Another Great Day in Paradise

So, before I get to the big hand I’m going to address a video that was posted on day one of a strange situation where I called the floor person: Flop is As 2h 10d and an Italian player bets like 2000 and I call with 3h 4h. Turn is an As and he bets 2200- I call. The river is a 5c and he bets 4000. I had a decent stack and felt like he’d pay me off with a hand like AK or AQ. So I decided that I’d raise to 14,000, and if he re-raised me I’d have no choice but to fold. He doesn’t see me re-raise and flips his hand face up. I see the Ace of diamonds as clear as day, and the other card looked to be a two across spade, meaning it was the 4s or the 5s. Now he wants to raise me 15,000 more and I say, “Why are you raising me! I saw your hand, lol.” I wasn’t exactly sure what his second card was, but I obviously assumed if he was raising me it couldn’t be the 4s and had to be the 5s or the 10s. The two guys on my left saw his hand much more clearly and knew exactly what he had. I had exactly ZERO intention of ever calling a re-raise of even $20. I called the floor over to get a ruling on the right procedure in this instance. Does he get a penalty? Is his hand dead? Is he allowed to raise? Different places have different rules, and I thought it would be foolish to let this one go. I’d already let the guy get away with betting in a spot where his fingers were tapping like a check. I kindly said to him, “Sir, be careful with your hand, your finger is tapping the table and I can call that a check.” The floor man decided that once he showed his hand he was only allowed to call my raise. No matter what the floor decided, it would not have changed the outcome of the hand in the least.
On to my big hand of the day, another one that was caught on CardPlayer video. Unfortunately the connection is really slow at the hotel and I can’t watch the videos on CardPlayer, but they are on there. I got up to like 190,000 and Eric Froehlich was at my table with about 200,000. Both of us sitting on monster stacks at that stage of the tournament. He raises my blind to 4000 and I called with 10-10. The flop came J-10-4 rainbow and I checked. He bet 5600, I raised 15,000 more, to 21,600 and he called. When he called, I felt strongly that he wasn’t on a draw and I felt like he had AA or KK. The turn was a K. Not the card I wanted to see. I had 162k and bet 42k. A solid, strong bet, which would appear to commit me to the pot. He moved me all in. I felt like he hit the King, and figured he wouldn’t be bluffing in this spot, or really shouldn’t be, especially considering how big his stack was. Didn’t think he’d risk all those chips with anything less than a set. I ruled out AQ completely. I felt like he hit the K, or slowplayed trip Jacks. The only hand I could beat was K-J, but I just didn’t think he’d risk his whole tournament in that spot with just two pair when I showed so much strength. My hand has to be REALLY BIG to play it this way. He should know that, and I know he does. I later found out he had K-J and was really surprised. He told me later he thought I might have 10-J, but I thought his logic was really flawed for two reasons 1) If I have 10-J I won’t call his shove, and he has me drawing almost dead, so why push me off the hand? 2) I’m just not going to play 10-J that way in that situation based on my chip position in the tournament. It’s just not in my range at all. He did say he thought he may be able to get me off of 44, and he’s obviously right about that. I’m honestly, and genuinely not disappointed in my fold and never really contemplated calling him at all. I’d already decided when I bet, that I was going to fold if he raised me. When you are trying to play your best, and avoid coolers, sometimes you are going to guess wrong. if you never guess wrong, well, then you just aren’t trying hard enough to play well. I’m trying to play the best I possibly can. I missed two bluff opportunities that I could have likely won pots, but aside from that, I think my game is coming along nicely. I’m playing really well and really have a good feel for what is going on at the table. There is one “phenomenon” I guess you could call it, that really puzzles me with some of the younger players: Typical hand. Player A raises, player B calls, player C on the button or in the SB re-raises, the “squeeze play,” original raiser folds, and the other player goes all in. I saw this probably four or five times in the last two days. The hands I saw player B turn over included AQ, 88, 77, and KJ. The move failed miserably again and again, and just had me wondering, “Do these guys ALL play with 100 big blinds the EXACT same way they play with 30 big blinds?” It was just so strange, almost surreal to watch blow up, after blow up. Another fun hand among two great young online players went like this: Player A raises to 5200 from early position, player B makes it 13,800 from middle position. Both players have about 100k or so. Player A declares, “All in,” and Player B tanks for a while and finally calls: Player A: 10s Js
Player B: Kd Jc Ummm…. ok? Some may call these great plays, I personally think they are spewy and unnecessary for great players. These guys play so well, I just don’t see why they want to make plays like these, but to each their own. I’ve thought about all of these things, disected them, tried to see if there is some method to this madness in tournament poker… and I’ve concluded that, “Nope, that’s just not the way to post consistent results in deep stacked tournament poker.” I’m enjoying poker so much. It helps that I’ve just started the year off with an amazingly positive attitude and that things in my personal life all seem to be stable. I’m going to have a huge year in 2010. I am certain of it. I know in my heart that when I focus hard, and have that extra bit of motivation to do well, that I can play great poker. I’m down to 47,800 and we are nearing the money bubble. I’m not concerned with cashing in the tournament, I’m going to go for the win, and still feel confident, that even with blinds at 2000-4000 tomorrow, with a little bit of luck, I can do it.