short stacked and desperate

D

dopeychick

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i would appreciate any advice or feedback as i really have hit a poker rut, for the last few tournies ive played, usually $4 rebuys at the casino
i have managed to work through the field and make the final twenty or so but i tend to be short stacked, an example is i was at the final table with aprox 4k in chips, the average stack was double that and there was 8 players left, i got AD and 9h i was on the big blind and didnt raise, the flop came A 9 5 all spades, the flush worried me and i decided to check, there was only me and the small blind left in, he too was short stacked, he also checked, the turn was a 3 spades, i then decided to check again, my opp also checked the river was j h my opp moved all in, i called as i felt he was snatching the pot and my two pair seemed good after the checks, we turned over and he had the 2 spades, tournie over.
example 2. i was dealt pocket rockets, i decided to slow play with a $500 raise, twice the big blind, the flop came 4 9 2 all diamonds, there was only 2 of us in the pot he checked, and i decided to make the move all in, as i assumed that he was on a draw and would get him off the pot, but he called, and turned over A 2 diamonds, tournie over again, i came 15th out of a field of 60.
I really need to rethink my game any advice anyone
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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You have to be more aggressive, you had two spots where you could have won that hand. 1)You could have pushed preflop if it had been folded around to the SB and he just limped in. 2) If top two pair is not enough for you to push the rest in and take the pot right there. I don't like the play when there are 4 suited cards on the table and you don't have one, suicide for the most part.

Second one, never slow play AA unless you KNOW you are going to get raised behind you. You set yourself up for that one with the small bet. That one is hard to take but it happens to everyone.

In both examples you are showing, you are playing against a flop of three suited cards. One you were not aggressive enough and the other you did the post flop right and just faced the nuts. This is a hard flop to play against when you catch something but don't have a suited card to go with it.
 
t1riel

t1riel

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If you were the shortstack and you had A, 9 and Pocket Aces, it's a all in situation. When you are the shortstack, you have two options: All In or Fold (or check if you're the Big Blind to see the flop for free on a marginal hand).
 
starfall

starfall

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You lost the first example through your pre-flop play. When the blinds are getting significant, especially by the point of a final table, then an Ace and a medium card isn't so bad. You had to be thinking about the number of callers, and position and the like. It was cheap for him to stay in from the small blind, so he could have anything, which makes your Ace look good, since he didn't raise, so heads-up against that small blind, you're in reasonable shape.
Make a reasonable raise pre-flop, and you'll probably take it there and then, especially since one of his cards was a 2.

After the flop, it's a matter of reads, there was the possibility of a straight, but heads-up again, it's more likely he hasn't made a straight - although he would have a good chance of holding a draw (as he did). Again, making a bet will test your opponent, and make them wonder whether they want to draw against a better hand for the weakest flush possible.

On the turn he made his flush, but the weakest one possible, and it would still have been fairly likely you could push him off with a good bet (remember it takes a stronger hand to call a bet than to make one).

It shouldn't have got to the river in order for you to have to make those decisions. Having played that way, any spade had you beat, and there was a fair chance on that (as well as trapping, on the turn he could have been trying to work out if you had better flush), so calling bets was difficult.

The key point here is that he had a very vulnerable hand, and aggression would have given you a chance at winning the hand, where checking and calling gave away the weakness of your hand and allowed him to stay in and take your chips.

In example 2, you said he turned over A2 diamonds, and the flop was 249 diamonds, so that doesn't add up. I'll presume one of the 2's was another diamond.
It was the slow-playing that probably lost it. Late in the tournament, the blinds are liable to be big enough that just picking up the blinds and calls (and antes if applicable) becomes more worthwhile. All-in before the flop would have given him a hell of a decision - even if he put you on AK he couldn't call that kind of a raise. That's the danger of slow-playing - your AA not half as strong post-flop unless it hits something. Make a bet more like 4-5 BB, to make sure he's not calling with random junk, generally, and slow-play with very strong post-flop hands (e.g. made full house or quads post-flop, or Ace-high flush).
When it hit all diamonds and he checked, then it's fair enough that you'd think he probably hasn't got 2 more diamonds, if your stack was as short as the first example, then you could only really go all-in if trying to put pressure on. However, with pocket rockets, you're generally expecting to be ahead UNLESS a flush, straight or board pair hits, so the flop giving a flush possibility and straight draw would have been one of the scarier boards imaginable for pocket Aces. It's then more tricky to know whether to raise as you did or just call and see what happens on the turn (and how he plays).

You'll note I'm suggesting a somewhat different approach to the first hand. This is because the first example would have been better to raise on, because you had some outs to hit the nut hand even if a flush or straight was there, and you knew the 2nd opponents hand had to be a little better because he'd called a raise. In the second example, if he did have the flush, or made the straight on the turn, there would be almost no chance of you winning the hand. Similarly, if he had something like A9, then he'd have thought he had a draw at a winning 2 pair and a flush, giving him reasonable odds for calling most bets.
In the end the first play was a bit passive, and the 2nd play was better strategically - just unfortunate that he was slow-playing you back... it was a reasonable move to make, and most of the time it will work, but occasionally it will bust you instead.

The only other bit of advice I'd say is that if like the first example you're really short-stacked (like 5 BB or less), then there's a reasonable case for pushing in with a good-ish hand pre-flop.
 
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