01/08/08 Tourney

Played on Tuesday night.  $55 buy-in.  In the past I’ve gotten knocked out pretty early in these larger buy in tourneys for some reason.  I arrived on Tuesday though with a mission to NOT get KO’ed early.  For the first several hours I literally played 1 hand “voluntarily”.  AQo under the gun.  I had 3 callers and folded after the flop didn’t hit me.  Other than that, I picked up some small pots when I was able to check from the BB and would hit a flop (w/ Q5o for example when there was a Q high on the board).   People seemed to be getting knocked out left and right and I wasn’t getting any cards and wasn’t trying to force anything to happen.  As time rolled on I got a bit frustrated and decided I needed a bathroom break.  While in the bathroom I gave myself a pep-talk and reminded myself that my chipstack in relation to others at the table wasn’t what was important, it was my chipstack in relation to the blinds – and that was how I was going to make my decisions from that point on.  It turned out to be a good strategy. 

Once we were down to the final table, I kept up my tight image.  My chip-stack was roughly 10X the BB, so if I entered a pot, I made sure it was for all of my chips.  As a result, when I made a move, I generally got respect and could pick up the blinds and perhaps a limper.  Not a great way to build a stack, but a GREAT way to survive and add the possibility of “folding my way to the money”.  Which is sorta what I did.  Once I made it to the money I decided it was time to go for the win – again making big moves when I decided to play.  Folded to other short-stack all-ins (I probably was ahead on a few occasions if I’d called).  Finally decided to let it all ride when I called an all-in with QJs.  I was up against K-rag and AA.  Ouch – the AA knocked both of us out, but I had $600 more than the other guy, so slid into 4th for a $60 profit on top of my $55 buy-in.  Not bad considering I really only voluntarily entered 1 pot over the course of almost 3 hours!  Dollars per hour – not so hot, but ROI was 100%+…so I’ll take it.

Patience, observation of game dynamics, and avoiding unneccessary risk/fancy plays were a big key to cashing.  Being card-dead really sucks but discipline and patience can help ride out the dead patch until something worthy hits your hand…not to mention you can REALLY build a tight image and take some liberties with the blinds when it’s critical to do so.  Back at it on Friday night for the season finale points frenzy.  I don’t need the points, but there will be LOTS of money at stake!

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One Response

  1. Nothing wrong with folding your way into the money. Sometimes the you go card dead and can’t do anything about it. I liked the fact that you were trying to steal the blinds when your stack was roughly 10x the blinds. That is the perfect time to start stealing because you can still put a hurt on the big stacks etc. Anything less and people will start calling you and then you’re left to the mercy of the poker gods for some luck. It’s a testament to your patience and maturity that you were able to finish ITM without the benefit of getting great cards. Nice post.

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