The PowerUp Misplay Series: Game 3, Day 1

Introducing the Misplay Series: Coming in as a Noob
The PowerUp Misplay Series: Game 1, Day 1
The PowerUp Misplay Series: Game 2, Day 1

== Winnings up to this point: -$4 ==

Lessons learned from previous game: Bad beats still happen. Also – the interactions of powerup cards between you and your opponent, especially how their utility changes depending on betting patterns, is indeed as deep as I imagined it was.

In a surprising turn, I sat at a powerup table for 2 minutes until it filled up. Hope this won’t be a trend.

So finally we start – and oddly enough its smooth sailing. People are being conservative with powerup cards and pots are mostly contested as pure hold’em. Not much to say here.

We get heads up after winning a tiny all in pot from the table short stack w/ Ace high (beautiful picture of this moment above – yay a rare winning moment thus far!) and go into heads up play at the 50/100 level where we proceed to get distracted by normal poker logic and instantly misplay into a second place finish.

The Spot:

Betting big pre-flop with AQ offsuit and finding a call we head into a K,9,4 (2 hearts) and an upgrade powerup in hand. It’s around here that things get…messy.

After checking back and facing a ¼ pot bet on the flop we decide that – before making any hasty maneuvers – its time to upgrade. We have the Ace of hearts in our hand so drawing any pocket heart is great, especially considering that ~45% of our stack is currently sitting in the middle of the felt (or digital mesh? Whatever that table is supposedly made out of).

We miss, and actually make our hand worse, drawing the 9 of spades.

At this point – the obvious move is to give up. We aren’t the aggressor in the pot and any aggression on our end can be counteracted by our opponent via cards like engineer & scanner to ensure they are in a good spot before calling. We forget this bit – but never again. In PowerUp, its less bad to play passively in spots where you intuit upcoming action because as the reacting player you get to have position on your opponent in terms of powerup usage every time. In situations where you have a strong draw, or a hand that may need to improve before calling an all in, this is possibly the single most valuable scenario to preserve during gameplay.

We, of course forgot to take this into account. My thinking went somewhere along the lines of “well I have the nut flush blocker and he’s been betting very light a lot, without even second pair lot of the time. Let’s go all in and force him off the hand a majority of times.”

Did it work? No, not at all. He was likely behind but after upgrading THEN also reloading he called us down with a random K high, good for top pair and the victory in this round.

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