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Keep getting it in good but can't hold

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Just getting back here to remind myself about some feelings regarding hands and pro advice. Waited for spots tonight in some of the small buy in tourneys on merge and got it in good in all. Each time I had my opponents completely dominated and couldn't come away from it with the best result. In talking to the more successful players, I am reassured that things will turn around and my bad luck is attributed to variance. But I feel like I get it in like I'm supposed to in correct spots, and where the pros hold, I lose. I keep hearing that I want that spot, I had my opponent crushed....but it doesn't seem to pan out. Tonight in a hand I was dealt A A on the button with a hyper aggressive, big stack, luck box to my immediate left. A small stack limped in early position and I raised 2.5 x from the button hoping to get a call from Aggro man to my left, and I did and the limper came along as well. The flop came 4 6 7 with 2 hearts. The aggro guy shoved his stack in and the limper shoved for what little holdings he had left. I felt I was ahead of the aggro guy, so I got it in too. I was right, he was holding 2 9 spades, a complete bluff, but the small stack had flopped a set. I only made a small amount on the hand, but am understanding of sets being made, so, wasn't overly disappointed with the outcome of the hand. Had I shoved over the limper's limp, the aggro guy would have released and I would have doubled the limper.

I managed to steal a pot 2 hands later with A 8 suited raising pre and everyone folding. The next hand I was dealt A 8 suited again but folded. Aggro limped in and was shoved on by the button for 6 BB's and aggro called. Aggro had the shover's K 9 crushed holding K J. I was upset when the flop came A K 6 as if I had played the hand, I would have spiked the A and also would have made the nut flush as the board ran out with hearts. Before the hand was played, I went over the reasons I shouldn't attempt to steal again and that if I folded, the exact thing that happened would happen, and it did. I don't know how I feel about those things.... It wasn't a good spot as I had just stolen a pot with a super aggressive player to my left. If he shoved pre i would have had to let it go anyway, so I know it was right to fold pre there. But, what bad timing....

The end of my tournament came just a few hands later Blinds were 1,000/2,000. I'm dealt A K off. An early pos player limps leaving just 750 behind and the player to his left and my immediate right shoves for 18k I have 17.5k and I think about folding for a few seconds. We're 5 spots from the money and I could easily fold my way there. But I know the drill, and that I have to take this spot if I want to start building my stack. The player to my right who shoved had a decently high VPIP and PFR and I was hoping he would be shoving with a hand like K Q or A Q. I made the call. It folded back to the limper who shipped the rest and the hands were exposed;

Limper: A 10 off

Shover: K J off

Me: A K off

I couldn't like this any more. The flop came A J 4 w/2 spades. I have the A of spades. I don't mind if a 10 comes, or a Q as I'm still good against the bigger stack. The turn comes, and of course, it's a J. Another player at the table announces he had a J as well. The river is not the case A and I'm eliminated What an amazing spot right? Pre I'm dominating, flop 'm dominating, and then the miracle 1 outer. This happens to me way too often. It makes me really wonder about how the online pros can manage to win so much. Do they fold there with 9 BB's holding A K at the bubble because their tournament is at risk? From what they've all told me, of course not! It can't be that they are never in those spots during a tournament. I just feel like they win in those spots way more often than I do. It wouldn't have been for my tournament if my A A a few hands before hadn't been slowed by the set of 4's.

Again, when I get feedback from the big time guys, they tell me to keep getting those spots and it will work out. Will it really? I know this much, if 5% more of those hands had gone my way in my 10 years of poker, I'd be in the millions career earnings club. I hate having to stick to the small buy ins hoping to build my online bankroll again.....

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With 5 spots to go there was deffo a chance to insta fold that AK, Odds are that you are behind anyway even to a pair of deuces and there's no bigger pot to play for if you hit big.


I feel your pain tho. As my recent blog concurs, tourns are a lottery :)

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trust me you're not alone.. I was down to final 12 and only guy at table that had me covered shoves and I make the call with Kings knowing I'm doomed.. sure enough he shows queens flops quads gg 12th.. I didn't need the 500k chip pot with a huge chip lead with 12 to go.. He ended up binking it for 156 bucks while I won 4.56.. The guys are correct it all turns around in the end.. Try to think of the spots where you don't get it in good but get there.. That helps a little bit

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IN terms of those being "bad beats", what will make you feel better is if you actually look up the odds pre flop of Ak, to KJ, to A 10. They have 25% and 18% to win, as well as odds to split. Even AK all in to AQ is only a 3 to 2 favorite. Losing those hands are not quite bad beats, but the more often you get in as an 80% favorite, you are simply going to win. What you don't always see though are the many times you win those 80 because the cards are not flipped up. When you pay more attention to the losing all ins it is easy to see it as you are losing more than you should, as We have all been there. You need to take it in stride, and just play well, and take the losing hand as a losing hand and nothing more. You cannot control wining a pot, but focus on the things you can control such as what hands you move all in for and in what spots.


Also, the above epos only has 2 or 3 hand examples, when I'm sure there is a much bigger amount to consider. I understand it gets frustrating, but everyone takes beats like this, they are not too uncommon, just gotta take it, move on and continue to play well.


Good luck!

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you are missing many more spots and opportunities along the way leading up to this big hands. thats the reason you aren't winning. if you are applying pressure correctly winning pots without showdown when you get into these situations you won't be putting your tournament life at risk.


thats how i see it. the best players win pots without showdown, build stacks so when they win/lose these hands they aren't busting the tournament. instead of focusing on that one hand you lose when ahead look at all the spots before you could have chipped up and won some chips.

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