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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cashgame vs. Tournament

Tonight I had a nice live cash game with some friends. There were some more experienced, some rookies. Some are having jobs related to poker (but no professional players), some not. It was a bunch of people you wouldn't expect sitting at the same table playing against each other - so it may be good that we don't have a photo this time ;-)) It was an interesting and funny evening and beside playing some $1/2 NL Hold'em we had some very good conversations. But this evening showed me again something I already knew: I'm much better in playing tournaments than in playing cash games.

There are two reasons:
1. I like an aggressive style of play with lot's of selective action. This works fine for tournaments but creates a much to loose style during cash games.
2. Changing gears. Beside the aggression I'm willing and able to change gears in a tournament to protect my tournament life. I'm not very good doing the same in cash games.

At the beginning I was up about $150 due to some nice draws that hit either on the turn or the river. I don't think I overplayed them but the odds I got there had been at least borderline and I doubt that I would have played these draws the same way in a tournament. I even flopped my second straight flush in my life. Made a small invitation bet as we usually got some callers everytime. Unfortunately not this time and I didn't get much out of that monster. I didn't get a lot to play after that. To make things worse I had to fold several times after the flop or turn because I didn't hit anything (or enough) to donate more to the pot. So my stack went down to $38.

Then one key hand came up: I can't recall the action completely but the important point is that I was facing an oversized bet in front of me after the flop. The flop wasn't very scary for my AJ and it was clear that he tried to represent either Aces or Kings. I decided that this bet size smelled fishy. I never would have bet the whole amount but my all-in was only a small fraction of his bet. Unfortunately I oversaw two very important things. First: This bet wasn't directed at me. It was directed against the third guy still in the pot (with a much bigger stack) who was calling a lot of bets. So the oversized bet made sense and smelled less fishy. Second: Even if I thought the first one hadn't Aces or Kings I should have considered that the other guy will either fold or had me dominated (e.g. AK) if he calls. So I don't had any implied odds to take into account. The third guy folded and I faced indeed two Kings. No help for me.
To make this call in a tournament I would have been either 150% sure that he was bluffing or I would have been so super-shortstacked that this was my only option anyway. In almost all other cases it would haven been a fast muck.

Somewhat later I lost another big pot with a board of AKQ7A. I was holding Ax. Not only did I fell in love with my pair of aces (small kicker) to much but more worse I was so happy about my set on the river that I didn't consider that I could run into a full house. My opponent played his pocket kings very well still offering a good price (as long as I didn't put him on the set of kings). But again I'm sure I wouldn't have made this play in a tournament. At least it never would have been that costly.

At the end I was down $200 and had learned things I already knew. But it's good to rehearse them from time to time.

1 Comments:

quattroboxer,  1:34 PM  

Nice story Shadow, I agree fully. That´s poker you say!

Quattro-Boxer

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