Monday, June 27, 2005

Pot Odds and Tournament Play

June 25. I was at my third table for the evening, mostly with players I hadn't gotten to know yet. The blinds were starting to speed up to the point where I had enough in my stack for maybe 8 trips around the world. I get a visual that I'm clearly the shorty at the table.

And yet, I'm playing too many hands, hands that the biggies have no problems accelerating. Granted, I'm holding out for class 4 or better, but I'm catching a lot of playables, and going to town with them. It isn't killing me, but I'm not increasing my stack.

On the last hand I'm in, The pre-flop is accelerated, but I stay in. The flop comes, and I'm on an open-ended straight draw with two bigger stacks in the pot, and I pay dearly to see the next card, but I don't catch. They go nuts on the betting, and one of them is all-in.

My choices:
a) Fold to see another hand, with enough chips for maybe 3-4 trips around a 7 player table.
b) Throw in the last of my chips for 8 outs on one card. If I catch, I will be a big stack at the table. (It was confirmed at the showdown that a straight would have won it.)

I think I made the right choice. I went out, and then had a relaxed time at the cash table with some really nice folks. I got to play a lot of hands because we were only five or less at the table at any given moment. There was even one young man who was astonishingly good for his age. Not that I have anything against whippersnappers, but I was boggled by the good judgement he showed. He not only knew when to bet, he also knew when to walk away, which is a much harder thing to learn.

For the record, I will take chips on the table from anybody. Drunks, callings stations, people who don't show good judgment, tilters. No exceptions: If you're at the table offering free money, I consider it a moral obligation to relieve you of your burden!

In the case of the brash young man, we had an interesting situation. He kept throwing all-in bets at the short-handed cash table, and others would take his bet and lose, so he had mutliplied his starting cash by a factor of six. He offered me all-ins twice when I had KK, and his respective A6 and AQ failed to come up with the appropriate board for his victory. I liked his attitude though, win or lose, he was right back in the next hand with the optimism only the very young seem capable of displaying.

Oh - Also for the record, the guy who won the big pot I went out on went on to to position three in the tournament. Nice job Renegade; I'm glad to see my chips went to a worthy cause ;-)