A Tale of Two Weekends
by SeabrookNutz | Published May 02, 2012
So the weekend of April 20-22 was one of the most frustrating and disappointing poker weekends in recent memory. I was off to a good start in my usual 6:30 PM $90 special after somehow getting to the tournament on time (My dad always makes us late because we get a ride from him). I played very tight and won some big pots that sustained me until the final table. I actually think I only lost one raised pot that I played in the three or four hours before the final table. Not long into the final table I found myself a decent chip leader with ~120K with probably around another ~400K distributed among the last 5 other players at the table. Joe (how was he still in?) may have been second in chips. 5 places were getting paid, so it was bubble time. My self-destruction may have come a little before the 6 handed bubble started, I can only surely remember that my final table play was unacceptably bad. Here are the mistakes I remember making. With 7 to 8 players left I raise folded an AJo at 3K/6K to an opponent who was capable of an all-in 3-bet bluff. He raised all-in for maybe 60K total and I folded my 14K raise to him. I felt like I had a read on him, but even if I did, I think 2.33X folding here is too tight. I wish I had called him. At the time my stack was ~110. I decided to fold to keep my ~100K stack intact so that I could push the table around without risking going down to ~50K.
This segues nicely into my next terrible play because I fail to do what I had promised myself I would do after I raise folded the AJo. The drunk guy Joe wound up beating for first raised 2.5X at 3/6K and I decided to small three bet him with 99 in position. He flatted and then pushed on a Q 10 X flop, forcing me to fold. I wish I had just jammed my 100K stack on him instead of playing a bloated pot and allowing him to shove the flop. With these two mistakes and a few blinds lost, I found myself 4th in chips with 6 players left and 5 getting paid. Joe raised my big blind (He was chip leader or close to it at this point) from the cut-off (or button?) and I looked down at KQo. He raised to 14 at 3/6K into my stack of ~55K. I jammed expecting to be slightly ahead of his range. He thought about it for about a minute and then called with A9s. Afterwards he made a good point that his range is a lot tighter that I expected it to be. Because I have a stack of around 9-10BB he is only raising hands that he will get in with me if I shove. I was thinking that I had a lot more fold equity than I did. Even so, I got him to go into the tank for a minute because I’m such a nit in Joe’s mind. Of all my mistakes this one was at least not that bad. It might not even be a mistake if Joe finds a fold once in a while. Oh well, Joe held and I wrote this tournament off as one of the worst ones that I have played in maybe the last year or so.
To end a night where I expected to make some decent money and then lost $170, I bubbled a SitnGo. I don’t remember how I bubbled this SitnGo (I NEVER bubble these, because it is so important to sneak into the money in these sitngos), but I do remember questioning my last shove. Overall it was a very frustrating night. I bubbled twice, played like crap, and Joe won $1600. I don’t mind seeing Joe win, but it makes it extra frustrating to see someone who is just a good as you win when you play awful and lose. To top it all off I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play for the next two weeks because I was busy the next weekend. I would have to sit and think about how bad I had played for 2 weeks. Ugh.
The name of this post is “The Tale of Two Weekends” for a reason though. The reason I couldn’t play on the weekend of April 27-29 is because I was going on a Catholic Center men’s weekend retreat in Keene, NH. Throughout the 4 years I have been at Northeastern, I have found and practiced my Catholic faith at the Catholic Center (I am even now on the CC executive board as Vice Pres). My faith, above all else, is who I am. Retreats are so essential for me. They give me a time to get away from campus and Boston, hang out with other Catholics who are excited about faith, and most importantly grow in my relationship with God.
Going into the weekend I wanted to play poker, but I knew that I really needed a retreat, especially after a long semester and a weekend of terribly played poker lingering in my mind. Friday night, instead of shooting up route 1 to 95 North, I made my way up 93 and eventually into western NH. Immediately I was relaxed. Friday night we watched “Of Gods and Men”, a movie about a group of monks in an Islamic part of Northern Africa who become martyrs after refusing to leave their monastery. The movie was slow paced and actually kind of boring, but the acting was superb and the thoughts and questions that it posed made it worth watching.
Saturday morning we worked outside for most of the morning. The house that we were staying at is heated entirely from a wood boiler. We split logs and moved firewood for a few hours. It feels good to do some manual labor when you haven’t done it in a while (I work a 9-5 job in a lab for co-op). While we worked one of the guys prepared an entire pig for dinner. That’s right, we had pig roast. It was gross, but kind of cool. Saturday also included playing a ton of basketball with some of the guys, but by far best part of the retreat was Saturday night. We had a Jacob Night (Check out the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis), which is a night of adoration (Look it up! Catholicism is awesome!) where each guy spends an hour alone in the chapel to “wrestle with God” until the next guy relieves him (My hour was from 2:30 to 3:30 AM). Oh and did I mention that the chapel was in the middle of the woods? Silence and prayer for an entire hour with no one but the Lord. When do I get the chance to do this? Not often. I prayed the whole time, which surprised me because I usually sit there because I’ve run out of things to pray about. The biggest question on my heart was whether or not to start dating a girl I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks. After some prayer I decided that I’m going to ask her out. Hopefully she doesn’t cut into my Joe/Poker time too much! Anyway, the rest of my time in adoration was spent meditating on my life and how I got to where I am today. I didn’t think about school or work or poker once. It was extremely fruitful.
To cap off the weekend we drove up to the White Mountains and hiked Mount Osceola, which was somewhat treacherous because it was still covered in ice. Nonetheless it was an awesome time and we got a great view from the top.
I came home Sunday night fully refreshed, ready for my last week of co-op, and found myself thinking how silly it was to be so frustrated for losing a couple hundred bucks worth of equity the weekend before. Seriously, bad play is going to plague you sometimes. Just make sure that you notice it, don’t tilt (maybe take a weekend off if you need to), study your mistakes, and be ready and excited to play next time. Speaking of next time, Joe and I are planning on going to Seabrook or Foxwoods this Saturday depending on what my dad and brother want to do (Sonny isn’t old enough to play at Foxwoods). I feel like I play best when I haven’t played in a while. When I’m hungry for Hold ‘em, I get pumped up and pay attention to every detail my table offers me. I’m ready to snatch up that EV that I left there last time! More updates to come after this weekend!