Chip Count: ~$27k
Birthdays are fun. Having $27,000 in chips when average stack is 10-12k and an M >20 is also fun. Unfortunately the fun can end fast if a spanking is waiting around the corner. Welcome to Level 8. The worst level of my WSOP experience.
My overall strategy was to tighten up since I imagined my loose style increased my call equity. I wanted my next hand to be fairly strong.
Notable Hand #7
I am in seat #4 with pocket 10s on the button. Everyone folds to Seat #2 (sort of an elephant) who limps in. Seat #3, who has been playing tight raises to $1200. They both have average stacks.
Although I like pocket 10s seat #3 is playing big cards and a tight range. Although it is possible I am dealing with pocket 9's or 8's, my hunch is at best I am a slight favorite to two over cards, and at worst I am a > 4:1 dog to an over pair. I could consider putting pressure on him by re-raising, but my image is somewhat loose at this point and I have high call equity. I would rather keep the pot small and call a raise with the intent of playing my position on the flop.
I call. Blinds fold, and seat #3 calls.
Flop: 2 4 8 rainbow
Seat #2 checks, Seat #3 bets $2,200.
If seat #3 had checked I would probably would have bet. I suspect he is strong, but I haven't dropped the possibility that this is a continuation bet with AK or AQ. You can make an argument to raise for more information, but I figure if he is making one of these plays a simple call will slow him down on the turn. If it doesn't slow him down I will probably fold.
So I call. The call from seat #2 concerns me.
The turn comes a Jack.
Seat #2 checks again, and Seat #3checks. At this point I am more concerned with Seat #2 than Seat #3. I now believe that seat #3 is likely on two unpaired big cards. The fact that Seat #2 called a pre-flop raise and a bet on the flop, out of position, suggests to me that he might be sleeping with a very strong hand, like a set, or possibly drawing to a straight with a suited Ace in the hole. At best he has a smaller pair than I do. At any rate I am not excited about betting with the unknown element of seat #2, so I check.
The River brings another 8. Seat #2 and seat #3 check.
I could have tried a bet here to take the pot, but I think checking is a much better option. Here are the possible outcomes of my choices:
1. If I bet, and nobody has a hand, everyone will fold and I will win.
2. If I check and nobody has a hand I will win.3. If I bet and someone has a hand it is likley to be better than mine, and likley to be called, especially since I have more call equity than usual
One of the leaks I corrected in my game over the last 2 years was to stop betting on the river with two pair or less in most situations. .
I check, show my 10s, seat #2 mucks and seat #3 shows pocket Q's for the pot. He then says to me "I was really nervous you hit a set of Jacks on the turn." I thought that was strong thinking on his part as he was close to pinning down my hole cards, and I might have checked that turn had I hit a set. Although I was happy how I played the hand I couldn't help to wonder if I could have forced him to fold. I don't think he would have laid his Queens down, unless maybe I put him all-in, which I was not willing to do.
Chip Count: ~$23k.
An orbit or so later I attempted to steal the blinds with a $1200 raise with 67s on the button. I was re-raised by the big blind and had to fold.
Chip Count: ~$22k
Next round in exactly the same spot, I picked up AKoff and raised to $1200 again. Was re-raised by the big blind again to $2600. I had called and the flop came Q1010. We both checked to the river when the big blind finally bet out $3600. I folded and he showed quad 10s. I was happy I did not try to continue or hit the flop, but my stack was getting short. My stack in about 20k now. How quick it goes.
Even though it hurts I was happy that I stuck to a rule that I try to follow...forcing myself to be less likely to continue bet/bluff when I am losing. It is hard to do when you are "steamy," but having a losing streak increases your call equity to others who consciously or subconsciously see you as a weak.
What I did the next hand really crushed me. I broke my rule.
Notable Hand #8
I am in seat #4, feeling a little "tilty," in the small blind with AQ off. Seat #9 limps in. Seat #1 raises to $1000, Seat #2 & 3 fold, I call, and the big blind in seat #5 calls and #9 both call.I am down to about 20k now, but have bigger stacks than all of my opponents.
Flop: 6c 6s 9h Pot: ~$4500
When the board is paired occasionally I will bet out, especially if I feel like I have a good table image and it makes sense that I could have the card. Although choosing to do this after completing a small blind was smart, I need to consider my call equity is higher than usual. I bet out $2800 and the big blind thinks for a little while and then calls. Everyone else folds. The big blind started with about 11k in chips or so. At this point it is clear that seat #5 has either a 6 or a 9. If he has a 9 I might be able to get him off the hand.
Turn: Jh Pot: ~$10,000
This time I check. And the big blind bets $800. I found this bet to be suspicious and weak. I pegged him on a 9 with this bet. I considered re-raising him but decided I would call his bet and make it look like I was value betting on the river.
My second mistake is that its super hard to bluff three of a kind. I must of done a good job advertising I had a six. He thought long and hard. Finally he called and showed a 6-2.
What I read as weakness was a weak kicker. It is rare that I bluff at pots, and I was dissapointed in myself that I didnt give him credit for that 6 as in retrospect it seems obvious. It was also disappointing that I pushed like that during a losing streak.
Chip Count: ~$15k; M = 13 (note I have no pictures of when I am relatively short stacked, as I do not want a memory of it; similar to how overweight people refuse to get on the scale to see their true weight).
The end of level 8 came right when I started my tilt play list and was escorted to a new table.