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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Déjà vu

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

Lately I’ve really been trying to be more positive about poker in general. I’ve done some “soul searching” and found that poker has been making me a much more negative person then I used to be, and that’s not what I want it to be like. I also have found that it has gotten to the point that I just expect to lose a lot of the time no matter how big of a favorite I am when all the money gets in. I know this attitude can’t possibly help my chances of winning, but it’s so hard to change it when over and over you feel like you’re the poker site's personal prison bitch.
Well in an effort to change my way of thinking I have made it known to my friends that if I tell them a bad beat story or send them a hand history of a bad beat that I will promptly send them $20 on the site of their choice. I know it’s good to vent sometimes, but I feel that I was getting out of hand and I know I don’t particularly love hearing other people’s bad beats so maybe this will also inspire them to chill with that shit as well. Maybe it will even start a movement that will sweep the world. Can you imagine a world without bad beat stories? That’s the kind of world I want to live in. This being said, I feel like I’m in a time warp or something, where over and over regardless of how big my stack is deep in a major tournament I just can’t seem to break through. This past Sunday was a great example.
So last Sunday I had just got back from a week in Florida with my girlfriend, where believe it or not it rained the entire time. I had gotten a good break from poker and was feeling good about playing.  I started registering for tournaments in the late afternoon and before I knew it was back on the grind 9-tabling. I was running really well in the 750k on Full Tilt in the first hour and I had a great table draw with no regulars to contend with. I was in the top 50 in chips after calling another big stack down with top pair and a weak kicker when he three barreled me with ten high. I was definitely starting to feel like I was getting into a zone.
At around that time Full Tilt’s Sunday Mulligan was starting, this is a tournament that I won about 2 years ago when I had hardly a clue about high stakes poker tournaments and haven’t even final tabled since, funny how that works.  I was also deep in the 30r on Full Tilt at this time, but instead of winning I decided that bubbling this final table at least 10 times in my career already wasn’t enough, so I decided to run my 5-5 into J-J to bust in 12th.
So I’m in the money of the 750k, and I feel like I have a pretty good read on my table allowing me to continue to build my stack, while simultaneously doing work to get my stack up in the Sunday Mulligan. I start to hit a hot streak in both to the point where I think I’m in contention to finally get that monkey off my back from not winning a Sunday major in at least a year.

At this point there are around 100 people left in the 750k, and I have a very aggressive table that is playing back at me whenever I open. This caused me to change my strategy, and instead of opening a lot of pots I was restealing on the aggressive late position raisers whenever I had reasonable holdings. This allowed me to keep my stack up, and even double up a few times when they called and my hands actually held. There were probably 50 people left in the Sunday Mulligan when I caught fire which began with me winning with A-K against an aggressive player who had moved in on me with T-T, and continued as I won several other all in confrontations including Q-Q against A-A when I rivered the Q. I can’t tell you the last time I won a key pot by way of hitting a 2-outer, but it felt damn good.
I was steamrolling my table, when I got into a pot with one of the only players that was playing back at me. I opened with the A-3 of hearts and he called from the button. The flop w J-2-2, I made a reasonable half the pot sized bet and he called. The turn was a 3 and I decided to fire another shell because I had already seen him fold when someone had bet on two streets against him in an earlier pot, and I put him on a medium sized pair that I could probably get him off of. I was pretty surprised when he called that bet, and then the A comes on the river, I didn’t think I would get any more value if I bet again so I checked with the plan of calling his bet. He checked behind though, and I won the nice sized pot when his T-T was no match.

After that pot I was the chip leader, but the funny thing about no limit tournaments is that it can all come crashing down so fast, and since this was after all Sunday, that’s exactly what happened. I got moved to a new table and the very first hand I’m dealt A-Ks in the big blind with no small blind. It folds around to a player in late position who opens, and since I have A-K which is essentially A-A in online poker, there’s no way I’m folding. I put in a good-sized raise to let him know that I’m not going anywhere, but he stills puts the rest of his chips in with 8-8. We’re off to the races and wouldn’t you know it, he takes down the pot that would have given me a huge chip lead had I won. At this time I’m thinking poker is a bigger tease then that girl I dated back in high school who wouldn’t let me go past first base.
I’m left with a mediocre stack, which soon gets in when a player who had just incidentally sucked out after making an awful call for all his chips with A-J just one hand before opens from the small blind and I have A-8 in the big blind with around 18 big blinds. I can’t really imagine folding in this spot since he could be raising with such a wide range here, and any ace is generally good in a heads up situation, but I also don’t really want to flat call because of my stack size. So I go all in and he instantly calls w A-T. That’s how easy it is to go from big stack to busto in a tournament ladies and gentlemen.

Well at least I’m still in the 750k, however I’ve been pretty card dead for awhile and the blinds are starting to eat away at my stack. When I do play hands I seem to miss every flop, and it’s beginning to look bleak as my stack nears the ten big blind mark with around 15 players left. I push all in with some marginal hands and steal the blinds a few times, but nothing to really get me back into the tournament.

Finally its hand for hand with 10 people left, and we’re playing 5 handed. A player who had been opening a lot of pots and had just won about 5 pots in a row opens from the button, and I’m in the big blind with A-Qo and no fold equity essentially, but I’m still not folding despite the fact. As a matter of fact I couldn’t really see myself folding if I had a much bigger stack with how aggressive tournaments have gotten these days. I’m happy to get it in hoping to see that I have him dominated, but somehow, someway he has Q-Q. That’s fair. I don’t suck out, because why would I? And I’m left with a feeling of complete despair, as I once again bubble a Sunday major final table. It’s becoming a cruel joke that stopped being funny a long time ago.
As you can see it’s hard to stay positive in this business, and no you don’t all get $20 for listening to my bad beats. Sorry…

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