I felt like I was playing while treading water with cement shoes.
So, yeah. I played the 10k WPT Legends of Poker main event, day 1a yesterday. After the first level (and even during the first level), there simply wasn't a damn thing I could do. I had somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen pocket pairs, all 77 or lower except one pair of tens that I had to push all-in on the turn as a bluff to win the pot. Know what I mean? Everything was super pain in the ass.
The biggest pot I played was in the first level, blinds 50-100, starting stack of $20k. I started in the 8 seat on a nine handed table, and the player in the one seat was literally the worst player I had ever seen in any major event. I limp UTG with Q J, really bad player min raises, and we see a flop five ways. Flop 8 9 T . Uhhh... Ok. SB donks for 150, I make it 1k, really bad player calls, SB folds, turn is heads up, 6 . Best card ever, cause this is the type of guy to call with a naked 7 drawing for the straight. I bet 1500, actually hoping to get raised, cause I know this guy doesn't have two hearts in his hand. He just calls after making some speech about me having two hearts and blah, blah, blah, and now I'm sure this guy has at least two pair, and most likely a naked seven. LOL. I really hope the river bricks out so I can overbet the pot and let him incinerate his dollars on behalf of me (thanks Poker Bob for that beautiful imagery). River, 2 . AYA. I check, hoping he'll make some desperate bluff, and REALLY hoping that whatever he bets isn't with the 3 T cause then I think I'll incinerate myself. He fires out 3k and I instantly call. He says, "I don't have a heart." I say, "That's good. Whatcha got?" I must see this guy's hand, and he shows me A7o. Drawing dead on the flop. Sweet.
After that though I flopped trips once in a limped pot out of the SB and won the pot with my initial bet and top pair once and lost a big pot. Every single other chip I won after that pot was by outplaying people, and even that didn't work one time whe a guy called me on the river with 33 on a T94T5 three heart board on the river. Naturally I had one of two possible hands he could beat.
The hand I finally went bust with I got all my money in the worst possible (normal) spot, the ol AK vs. AA but again, by that point I was short enough that I had to put it all into the middle. Oh well.
I'm happy with the way I played. I'm especially happy with how patient I was even though my cards sucked and my flops sucked. I didn't try and outplay people when the opportunity was not there, I didn't try and push the action when I shouldn't, and did as well as I could have with the spots I found myself in.
Speaking of outplaying people, I just bluffed off all my chips in the $500 Sunday Million with 55 vs. KK, knowing that I was against either AA or KK. The pre-flop action went like this - 50/100, he opens for 300 in the cutoff, I make it 1k from the SB, and he re-raises to 2k. I instantly know he has AA or KK. Flop, QJ8, I hope the guy is good enough to realize that I flopped a set and lay down his hand, and he wasn't.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately. The true art of poker comes into play when you are thinking about what they have, they're thinking about what you have, and y'all are thinking about what each other thinks each other has. When you're able to put your opponent on a hand and figure out what they think you have, if what they think you might have beats them and then you represent that, you can often get them to lay down big hands.
The problem often though is that with so many unknowns running around you can't know if they are thinkers or stinkers without some history of play. I need to stop trying to outplay people unless I know that they can lay down a hand.
I'll be playing online tourneys all day on stars and tilt. Badbeatninja is the name.
Peace and good luck,
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