Monday, October 19, 2009

Where's the fun?

I played in a poker tournament at the Horseshoe (shown above) Sunday. There were 120 players divided into Juniors and Seniors. They played down to 10 of each, then formed two final tables that had five each of Juniors and Seniors. At least that's what they announced. I didn't see it because I busted out with 41 left

We started with $10,000 in tournament chips. The levels were 30 minutes. Unfortunately, 10,000 was my high mark -- I never built up more than that. You probably think I had bad cards. Actually, I had A-A and raised and everyone folded. I had K-K and made a standard raise, and everyone folded. I had Q-Q, raised got two callers, but they folded when the flop was low cards and I made a continuation bet.

Then the hand that killed me. I don't remember what the blinds were, but I was in the BB, and I had around $8,600 in chips. There were two limpers to me. I had 10 7. The flop was: J 7 7. If you read this blog, you probably remember that I don't slow play trips usually, but there was an aggressive guy behind me. I checked and he bet and the other player called, as did I. The turn was the 2. There are no flush draws, nor straight draws (except gut shot draws), so I checked again. The aggro guy didn't disappoint -- he bet bigger and the lady folded. What would you do?

I put him on a jack, and decided that I would get more money out of him if I just checked and let him bet the river. The river was the J, ouch! I should have check-raised fourth street and taken it down. On the other hand, there were only two more jacks out that would give him a winner (or he could have hit his kicker), and in tournaments, you have to accumulate chips. Regardless of any rationalizing, this hand was a killer. Instead of winning a bunch of chips, I lost a bunch.

Now, I had around 3500 in chips. I built back up to $6,000, mostly through agression, but was never able to win a big pot. I saw a hand in which three players ended up all in. The winner had A-A, another guy had J-J, and a third had A-K. It's not about getting aces or kings. It's getting them and winning big pots.

Finally, I was down to $4000, and the blinds were 400/800/100. I was UTG and shoved with A 9. A guy on the button called (instead of reraising to isolate, lol) and showed A J. C'est la guerre.

As I walked out, I turned around and thought about a photo I wanted to take. Then, I changed my mind and headed for the door. I was remember thinking: Poker is supposed to be fun. Why don't I feel like I had any?

Images by MOJO and taken yesterday with my P&S.


  1. Sorry for your loss.

    As you may remember from a post several moons ago, I confessed to the attitude that I have never considered poker as fun. The players can be fun, the game not so much. It is about winning, learning to win, avoiding and dealing with losses, and, at times, hubris.

    You said it best: "C'est la guerre."

  2. I usually don't slow play past the turn with a big hand.

    It's not just worrying the two outers to beat you - it's worrying about a the scare cards that will prevent you from winning more money anyway. Say this guy's got KJ and an ace hits the river. He's not putting another dime in the pot.

    If you checkraise the turn, maybe he calls anyway (with some kind of draw, or he simply doesn't believe you). But once the last card is out, all hope is gone

  3. Whatever led up to the River, I think you played that trip 7 hand well, even though it crippled you.

    You put him on a winning hand and acted accordingly. That's the best you can do in just about any situation.


  4. See!

    Poker can be fun. You tell a bad beat story, those listening nod and proceed to tell theirs.

    Then there are the guys like me. We listen, nod and try as best we can to make sure you don't forget Poker Is Fun.

    He says; "Laughing."

  5. Bummer that it didn't turn out better for you. I think cash games are fun, depending on the table, but I have never thought tournament poker was fun. I get too competitive during a trny! It's the most horrible, long walk out of the tournament area after you've been really sucks. And then I replay every single hand in my head for days after. My husband always tells me, "Let it go." But I can't.

  6. Which were you, the Juniors or the Seniors?
    How is poker fun? If it's a lively table, you spend the hours pleasantly. Sometimes.
    But you're there to take other people's money and people are there to take yours. Even at the lowest casino cash game levels, we're talking serious money - a few hundred dollars.
    I have never ever thought of poker as fun, not for a nano second. If you're moderately good, you give the illusion of fun, but you're there for work. You want to have fun? Take your winnings and see the Bette Midler show.
    Poker is fun if you're a consistently winning player - fun for you, but not your opponents.
    A friendly poker game can only exist if you're playing for toothpicks.

  7. that's too bad. Like bastinptc I don't consider poker as fun :) it's the players am interested in and how they play.

  8. So I guess I am the odd man out. I do find poker to be fun. I mean there is nothing I would rather be doing at that point. Unless of course money was no object and never would be again. Then maybe I could be doing some diving off on some Carribean reef. But for close to home fun, poker is it for me. Do I like losing NO. But thank goodness there are enough wins/cashes to outweigh the losses. I find the strategy and mind games of poker tremendous fun. People can be fun at times too. Too bad it did not turn out better for you MoJo. Hope you can still find the fun in it. Truthfully once the fun is gone, I will probably quit playing. I hope that is a long way down the road. It is the first FUN hobby I have had where making money is not only a possiblity but has come frution as well.

  9. Thanks to all who commented.

    @diverjoules: Of course I like poker, but I was just feeling sorry for myself (frustrated). Back to usual the next day.

    @TM: I didn't realize it, but I guess it was a bad beat story disguised as I-played-it-badly story. LOL.

    I forgot to mention this. When the tournament was ready to start, they had 120 players but more Srs. than Jrs. They asked everyone who was 40-45 to move to the Juniors. About 6 players did. Not enough. They asked players 45 to 50 to move. Now the field was balanced. Unfortunately for me (Wolynski), I was still in the Senior group and not even close, ha.

  10. Tough luck with the trip 7,s. I will slow play trips after the flop (depending on the board and who I am playing against) but on the turn I am betting them. Rather win a smaller pot than lose a big one. Feel your pain about poker. I love the game but if I have had a bad night I know what you were feeling.

  11. I think the worst part about this is that you were in the blind.