Saturday, April 22, 2006

Full Tilt Tourney

I finished 39th out of 892 entrants in the $17,000 guaranteed tournament yesterday! The payout was only $64 on a $26 buy-in, but I was glad to do well.

I'm trying to donk up my tournament play a little bit so that I can give myself more of a chance to get lucky without having to risk too many chips. The way I've been doing that is by bluffing more against stacks that may be reluctant to commit, and by raising and re-raising more hands preflop if I know that my opponents aren't at a point where they feel like they have to push in on the flop if they miss.

These strategies helped, but they didn't help nearly as much as getting lucky.

I made small steals early and had about an average stack when the seventh blind level (60/120) came up. I made a standard (steal) raise from one off the button with J7o. Yes, it's a very bad hand. But I wanted those blinds. I never intended to see a flop.

The flop came 7 high, and I bet and was called. I caught a Jack on the turn for two pair, I pushed and was called by a pair of 6s. I don't know what he was thinking, but he got really pissed off and rooted against me for the rest of the tourney. He wasn't the first player who I made mad.

The biggest hand of the tournament came not long afterward, at the 200/400/50 blind level when I had 4,005 chips. My M was 4, putting me on the edge of the move-in zone. An early position player raised to 3X the blinds, and I decided to push with QTo. The button called, and the original raiser called.

Pokernerd turned over AKs, and the button turned over TT. So at least I had one live card! It didn't matter though -- I turned an Ace-high straight, and I tripled up to put me at No. 5 on the leaderboard. The button went out shortly afterward and couldn't stop talking about my play.

"Why would you push there? What were you thinking, you idiot?" he said.

"I knew you would lose most of your chips, so I figured I was getting odds to push," I said.

I kept stacking up until the bubble came along. I wanted to make some moves.

Unfortunately, I lost three hands and cut my stack size from 29,400 to about 15,000. On one hand, there was four to a flush on the board, and I couldn't call. Another time, I had top pair Jacks with a Ten kicker, and I didn't want to call a big bet. The final hand, I tried to steal with 76s and followed through on the flop. A calling station stayed with me, and he took down the pot after checking the turn and river with Jack high.

Then I skated on for a while before I got deep into the move-in zone. I pushed with A9 and was called by AA, and it was all over.

Tournaments are a lottery where you can improve your chances by playing well, but you really need to get lucky to have a shot at winning.

I plan on making a final table pretty soon.


Victor_Enriq said...

J7 is a fine hand for a steal raise. I like to gamble a lot on the first levels in order to build a nice stack that allows me to start putting pressure on short stacked players later on. In fact in the last tourney being 3rd or 4th and near the bubble I called an all in with K4o! I busted a poor JJ fellow!

TXMed said...

Did the guy with 6s merely call your preflop raise?

That sounds like a ridiculous play on his part and then he called an all in after the turn with multiple overcards on the board?

I don't know why he'd be upset with you.