Monday, November 18, 2013

A Non-Glorious Return to Tournament Poker

2012 was the year I swung from Cash to Tournament poker.  Between Delaware Park and the Golden Nugget in AC, there were plenty of reasonably priced tournaments with great structures.  And I found some success in the tournament game, cashing a handful over the course of the year, including several 4-figure chops.   
I began 2013 still focused on tournaments; however, I was mainly playing the Saturday tournaments at Showboat - $65 buy-ins, 20 minute levels and no antes.  And, the pay structures were awful.  A min cash was barely better than the buy-in, and you basically needed to make it to the chop to make it worth while.  I lost focus, and began playing these as a cheap way to spend 3 or 4 hours playing cards and drinking beer.  Aside from one $800 chop (on a day where I was supremely focused . . . and sober), I didn't cash a single tournament.  I didn't really even come close.  Suddenly, I was having a hard time motivating for tournaments.  The pendulum swung back to the cash game.  In fact, I hadn't played a tournament in nearly 6 months . . . until this weekend.
I was prepared to play cash Saturday at Maryland Live!  However, Friday, while in the office and avoiding actual work, I was skimming the 2+2 boards and saw that Delaware Park was holding a noon deep stack.  $150 buy-in, $30,000 chips, 25-minute levels.  I rediscovered my motivation to play, and took the drive up to Delaware Saturday morning.
It started out bad and only got worse.  My very first hand dealt was AK.  I raised the $25/$50 blinds to $125 (small ball, baby!) and got a grand total of no callers.  A few orbits later I looked down at AA and raised to $150 from early position.  This time, the big blind came along, but promptly folded to my flop bet.  Sometimes failing to get paid on your big hands seems only slightly worse than getting crushed on your big hands.  Heaters don't last forever...
I took my first big hit in the second level. Blinds were $50/$100.  UTG+1 opened to $300 and I re-raised to $1000 with JJ.  The button called, and the original raiser bowed out.  We go heads up to a 9-high monotone flop (spades).  I lead for $1,600.  He calls.  Turn bricks.  I again bet out for $2,600.  He repops to $8,000.  He's a very competent regular who was being hit over the head with the deck.  Yet, it's hard to give him QQ+ since he didn't four-bet.  Still, in the end, I feel like it's too early, and the structure is too good, to take a stand with JJ.  I fold.  Villain later claims he flopped the spades . . .
I made some of the loss back a few hands later when I turned the nut flush.  We were three-handed, in a limped pot.  UTG lead out the flop for about 1/3 and I called and hit the heart I was looking for.  He checked the turn, and I bet it.  After losing the cut-off, UTG called both turn and river bets.  A nice sized pot.
And then . . . nothing.  Like, literally nothing.  I didn't win a hand between the first and second breaks.  In fact, I only played a handful of hands during this hour-and-a-half.  I limped into a few pots with hands like 9T, QT, 76 and whiffed each flop.  Then I got 99 and raised two limpers 4x.  The flop was KJ3 and I continued with a decent sized bet only to get re-raised.  Fun times.
I entered the second break with $15,000 (half my starting stack).  Shortly thereafter, sitting on $13,000 or so and with blinds at $75/$400/$800, I looked down at AT clubs in middle position and open to $2,400.  I get one caller.  The flop is A56(two hearts).  I bet out $3,200 into approximately $6,600.  Dude thinks about it and shoves.   I'm almost positive I'm beat by a better ace.  This guy had been betting aggressively when he "had it," which he nearly always did.  If I was deeper; or if I gave more of a shit; or if the Georgia-Auburn game hadn't already started . . . I would have folded... But I only had 10 big blinds left and was sitting at a table of deep stacks . . . and had been card dead for almost two hours . . . and I really wanted to get back down to Maryland Live! to donk some sweet, sweet VP and watch football.  So I called and got up to leave (all in one motion) and was not at all surprised to see villain's AK hit the felt. 
At least I think I got my desire to play tournaments out of my system for a while.  Back to cash next Saturday. 
P.S.  Is Baylor the best team in the Nation?  And how much of a monster was Carlos Hyde on Saturday?  And how much must Aaron Murray want to step into traffic after watching that last pass get tipped from two defenders into the Auburn receivers hands in full stride and heading for the end zone?  And why is Alabama soooooo fucken boring to watch?


  1. answers 2 yr questions r as follows counselor. no,florida state is, he is godzilla, as much as a charlie sheen wants an 8 ball,alabama is all about the W. i hope FSU plays BAMA it should b an epic battle.have a great week,counselor. P.S. fuck home depot LMAO

    1. I'm still not sold on FSU. Yes, they look sick every week; but it's the ACC. Even the Clemson win was a bit sketchy, given how poorly Boyd was playing at the time (especially the BC game). Yet, at the same time, they've done nothing but beat the shit out of people. Has the offense played more than 2 meaningful quarters in any given game all season? In sum, who the hell knows!?!?

    2. true FSU just wins . plus when baylor loses to ok state this weekend. then FSU and BAMA is a lock. imo. have a great day

  2. Tournaments are brutal....I play alot of small buyin donkaments on Bovada...recent tourney exits:

    JJ<A4 AIPF
    777<888 on a 872 rainbow flop AIOF

    After you play enough of them....it's pretty ho hum....as long as I get it in good...I add up my Sklansky bucks and reg another one

    Is Baylor the best team in the Nation?

    I think so. But then without a playoff system will we really ever know?

    And how much of a monster was Carlos Hyde on Saturday?

    Ohio State is kind of a question mark for me....they don't get any respect supposedly due to strength of schedule...but how can you argue with that many consecutive wins?

    And how much must Aaron Murray want to step into traffic after watching that last pass get tipped from two defenders into the Auburn receivers hands in full stride and heading for the end zone?

    That play was crazy...like once in a lifetime crazy....80 things had to happen in the span of 2 seconds for that to go down...great highlight.

    And why is Alabama soooooo fucken boring to watch?

    Because their offense isn't flashy...they just line up with tight gaps and brutalize you play after play with that huge offensive line....eventually you are not breathing well and are not looking forward to hitting that brick wall again....but it doesn't make exciting TV

    1. Congrats on the Slansky dollars! What is the current conversion rate to Schrute bucks?

      I think it would be interesting to see either of the 2-4 teams take on Alabama. And yes, Urban hasn't lost yet; but the Big 10 just seems so down it's really had to judge. I'd actually like to see Wisconsin take on OSU again. That two-headed backfield of White/Gordon is just insane.

    2. Id like to see a 4 or even 8 team playoff.....play the games as bowl games and rotate the final game between bowls....its an extra week for 4 teams...an extra 2 weeks for 8 teams.

      I just can't see how it's fair for a division 1A team to go undefeated and not have a shot. If you beat everybody you face on your schedule you ought to be able to play until you lose IMO.

      Will some teams get blown out in round one?...sure...but now we know.

      They won't do it because of money and conference ties...but that would be fair.....you aren't out until you get beat...no one can vote you out.

  3. Tournaments: Where bankrolls go to die! One of the advantages of online poker was that you could mass table tournaments and play more in a week then you can play live in a year or more. This allows the variance to be reduced and the cream to rise to the top.

    Live tournaments are brutal. They can be exhilarating when you make a final table, but generally they are a waste of time IMO. Having said that, playing maybe a 80/20 spread of cash games to MTTs is fine as a change of pace/for fun/etc.

    1. No disagreement here. It had just been a while, and I was itching to play a tournament with a decent structure . . . Back to cash this weekend!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. PPP good luck. Been playing 2 long sessions a week and that place is insane. Get your value my man!!