Thursday, April 29, 2010
Poker Tournaments and Dogs...
Last night I entered a poker tournament at the Oaks. It was a $100 buy-in plus an $80 rebuy event. There were some things that happened last night that I thought were interesting.
The First Table
The first table was rather strange in that there were 3 players who acted like you could win an event in the first few levels of play. These players moved all-in way too often, and called all-in when their raises were re-raised all-in.
Now, these three players are generally good poker players but they believed the key to winning was getting lucky and accumulating lots and lots of chips early, so they could apply pressure throughout the event.
It was annoying to say the least, especially since they were winning hands uncontested or sucking out. I kept thinking that they were going to be dog meat eventually. I started thinking of that famous illustration of the dogs playing poker.
I had to fold hands to one of them twice:
I had A-J, raised preflop, and he pushed all-in. I folded.
A few hands later I raised preflop with K-Q, and the pushed all-in. I folded again.
I figured that I would trap him when I got a big hand.
Sure enough, a few hands later, I was dealt pocket Kings and just called in middle position. I got raised by a player who was predictable and seated in front of these three....they folded.
When the play got back to me, I moved all-in. To my surprise, the predictable called me with A-J. Bad play on his part. I doubled up.
However, later on I was on the button and raised the predictable player. I had Q-6. He called my raise. The flop was 10-6-3. He checked raised me a small amount. I called. The Q hit on the turn. He moved all in. I called.
He turned over 10-3. Yeah, a 3 hit the river crippling my stack.
At the end of the first 4 levels, I had a low stack and those dogs had big stacks.
Post Re-buy & A Cheat?
As I predicted, those three players got hammered later on and lost all their chips.
The player who moved all-in on me twice got knocked out when he moved all-in after another player raised with KK.
They just played nuts throughout. I understand why they play this way early on. But, if it works, I think it would be wise to change. Otherwise, they are counting on being lucky throughout the event since their play is predicatable.
Anyway, I turned things around and I was able to build my stack. I won an all-in pot with KK, and another one with A-Q. In both cases, I was all-in as the favorite.
When it got down to three tables, I was moved. At my new table, there were two players to my right who I had never seen before. The player two to my right, who is Asian, didn't seem to understand English very well and/or didn't play much live poker.
While the dealer was collecting antes, the player next to me quietly asked the Asian guy for change for his $1,000 chip. I believed the Asian gave him 4 $500 chips instead of just 2 $500. But, I wasn't sure what I had just seen. I recalled Prahlad Friedman accusing a player of not anteing and I didn't want to make an issue out of something I was wrong about.
The cards were dealt out, so my attention shifted to my hand. Still I wasn't sure how or if it was my responsibility to say something.
After the hand, I asked the tournament director about it. He said he could go to the tape, if someone called it out. I didn't want to stop the game, so I let it go.
Did I do the right or wrong thing?
Down to 30 Players
I got moved to the big blind to even up the last three tables. I played a few hands with nothing happening, when we broke it down to 2 tables.
To my dismay, I was moved back into the big blind! But, it looked like I was moving into a position that should sit out one hand. Since taking the big blind was really going to hurt my stack I asked the Tournament Director. He said yes.
Then, a player moved into the seat of the small blind. So, I called over the Tournament Director again. He said yes, I am in the big blind.
Bummer. I was unhappy, until...
The player under the gun raised. Everyone folded, and I found QQ! I moved all-in and doubled up.
When it was down to 12 players, I was in the big blind with $30,000. The blinds were $2,000-$4,000.
Everyone folded to the small blind who raised me to $10,000. He had $20,000 left.
I had A-4 offsuit. Should I call or fold?
Given my table image, the way my opponent plays, and that I had folded to a similar raise to him before, I moved all-in.
He thought a long time before folding.
It was a key hand since it got me to $40,000 and a decent stack at the final table.
I am at the final table. Last time I played, I was at the final table. Made a move with A-10 and ran into pocket Aces.
Here, I didn't get a hand.
The first 4 all-in hands were funny and sad for me. Each time the player who was all-in was also the underdog. But each time, he or she hit a 2, 3 or 4 outer to win.
I was card dead and players kept pre-flop raising before me, so I didn't have an opportunity to make a move.
I ended up in 8th place--after 6 hours of play.
Oh well....till next time.