Sunday, May 22, 2005


I Was Bored Before I Even Began

Played the £100 at Gutshot last night. I should stress that the negative title refers to my own state of mind - there was nothing wrong with the tournament, which had a well-balanced structure, the players were friendly and our dealer excellent. It was nice to meet up with a few people, we were having a bit of a writers' convention beforehand, and it was a shame we had to break it up to play the tournament !

After about 10 minutes I wasn't really bothered one way or the other, I thought we were in for some action when someone limped UTG first hand, no raise, then he ploughed 4000 all in on a 245 flop and showed AA. How not to play Aces 101. After that it settled down, every now and then three people would launch it all in and sheepishly reveal 55, A5 and KQ (I'm not making that up), apart from that it was fairly quiet. I had about 6000 when the one moderately interesting hand of the evening came up.

You might not think it is interesting at first. Blinds 250-500, UTG who only has around 2500 limps in (yuck). Samir makes it 2500. I find AK and go all in for 6000 total. UTG reluctantly calls and Samir has to call for the rest with AQ. Q on the flop thank you and goodnight. What's interesting is that Samir's bet has committed him to the pot when I reraise. His initial bet was too big. People are paranoid about forcing opponents to fold with a hand like AQ. But why ? One thing's for sure, no one's going to fold a better hand. What's wrong with 3xBB, 1500, even with the limper ? If the limper goes all in, fine you call. If anyone raises you, you can make a decision based on who they are and the size of their stack. Maybe you don't want the big blind to call, but again why not ? He's not passing anything better. Let him call with the worst hand out of position. Especially if the limper goes all in and you have an empty sidepot, which is great for Ace-big because you'll see five cards a lot more often than usual. Raise enough so that everyone doesn't come along for the ride. More than that with a "middle" hand (one that's only going to be reraised by something better) is just putting the extra out there to be lost.

Incidentally UTG had 54s which is perfectly acceptable if you want to go all in, but horrible to limp with for 20% of your stack. Anyway I could hit the rail with a clear conscience. Half an hour later I'm stuck in traffic in Wood Green at 12-30 am with a headache, and that's when I think "was that really worth it ?". Probably not for £100. Maybe for £250.

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