Here are two hands that illustrate what STTs, and poker, is all about.
PokerStars Game #28281049444: Tournament #164301479, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2009/05/16 21:16:33 ET
Table '164301479 1' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: smallss (1460 in chips)
Seat 2: FR Vessant (1540 in chips)
Seat 3: G-Man965 (1440 in chips)
Seat 4: 333PW (1180 in chips)
Seat 5: Shangai2 (1460 in chips)
Seat 6: Evil17 (1470 in chips)
Seat 7: carolann79 (1650 in chips)
Seat 8: ashley lance (2200 in chips)
Seat 9: doctorbling (1100 in chips)
G-Man965: posts small blind 10
333PW: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FR Vessant [Ac Ad]
Shangai2: calls 20
carolann79: calls 20
ashley lance: folds
doctorbling: calls 20
FR Vessant: raises 80 to 100
A bit less than standard, but I want a caller.
333PW: calls 80
Shangai2: calls 80
carolann79: calls 80
doctorbling: calls 80
Maybe not four though.
*** FLOP *** [5s 2h Jd]
Pretty safe flop.
Shangai2: bets 260
Despite what people think, the donks do lead top pair into you and I'd say that his most likely hand is Jx. The donks routinely slowplay sets, so I'm not expecting to be beat.
carolann79: calls 260
FR Vessant: raises 1180 to 1440 and is all-in
Shangai2: calls 1100 and is all-in
He has JT. What does he imagine he's ahead of here? I don't know that he even thinks that deeply. He just goes "I has top pair, call the shove."
Not sure what you can call 360 chips off with and then just fold, but I'm not her.
Uncalled bet (80) returned to FR Vessant
*** TURN *** [5s 2h Jd] [9c]
*** RIVER *** [5s 2h Jd 9c] [3s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Shangai2: shows [Ts Jh] (a pair of Jacks)
FR Vessant: shows [Ac Ad] (a pair of Aces)
FR Vessant collected 3490 from pot
So my hand holds up and I TID.
It's a bit annoying that after this good start, I had a super weird ITM, where a winning player and a fish contrived to trade chips to each other hand after hand, as I watched mostly without getting involved. Sadly, the fish snapped off a 10BB shove at t400 with 33 and my AK didn't improve.
So the next AA hand:
PokerStars Game #28283516323: Tournament #164315536, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2009/05/16 22:47:21 ET
Table '164315536 1' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: gretzky7 (1570 in chips)
Seat 3: Maus99 (1175 in chips)
Seat 4: Ac/Dc (1565 in chips)
Seat 5: FR Vessant (1170 in chips)
Seat 6: Black2008 (1125 in chips)
Seat 7: olly_e (2230 in chips)
Seat 8: mayor72 (3410 in chips)
Seat 9: CincyNick (1255 in chips)
Maus99: posts small blind 25
Ac/Dc: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FR Vessant [As Ah]
FR Vessant: raises 100 to 150
Standard raise. I don't limp/reraise aces but I have folded out the table a couple of times recently, so maybe I should consider it.
gretzky7: calls 150
Complete fish. Could have anything.
*** FLOP *** [4s Kc Td]
This is a good flop because the fish can easily have hit it. He can have KT of course, but he has too much in his range to worry about that.
FR Vessant: bets 200
gretzky7: calls 200
So he has Kx/Tx/QJ, maybe Q9 and you couldn't count out A4 and pocket pairs.
*** TURN *** [4s Kc Td] [8d]
FR Vessant: bets 820 and is all-in
I just shove because the pot's a bit less than my stack.
gretzky7: calls 820
He has KJ. Again it's hard to imagine what he could think he's ahead of. He has to put me on the bluff because I just can't have a worse hand than KJ here. He doesn't know me, and probably hasn't noticed that I'm playing tight, but I was under the gun, so it's a stretch to imagine that I could have K9 there.
But the fish do not fold top pair ever. And again I have to dodge six outs.
*** RIVER *** [4s Kc Td 8d] [Kd]
And that's poker. Everything I had control over, I did right, and I still lost. Everything he had control over, he did wrong (terrible call preflop, should raise flop if he's going to continue and he's beating nothing at all on the turn so he has to fold) and won.
If you are playing soundly, and know you are, you can be relaxed about things like this. You know that you have a downswing when they hit their six outs a few times in a row, which they will, and an upswing when they don't.