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Sandy?I’ve spent the last few weeks building my bankroll back to reasonable levels, reasonable by small stakes standards.  At the beginning of the week (I know, it is Wednesday)… I had $91 in the BR.  Not a bad batch, was $9 from total break even in my 4 months of poker.  My sharkscope graph looked pretty good, things seemed to be going right.

Then I took a walk on the beach, tried to scoop some sand, and found it slips right through my fingers… just as my bankroll appears to be over the last few days. 

I have had some bad luck, but mostly it is bad play.  Last night I lost out on an important tournament, chasing a hand I should have dropped.  I say important tournament because I felt I was playing good, not great but good, had just bubbled out of two $2 SNG’s on what I felt were bad beats… so I signed up for a $5 SNG… I know… bad strategy… played it down to 5 players, so basically the bubble.  I’ve been reading Harrington on Hold ‘Em which might not be helping me in the long run… let me explain.

 I was playing against 4 others who had all tightened up on the bubble… one player ahead by a fair margin with the rest of us fairly equally matched… except one player down by about 1/2 my stack.

I am UTG and see KK when my hole cards come.  The big stack is on my right, in the BB for 100 chips.  I want to isolate yet get some action, thinking I’ll go up against him.  I drop in a 300 bet to open, get two folds, one call, SB fold and now BB is down to deciding what to do… he thinks until time is almost up then calls.

Not ideal, but not bad I think… so flop comes rainbow J-3-5 and I figure I have top pair, no straight showing, no flush showing, so I bet the pot.  CO who called before calls again, so that worries me a big but big stack bows out. 

So now I figure I’ve got top pair, possibly with him sitting on A-something and having a pair… maybe he is on a straight draw with A-4 or something… turn comes down a 9.  Still not enough on the board for a flush… straights are unlikely, so I bet 1/2 pot, he goes all in immediately… now I’ve seen him do this and pull out some amazing draws in this game, winning against J’s with 3-9 when he just wanted to steal… so I figure he is trying to push me out… so I call…

He shows me down with trip threes.

My problem here is two fold… I was beat but couldn’t read it… I was also drawing dead and didn’t know it… but did I play it wrong?  I’m really not sure.  Based on Harrington I played it right… but I’m leaking like sand through the fingers on situations like this… I don’t know if it is just variance or if I’m sinking.

Coach, if you are reading I’ll try to upload some histories tonight, but man, I’m actually questioning my skills at this point, yet I don’t think that question is justified?

Confused and sandy… Monty