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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's not over before it's really over - a last tale from Vienna

While I am finally back home, there is a little piece from my trip that I still want to share with you. You followed me through the not so good times that weekend ... so you deserve the good times too. Even so it's just a small success.

As I told you in my last blog I went to a last tournament on Sunday evening to the CCC. It was only a €20 Buy-In and the 124 players barely covered the €2,000 guarantee. But it was a good one for me!

Of course I got a major hit quite early with AA busted but was able to recover and not only make it into the money but to the final table too. With 5 players left I then ran into the chipleader's KK. My AKs got no help but I got my first and only cash of that trip. Of course the €129 just covered the flight to Vienna but there's so much more about this as it just feels good to have some success again.

This result together with reaching Day 2 in the DSO and just being a bit unlucky after playing a almost perfect 13 hour Day 1b gives back some confidence. Especially the DSO was a good experience even without the cash. For 13 hours I followed my game plan to control the pots I played and only to allow big pots when I felt very confident with my hand.Only one single time I broke my own rules here and it cost me more then a third of my stack ... while having reached 100k shortly before. It was that dreaded hand were I was holding A8s and my opponent shoved on me on a 8-4-6-K board. It doesn't matter that I folded to his bluff (he showed AJ). What matters is the fact that I had allowed a pot to grow big when I should have tried to keep it low or pass after I realised that I can't keep it low.

This is the point when chess can be a real good example for how to play poker. It's often said that chess has one thing that poker doesn't have: The fact that you have to think ahead for the next moves. Of course you can't really think ahead of the next hand being dealt. But you can think ahead of the hand itself! And that's exactly were I made my mistake. Playing that hand like a chess player would do I would have looked at the several options how this hand may play out (especially after the flop was dealt). And if I had done so I would have realized that most of those options are beyond my comfort level at this point. Knowing that early enough I would have left this hand with at least a 90k stack instead of just a 70k stack. At this time of the game having 20k more or less was a very valuable cushion especially with the way I played that tournament.

So I blew a part of my cushion with a bad move and therefore blew the chance to end that day with 100k+ instead of 76k. No big deal with blinds starting 1,500/3,000 (400) the next day?

Then look again how my aces hand played out on Day 2: with 70k left I made it 7,500 and was called. On the all spade flop I got my 10k bet check raised to 20k. At this point I had about 53k left. So it was very hard to let the Aces go with "just" 10k to bet. On the other hand had I started my day with 100k I still would have had almost 80k. I am sure it would have been much easier for me to let the hand go at that point - also I still would have hated that option. With 80k left (or even with 70k if I had played the hand the same way) I would have had much more time to wait for a decent hand. I would have not being forced to take my chances on 79 and losing there to AK.

I don't think anybody plays without mistakes in a tournament that long. And I wouldn't say it was a big mistake in itself. I had made worse moves in other tournaments before. But looking back it turned out to be a very costly mistake and I am now sure it had cost me a very good shot on an "In-The-Money" result. And it was an avoidable mistake! Hopefully next time I start to get too much drawn into the action of a hand I start to remember the chess comparison and think ahead early enough!


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