The downside of being sneaky

Earlier today I was doing well in a $20+2 pot limit holdem tournament. With 25 players left, 18 being paid, I was in 4th place, and then I misstepped. In my last two tournaments where I bubbled close to the money it only took one poor play to get me on the way to the door.

Last time in the limit game I lost to someone who limped with AA under the gun. In this pot limit tournament I decided to limp with AA. This close to the bubble I should have just played it strong and moved on to the next hand, but I was hoping I could call raise and take someone out. Instead, I saw exactly what I didn’t want to see, everyone seemingly autofold once they saw me limp. The small blind limped and the big blind checked.

The flop came down 3[spades]6[spades]Q[spades], and I wasn’t feeling too good about. Check-check and I bet the pot, and the small blind called. The Ace[hearts] fell on the turn, and I was feeling a little better, but my stomach sank when I was check-raised all in by the small blind player. I called and what I feared was correct: he had been able to cheaply limp with 10[spades]8[spades] and flopped a flush. I missed my redraws and just like that I was out the door in 25th.

Sometimes playing strong hands weak like this can win you a big pot, but sometimes it backfires. A lot of the players, especially that deep into the tournament, know the limp UTG play to be a pretty standard way to play strong hands, and the small blind was more than eager to take a shot at catching a big flop. Next time hopefully I’ll avoid a big mistake, but at least I’m still learning something every tournament I play.

Good luck on the felt!

I've been playing poker for almost four years now (well before it was legal for me, woops!) Besides poker I enjoy playing the guitar and I'm very enthusiastic about pursuing Dentistry as a career. I'm currently at The Ohio State Univeristy studying Microbiology, living with three of my close friends. I'm dating a lovely girl from Australia and am looking forward to the oppurtunity to study abroad over there as well.

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