So I got into Foxwoods last yesterday afternoon to play the 10k. I drove up to KC at about 4am to catch my 8:15 flight… it was delayed until noon. So about 12 hours after I leave Columbia, I land in Hartford. According to Foxwoods, the casino is close to the airport, but it turned out to be another hour cab ride to finally to get to the casino. Spent another hour figuring out where to register and an hour and a half waiting in the queue. Finally I had my seat… table 9, seat 5. Hit a little club with Joey B and Dottie, and made it back to the hotel in time to get a good 6 hours in before the tournament.
So then the tournament starts.. we’re very deep stacked. The table draw turned out to be less than ideal. Only one player at the table that I don’t recognize. I last 12 hands.
Hand #1 – Fold
Hand #2 – in the cutoff with AsKh… player to my right (the only unknown) raises to 150. I reraise to 450. Shaniac in the SB calls. Raiser calls. Flop comes 8s2s2c. Check, check. I check. Turn comes Js. Shaniac bets 750. Raiser calls. I call. Turn comes 3s. Shaniac bets 3100. Raiser folds. I try to convince myself to fold… really only three hands that I can put Shaniac on here, and all of them beat me. But maybe he’s on a bluff with 9T or something even worse. I call. Eights full.
Hand #3 – I raise to 125 with A3s. McCabe calls behind me and the BB calls. Flop JT3. Check, I check, McCabe bets.. fold fold.
Hand #4, #5, #6, #7 – Fold
Hand #8 – McCabe limps utg… Shaniac limps… LA player limps… Huey limps… unknown in SB limps. I have AJo in the BB. I make it 400 more and take the pot.
Hand #9 – Fold.
Hand #10 – LA player makes it 150 to go… unknown on my right calls. I have 22s on the button. Call. Shaniac makes it 750 more to go. LA calls. Unknown calls. I call. Flop 6c3c2d. Shaniac makes it 2400. LA makes it 6400. I put shaniac on an overpair. LA, I put either on an overpair, overcards with a flush draw, or a bigger set. Never occured to me that he might have 45. Again, I try to convince myself to fold bottom set… but I call instead. He has 45. The turn comes a Qc, so now I have a flush draw with my set. Waiting for 9 clubs for the flush or 10 boat cards. They don’t come. I think I’m the first player out. GG.
So yeah… I think most people in those spots probably would have played pretty similar. And then they’d go home and talk about the bad beats and how the deck conspired against them. I know better than that though. If you’re going to be great at poker, you’ve got to be able to fold pocket queens preflop and you’ve got to be able to fold a set on the flop. It’s that simple. You can’t blame losses on cards, because you really shouldn’t be paying that much attention to the cards you’ve got in the first place. Starting with monsters, or flopping monsters, usually just gets in the way of a well-played tournament. The events that I seem to do the best at are the ones where I never pick up aces or kings. But whatever… I’m not b
There’s an interesting psychological aspect to tournaments, and it’s this: you only feel good about a tournament when you win it… and the closer you get to first place, the worse you feel when you get knocked out. It actually doesn’t feel that bad getting knocked out super early in a big event. It’s over and you can kinda relax. But anytime you’re one of the first ones out in a major, it means you were playing longball poker, which really isn’t the correct strategy in these things. Next time I play a big event, maybe I’ll finally muster up the courage to try and take it down without ever looking at my hand. At least I’d last longer than I did in this one…