Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I do not heart Heads Up.

Newsflash: I am not a very good Heads Up player. Yes, this probably comes as no suprise to those who know my game, but there it is. As mentioned in a previous post, the only way I usually get Heads Up with someone is at the end of a MTT, and it's not like that happens every day.

I am just way out of my comfort level playing Heads Up, but I realise that it is another facet of my game that I need to improve upon. Neglecting this, along with small field SnGs, is probably to the detriment of my overall poker development. Not that I need to start playing those exclusively, but a little mixed in (for low stakes, mind) is not going to hurt - and hopefully will help.

On the weekend, probably while drunk (OK - I know I was drunk) I agreed to play Veneno in a heads up challenge. She offered best of 3 or best of 5, and I went with best of 5. Why? Because I figured best of 5 gave me the greatest chance to win at least one game. Right there I am entering a challenge expecting to lose, and setting the parameters of said challenge to try and ensure I get a minimum victory out of it.

Somehow this doesn't seem the right way to go about this (thanks Captain Obvious!). But it forces me to play some more Heads Up matches.

Last night Veneno and I played in a four person Heads Up tournament on Stars. If you have never played in one of these it's a simple knockout tournament, with the winner taking all the mobney. We didn't draw each other as opponents to begin with, which was good. Veneno dispatched her opponent easily, while I entered into one of my epic matches, eventually prevailing. During the match I felt I was clearly the better player, but I kept letting him back in. At least I won I guess.

Up against Veneno it was a see-sawing affair, but she fought back from a 3-1 chip disadvantage to take out the game. She is now 2-0 lifetime against me, and 1-0 in the challenge.

Another thing about Heads Up play is I seem to take it way more personally. Maybe it is because there are no other factors involved - just two people, starting from the same chip position. So what do we have: no confidence in my play, inexperience in the discipline, and taking it too personally. Sounds like a winning formula!

Of course I have to finish on a "the Gods are against me!" note (I have to round out all the stock excuses). In 3 of the last 5 heads up situations I have been in I have had my opponent all-in and way behind but seen them hit to survive. Each time they have come back to beat me. This may have something to do with my current feelings towards Heads Up. Time to suck it up and play on.


  • I've found that I'm successful when playing Veneno because usually I'm on my tenth beer by the time we get started.

    Thanks for the FireJoeMorgan referral! Adding it to bloglines now...

    Oh yeah, and are you a definite for the chess tourney? I'm working on the setup this week.

    By Blogger Donkeypuncher, at 11:22 AM  

  • Yeah, put me down. I'm probably going to be dead money, but why not? Let me know the details and I'll try to make it.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 11:31 AM  

  • I read somewhere there are like 27 million blogs now? I need to adjust my ranking because I am in like the 17 million range!

    By Blogger TraumaPoker, at 6:43 PM  

  • I didn't realize that you had such a dislike for Heads Up. If you want out of our challenge just let me know.

    Howevery, I do think Heads Up can improve your game. I've been much more successful with Sit n Goes, especially getting first since I began playing Heads Up.

    Donkey had a great suggestion, but that works for him. Every player is different. Which is part of why I enjoy the experience.

    Trama is still blogging? Who knew...

    By Blogger Veneno, at 12:45 AM  

  • Nah, we still are going to play Heads Up. As I said, it's something I have to play to improve my game. Eventually I'll get over it, and eventually I'm going to nail someone to the felt when they are behind.

    I should mention that one of the "3 out of the last 5" times I had a guy all in and way behind was Heads Up in a 180 SnG. So that was worth $300 - and somehow hurt less (I guess winning $700 or so helped temper that pain).

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 9:52 AM  

  • Perfect! I would have been disappointed if you decided to quit.

    But don't take it personal if you end up 0 for 5. I am the Poison afterall....

    By Blogger Veneno, at 10:31 AM  

  • I hate HU play but I tend to do well.

    By Blogger Drizztdj, at 3:14 PM  

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