Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Poler Diaries: Four Hours, Two Hands

Hello and enjoy
Three and a half hours into a tournament that's slated to go 10 hours and decide a pretty damned significant amount of money -- up to, well, $1,800, which I'd call pretty damned significant -- I'm at the average chip stack level, having gotten paid off on a Q-10 spade flush to solid effect. The short stack looks tired, disgusted, and ready to leave, and he's raised on my 2X raise to push his last 15K in front of him. I've got A-Q off suit, a good feeling that he's not shoving with the best of intentions, and if I miss, I'm just back to start with a lot of big blinds still in my stack.

And of course I *hate* to call with this hand. This hand is prone to all kinds of breakage and getting called by dominating hands, and the non-suited nature is also no good... but look at this guy. He's donkeying off his chips to someone soon, and the worst thing I could see out of this is being on the wrong end of a 46/54 pairs against overs bet. Well, you can't win a tournament without winning a few races... and holy Mother, I've got him dominated, because he shoved with A-J. Yowza.

But the poker gods are not kind when you are not happy with your call, so the jack hits the flop and nothing else changes after that. Having missed on an opportunity to have a 2X stack, I then go on an astounding amount of card dead -- seriously, no paint for something like 40 hands, let alone suited or connecting, and no pairs, of course -- and lose another 10K on blinds and antes while the tournament goes on around me. Then, finally, I get something playable (K-J off suit), get to limp with it, hit top pair with two suits... so, well, I try to end things with a shove.

Two callers, one with Ace-10 (guess he thought I was bluffing), and the other with King... Queen. The turn and river change nothing, and that was that. What was supposed to be up to 10 hours of grind turned into three hours of frustration and two hands of pain, and that was that.

Lessons to be learned? Waiting for hands, even in a super deep stack event, is only so feasible when you are crazy card dead. There are some tournaments that, no matter how much you want to win, you aren't going to do it. Losing when you don't have the cards is still, well, losing. And it bites. Hard.

But on the plus side, there were more people in my event than ever before, more tips in the jar, and the game only seems to keep getting bigger and better. I got back to more than even in the cash game, we played until near dawn, guys helped me put the room back together afterwards, and we're going to do it all again in three weeks.

When, hopefully, I'll pick my spots better...

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