I made a few mistakes in the Sunday MTT but hit a 3 outer on the river in a massive pot to get me the fuel I needed to make the final table. Despite my earlier luck I entered the final table short stacked and tried to double up but my 87s could not outrun ATo. I settled for a prize of $460 which exactly balanced my $150 buyin, $150 rebuy, $100 add on and $60 time charge. Oh well. So it goes.
There was one hand of particular note. A player with a very large stack got placed at my table to the right of the tournament chip leader who is a very competent player. This new player opened a hand and the chip leader 3 bet only to have a small stack go all in for less. I folded and, taking his time about it, the original raiser 4 bet. The chip leader then put in a 5 bet committing about 1/3 of his stack. After another careful think the original raiser went all in. I was trying to read all of these players all along and I saw this new player as relaxed but feigning worry. I put him solidly on aces.
At that point I had the chip leader on kings or queens and the other all-in player on a premium ( i.e., tens or better or AK). The chip leader called fairly quickly saying “I am never folding kings preflop.” Meanwhile I was sitting there thinking to myself “I would have folded kings in this spot!” The hands were flipped and it was aces, kings and tens just as I surmised.
As you know if you read my blog I have only folded Kings preflop once in my live and it was a correct fold as it turned out. To have that experience happen again even though I was not in the hand was a big confidence boost for my reading skills. It was not the only time on Sunday that I got someone’s hand spot on, but it was the one that makes for the best story.
Recently I signed up for a little poker training and while the classwork is just getting started I have to note that my trainer was the one who strongly suggested trying to do more hand reading when not in the hand. In this case it really worked out well as nailing some hands really gave me a nice confidence boost which will hopefully make it easier to trust my gut in these situations in the future.