where I was usually the 40. That left me 3rd of 5 on the bubble and I reluctantly agreed to play the bubble $100 taking $25 off of each paying spot. Immediately after agreeing a won a couple of big pots and had the chip lead again (I knew I should not have paid the bubble). From that point on it was very smooth sailing and I completely owned my competition 3 handed basically bluffing at will as they seemed to have no interest in standing up to me without a hand, and the times they did it was with a weak lead into me when I was the pre flop raiser. Typically when they did this I called with good hands and raised all of my air. This may seem overly aggro/spewy but think about it, I was raising nearly any two cards when I was in position pre-flop and c-betting a vast majority of board textures(BTW i think this is too aggressive if your opponents are good), if they had flopped a strong enough hand to risk getting 3rd place with why would they not check raise since I was an overwhelming favorite to c-bet the flop. I got heads-up, obviously declined the offer to chop and expected my opponent to become more aggressive since there was no chance of moving up in the money without actually beating me head-up. I was pleasantly surprised when he really did not change gears much at all and I min-raised most buttons and took down way more than my fair share of pots. I decided to start open shoving buttons when he was down to 8 BBs and the first opportunity I got to do this I held an A2o and he semi-tanked called with 99 (which is hilarious). Had he doubled up I would have only had a 3-2 chip-lead but luckily I hit an A on the river to win $1035. Making it back to back nights with a tourney win.
One thing I think I did very poorly last year was managing up-swings, yes I said up-swings. I think because of all the ways people mismanage down-swings, the importance of dealing with an up-swing is underrated. Last year I was happy to spend way more than I should have been comfortable spending (bars, restaurants, bars, malls, oh and did I mention bars) when I was fresh off of a poker win. I could easily justify losing a tournament as negative variance that will even out eventually but I seemed to think once money was in my checking account it was there forever and was never going away. That is why I had no problem buying any random girl with a cute face who would smile at me a drink and that is why I found myself having to borrow money from Finch several times this year. I am not saying I will definitely not be broke again, especially with my expenses month to month sure to be higher than they were last year but I need to be more money conscious. I need to take less high variance shots (like playing 2-5 NL in Vegas instead of the softer 1-2NL, or playing a $600 buy in with 100% of my own action with under a 10K bankroll). I want to run it up, I want to give myself a chance to get to the bigger games but I need to do it sparingly and cautiously. I may end up playing slightly under-rolled from time to time, I may end up going on massive downswings at inopportune times, but I can not let myself make fiscal decisions without the proper amount of thought.