Mini-Report: Wed $40 at the Bike

(Bonus translation for this status update for non-poker folks: "What a shitty hand! I am in the big blind, the last position to act, and I'm dealt Ace/Jack of two different suits. This is a decent hand and I bet triple the original bet. I only have one opponent, a person who plays a wide variety of hands aggressively. The first three community cards are 7, Jack, 7, giving me a very good two-pair. I bet 3/4 of the pot and get called. The turn is a ten, which probably won't hurt me, so I put the rest of my chips in. My opponent has 4 and 7 of spades, so his three-of-a-kind beats my two pair. This is unexpected, and I am angry.)

Real report follows.

After a long drawn-out debate with myself I decided to head out for the Wednesday tournament. I usually play on Mondays but the Columbus Ruby Brigade demanded attention that night.

My table was tough -- seven handed, with some tough regulars. Halfway through, another tough regular shows up who's a known LAG -- Loose Agressive. Plays a wide range of starting hands and is aggressive with them.

One of my first hands is 8Jd -- Eight and Jack of diamonds -- and I'm in the big blind and see the flop for free. Top two pair. TJ (Ten and Jack) ends up beating me on the river, but not before I've made some large bets. This hurts my stack, but what hurts more is that I start betting marginal hands that are way below my starting range, and lose a good chunk of my stack seeing flops I have no business seeing.

After that I'm card dead for most of the first and second levels. If I get a mediocre hand and see a cheap flop, it avoids me like I have the plague.

When the first break hits an hour in, I'm the shortest stack in the tournament.

After the break, the blinds spike up, but I manage to catch some decent hands and exploit some good opportunities to take pots down. I've built up a better, if below-average, stack, when I hit AJo (Ace and Jack of two different suits) and raise up to triple the bet from the big blind. I get one caller, the LAG, who has at this point built a large chip stack.

Flop is 7J7. I have top two pair. I bet roughly 3/4 of the pot, and get called. Turn is a ten, which can't help anyone. I shove my remaining stack and get instantly called. The LAG had 47s -- 4 and 7 of spades -- and beats me with a set of sevens.

Lessons Learned

  • I hate LAGs. Who the devil calls a decent raise with a double-gapped suited hand?
  • If the whole table limps in and you have a mediocre hand, raise it up. If you spend half of the first two levels limp/folding you lose a lot of chips.
  • The usual advice is not to play if you're not 100% sure you can play properly. I don't know if that affected me here, but it should be noted that playing this tournament was a last-minute decision that may have been ill-advised.