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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Finally a final table again

I wasn't running good in tournaments in the last time. To be true it was horrible. And I can't blame it to the bad beats. As said I received plenty of them but I felt like my play went from SAG-Style (Selective Aggressive) to LAG (Loose Aggressive). I played too many marginal hands and tried to defend to many marginal pots.

So I took some time today to recap the important things that made my style successfull in the past. And then I went to Salzburg to play the EUR 20,- Rebuy at the Poker-Club. I didn't get many very good cards (in fact TT two times and KK once were by far the best hands) but I still was able to play enough hands with my own personal SAG-style. For the whole evening I had only 3 showdowns but was able to pump up my stack from the inital 1,500 to about 18,000 with no re-buys and just the add-on.

In the beginning (during the rebuy time) I was able to accumulate a stack of 4,500. Then I received ATd in late position. I made a standard raise and got two callers. The flop was low cards with two diamonds. It was checked to me and I raised it to a potsize bet as I wanted to take the pot down right away (my bet put both all-in). Unfortunately both called ... but with 9 outs I had plenty of options. Even better, I was up against 77 and QQ (from a very small stack). So I had 15 outs to win something and most probably was favorite to win the hand. But no diamond on the Turn and the River and I was almost back to were I started.

I was able to take advantage of some bad play (like minimum raises against my small blind or big blind) and recovered somewhat. Then a very strange hand happend: I had AJo in middle position, made a standard raise and got called from the button. Flop was a Jack and two low cards. I was most probably ahead so I bet half the pot and got re-raised to two times my bet. My opponent was a very loose player so I decided it was time to defend the pot here and called. Turn was a blank. Again bet half the pot and got called. River was another blank and I went all-in with my remaining chips. This was a bet of only about 10% of the potsize and I was almost sure to get a call. But he folded his hand here. Either he was on a complete bluff or my stack confused him. It consisted of many medium size chips and looked bigger in value than it was. Anyway, bad play on his part and a big pot for me.

With my second showdown I took revenge for the missed 15-outer. I raised TT from the button just to get an all-in from the SB and the BB. The BB wasn't the problem as he was severly shortstacked. But to call the SB I had to put in two third of my chips. I expected something like Ax or a low pair from my opponenents so I decided for a call. I was delighted to see a JT from the bigger of the two stacks but the QQ from the SB didn't look to good. Still in a good position to win at least something here I spiked my only out. A Ten on the turn made me a set and I took both of them out of the game. Poker can be a cruel game!

With a stack of a around 18,000 (which was average at this time) I made it to the final table. I got TT in late position again. But in front of me there was a raise to 5,000 (blinds 800/1,600) from a loose player who was caught with a bad bluff sometimes earlier. Maybe it was a mistake not to go all-in here. But I just wanted to avoid the risk to run into a real hand. So I just made a re-raise to 10,000. I expected him either to fold or to re-raise me all-in. In that case I would have most probably given him respect for his re-re-raise and fold. But he just called. The flop was horrible for my TT as it was a KJ9 with two spades. He was first to act and I decided if he checks I push all-in and if he makes a significant bet I'm out. Unfortunately he bet 10,000 to put me all-in and I let my hand go. Tough decision. But I still think it was the right play.

With only 8,000 left I was now severly shortstacked. I picked up the blinds once with an all-in raise but finally went totally card dead and had to pay the big blind of 3,200 with a total stack of 8,800. Whatever happned now I had to go all-in anyway. To my surprise I found the best hand of the night ... KK. And to add more suprise the UTG player went all-in for about 20,000. It was folded around, I called and he showed A8s. Another 8 on the Flop gave him some more outs and an Ace on the Turn sent me home in 7th place of 57 players. Just shy of the money (4 got paid). At least I got another tournament ticket (which equals half of todays buy-in).

As you might expect I was very sad as I left the Poker-Club. But my mood got better while driving home. Why? Because this was not only by far my best result since a long time but I was also very satisfied with the way I played tonight. This evening gave me back a lot of my confidence. And like Daniel would say: "You didn't lose $26 today ... you earned almost $30 for 3 hours of good work". Thank you Daniel - thinking about it this way indeed makes me feel much better.

Now I'm looking forward to the Luckbox Open II Wednesday night at 8pm CET.


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