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World Poker Tour A-10 vs. 10-10
The poker tour swung into the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles in late January for the annual LA Poker Classic, climaxing with the $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event which started on February 25.
I've been working hard on my game and felt that I was locked into a great strategy. My plan was simple: Play patient poker and wait for the cards -- and the chips -- to come my way. Also, I wouldn't be afraid to fold hands like 9-8 suited, A-J offsuit or A-2 suited.
Playing only strong hands lead to some great situations for me. Day One was smooth sailing with nary a scary moment. Day Two was also virtually risk-free. It was apparent that my "new school" tactics (actually, about the same as my "old school" tactics) would work well against this field.
Day Three came and I stuck to my original plan but was now prepared to make a few creative moves when the time was right. As it turned out, the only time I got into trouble was when I tried to bluff!
Okay, on to the hand analysis.
With the blinds at $1,000/$2,000 and $120,000 in my chipstack, an opponent opened for $45,000 and I quickly called in middle position with Q-Q. He rolled over K-Q and the cards fell off 10-9-3-K-4. I really hate his shove for more than twenty-two big blinds in a deep stack tournament. You got lucky, pal.
Later, with the blinds at $1,200/$2,400 and with only $44,000 in chips in front of me, Player A opened for $6,500 and Player B made it $22,000 to go. I had 10-10 in the small blind and normally would have folded but decided to take a long while to study this situation.
Player B was a megalomaniac -- a super-aggressive player who had repeatedly come over the top of Player A. I stared at Player A and got the "I cannot believe he reraised me again" look. I knew immediately that Player A was weak.
One read down, one read to go.
By this time, it was obvious that I had a huge hand, and Played B knew it. Quite honestly, he looked scared to me. He had been running me over, too, and I had warned him that I would eventually crush him when I manned up and finally played a pot against him.
I concluded that he probably had a hand like 9-9, 8-8, or A-J. So, for the first time in three days, I decided to go with a hand. Now what?
I could just call and then move all-in on any flop that hit, no matter what. Or, I could move all-in right there knowing that my opponent would call with any two cards because he would be getting some pretty juicy three-and-a-half-to-one pot odds.
I figured if he had nines, eights, a small pair, or even 9-8 suited, why not get all of my chips into the pot before the flop? Or, if he had A-J, why not see the flop and then move all-in, unless of course, I flopped a set?
It was a close decision. But the fact that this guy was so ultra-aggressive and was likely to play any two cards tilted my decision to moving all-in pre-flop.
So that's what I did.
As expected, he called and showed down A-10 offsuit. With the WPT cameras rolling and members of the media crowded in the room, he confidently stated, "Bye bye, Phil, an ace is coming!" Yeah, we'll see.
The flop was safe, J-5-5, but then an ace popped off on the turn. Guess I should have just called pre-flop. Oh well, that's poker!
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