My play just seems too weak! (help)

Mugetsu

Mugetsu

Rock Star
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Total posts
139
Hey guys, I’ve returned from lurking in the shadows for a while.

Got a general question about my play. I was really wondering if my play was just too weak at tournament level. I unfortunately don’t have any hands that can be analysed by yourselves so ill simply try and set the scene as best I can.

I won a seat into a £10+1 feeder tournament through a top ten qualify kind of thing. The tournament was for a £100+1 ticket into the main qualifier for a live seat in England for Blue Square poker. The tourney only had 15 players in it, 9 of which id already beaten when we won our tickets earlier so I was fairly confident.

It started off well, I won a few hands hitting sets with mid pocket pairs or hitting top pair top kicker with ace face. These were mid sized pots and weren’t exactly building my stack into a monster. I started with 1.5k and after hitting three ‘key’ hands I was on 2.8k. After that things gradually dried up on the hand front so after a while I decided to play position for a few hands. This didn’t really work as the person to my left either raised my blinds or reraised me constantly. This wasn’t helped by the person to my right who used any time villain A didn’t raise as an excuse to raise huge herself! Unfortunately I was in no position to challenge her as I didn’t have hands and she had a huge stack due to an early triple up!

Things eventually came to a head when I found half my stack in a pot after being raised by Villain A, I was on BB and flat called. The flop had a pair on it and a nut flush draw. I actually had AQ of clubs and the flop was 669 with two clubs. He checked and I bet my last 600 chips. The pot was 1400 at this point so I thought why not. He called fast and showed a pair of tens. Needless to say nothing came out to help me.

Im not bothered about the final hand or really the hands that I was dealt, im just wondering if there are ways to be more aggressive with sets/good pairs/hands without falling into the freeroll all in style. I feel that I may have over thought several of the hands and probably would’ve doubled each time had I just pushed when I hit them.

Very vague and very sparse of real info but please try to help
 
soccerfreakjj10

soccerfreakjj10

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In order to win a poker tournament you are going to have to win a few races - it is extremely difficult to get deep into a satellite like the one you described without racing unless the deck is hitting you fairly solidly. There are, however, a few tricks to chipping up when you are card dead that i like to use. Mainly, I play position, but if that fails (as it often does if you raise on the button because it is easy to read) I like to disguise my bluff by making the raise in early-middle position with connectors (78 is an ideal hand for this move.) Take advantage of the Gap Concept through this move, and hopefully you will steal some blinds. If you do raise with the connectors, however, there are still escape routes:

1. You hit your hand. They don't expect it because they are putting you on a pretty strong hands such as a couple of high cards at least.

2. If you miss your hand, there is usually a high card on the flop that you can represent by leading out on the flop.

Of course this isn't a guaranteed chip up, I do often find myself losing 1/5 of my stack on plays like this.

If even after you disguise your steals by raising in earlier position and you are still getting reraised, sit and wait for your hand to push your chips in with. Also, watch and see how the villain re-raiser acts if the person they re-raise 3 bets. If they fold this could be a good way to chip up quickly (also risky!) If you do have the goods on a 3 bet, make sure you show them your hand, it could help to get them to fold a little more often.

Of course your M plays a HUGE role in knowing when you have to make these steals. If you are in the green or yellow zone you don't have to make this play, in fact I would say that you shouldn't. Once you get in the orange zone with an M of 10 or less, that is a pretty ideal time to start getting more aggresive.

If all else fails and you do not want to race, the squeeze play is also another option.

Most importantly though, when you do hit your hand (i.e. a set) you need to maximize your value on the hand. I don't know how experienced you are at playing poker, but value betting is KEY. You need to extract as many chips as you can from your opponent when you are certain (or fairly certain) you have the best hand. The "rope-a-dope" slow play is a fair move to extract chips, but against a tight player (or a super-aggressive player for different reasons) betting out will often get more chips. I like to bet 1/3 of the pot or so(as high as 1/2 as low as 1/4) If they fold you weren't likely to get any more chips anyway. Against the table you were descibing, betting out your sets would seem like a great play because you had some super LAG players at your table. I often see players reraise my tiny bet all in with trash and i quickly double up.

The key in all of this is knowing your Mzone, and your opponents...

Hope that helped... :)
 
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switch0723

Cardschat Elite
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Sep 2, 2007
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Why are you calling with a,q? you either need to re raise all in pre flop or if you think your beaten fold, since your just bleeding away your stack otherwise. As a genereal rule, unelss you are deep stacked close to bubble never calll a raise with a,q, pump it or dump it. Also if you had that few chips where a raise was half your stack, you need to have pushed sooner. Taking your chances with any 2 rather than sitting and waiting.

Other than that pushing all in on flop with overs and flush draw is perfectly reasonable, and you were 50/50 on flop about
 
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ph_il

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You're playing to timid and letting the opponents on either side run all over you. If you have a big stack vs low blinds, you dont have to get involved in a hand with the CL. You can sit back and wait for a premium hand and then take advantage of their aggression. However, if you're starting to get low stack, you're going to have to start making plays back at them. Even if you make a play with 29 offsuit, you're at least a 30% chance to win vs 2 overcards. And if they dont have anything, they're probably folding. Im not saying to make plays with 29o, you want your hand to at least have some chance of winning. I'll make plays with Q9, J10, etc. Im just saying 2 random cards vs 2 overs has a decent chance of winning.

Aggressive players will keep hounding on you if you keep letting them.

Your AQ hand was the perfect hand to push all in with. Your problem here isnt only that you flat called with AQ, but the fact that you commited half of your stack. Your hand could have been 45s, if you're putting half your stack into the pot, you are basically committing yourself to the pot. And if you hit your hand or any type of draw, you will be getting good odds to call almost any bet. As a personal rule of them, if I plan on calling a bet or raising where its going to at least half my stack or more, I might as well push because its very unlikely I'll be folding my hand. This, of course, is with hands that have potential to win. AQ, pairs, etc.

Unfortunately, you ran into 10s and Im sure your opponent would've called if you did push. But thats ok, it happens. This is just a small loss and you can expect a lot of small losses, but you wouldve made the right play. Making the right play is a lot better and will always be more profitable then those small losses that'll occur.
 
Mugetsu

Mugetsu

Rock Star
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Total posts
139
Thanks. All of your advice has been fairly good. Mainly highlighting areas in my play that I was neglecting. I guess I will need to work on them.

Any articles I could read to help me out?
 
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ph_il

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Tournament Strategy Articles helped my game a lot.
 
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