Saturday, 2 March 2013
Tricky Spots And Overall Win Rate
Most decisions in the Maui Jackpot sit n go games are easy, clear and pretty automatic. As you get closer to the bubble and getting paid certain situations can be tricky, are genuinely borderline and require a bit more thought. One regular dilemma occurs when you are faced with aggression from a dominant chip leader and making a judgement for all your chips. Generally, I would try to avoid an all in confrontation in these circumstances without a very strong hand.
A good example of this tricky spot came the other day. With five players left the stack sizes were as follows: the dominant chip leader had 5036, I had 1369 and the other three including two solid regulars had 925, 1630 and 1040. With blinds at the 50-100 level I am in a good position but still have some work to do. In the key hand I was dealt pocket nines on the button with the chip leader in the big blind. I raised to 300 hoping to take the blinds. The chip leader quickly shoved all-in putting me on a decision for all my chips. Up to this stage he had played well, had been lucky at times but was not playing recklessly. I was sure he had a good hand. But how good? In these key spots I am currently trying to put players on a range rather than an exact holding. In this situation, I felt he would have re-raised (not gone all in) with aces or kings. His most likely holdings are pairs from say sevens through to queens, good aces and at the very worst a hand like king jack. He very rarely has nothing in this spot. Ace King was my first instinct because of the speed of the all-in. No time to think was needed - in went his chips. Given my thinking is this a call or a fold? A lot of the time we are flipping and I have pot odds for this but is it worth the risk? In short I have concluded that I fold if my aim is to cash and call if my aim is to win. Previously when my focus was on maximising my returns I think I would have folded, cowardly hoping to have better opportunities to double up or simply sneak a cash. I am currently focusing more on the number of games won, maximising my win rate to give me more of a shot at five wins in a row. I made the call and I am pretty happy with my decision. I am also trying to focus much more on making the right decisions as opposed to worrying about the luck based outcome of them.
Ironically this game was around the end of my first one thousand Maui games since I have been focusing on my poker plan and improving my win rate. Following years of play with a win rate of around 13% I can now report, following some solid effort, strategy adjustments, study and re-focus I still have a win rate of 13%! Undeterred I will press on into my next thousand games looking for that holy grail of Maui sit n go poker, a 14% win rate. I know its out there, I can almost feel it.
For those that care and are perhaps looking for a happy ending to this post I can report the chip leader had queens and sent me packing in fifth place. Content with my choice and the rational behind it I shall continue in my quest for increased numbers of wins via good decisions.
Cheers and good luck.