Haley's Poker Blog

No bad beats, but still a poker blog... hence the anguish.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Slump and the Surge

One of the things I've notice recently is several bloggers reporting an extended downturn in their game... and bankroll. Whether it's due to an external cause such as the UIGEA causing games to toughen up or simply a matter of random variance among bloggerly types, the end result's been the same: a lot of sob stories as of late.

I've been in a similar funk throughout the year, unable to make a big score of any sort. I'd taken a hit in cash games --- and haven't always had any interest in trying to grind out hundreds or thousands of hands. SNGs and MTTs had been iffy as well, with not a single deep run.

Another thing that had been bothering me is that every time I've tried to take a stab at a higher buy-in tourney as of late, the results have been disappointing. Perhaps the most frustrating of all was a time on Full Tilt a month or two back when I parlayed a handful of points all the way into an entry into the Sunday $400,000 Guaranteed. In that one I puttered along and stayed alive. Never deep-stacked, but only in a couple of spots really short, either.

Finally, in that one, just after doubling through, we were in distant sight of the bubble --- maybe 16% or so of the original starters remained, and I was in an okay but not great spot where if I could double through once, I'd likely make the money. On the cutoff with a little over 10,000 in chips, and with A-Q suited, I made a move at a pot, and was called by a LAGgy player behind me who held 8-8. I was in great shape when a queen flopped, but the resuck eight on the river ended my run.

Typical late-tourney poker. You're gonna end up in a race or two most times to make the money or to go deep, and you need to win those confrontations. I didn't on that occasion. To me, though, it was both part of a bad poker winter and spring and a wondering if I had the game to play in better, higher tourneys. That second is an open topic, of course; I claim basic poker competence, nothing more.

But who knows? Maybe there is hope. I futzed around last Sunday on Poker.com/Carbon Poker last Sunday, decided at the last minute to enter the $20,000 Guaranteed with a $55+5 buy-in, and... did all right. My first decent final table in many months, wth me finally finishing in fifth after I pushed UTG with deuces, with an M that was about 5 but was one hand away from dropping to about 3.5, due to a blinds jump. I got called by a fairly loose player who had about twice my chips and took a shot with A-J, and he found both an ace and a jack as the board played out.

Actually, he was more than loose, but we also had a Gavin Smith type (who won the thing, by the way), who was raising pre-flop with almost anything and went up and down like the proverbial yo-yo, buying and bluffing his way off the felt on more than one occasion. He had position on me at an early table, and pounded me a bit before I figured out his game, though at the final table he was on my right and I had a bit of revenge. On four straight laps where it was passed around to him on the button he made a position raise; four straight times I moved over the top on him, three times with half-good hands but once with 10-9x as well. Four straight times he postured a bit and went away.

So I stole my way into the deeper payouts myself. I feel a bit better about my game, too.

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