Monday, January 10, 2005

Wow.... was I bleeding like a sieve on Sunday or what? I decided to try my hand at a couple of the $5000 guaranteed Sunday night multi-table tourneys on Empire.

First off - does anybody know how to request a tournament summary from Empire or Party Poker? I seem to get them via email when I place in the money, but I don't get them when I don't. Poker Tracker needs them in order for me to sort my stats by tourney. Comment or email me if you know how to get this info from the game servers - thanks!

I felt pretty good about the first game. I was playing well despite the disadvantage of just not getting many playable hands. When I'm playing what I consider to be "tight" I usually see 25-28% of the flops, and in this tourney, I only saw 17% - not playing any tighter than usual. Just not seeing playable cards.

Top 30 places paid in this game. I ended up going out 46/282, and learned a very important lesson in the process.

My crippling hand came in the form of the dreaded AJo. I swear I should just quit playing that hand. Of all of my tourney hands, AJo has me for a net loss of .02 BB/hand. It's still in the winning side when suited, 0.93 BB/hand.

In this instance, blinds are 100/200, and I'm in the small blind. It's folded all the way to the button, who calls. I call. Big blind, who has been buying pots left and right, raises to 600. Button and I both call. Flop comes 4c-Qd-10d. BB bets out 425, button calls. I've got the inside straight draw and an overcard, and pot odds to call, so I do. Turn comes 10h. BB bets out again, 450. Button calls. I still have outs and I still have odds, so I call. (Math is the only thing making my decision at this point - normally I would have folded). River comes a Qc. BB bets out 400, Button calls. Here's my big mistake. I've got nothing, and there are so many hands that beat me, it's a certainty that I'm beat, right? I decide to lay it down, ignoring the fact that there's 5,425 in the pot and it's only going to cost me 400 more. I have a zero chance of winning if I fold, but in my head, I also had zero chance of winning if I called. So, I figured, it's better to save that bet, right?

Wrong. Being pot committed at that point, I should have called. Turns out the BB had the same hand I did - AJ - and we'd have split the pot. His AJ were suited diamonds and he was on the royal flush draw. Button had a KJ - busted straight. I lost 1,475 on that hand - over half my stack, leaving me with around 1,000 in chips. I never recovered, and missed making the money by 16 spots.

Lesson learned here: when you're pot committed, don't ever fold on the river (I guess unless your tourney life is at stake and you know you're beat). My tourney life wasn't at stake, and 400 chips more wouldn't have crippled me any more than the 1500 did. I should have called. Big mistake on my part.

I read somewhere (can't remember where) that when you play a pot all the way down to the river, with chips invested on every street, it's almost never the right decision to fold on the river. Never has that statement as much sense to me as it does now.

The next game saw me bust out shortly after the start of round 2. My cards were still cold as hell (wait, that makes no sense? Hell is hot), and I got taken for all my chips when holding pocket 8's to a board that paired Jacks. I had 2 opponents, and knew one certainly didn't have a Jack (being the type to play 9-7o for a pre-flop raise without hesitation - crazy hands that guy was playing). The other one - well, I just didn't think he had the Jack. I was wrong! J-4o he was playing. Ugh. Beat by another junk hand. Oh well, I shoulda folded when he resisted, but I was short stacked and didn't have much choice. I went out somewhere around 140th in that game.

So, there goes $50, just like that! Not without a lesson learned, however.


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