Yesterday I played in both the Twitter Poker Tour European event at 7pm CST and the regular TPT at 9pm ET. I finished 2nd and cashed in the TPTE and I finished 16th out of 34 in the TPT.
I think I played well for the most part, especially in the first event. I had a problem dealing with an aggressive player who always entered a pot with a bet of at least 8 to 10 big blinds. I know from experience that most of the time he just has a drawing hand such as K 9 or 7 8 or even small pocket pairs. As a rule, he enters a pot about 50% of the time. This means that when I am in the big blind or small blind I am sometimes in a position where I have to fold unless I am willing to risk more chips or my stack to challenge him. I have re-raised him and seen him fold. I have also seen him shove all in as a response. So when I do challenge him, I really like to have some kind of a made hand or a strong draw. He actually went from first place to last place and finally back to first place in the TPTE. We went heads up but he had a 4 to 1 chip advantage that I was unable to overcome. During the game he was at my left, two persons over. So I had to have a good hand to enter a pot in the event that he came out firing.
This was true in the evening event as well. He was at my immediate left. But he was not a problem as he went out on the second hand going all in with a pair of nines and ended up being called by a pair of kings by someone else. I thought that I might have an easier time but this was not to be the case as three others to my left played in a similar style. I had the chip leader to my right putting in bets at least 5 to 10 times the big blinds. You had to have a premium hand or great draw to challenge him as well. I was able to win a few small pots by betting at least 6 big blinds. I won some good sized pots when I was allowed to limp in with small pocket pairs. The flop gave me three of a kind or a full house. But I stayed at or below average for most of the evening. I was at a low point with less than 7 big bets left in my stack when I went all in with pocket twos that did not hold up against an A 10 unsuited. In the second game, I was unable to deal with the aggressive players to my right and to my left. I felt like I was surrounded. I did not let them completely dominate me as I did shove all in a couple of times against their raises and had them fold.
I would say that my current style of tourney play is tight and passive and that I need to step it up to tight and aggressive if I intend to win an event.
What is your style of play? Do you play aggressive even if you don’t have the cards to back it up? What happens when you get caught with a weak hand that you played aggressively? Do you vary your style enough so that your opponents don’t know what you are doing?