Tournament River

I played some poker last night. The night started with three of us playing a cash game while we waited for the fourth person. Second hand I lost close to half my buyin to someone who won with a Royal Flush. I also deserved to lose that hand and should have folded much earlier.

When our fourth showed up we decided to play a $5 tournament so he could get the hang of how the game worked (he was a relative newbie). I ended up heads up against a very strong player. Our stacks were pretty even, and around the third hand I hit a good hand, pocket Q’s. I made a decent bet hoping to entice a big call, and sure enough he went all in. I called right away, he turned his over, and I showed my Q’s. If I remember, he had a 10 and something else. On the flop he paired his 10. The turn missed him, and on the river he hit another 10 and won. He had just a little more than I in chips, so I was done.

Not much more I could have done there. On that last hand I felt fine with losing. I played it exactly the way I should have, and got him to call like I wanted. He lucked out and got trip 10’s on the river to beat me. What else could I have done?

After that tournament we went back to the cash game. I played alright throughout this. I played a few hands really well and won a few good pots. I even made a few good calls that I was proud of. As the evening wore on I started playing worse and worse.

I got knocked all out at one point on another hand where I was leading before the flop, and lost out on the draw. I sat out for a few hands and dealt while I figured out if I wanted to buy in again. After a few rounds I bought back in and picked up where I left off.

Nothing really happened for a while until I was dealt an AK. I made a good size bet to try and scare off a couple people which worked. The newbie stayed in which was good for me. On the flop I paired my A and put the other guy all in. He called, and he had a much lower pair. I won that hand which greatly increased my stack size.

The rest of the night I slowly declined in chips, and got pushed around by the big stack at the table who was hitting hands that he likely shouldn’t have been playing (same guy I lost out to on the tournament).

It was a good night overall, but I think I need to practice more. I still feel like I am floundering on some hands where I should just know what to do. I would like to get to the point where I can figure out what someone’s hand is based on their past performance.

I know I switch up how I play enough when I hear people putting me on a hand that is much lower than what I have. Unfortunately both times that happened I still lost due to luck. 🙁