Friday, August 24, 2007

A Sick, Sick Run

After Wednesday's shocking blow up I was determined not to let my game nor confidence be affected in the GSOP £100 NHL freezeout. A sick run of cards soon had me in the right place yet still failed to materialise a win.

On Wednesday I made a simply shocking call with AJ for all of my chips and was against KK small blind on big blind. In hindsight my opponent pushed my buttons just right to get the call and it was an excellent example of how many events throughout a game can lead up to and influence a confrontation.

It took me most of Thursday to forgive myself for the mistake but come the evening I was ready for battle again. An early loss against a drawing opponent with top trips dented my confidence a little but then the cards started coming.

On average one is dealt a pair once in every 17 hands (odds of 16:1) and a specific pair - for example aces - once in every 221 (or so) hands (odds of 220:1). What this means is that in a dealer dealt game where each hand takes around 3 minutes to play (this is just a rough estimate) one can expect a pair every 50 minutes or so (once every 2 levels in a 30 minute clock game) and a big pair like aces or kings maybe once in a game (once every 5.5 hours). In fact it is not unusual at all to go through an entire game without seeing the lovely pocket rockets.

Between 8pm and 2am I was dealt pocket aces 5 times, pocket kings 4 times and also received pairs of tens, jacks, sevens, twos, fives and fours. A total of 15 pocket pairs, nearly ten hours worth and almost a lifetime supply of aces and kings (I jest, but truly that's a lot). When you then add in that 3 out of 15 times those pairs made a set on the flop (odds of 7.5:1) I was getting some sick luck. Of course lady variance is a fickle bitch and the one time I actually took my pocket aces to a full all in confrontation I lost as a 8:2 favourite was crippled and went out of the tournament soon after.

During the game it was remarked by a player who I have a lot of respect for that I was playing an "excellent, very strong game". Indeed it is a very easy game to play when you are being dealt constant premium starting hands. Of course he wasn't getting to see my cards as I was rarely going to a showdown, taking down even big pots without contest at the river. This has led me to realise that when the main event comes this weekend I must channel the spirit of this sick run and play exactly the same way cards or no cards.

I am highly unlikely to have such a good run of cards again so I must play the same strong aggressive game I was playing with those good cards but do it without a safety net. If I can get opponents to fold to a re-raise pre-flop with aces I can get them to fold holding any random 2. If a 2/3 pot flop bet against 3 callers to my pre-flop raise takes it down with kings then why not with a flush draw? Of course the danger here is that if I don't have the cards I am representing then my opponents could, but then again, nobody could be running that good could they?