Bad Poker Streak

February 23, 2010

Roughly a month after raving about how favorable the structure in the Bremerton Lanes daily tournament was to my playing style, I find myself in an unbelievable funk. First of all, I’ve cashed in the tournament 1 time in 11 tries. Ridiculous. At this point, a first place finish would barely have me in the green YTD. Secondly, I don’t think it’s ever taken me this many attempts to win any live tournament I’ve ever regularly played in. It’s starting to ware on me.

Yesterday was a disaster. I lost roughly 60% of my chips on the 3rd hand of the tournament and never really recovered. With the blinds at 25-50, I completed the small blind with 85d. The flop came T86, with one diamond and since it was only 4-way action, I decided to throw out a feeler bet of 125. I got called in two spots and decided I was done with the hand unless I improved on the turn. Fortunately the turn was a beautiful 8 and I lead out again for 250. The button raised me to 500, which is suspicious, but small enough that I’m not going to toss away a full house draw. River ended up blanking, I checked and the button bet 1200. Pretty easy fold… but for some reason I decided to call and he showed me a flopped straight with 97. As much complaining as I’ve done about my lack of success, it has been partly my fault and this call is a testament to that. In this situation the only hand I can expect to beat is a bluff. It’s very unlikely that my opponent would bet something for value that doesn’t have my three 8s, 5 kicker beat. My opponent here is generally over-aggressive and has a slightly crazy image in my mind, so that probably got him a call I wouldn’t have even considered against most other people.

After that hand, my stack dwelled in the range of 1000-1200 for several rounds. I finally lucked out a bit when I picked up AA and got someone to double me up on an 8-high flop with TT. After that, I lost an all-in with AQ vs AA and was right back to a micro-stack. After shoving 2-3 times without even looking at my cards or getting called, keeping myself afloat for a few orbits, I got looked up by KQ in a blind vs blind situation and my J9 didn’t spike.

Today started off well enough. I had about 7000 in chips by the 75-150 round and was playing very well. Then the downhill spiral started.

With the blinds at 75-150 still, three people limped in front of me and I looked down at QQ on the button. I raised it to 850 and was surprised when a tight female player called me from the small blind. The big blind and all the limpers folded and the flop came A65. The pot size is 2150 and I have about 6K… She checks to me… what do you do in this spot? When she called preflop, I narrowed her range down to about 5 hands: AK, AQ, AA, JJ, and TT. Since three of the hands I put her on have me beat, is betting a wise move? I think not. So I checked and she fired out 1000 on the turn and I folded. My current impression of this woman is that she plays pretty solid… but I haven’t exactly decided if she’s a nit or not. I did see her limp UTG with the blinds @ 50-100 and get it AI for $2K+ with 7s6s on a 65s3s flop… so she obviously has a little creativity and gamble in her game. The big question for me was… is she the kind of player to risk $1000 on the turn with Jacks or Tens assuming I didn’t care much for the Ace? If I thought the answer to that question was yes, I would have called the turn and put her to the test again on the river… but honestly I don’t know. As it was, I thought AK made up about 70% of her range, AQ about 10%, JJ/TT about 15% and AA about 5%. I’m ruling QQ out as a possibility since I have it myself (also making AQ less likely) and I don’t know many players that would smooth-call with KK preflop in that spot. Since I’m beat by what I estimate to be 85% of her range here, I think checking the flop and folding the turn is best…. but soooooooooooooo annoying!

The hand after that, I raised over a weak limper to 400 with Qc9c and saw a KQ9, two diamond flop HU. Perfect. He checks to me and I bet 750. He calls. Turn card is a Jack, basically killing my hand and my action. The river is an 8d and he shoves for like 1600 and I fold. At that point, there simply isn’t a single hand I can imagine him calling that flop with that doesn’t have me beat now. Regardless, I’m steaming and I walk away from the table for a good 7 minutes to calm down.

I think I had a few unsuccessful steal after that cause I was in the 2000-2500 chip range by the time the blinds were 200-400. I picked up a couple rounds of blinds to stay afloat and got a disgusting walk on my big blind when I was holding QQ. Finally, I got it in with 77 and got called in two spots which pretty much sealed my fate unless I spiked a set. The board came K high and they both checked all the way down and I had a brief glimmer of hope when the second caller flipped over AJ high, but then my other opponent showed QQ and I was showed the door for an early exit yet again.

My showing in this tournament over the past few months has been putrid… with one cash in eleven tries, I’m running at an ugly 11% In The Money rate, which is even worse than my MTT cash % in MUCH larger fields, let alone 3-4 tables. Something’s gotta give… and soon… cause my patience is waring thin.

To make matters worse, I had my first losing day in 2 weeks yesterday and just ran BRUTALLY bad during my hour of play after showing a profit all day long. So goes the swings…

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