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Why Abandoning your Plan of Action in Poker a Majority of the Time is BAD.

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Hey all it's been a while. This isn't a typical blog and maybe I will do one of those again soon but this is something I felt like posting about regarding poker especially to help newer players out.

I will say I rarely play online MTT's anymore due to time dedications that you have to commit to but once or twice a month I get that itch to register for a handful of them.

This is an example of why in poker abandoning your plan of action is typically a bad idea especially if you feel you know where you are or I should say where your opponent is in a particular hand.

This is from a $30+3 MTT final table that had 432 entrants with 8 left. First place is over $2.7k and eighth paying a little over $300 (not that I care much about eighth). I took out some of the clutter out and tried to bold important things.

Seat 1 is the button
Seat 1: SEAT 1 (205939).
Seat 2: VILLAIN (193941).
Seat 3: HERO (202923).

Seat 4: SEAT 4 (479131).
Seat 5: SEAT 5 (231040).
Seat 6: SEAT 6 (302558).
Seat 7: SEAT 7 (94838).
Seat 8: SEAT 8 (449630).
Player VILLAIN ante (500)
Player HERO ante (500)
Player VILLAIN has small blind (2500)
Player HERO has big blind (5000)

Player VILLAIN received a card.
Player VILLAIN received a card.
Player HERO received card: [Jc]
Player HERO received card: [9c]

Player SEAT 4 folds
Player SEAT 5 folds
Player SEAT 6 folds
Player SEAT 7 folds
Player SEAT 8 folds
Player SEAT 1 folds
Player VILLAIN raises (10289)
Player HERO calls (7789)

^^^ - I decide to flat villain raise on my BB from the SB since I believe he could have a very wide range of hands here. Villain is also very nitty so my intent is to look for spots to out play him post flop. I could have the best hand a lot here but if not I will look for spots depending on the flop and his actions. Three betting here is something I'd do time to time in this spot as well so I'm not against that plan either.

*** FLOP ***: [7h 4s Kh]
Player VILLAIN bets (19719)
Player HERO calls (19719)

^^^- So villain bets and I decide to float here hoping he checks the turn or it brings a card I can represent.

*** TURN ***: [7h 4s Kh] [Ks]
Player VILLAIN bets (27678)
Player HERO raises (55356)
Player VILLAIN calls (27678)

^^^ - Good card for me to rep especially against a nit and I don't feel I have to go all in but am hoping he just folds to my click back raise. He decides to call. I do think he folds some random garbage here so the click back raise can accomplish that but also lets me take control of the hand on the river.

*** RIVER ***: [7h 4s Kh Ks] [As]
Player VILLAIN checks
Player HERO checks

^^^ - Now here is where I butcher the hand by abandoning the plan. I've gone this far and should be shoving since he didn't re-raise me on the turn so he probably don't have a king. It's likely he is on a draw or something he is trying to showdown cheaply. If I shove he can find a lot of folds.

This does complete the backdoor flush but again I don't think villain has that yet it's possible an ace is in his range but then again villain is a nit who probably wouldn't have fired a second barrel on the turn with Ax unless it was a nut flush draw and he would have jammed the king over my re-raise on the turn as I already said above if he really had that imo. I've committed so much already and if I followed through jamming the river I would have won this pot.

------ Summary ------
Pot: 179728. Rake 0
Board: [7h 4s Kh Ks As]
Player SEAT 1 does not show cards.Bets: 500. Collects: 0. Loses: 500.
*Player VILLAIN shows: One pair of Ks (kicker Q) [Jh Qh]. Bets: 88364. Collects: 179728. Wins: 91364.
Player HERO shows: One pair of Ks [Jc 9c]. Bets: 88364. Collects: 0. Loses: 88364.

It could be argued that I shouldn't be trying so hard to win this pot but I felt villain had a hand he could fold and I was right on that if I only followed through with the plan.

I ended up finishing this tournament in 8th place like 45 minutes later and would have moved up to third in chips if I followed through after this plan which would have changed my overall strategy after that giving me lots of maneuverability.

The big money in tournaments is at the top and the next few spots aren't big jumps in comparison being about $100 a piece. Stacks were deep at this final table and I decided to leave myself with 20bbs by not following through but regretted that right away not just when I saw his hand. I knew I was screwing up clicking it back the second I did it. Villain was never calling a river jam here when I break the hand down especially knowing he's a complete nit but still not to a point where he's not going to bet his flush draw until he hits it like a total newbie does.

In poker if you take it seriously you should always want to improve and being honest with yourself is most important which is why I can say I screwed this hand up but hopefully will have learned from it.

Even if villain had called and took me out it was still the best play for me to shove the river given the fact I'm sticking with the plan and in poker if your reads are correct a majority of the time then those times you are wrong aren't as big of a deal so DON'T ABANDON THE PLAN!

Thanks for reading and take care!

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  1. thesparten's Avatar
    Just found this blog. I'm a noon to poker but found that helpful.