Went 0-4 this weekend at Del Park. Never really got a good rush going in any of the four tournaments. I was able to hang around until the 8th to 10th level in each simply by playing TAG and taking down the blinds and antes with the occasional timely raise. But I never built up a threatening stack.
I busted out gloriously in the Saturday noon event on this hand:
My stack: $16,000 ($15,000 starting stacks). Blinds $100 / $600 / $1,200. I'm in the cutoff. Early position raises to $3,000 and gets three callers. I look down at 99. There's $14,800 in the pot already. I really can't raise here without shoving. A call seems like awful poker. So, I shove. I get called only by the hi-jack, who tables AQ. Flop comes down 258. So far, so good. Turn is a 3. Still good. River is a 4. Dealer starts pushing me the pot. I start to retake my seat. Finally, someone speaks up. Obviously, if you don't see it, you're not alone. But, hi-jack rivered the wheel and I'm done.
I played one hand poorly, and it cost me my tournament yesterday afternoon. I started out strong in the Sunday nooner, and built my starting stack of $12,500 up to $17,500 by the first break. However, the anti-rush hit me from levels 4 to 6 and I played no more than 2 hands during that period (both of which I won, uncontested with an opening raise). By level 8, I was still sitting on $15,000 or so. Certainly not in crisis mode, but needing to make a move sooner rather than later . . .
With blinds at $100 / $600 / $1,200 (yes, again), I found myself with 7(s) 6(d) in the big blind. The price of poker went up to $3,000 thanks to the gentleman in middle position (who's sitting on approximately $45,000). Three people called, including the small blind. I need to call $1,800 into $12,000. Of course, I make the call.
Flop: 5 8 2 (two hearts). OESD. Nice. I check and it checks around.
Turn: A (hearts). I decide to make a play at the pot and bet $4,500 (too small?) Middle position (the original raiser) thinks a while and calls. The other two fold.
River: 3 hearts. I'm sitting on just under $8,000. Every draw in the world came in. I really think villain has a decent A. Is the kicker a heart? I tank, and contemplate the shove. In the end, I convince myself that Villain is too deep to fold to another $8,000 and I fold. Villain showed the A (d).
In hindsight (like, a minute later), I regretted the play. I mean, if I'm going to semi-bluff the turn, I need to be committed to shoving the river. Just plain bad poker.
I ultimately busted five minutes later when I open-shoved my last $7,000 with AJ and got called by AK.
After playing nothing but tournaments the past few weeks, I think it might be time to focus again on cash for a bit. I know that cash plays different than MTT's. However, I'm contemplating adopting more of my tournament approach to my $1/2 strategy. Less limping and more raising, especially with my mid-size pocket pairs (77-99). Also want to open my 3-bet range to include more of those mid-sized pairs. Of course, the way people like to call any damn hand out here in East-Coast Poker Land, this approach may get expensive and backfire atrociously. But, I think it's at least worth a shot.