Today I played a $22 one-table tourney, executed my plan flawlessly, earned respect by folding all my garbage and always ALWAYS opening the betting with a 3X raise, stole blinds in plenty, went all-in with the best of it until the very last hand (I moved in with a 6-1 chip lead with QK, my opponent had A5, that's 57-42 against) and won $99 for my trouble. Of course that filled me with piss and vinegar, so ill-advisedly I immediately played another.
I cannot tell you just how important to my tournament game it is to steal blinds. Without your blinds I don't have enough chips to do my thing. Continuation bets need to have some teeth behind them; I need to be able to make a 3/4-pot-sized bet without blinking, and your chips are key to that.
But despite what has been written about me in certain blogs which I won't mention but whose name rhymes with "Shmerry Shmosie," I never go in with garbage. I just don't do it. If I'm going to go in bluffing to take your blind, you can rest assured that I have at least something to hang my hat on. I can be something weak like 33 - more often it's something like J10, QJ, Q10, etc. - but it's SOMETHING. Unless I'm up against someone whom I've identified as a complete donkey idiot, I stick with that philosophy.
Not only that but I know just how I feel when someone moves in with shit and gets called. If you're at my table and you turn over 2-8 because you're trying to run a number on me, you have earned my contempt, and any respect that I may have had for you as a player is likely gone. I would hate to be thought of like that but that's another post, I suppose.
But in this second game, after around the second round of blinds, I just went completely card-dead. I mean I got nothing, and got it in abundance, to quote an old movie (any guesses as to which one? A shout-out for the correct guesser). And I blinded myself out of the game, like Broomcorn's Uncle.
I couldn't bring myself to try to steal blinds with the drek that I was being dealt. I would rather get completely blinded out of the game than take a shot at being a 70-30 dog on some donkey's K-5 call.
Is that hubris? Did my desire to APPEAR to be a good poker player prevent me from making a decision that a good poker player would do? I'm really asking you guys; I'd be interested in your opinion.
On another subject, I wanted to pass along a tidbit that I've been mulling over in my head, about exactly how much of a pussy move calling the big blind really is. Look, if you call a big blind and fold to a re-raise of 3-4x, your hand has NO BUSINESS BEING IN PLAY. If you trust it for one bet but would throw it away for three, throw the hand in the muck and move on. That shit is how people bleed their stacks away. Plus, if I'm playing aganst a bunch of mooks that call the BB, a raise of 3x starts looking big to them, and it helps me steal blinds.
This school of thought also helps me fold hands like Ace-rag (yes, yes, thanks AGAIN, Josie, I will always be grateful for your perspective), because I ask myself: would I call a raise with this? If the answer is no, then I move on. As a rule, btw, Ace-rag means A7 or lower. A8 is pick 'em, and A9 is a raising hand preflop.
Finally, I would like to do link exchanges with those of you who also are part of the poker blogging community. Leave a comment with your blog's url and I'll publish it gladly.