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Monday, April 13, 2009

SCOOP Main-Event (Low) on PokerStars

That was a strange tournament. In the first hour I got 4xJJ, 2xQQ, 1xKK and several other pocket pairs. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make money on those hands. They even cost me like the QQ that ran into KK. So I went down to 8,000 (from the 10k startstack). But finally AT was a winning hand. Hit two pair on the flop and was faced with an all-in. That guy had played this hand very strong but had tried to push people off the hand very often too. So I decided that two pair could have been good here and called. He showed AQ and I doubled up to 19k.

Then I went into a dry run but finally managed to get up to 22k again. My highest point was reached at 30k but at this time the average was also now close to 27k.

Then I played my final hand: I had raised to 1,500 pre-flop with Ax-suited and two others called. Blinds had been 300/600 (75). The flop came Q-5-x with two hearts. I bet 3,500 into a 6,000 pot and the small-stack goes all-in for 11k total. I assumed he had hit something but the pot was now 20,500 and I had to pay "just" 7,500 more. If I lose I would have had still close to 20k.

Unfortunately there was a player behind. So calling wasn't an option. I either had to fold or go all-in to isolate the short-stack. The other player had only little more then me so I decided to force him for an almost tournament-life-threatning decision. Unfortunately he had called immediately and as the cards were opened I knew why: The Shorty had 55 for a set and the other player had QQ for the higher set. Wow, that wasn't what I had expected. I still had outs. But none came and I was out in 7,138th position of 18,747 (with 3,150 getting paid).

I don't think it was a mistake trying to isolate. With anything less then the top set the 3rd player would have had a hard time. My fault was to bet the flop with my draw. If I had just checked it here I still could have called a reasonable bet but easily would have been able to fold against an all-in of 11k into a 6k pot.

Of course if I had hit my flush I would have had now 70k in chips but was it really worth the risk? That's exactly the problem I have with pot-odds and outs in tournament poker. There are times when a play might be mathematically correct but it can cripple you too much or even cost your tournament life. And then you may lose a good position in a tournament. This was for sure the case here. I wasn't in a hurry to push things. And here it seems that I pushed too hard.


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