I was in a 45 person “Multi-Table Sit and Go” on FullTilt last night. Of late I have been playing a better style of poker. I had worked myself up to the top 5 at least 5 times during the tourney.
Some hands I would bet for value, some hands were bluffs or semi-bluffs. I even called a short stack with pocket Aces by going all in to prevent anyone else from joining me. I was pleased to see him have AJ off suit. I was still pleased when the flop had a Jack and two blanks. The turn was a blank which was good. But I was not pleased when a Jack hit the river costing me about 15% of my chips.
I brushed off the beat as that is what happens in poker. Two hour later I reached the final table in second position in chips. There was a lot of raising and folding and for the most part I stayed out of the fray unless I had premium hands or a strong draw. The chip leader had almost five times as much chips as any of us and was not afraid to use them to force us to fold small pairs or marginal hands.
My usual strategy at the final table is to let almost everyone beat each other up and then go up against the chip leader head to head. We were down to five players and all of us were in the money. At this point I caught a pocket pair of tens. The blinds were 500/1000 and I raised to 3,000 from the cut off position. The button folded, the small blind was the chip leader and he raised me 3,000 more. At this point he had 25,000 and I hand 7,900. He had been shoving people around for the last five hands and I thought for about 3 seconds … and shoved all in. He insta-called and showed pocket Queens. My pocket tens did not improve and I was out in 5th place. Had I folded and ended up in forth, I would have doubled my cash out.
I did not stick to my original strategy and it cost me a significant amount of prize money due to my boldness. At the least, if I had called and seen the flop, I would still have had enough chips to maneuver for an orbit or two more. I could say that I was going for the gold but in reality I did not follow my time proven game plan.
Do you ever stray the course and let testosterone rule your play? Do you have a game plan going into a tourney or do you just play and see what happens and go from there?