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Thursday, April 05, 2007

"There was absolutely no reason to risk my tournament life on it"

Frequent readers of my blog my remember this sentence from the Schenefeld tournament last december. So true and so hard to folllow.

The last days had been arkward. I played a lot of the 6-max SnG's at PokerStars and another 200 Player DeepStack at FullTilt. I got more than my fair share of bad beats: Like smaller FullHouse against bigger FullHouse, AJ vs. 62, hitting a set with 66 just to see him make a bigger set after the all-in with his KK and so on. Oh, and not to forget All-In QQ vs. KQ were he ended up with a straight! As said in the last post this is part of poker. It hurts if it happens so often in such a short time but this changes to the better sooner or later.

But what really hurts are your own mistakes. I made two of them and they (and not the bad beats) were the reason why my last days resulted in an overall loss.

One was on the bubble (4 players left) in a 2-table 6-max. Two of the others were decent players and one a bad player. I was middle stack when I made a bad call on a board that wasn't that great for my A8s. The problem wasn't calling itself but that I put myself in a position that made me pot-comitted if the other player decided to bet on the turn. He did exactly this and my A8s wasn't good against his pair of nines. There might be situation were my call would have been valuable. But not here, not on the bubble, not against somebody with more chips than me.

Even worse my exit on the DeepStack at FullTilt. With 77 of 200 left I had a little above average chips. With a board that made me a straight but consisted of three scary diamonds I played over aggressively and went out. Not that it was a bad idea in general to challenge him. He just had a 78 of diamonds. The way I was betting he should have been feared the nut flush. But obviously he wasn't very fearful. Of course good players like bad players. But in a tournament situation you have to evaluate the worth of a healthy chip stack and the risk of getting busted. And this time again there was absolutely no reason to risk my tournament life with this hand.


Tight is Right 9:48 AM  

Maybe I cant compare my tournament skills with yous, but I feel the same way. Sometimes you have to make a move. With a small chipsstack you cant wait for premium hands and when you make your move and raise you are committed to call an allin with a draw or a high card. After the hand you can think about playing different, but it doesnt matter so much, because sometimes you need some luck too. I always try to analyze the hand which costs me my tournament live, but most of the time I wont play them different the next time. The only diffrence is the fact if I catch my draw or not. Have fun.

Shadow 2:17 PM  

"Sometimes you have to make a move"

That exactly is the point! I don't mind to take a good opportunity while shortstacked. But during all other times you have to play different.

Moves that are correct in cash games (like pushing on a draw with good pot-odds) might be wrong in a tournament. A 55:45 coinflip is +EV in cash games but might be -EV in a tournament.

Much more: You have to make your plans early. In cash games you may bet the flop or even the turn with enough outs and good pot-odds. Worst case is to fold your hand and lose some money. Do it often enough and you win in the long run.
But again in tournaments this is different. Betting the flop and the turn might easily get you in a position that makes you pot-comitted. So you should have a plan how far you like to go early in the hand. This will avoid that you will be stuck in situations like I describes here.

How do you do this?
1) Use common sense. Sounds ridicoulous? It isn't. If you're caught in a betting and raising war it's easy to lose common sense for a short but important moment.
2) Position, Position, Position! Don't create big pots out of position. This can't be emphasized often enough.

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