Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poker on the edge

I played in the Delta Gold poker tournament today at the Gold Strike. There were 96 runners, the buy-in was $340, the levels were 40 minutes each and we started with $10,000 in chips -- excellent.

I lasted until Level 9 (30 players left), although my chip stack was never as much as twice what I started with -- life on the edge. I was able to steal when nobody wanted a pot and survive mostly by picking my spots.

I busted out when it folded to a fairly big stack in the cutoff seat. He limped in and the button and small blind folded. The blinds were 800/1600/200. I held: J 10, so raised another 4500. My stack was around 16K which means my M was around 5. With that, you're supposed to shove, but I thought that might look suspicious. By making a normal raise, my thinking is that if he had only a limp-type hand, he wouldn't be able to call it. If he did call it, I'd try and take away a bigger pot on the flop. He called!

The flop was good for me: 10 7 6. I moved in and he called and turned over: 9 8 for a flopped straight. The turn was 8 giving me outs -- a 9 would give me a higher straight. That only happens on TV, though. Even though it cost me my chips, I thought my move was reasonable.

"I had no business being in that pot," said the villain, "but I was frustrated."

I'm glad he was frustrated -- I needed those chips -- but it wasn't to be.

A lady was moved to our table. "Are you a nice table or a crazy table?" she asked. By crazy table she meant a lot of raising and bluffing. What does this tell you about her? People would do better if they didn't say anything, actually. You can tell a lot by what people say, but also by how they say it. Are they educated? Do they sound timid? Etc. etc.

The tightest player at the table did this twice: He raised before the flop and got one caller. The flop was 10-high and instead of making a normal continuation bet, he moved all in. After the other player folded, he showed K-K.

Hands like that don't come along that often, and you have to get what you can out of them. What's wrong with making a normal CB by betting two-thirds of the pot? I guess he was happy an ace hadn't come on the flop. In a tournament, you have to build your stack, however, not win a pot. You're trying to win the event! Instead he blew his opponent out of the water.

Next Saturday, I plan to try again. GL me.

Images by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. Wow -- nothing you can do there, Dave.

    I decided to play a tourney closer to home this week. I'll still make it down your way sometime this year.

    GL in the other tournaments.

  2. Good showing Dave. Sometimes things just don't go our way. That is a sweet structure though. Better I think than the WSOP Circuit event we are getting ready to play. GL next week.

  3. I like the structure in that game. GL with your next shot.

    As for the all in guy hell I listed that as one of my seeming 10 Commandments for starting poker. Learn 2 bets, check call and all in. Why bother with anything else, it'll just confuse you. At least I think it's one of the 10 as many people play that way.

  4. appears you didn't do as well as you had hoped. But you took some very nice photos!

  5. You're right - best to say nothing, maybe just "does a straight beat a flush"?
    Another thing - some of these players play with their chips like real pros and I'm thinking, how many years have you spent at the tables learning this?
    People have no idea just how much info they give away.

  6. @Wolynski: One time in a local tournament, after about one-half hour of play, a guy leaned over and asked me which if two pair was better than three of a kind. Dead money for sure.

  7. With the guy pushing with Kings. He probably had his kings cracked recently or was like you said worried about the Ace showing up. Its like guys who push at the start of a tournament with Aces. They pick up the blinds and then flash their cards. Yea well like you said they don't come around often and you need to make hay with them. Sure sometimes they will get cracked but that's poker. We had one guy recently at a tournament when questioned why he pushed he said I dont like aces. Need less to say there was few eye rolls at the table