I felt the pressure. After the discussions here, I was ready to go in, get an early lead and start pushing. It was a good plan. The problem was the first part – getting the early lead.
Early hand: I have Q-7, call one player from the big blind. Flop is A-A-x. I figure I’ll make a stab at the pot. He turns out to have A-A underneath. I was lucky to have folded quickly in that one! Similar hands followed… I just never had anything to work with.
My worst hand of the night: I am big blind. One player limps in, small blind calls. I have A-9 suited. I thought to myself, do I push or call here? I should push. Yet I did not, I called. Flop completely missed me. Checks all around. Turn missed me too but I put in a bet to see if I could steal the pot. One guy stayed with me. The river was nothing. The other guy put in a big bet. I am convinced he has nothing also and I at least have an ace. I call. He had 5-6 suited and had caught the flush on the river. In my head I did a full Chris Farley monologue I’m so stupid stupid!!! It’s exactly the kind of thing commenters have pointed out – my passive play pre-flop allowed a marginal hand to stay in and catch the big hand. Arrghh!
So here I am, someone staying at half the average stack despite not having gotten a decent hand the entire night. With the exception of the above hand, I’ve played OK. Bluffed out some pots. Folded when I should have, etc.
The last hand: Blinds are 100-200, I have ~1300. I have K-3 suited in the big blind. One person puts in 400. I call. The flop is J-8-3. It’s time to push. But… that 400 bet was weird. The guy who bet it usually calls or raises big. What does that mean? Does that mean he’s testing me to steal the pot or does it mean he has very strong cards? I can’t read this guy. Eh, let’s do it. I go all in. I’m instantly called, he has a pair of 4s. I end up losing.
What is a pair of 4s doing calling an all-in bet with two higher cards on the board? Even at 2-1 odds it’s not that great, and he didn’t stop to calculate odds. So – I asked him, why did you call that? He said I took too long to decide, he thought I was bluffing. If I had pushed quickly he would have folded. I found that funny because on three other hands I had deliberately taken a very long time to decide an obvious move, exactly so that taking time later wouldn’t seem suspicious.
Anyhow, it sucked. I must have a good hand or two somewhere, but I don’t remember them. There’s no margin for error if you’re not getting cards and I made at least one big error.
Running Total: $-44