Monday, June 27, 2005

Tournament - Next time, I'll just give you the money up front and you can kick me in the balls

My first live tournament yesterday. Yeah. Chance to play live against people I don't know in a no-limit game.

It was a $55 buy-in, with a limit of 50 players. Winner takes home $1500. All players start off with 500 in chips.

This was the quickest-paced play I've ever faced. The blinds were brutal, going up about every 10 minutes. There just wasn't much chance to wait for a hand and be patient, which is exactly what my game is.

Are you looking for another spectacular flame-out from me? Another bad beat story? Another chance to show you just how unlucky I am?

Well, I'm gonna show you how unlucky I am, alright, but not through my usual method. Nobody caught any cards against me. You see, of the hour and about 15 minutes I was in, and of the...oh, about 60+ hands or so that were played while I was at the table, I saw...call it about eight flops. And of those eight flops, about six of those were because I was in the small or big blind.

I actually played, by choice, two hands. The first was pocket 4's which didn't trip and saw 9, 10, queen hit on the flop. Somebody bet, I folded. The second was ace/jack offsuit, where I raised the pot, only to have someone go all in. After the all in was called, I folded. The next best hand I had was the hand that put me out, the next best after that was king/eight offsuit, and it went down from there. Oh, I forgot, I had pocket 3's as well, but there was an all-in before I could even call the blind. The winning hand was a flush.

That was it, folks. The hand I was put out on was queen/jack, which didn't even bother to pair, losing to ace/10.

Let's say, for whatever reason I was able to play every, single hand I was dealt. Do you know what my best, my absolute best hand ever was?

Pair of sixes, coming on the flop -- if I had bothered to play my 2/6 suited.

There was not a single hand where I would've won. Not one. Even if I had played my garbage, I wouldn't have one. I had one hand that, if I had played it, would've earned me an inside straight draw...on the river. I had one hand that, if I had played it, would've earned me a flush draw...on the river. In other words, they weren't really draws at all.

I would've liked to bluff or something, but at the table I was at, two of the players ended up with huge chip stacks after about 30 minutes, knocking out players left and right going all-in on silly hands. By the time it might have occurred to me to try a bluff, those players had at least four times as many chips as I did, and both were using them aggressively.

Wow.

My only consolation? I was playing the $3/$6 tables before the tournament started and after I was knocked out (I was waiting for my buddies Dave and Jay, who both managed to get to the final table coming in 8th and 3rd, respectively). I did fairly well on those tables, earning about $40 over what I started out with.

So, the final tally really isn't that bad -- including breakfast, I ended up spending about $16. I suppose I was wanting my first live tournament experience to be a bit more fulfilling -- playing for over an hour and never getting a hand better than a pair of sixes is a tad frustrating.

I'll get 'em next time.

3 comments:

Bud said...

10 minute blinds are brutal -- I'm used to 15 or 20 min blinds, and even those are almost pure crapshoots. But man, I love tourney poker. Dunno if you've read Harrington's book on NL Hold 'em tournaments, but it's really good. Vol 1, that is, Vol 2 is supposed to be out sometime soon.

Daniel said...

Haven't read any poker books, Bud, but I should. I know I'm a decent-to-good player, but I shudder to think of the mental stamina it takes to be a professional. I don't have anything on that level.

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