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08/17/2007: efforts are necessary but highly insufficient...everything's determined by the exception

linky linky

after i watched this interview in June, i went and bought both Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan. i was waiting to make a post on Fooled By Randomness till i finished it, but last night brought it back to the front of my mind...and here we are.

i know that on 2+2 both books have been reviewed and lauded. but i pretty much discounted that until the interview above. now, much like what is on 2+2, i cannot recommend the author enough - and i haven't even finished the first or started the latest!

anyway, i mention this b/c last night i gathered with roughly 700 of my closest friends and enemies to play in the $28K Guarantee on Full Tilt. by the time we made the money, it was around midnight and i was in the top 20. the entire tournament was going well; i was playing great poker and even more important, i was getting cards and not getting unlucky. i actually felt like this was it: i was going all the way. it had been a great tournament to that point.

after the money bubble burst and the break, i was moved to a new table. unlike my previous tables, there wasn't just one bigger stack, but two or three. real poker was about to begin. with the blinds at something like T500/1000 with an ante, effective stacks for us big stacks were roughly 50BB. in the small blind, the cutoff plus two limped, i completed, and the big blind checked his option. three to the flop, the CO+2 had me covered by a small margin and the BB had about half our stacks. flop brings two hearts, something like 9h-4h-Kx. i am first to act and have K-7, no heart. generally, in this situation, i am not contesting this pot. i have a big stack, i have just arrived at this table and have zero reads. any real bet is pushing me out. i know that may seem like weak poker, but i am looking to gain a few hands on this new table before i go nuts. completing my SB was an attempt to see how the table handled limpers. i wanted to see if the BB was going to give me problems in the future when i started to punish his blinds. so anyway, i check, the BB checks, and CO+2 bets a little over $1K - this is roughly 25-30% of the pot, a very small and weak bet. right away i am thinking about his range: two hearts, maybe a pair and flush draw, big pocket pair that was limped - anything is possible. i figure here i am getting the right implied odds to call: i am looking for another king or seven and i might even bluff the scare card if a heart comes. the BB calls also, so the pot odds and implied odds are through the roof. the turn brings a king and i am first to act. here, i am looking check-raise. if CO+2 has a flush draw, my check-raise will kill his action. if either of them has a big pocket pair or two pair, it is going to get all in. i check, BB checks, and as expected, CO+2 bets - again weak, like 1/3 the pot. i actually like the bet: i am thinking it is a blocking bet for a big pair or a pot-building bet if he is drawing to the hearts. i do have some worries: what if he has AhKx? would he limp that? i dunno. He also could have a set of fours, maybe even nines. so i am torn and to be honest, when i check-raised, i did not know what my plan was if he called or rerasied. i didn't have enough time to think that through and figured i would cross that bridge shortly. i raised the CO+2's bet by almost three times. i am looking at pot control and wanted to leave myself the chance to fold if i needed it. the BB insta-folds and to my surprise/consternation, the CO+2 min raises me. shit. does he really have AhKx? does he have a set of nines or fours for the full house? just a flush draw? FMITGA, i have no fucking clue. i guess i played this poorly and now with roughly T18K behind, i am looking at shove or fold. i didn't consider smooth-calling and maybe i should have. i decide that the flush draw is most likely and i push. he calls and flips KJoff. crap. i bust out in like 71st.

i am still kinda shell shocked, not that i lost a ton of money or was playing for millions as first prize, but more as i didn't expect a better king and now that i know what it was, i don't know how to fix my error. could i ever have gotten away from this? i mean, i know if i played better i could have - but right now, the state of my game - i play it that way every time. and i wish i didn't.

my game needs some serious work. shit.


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