Poker Pro MJ Bernstein's Blog
Although it's difficult for me right now, I need to crank out this blog for those of you who have been keeping up. This tournament slipped away because of two critical hands on the bubble. The first I played too tight and did not go with my read. The second, well I got very unlucky.
Hand #2 "The crippler"-
Blinds are $8,000-$16000 with a 1K ante. I begin the hand with 260K.
The action is folded around to a middle position player who makes it 46K to go. As he put the chips in, I knew he was way weak. Before even looking at my cards, I decided that if it was folded around to me on the button, I was moving in. It was folded around to me and I did exactly that. What happened next just sucks. The big blind looks down at his cards and snap calls all in for 200K. The original raiser, an old codger who thought he knew it all and whom I didn't care for very much, hemmed and hawed for a while about how it was such a tough lay down. Of course, he eventually folded but his whole acting job was a bunch of BS. One, we were on the bubble so it made sense to delay. Two, he wanted to save face for future raising credibility. Well, guess what? When he folded, his cards went directly into the muck face down. He never showed. If he had such a big hand, he would have showed a huge lay down for the future credibility I was just talking about. Also, after the hand was played out, he went on to say that he would have called me for sure. This all goes back to basic poker acting principles of strong means weak and vice versa. I know this because there have been times where I have done exactly the same things. So, bravo on the BS, sir. LOL. Anyway, of course the snap caller had AA and was dominating my random holding of A3. I lose. I ended up getting my 60K in behind of two Jacks a couple hands later and I was out.
Not the result I was looking for, but I know now that if I go with my read every time, particularly during critical times in tournaments where everyone is playing for the money, I will be impossible to beat. Yeah, I feel that confident about it. If I didn't, I would pack my things and quit poker altogether. That's exactly what I did with tennis 10 years ago. I truly loved playing but despite training almost every day and playing many tournaments on the USTA tour, the results were not there. The reason was that I simply lacked the natural talent required to compete at the highest levels. As soon as I realized this, I was done. This may seem strange to some of you, but if I feel like I can't be regarded as one of the best, it just isn't worth it to me- I'm just too much of a competitor. When it comes to poker, while some may get lucky from to time, the vast majority of players will be losing players for their entire careers. They simply do not have the god given talent to compete at highest levels. Of course if you are the type of person that simply plays for recreation and enjoyment then this will not matter to you and that's great. When I came across poker many years ago, the fit was perfect. I have never played a sport where my natural abilities were so aligned with the sports requirments for success. When I won the event at Borgata this past January, I was very happy but couldn't help but think how much sooner it should have happened. The reality was that I had a lot of self-destructive tendencies and poor time/energy allocation that got in the way. So be it. After the win, I'm past that now. At the WSOP this year, where the stakes are going to be at their highest, I will make good on my potential. Last year, I cashed 2 of 5 events. I bubbled a third by running AK suited into QQ preflop and losing. Anway, after I win, I think I may call it a day having nothing left to prove. Sometimes this is very crazy life style and I will have to see how I feel afterwards. One things for sure- I will enjoy the rest of the ride.
See you at the tables,
* Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments
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