Friday, July 15, 2005

It's Over Johnny

As much as it irritates me to allow DNasty's prediction to come true, for all intents and purposes I am done. Get me out of this oven.

I have $4.50 left and I have been remanded to the 6th level of hell known as $1 SNGs. Because I am a fierce competitor, I am not going to quit and I am going to see if I can turn the $4.50 back into something playable, but the realist in me knows it is a long shot.

Let me acknowledge that this has not been fun. I am reading other posts and watching other players in the challenge hit flops, draws, and put on (and receive) a few bad beats. I have not had one of those go in my favor this week. I have been playing from a strategically inferior position (on button when chip leader is in the BB) for most of the SNGs and I did not have the chip lead once in any of them. I am at work right now, so I don't have the spreadsheet in front of me for the tally, but it was probably under 10. I played mostly $5 SNGs with 2-3 $10. I made the money once. One time. Uno. That is ridiculous.

Sneaky DNasty has been running poker tracker on me whenever he sees me on, and according to his comment the other day, my VP$IP is only 2% more than his and we are both under 20%. Playing too loose? Nope. My showdown % is bad because of the three times I went to showdown that he was tracking, two were All-Ins that put me out. One was a desperation all in, the other was a bad beat. I don't think that the issue is there either.

I feel strongly that I have been on the negative side of variance this week, and it has not been pleasant. I am not hitting flops and have to work very hard to progress into the money on these SNGs. Getting close to the bubble is not too hard, my tight play usually ensures me a shot and that I will outlast the 2-3 maniacs that are invariably at the table. I have not reviewed my poker tracker stats yet to see if I can find some holes to plug (will do that soon) so this is gut feeling.

The one thing I think that I need to consider is my willingness to abandon a hand. This was highlighted last night in the middle round of my last SNG. I had 66 on the button and raised around 3XBB (it was folded around to me, 6 person SNG) The BB calls and the flop comes KKx. BB checks, I make a pot sized bet (around 500) and he goes over the top of me all in. I think for a second, If I had a K, would I play it that way? Maybe. Can I rule a K out of his hand? No. Can my hand improve enough to beat what he may have? Maybe, but not worth all my chips, I still have enough to stay competitive. I fold, doubting a 6 would have come on turn or river and he shows A8. "Nice bet" I type as I mucked the had that was ahead. Should I have played this differently? The obvious answer now is yes, (although I am not too enthused about getting all my chips in the middle) but I don't know if I would play it differently when the same or similar position occurs again.

Could the answer be don't play 66? I suppose. Perhaps the only way to play that is hard, all in pre flop when you are on the button or not at all. I thought in the situation I was in, I made the right choice. Play it like a premium hand and most often, the BB is defending or has a halfway decent hand (he did not re raise, just completed) and will fold to the obvious strength I was showing. Perhaps this guy was a real gambler, or sensed a move being made. From my perspective, I was not making a move, perhaps a semi move, but that is a ballsy bet with A8o given the board and my previous bets. I doubt he had a read on me yet, it was perhaps 20 hands into a 6 person turbo SNG. I had not been involved in that many pots.

The other "weakness"? I potentially see in my game right now is almost a complete lack of pure bluffing. I think that this is stemming from the previous two months of limit hold 'em where you will almost always see a showdown. Perhaps I did not make the gear switch that was necessary for NL.

This is all a learning experience, I am going to keep slogging forward, but I am pretty frustrated right now. After I complete the run I am going to attempt with my $4.50, or perhaps during, but with separate accounting, I am going to play the larger buy in SNGs like I would have been were I still in the challenge. My hypothesis is that I will improve, the streak of no monies and bubble outs will end and I would have been competitive. I need to prove this to myself.

So, I will still see all of you and play with you in the next month, but I am probably not a threat to any of you other than playing spoiler when I knock you out of the SNGs that I will still be playing!

GL all, sorry I have not been more competitive.


GaryC said...


I know how the bad runs go. I've been there, just keep plugging away. I fully expect you to hit a rush and win about 4 tournaments in a row and be right back in this thing. You just have to be patient now and build the roll back up.
I'm rooting for you brother.


Kipper said...

Grind away at it!! I had a small lucky run and now I jave lost 2 in a row. Going to try another here and see how it goes!!

HighOnPoker said...

Ok, don't listen to Kip or GSux, cause they are both winning. Listen to me, who is just barely scraping by. You are a good player. I have no doubt about that, since you surpassed DNutty and I in the Limit Challenge (albeit not at the same time or in an official capacity). I think the 66 laydown was good too. If I were you, I would've folded too. Were you paying attention to the player, and were there any signs that he would make such an aggressive bluff. If not, then I can't blame you for the fold. If anything, it showed self-restraint. Think about if you called and he hit one of his two overcards or the board hit 2 pair, KK and XX higher than 6s. Then you'd be kicking yourself for calling. I think it is three things: (1) variance, (2) the adjustment to NL SNGs, which I had a problem with at first also, and (3) bankroll management. I've been tempted to play $10 SNGs also, but it is too much out of my current $50 or so. If I lose the $10 SNG, I'd pretty much have to play another $10 SNG to make my money back. Suddenly, I'd be down $20 (the way things are going), and its a slippery slope. All that said, sometimes you can't escape variance. I just can't wait til GSux and Kipper gets theres.