BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: AUGUST 2, 2011
Tournament Night Out Yields Fun, Plus Some Lessons Learned
The five of us agreed it was time for a fun “tournament night out.” Who knew we’d learn something, too?
When my poker buddies Gordy and Donna of Kankakee, Ill., asked me to find a no-limit hold ‘em tournament to play last Thursday during their visit to the Quad-Cities, I was happy to oblige.
I hadn’t played a single hand of poker since “Black Friday” in mid-April, when both online sites I used were indicted by the feds.
Completing our fivesome were Q-C locals Dave and Sue, longtime friends of the cross-state visitors. We nearly were first in line at the Isle of Capri riverboat to sign up for the $40 event.
The four-table poker room almost sold out, with 37 players eyeing the $455 top prize. I’d love to report we made the five paid spots, but alas, only Gordy briefly appeared at the final table before busting out ninth. Still, we all learned something about poker that night.
Gordy experienced first-hand the pain of going for victory and missing. The final nine had barely settled into their seats when he looked down at pocket tens in late position.
He watched as a young, aggressive early position player made a standard raise. “I’d seen him raise light (with marginal hands) several times, so I knew I probably had him beat,” Gordy said.
The hand’s complexion changed, however, when the next player moved all-in. Now, if Gordy called it would be for his tournament life.
In the two hours we played together earlier, I learned Gordy wasn’t afraid to gamble. So I wasn’t surprised when he called.
The original raiser quickly folded, leaving Gordy and the all-in bettor to reveal their hands: 10-10 versus K-K.
Disappointed, Gordy joined us on the rail. He said he thought the gamble to amass a dominating chip stack was worth the risk. The player who won the pot was chip leader at the end for a three-way split.
Dave, meanwhile, couldn’t get much traction at his table. “There was an older guy on my left who kept raising, causing trouble for everyone,” he said.
Dave now knows that if he faces that player again, he needs to set a trap.
Donna, like Dave, made it halfway through the field, but had a rules question afterward. She had folded to her heads-up opponent’s river bet, but the player asked to see Donna’s cards. “I showed them to her, but did I have to?” Donna asked.
No. When you fold without calling on the end, no one has a right to see your cards. Had you called and then tried to fold your hand face down, any player can ask that your cards be shown. The rule exists to prevent collusion.
Sue was the tournament novice in our group. Absent luck and experience, she was destined for an early exit, but had no regrets.
“It was fun, and I wasn’t intimidated,” she said, hinting more tournaments are in her future.
What about Ol’ LuckyDog? Well, I was a bit rusty and played far too tight before the break. When the blinds got big, I was reduced to all-in or fold decisions.
In Level 7, with 400-800 blinds and 14 players left, I shoved my last 3,200 from early position with K-J suited and was called by the big blind holding Q-7 suited. Before the flop he said, “Sorry, but I was getting the right odds to call.”
His math was a little off, actually, but a queen flopped and I was gone.
So what did I learn? That the five of us need to try this again soon.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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