Tournament Poker = @#$%#$%$$#@%

Played in the $500 Venetian Deep Stack Tournament yesterday.  Was literally card dead the entire day, but managed to chip up finding spots with hands such as Q9o, Qd10d, 47o and a few other gems.   It’s amazing that you can sit for 10+ hours at a live table and get dealt squadoosh for the entire time.  But, you are forced to make due with what you have, so multiple times I was making moves without a hand.  I’d like to share one hand in particular to discuss how badly a live player can muck up a hand.

I opened Qd10d in mid position and the sb called.  The BB arrived late to the tournament and literally sat down as the hand was being dealt.  If I had to characterize the way he played by the way he looked, which sometimes I’m forced to do, I would say that he was a McFish, an older gentlemen (dad age) that thought he was good because he had final tabled a random live tournament in his home town.  Generally these players have very little clue what they are doing, but luck their way into a win here and there.  Anyway, he calls too and the flop comes 10 6 2.  Both players checked and I made it 925 (there was about 1500 in the pot).  The Sb folded but the opponent in the big blind called.  The turn was a 4, bringing two diamonds.  He checked again and I decided to check for a few reasons.  I only felt like I was going to get two streets of value (I didn’t feel his hand was strong enough to call the flop, turn and river) and if I check and a third diamond comes on the river, I can raise any bet he makes for value.  Not to mention, I don’t want to overinflate the pot in the rare case I am beat or he check raises the turn and puts me in an awkward spot.  The river brought an offsuit A and he checked.  This A is an interesting card.  More often than not, he is going to be afraid of the ace and will fold most 6’s and 2’s that he called the flop with.  If he has a 10, he will most likely call the river, as long as I don’t make the bet too big.  And if he happened to river two pair, he should lead right out.  So, when he checks, I can be all but certain I have the best hand and I can bet for thin value.  The only hand I’m losing to at this point is K10, but his range is much much wider than that.  I decided to make it 725 on the river, a small bet compared to the pot.  He took a few seconds and made it 2150.  This was very confusing to me.  If he was bluffing, he should have made it more than 3x, more like 2500-3000.  And, from my read, I didn’t feel he was advanced enough to check-raise the river for value.  I took some time, rethought about the hand and decided he could be turning a number of hands into a bluff – some 6’s, 77, 88, 55 and some other random hands.  I finally called and he flipped over 107 off suit for a pair of tens with a seven kicker.  I flipped over my winning hand and dragged the pot.  Now, the reason why I bring this hand up is because this live player turned 107 into a bluff on the river, which I think is horrendous.  He has plenty of showdown value with his hand and if he just check calls, he sometimes snaps off a bluff from me when I just decide to bet the A because its a scare card.  The worst part is I don’t know whether he thought he was bluffing or not, which is something live donks never really know – they just bet to bet without much thought.

Anyway, I ended up playing 10+ hours and with 70ish left, got it in with AQ vs AJ aipf for a 50bb pot.  Of course, a J spiked on the river and I was bad beat out of a tournament relatively deep yet again.

I played next to the dude who won the EPT @ Monaco for over 3 mill this year.  I tried asking him a bunch of questions just because I haven’t had success like that and I’m kind of curious how he did it.  It was obvious he was a good player, but he didn’t do anything magnificent.  In fact, I was somewhat tilted when I busted because he ran so hot while I was at his table.  Everytime he opened a pot, he flopped two pair and played it well and got paid.  Just frustrating because I don’t do anything different from him, other than flopping the nuts every hand.  Oh well…

There aren’t many live tournaments this week, so I will grinding online.  Hopefully I can get a hold of a Main Event Seat or two.

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