After my $100 blowout online a few nights ago, I fought hard to get my head in place for last night's league tournament. It's SO important not to play with the intention of catching up to your losses. I find it always leads me to making high risk, high payoff plays that hardly ever pan out. Instead, I am working on my concentration and putting my focus on playing high quality poker at all times. I'm a big believer in the math of this game and I know from experience that grinding it out always pays off in the long run.
There were 11 players last night, which made for a tough few games. For the first time in a long time, there were no complete donkey plays that I could see. Even Matt, who has been chastised in the past for loose play, didn't make any visible plays that could be called dumb. True, he was sucked out on badly when his pair of 7's got counterfeited with a high two pair on the board, but it was hardly a bad play on his part. The closest we came to a bad play was when I had JJ and I put Vlad all-in with a 256 on board. He called with his 2h 3h. Now I say this came close to a bad play because it was the wrong play, but not awful. He told me later he had put me on AK or AQ, so his made pair of 2's would have been strongly leading. Even if he was behind, like he was, he still had plenty of outs. Two 2's, Three 3's and Four 4's all would have helped his hand, which is the equivalent of a four card flush draw (9 outs on the turn and river). I can only come close to calling it a purely bad play because he was putting his tournament life at risk, but it was gutsy because he made a read and then acted on it. There's something to be said for having the courage of your convictions. As it turned out, the turn was a blank and the river was a 3, giving Vlad two pair over my pair of fish hooks. Nice catch Vlad!