Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lapsed Left Look


Played in my monthly poker tournament last night and had a lot of fun.....

...but I ended up leaving the game--outside the money--with me kicking myself for one dumb lapse of I-should-know-better judgement.  Said simply, I forgot to Look Left.

One key to mastering poker is figuring out what the players to your left are going to do before you yourself act. This is important in both online and live poker. In live poker, however, it's somewhat easier to do. You get to, uh, look left before acting. And last night, at a critical point, I forgot to do so.

I was seated all night at the same table. I didn't have to move, and most of my opponents didn't move either through the course of the night. In other words, I had more than ample opportunity to observe their individual play and figure out their tendencies. And for the most part I feel I did a very good job of this, chipping up slowly and steadily throughout the tournament by making good reads and exploiting their weaknesses. Unfortunately, the blind structure of this particular tourney is, shall we say, fast. This means that "slowly and steadily" chipping up isn't sufficient, especially at the end of the tournament.

The bottom line is I found myself closing in on the money with about 13 big blinds and five minutes before said blinds were going to double again. So I started choosing some spots for all-in shoves to pick up the blinds. My own cards essentially didn't matter; what mattered was what the players upstream of me had done, and what the players to my left were going to do. Four-deuce in late position with folds to my right and the remaining players having body language that said they're poised to fold? Easy-peasy: Shove. Ace-ten on the button with two limps ahead and interested-looking blinds left to act? Folderoo. And so on.

I was managing to chip up again, but then the blinds went up yet again and the action folded to me on the button holding K-T suited. My stack was at 10 big blinds, so I shoved-- without looking left.

Let me repeat: Arghg.

The nitty old guy in the big blind literally--and I mean literally--already had his whole stack in his shaking hand as I moved my chips into the middle. His chips literally--and I still mean literally--beat mine into the pot. He of course turned over AKs.

Me dominated.

Me didn't improve.

Me sent home.

Me very, very angry at me-self.

Me need to remember to look left next time.


All-in for now...


  1. We know to do certain things, but then forget to do them. One of the training videos I watch called that an "execution gap," which is a good way to put it.

  2. I like that expression. It pretty sums up my game after a few hours of play.