Friday, June 03, 2005

Rookie Mistake

I created an account on on Wednesday for the sole purpose of playing in the Bluff Poker Tour's first event. For those of you that aren't aware of it, the Bluff Poker Tour is sponsored by Bluff Magazine. It is a six month long series of no-limit tournaments to find the best online player. With points accumulated for each money finish the player with the most points at the end of it all wins three buy-ins to WPT events. Last nights tournament was important to me because I really want to do my best in these events.

Three hundred forty nine players put up their thirty dollar entry fee and when the final table was seated I found myself the chip leader. The structure of the tournament really seemed to favor the skilled player as we began with 2,500 in chips and the blinds 10/20. At no point in the tournament did I feel pressure because the blinds were getting to high. They moved the game along but I truly feel that with the quality of players out there today, the blinds could never increase beyond the initial amount and you would still lose half the field by the first break.

My first hand at the final table I decided to test the action. I made a standard 3x BB raise from middle position and the player on my left doubled the bet. I really didn't have much of anything but in order to save face I made the call. The flop missed me completely and I check folded. These guys weren't going to be pushed around so easily. Putting my toes in to test the water cost me my chip lead but I was still very comfortable in third. We were quickly taken to a break after a few more hands and I resolved to bide my time, waiting for a good opportunity.

Two hands after the break I received manna from heaven in the form of QQ. The chip leader made a min raise to 12,000 as the blinds were now 3,000/6,000. Everyone folded to me in the big blind and now I had to make a decision. I hadn't played with the chip leader so I didn't know if he would push around or not. The raise was inconsequential based on the blind size and he may be trying to steal. My main concern was that he was one of the few players that could bust me. I had approx. 128,000 in chips and he sat around 145,000. I decided to not take the risk of allowing him a flop and I pushed 40,000 out into the middle.

The say... hell I believe, that you have to have at least one lucky hand, or suckout to win a multi table tournament. About half way through the tournament I was dealt K 10 offsuit in late position. I was 30th in chip stack at the time and the chip leader was sitting in the big blind. Everyone folded to me and I made my standard raise to steal the blinds. It folds to the big blind who calls. The flop comes rags but with two spades. My 10 is a spade but that does not inspire confidence. The big blind checks and I put out a half pot sized bet. He calls and the Turn brings a K. This makes my hand but it's a spade representing the flush. The chip leader bets out a small amount and sensing a bluff I push back with about 3/4 of my stack. The chip leader calls me and river brings another spade. I feel I'm dead now. He wouldn't have stuck around if he didn't have a big spade and perhaps he had Ace Rag and caught a little of the flop. He checks, I check, and I take it down. When I see his cards he held two small suited connectors and I suckout out on his made flush.

This pot allows me to start being a bit of a bully when I feel I can get away with it. That leads to my present situation, staring at a big hand at the final table. The chip leader immediately doubles my bet to 80,000. I freeze. I just know deep down inside that he has Aces. Sure he has me covered but no way will he risk a bluff when I'm representing so much strength. I even say the words out loud, "He has Aces." I need to make a big laydown here so I can go for the win. I know this yet the mouse slides effortlessly to the all-in image on the screen. The left button seems to click of it's own accord and my fate is no longer my own.

My opponent calls as I knew he would and sure enough it's A's vs. Q's. The flop comes 10 J A and I now need a K or I'm done. I've already had my suckout for the night and the King never comes. I'm out in tenth place. From Hero to Zero in an instant.

It was a good finish long term thinking wise but remember kids. Do as I say, not as I do.