Saturday, June 19, 2010

1K NL Day 1

What a crazy day. We started with 3K and I ended with 19K. I was up to 40K during level 6, probably the chip leader in the tournament and then literally didn't win a hand for 3 hours and got bluffed in a huge pot where I didn't trust my instincts - more on that. We started with 2000 or so and are down to about 280. There's a Day 1B tomorrow and then we all start back up on Monday and will be maybe 150 spots from the money. I believe average is about 24K and the blinds will either be 300-600 or 400-800 to start day 2 so I have plenty of chips in relation to the blinds.

The first 6 levels I ran incredibly well picking up tons of premium hands and busting player after player and chipping up to 40K or so. From there it was all downhill. The player sitting after me had about 30K chips at the time when average was somewhere around 12k so we were both huge stacks. I knew he was a very good player and could tell he wanted to get involved in every pot I was in.

It folded around to me in the small blind and I limped into his big blind with 99. I believe the blinds were 200-400 at the time. He raised to 1200 and I called. The flop was 345 rainbow, I checked, he bet about 1200 and I called. The turn was an 8, he bet about 1700 and I called. The river was a 4, I checked, he bet about 4k and I insta-called. He turned over 42 for rivered trips. Ouch.

From there I raised JT in the cutoff. Same big stack good player after me called and the big blind called, there was about 3K in the pot. Flop was J93 with two spades. Big blind checked, I bet 2K, player after me folded and the big blind min-raised to 4K. I didn't really know what to make of the min-raise, he had been playing pretty tight but it was a really drawy board and calling seemed right so that's what I did. Turn was the Ace of Hearts, he checked and I checked. River was a 9 so the board read J93A9 and he moved all-in for about 9K. I thought for about 3 minutes before finally folding. My thinking was that he would have raised more on the flop with a draw so even though his line was consistent with a busted draw, his betting wasn't. He showed J9 for a full house.

A few hands later a short-stacked small blind moved in for about 2500 chips and I called with KT. He turned over 28. Flop 28T and I didn't improve.

Fast forward to the last level, I have about 29K and blinds are at 300-600 with a 75 ante. I raise KJ to 1500 from the cutoff and the good player from the Ouch hand after me calls (he's called every one of my raises in the last 4 levels I believe). Flop is AK5 with two clubs. I check, he bets 1750 and I call. Turn is the 8 of clubs. I check, he bets 3250 and I call. River is a 5 so the board reads AK855 with 3 clubs. He bets 11500 into about a 15000 chip pot. I think and think and think. I really can't put him on anything other than a flush, full house, or bluff. I don't think he bets and Ace on the river because my hand really looks like AJ or AQ at the least. Eventually I fold. He shows 9 high.

That's the second time this year I've been in a big pot against a good player where I felt strongly the player was bluffing on the river and I was afraid to pull the trigger for most of my chips. I'm confident that if I get in the situation again, I'll trust my instincts and call. I won't always be right but I won't be sick that I didn't listen to my own instincts. I'm giving players too much credit especially ones that I know are capable of making big moves and chickening out when it comes to making a really big call.

Oh well, it's a learning experience and I felt like I grew a lot as a player after that hand. I'm in decent position heading into Day 2 and I certainly know how to play a short to medium sized stack, I've been doing it every tournament.

Another update on Monday, hopefully late at night...

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