Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Final table stumble again!

I ended up playing a $24+2 PLO Knockout MTT last night with 202 players. Things started well with a couple of early double-ups seeing me chip leader with around 150 players left. I then dropped away before risking my tournament for 15 outs which I won. I was moved to a new table and as I was resizing the table I accidently 3bet an UTG raiser just before the bubble burst. With a large chunk of my chips commited I pushed all-in as a complete bluff and luckily he folded. Phew!

I had a few nice hands in the next orbits and was chip leader again with 14 left, 40k clear of the rest. There was a break when we got to 12 and it was all looking good.. 2nd in chips had closed the gap and was seated to my left. Then things started to go wrong...

Almost straight after the break I had AAxx which I raised to the max preflop, with 2nd in chips calling my raise. The flop came 88x and I Cbet pot which he called. We both checked the turn and then i bet pot on the river to see him call down with an 8 and for me to lose most of my stack.

This seems to be the common theme with my end-game issues.. get a big preflop hand and then push push push without really thinking. There was no need for either of us to get into such a big pot but it was me that forced it to that point. There was no need to raise it to the max preflop.. sure AAxx is a good hand at this stage but I wasn't at the point of needing to risk my tournament on it. Similarly there was no need for a pot sized cbet, but when I did and he called it was a pretty strong call. My river bet was the most stupid of all given his response to my bets so far.

With 20k chips left I managed to double up from him (I raised TTxx in late pos, hit a T on the flop and then sealed it with a T on the river) and made it to the final table 6th in chips.

My tourney exit wasn't as bad as the hand I lost above, but still not good as I was out first. I had AAxx 3 times in 4 hands - the first 2 saw me gain a few k, but I was called on the 3rd one. I had AA9x single-suited and the flop came 99T. It looked pretty good for me but my pot-sized cbet was called pretty fast. There was only one hand I was scared of - TTxx and sure enough he had it and I finished 9th after we got allin on the river.

I was glad to cash but I only got $80 when 1st prize was $1k. It was pretty criminal to throw away such a good tournament position and again finish below expectation.

On one hand I'm annoyed, but on the other I'm happy that I'm starting to acknowledge and accept I have a problem in these situations so can only do better in the future. I have to get into the habit of thinking longer and re-evaluating my decisions before acting in the latter stages, especially when tiredness becomes a bigger factor. I'd only read a few pages of Harrington before this MTT, so back to reading about my M and anything else that might help.

I think there are some parallel issues in my cash play too where I grow the pots too big when I perceive I've been ahead at any point in the hand and can't seem to accept that my hand may have become 2nd best or worse.