Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Tournament Poker Mistake By Me...

I was knocked out today in the Sunday event.

At $50-$100, I had $4,000 and in the big blind. The player under the gun raised to $300, and only the small blind called. I had 9c-5c. It was $200 to win $900, so I called.

The flop was 9d-6c-4c. The small blind checked and I checked. The big blind moved all in for $3,000. The small blind folded. What should I do?

I had a flush draw, an inside straight draw, and I could hit another 9 or 5. Lots of outs so I called.

I got no help, and I was down to $700.

Not a good spot to be in. But, I was able to climb back to $4,000.

At the $100-$200 with $25 ante I was in the small blind. Everyone folded to the button, who raised to $700. I moved all in. The big blind folded, and dejected the button who had $3,000 behind called. He showed pocket 3's.

I got no help, and I was down again.

A few hands later I went all in with A-2. I got called by Q-9. My opponent hit a 9.

I got no help, and I was out.

What was my mistake?

Clearly I should have thought about the A-J hand more. I knew my opponent was not stealing--so if he did a big hand, I would have been the dog. Also, I could have called and outplayed him on the turn if he checked the flop.

Overall, some very general rules about most tournament poker players. Most of these players have the following basic moves down pat:

1. They know to raise pre-flop--and the range of hands usually depends on the player and position.

2. They know to re-raise with a premium hand or A-K pre-flop.

3. When their raise is called pre-flop, if they are the pre-flop raiser they know how to make a continuation bet. If you call a continuation bet on the flop, they are stuck trying to figure out what to do on the turn. Therefore, you can check raise on the flop and see where you are cheaply. Or bet the turn if another rag hits.

What this means is that you want to avoid pre-flop all-ins, unless you know your opponent doesn't have a big hand, and/or unless you are pot committed, and/or you know they will lay down their not that big of a hand given their style and chip stack.

And you want to bet whenever your opponent checks.

My mistake lately is that I'm pushing all-in too early in these events without premium hands. That is a mistake I need to fix.


alan8385 said...

I put myself out of a tournament last night the same way. Blinds were 400-800 with 100 ante. I was in the big blind. Person in front of the button raises to 1600, button folds, small blind raises to 4000. I've got As 10s so I call the 3200 more. the original raiser pushes all in. the small blind raises all in (small blind had me covered). after a few minutes I called. original raiser had 9 9. small blind had A K. I got zero help and the small blind rivered his A and took us both out. with that many fireworks I should have just folded and played another hand. the all in pre flop is so dangerous because you have no option to out play people. hell it's almost easier to call an all in with a decent hand than a large raise since you know there's no decision making... oh well, i'll just give it another shot next weekend. I ended up 8th after that little maneuver so i'm not complaining too much

McTap03 said...

Had a similar situation on Friday night. CO-1 raises to 340 (blinds were 75-150), CO calls and I'm sitting in the SB with Js4s. With the BB sitting out I decide to call. Flop comes Ks7s6s for a made flush. I check an the original bettor makes is 2100. CO folds and I shove my last 5k. CO+1 shows KK (for a set) and goes J J for a full house. Got my money in with best even though my pre-flop call was very weak. But like you say "Risk is good."

Danny said...

I also make this mistake often. I gotta learn how to out play a guy with small pocket pair against my big over cards more often, instead of pushing all in pre-flop and not getting any help. The only benefit to that is winning a generous pot if you hit.

What's Your Poker IQ?