Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tournament Hands and Thoughts

My no limit game grew stronger and stronger through each tournament and I feel like a competent player at this point. I still have a whole lot to learn but I at least feel like I have a pretty decent idea of hand ranges pre and post flop. My ability to interpret postflop actions improved a great deal over these tournaments. I'm feeling lost less and less and understand more of what I need to be thinking about in tough situations.

Playing twelve hours a day and committing myself to focus on every hand and trying to assign ranges to players based on their actions in every hand helped immensely. If the hand got to showdown, I could see if my thought process was correct or if I'd left something out. Listening to the other players, particularly good ones, discuss hands at the table allowed me to understand how and what I should thinking about. Watching tournament videos nightly over the past week helped a great deal as well. There's a seven part series on CardRunners where Timex discusses every hand of a 5K buy-in tournament he wins that's been really helpful.

Here are some tournament hands as best I remember them:

Luckiest Hand:

Blinds were something like 300-600 w/ 50 ante. I had about 8K in chips and moved in with 44 from the cutoff. The button moves all-in with AQ and the big blind moves all-in with KK. I flop a 4 and more than triple up to about an average stack.

Unluckiest Hand:

Blinds were 100-200 w/ 25 ante and I have 66 in late position with about 35K chips. UTG opens to 600 with about 20K, I call, and the big blind, also with 20K calls. Flop is 689 w/ 2 diamonds and the big blind leads out for 2K. UTG calls and I move in. Big blind calls with the AT of diamonds and UTG calls with 99. 99 holds up to win a huge pot.

Strangest Hand:

Blinds 1000-2000 and player who I've only seen play 2 hands and have aces both times opens in mid position to 6K. She has about 120K in chips and I have about 100K. I call on the button with KQs. Flop is Q42 rainbow and she bets 8000, I call. Turn is another Queen and she bets 11K, I call. River is a Jack and she checks. I bet smallish, maybe 15K thinking I'm value betting. She calls turning over 44 for a full house.

Best Bluff:

Blinds 500-1000 maybe, I have about 40K and villain has me covered. I raise T8 of hearts to 2500 from the hijack and a good young player calls from the big blind. The flop is J53 with two hearts. He leads out for 6K and I call. The turn is an offsuit 2, he bets 11K and I call. The river is an offsuit 3, he checks, I bet 15K and he thinks for a while and folds.

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