Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Played In My First Real Live Tournament This Week

I was reading over at Rage On Tilt, and saw that Ragecg had registered for the Monday tournament of the Canterbury Fall classic. When I first heard about the tournaments a couple months ago, I told myself to remember about it because I would really like to play in one of these. Well sure enough, I forgot about the Canterbury Fall Classic. Good thing Ragecg made a post about it, so I took the day off and headed up to Canterbury Downs and played in Monday's $200 No-Limit event. I was looking forward to Ragecg and I making the final two, and then us splitting the payouts, but it was not to be :(

I was really surprised by the amount of players coming out on Monday to play in this thing. There were about 750 people registered, so the prize pool was around $150,000. I do have to say though, that the setup of this tournie wasn't very good. They only paid out to 36 people. And first place got a whopping 33% of the prize pool (I think I saw the exact number right around $47,000). And the movement of the blinds were horrible. Levels only lasted 30 minutes, so you were lucky to get in 20 hands per level. Plus the blinds and antes doubled every level! It was pretty much push or fold poker starting in level 4 (We started with 2000 chips)

If I remember correctly, the blinds started at 25/25, 25/50, 50/100, 100/200, 100/200/a25, 200/400/a50, 400/800/a100. Uggggg

Anyways, I started at Table 38, seat 8. I liked being in seat 8 as it gave me a view of everyone at the table. My starting table was a pretty mixed in terms of age. There were 4 older guys, 2 young guys, and then 4 guys around my age.

I didn't get involved in a hand until probably the 7th or 8th hand. It was folded to me in the SB (Tight table). I see QTo and raise it up 3x BB and the BB calls. Flop is Kh, Jh, Td so I have bottom pair plus OESD. I decided to check here. BB bet 200 into the 150 pot and I didn't want to commit 1/5 of my stack this early in the tournament so I folded. Ya, I know. Pretty weak.

Still in the first level(25/25), I get AKo on the button. 3 limpers and I raise to 200. Everyone folds. Probably should have raised a little less. back to starting chip stack.

Last hand of the first level and I see A6 of spades. I limp as do a bunch of other people. Six people see a flop of 9TJ with two spades. I have the nut flush draw. Dumbass SB bets 150 (pot sized bet). I decide to flat call here. Button raises to 500. SB folds. There is 950 in the pot and it is 350 for me to call with the nut flush draw. I just barely have odds to call, but again I fold, not wanting to commit a big portion of my stack on a draw. I know, weak again. See what I mean by these blinds. Its the first level and if you want to play any hands past the flop, you have to commit a huge portion of your stack.

I was involved in only two hands in Level 2 (25/50), and they were back to back hands. I'm in the SB with pocket Kings! It is folded to the button (Hey! What happened to all you limpers!). The Button (who was not a very good player and had less chips than me) raised it to 150 (3x BB). I decide to raise here, and I bumped it to 400. He thinks for like 2 seconds and folds. Next hand, I get AKs on the button. EP bets 150 and it is folded to me. I again raise to 400 and he folds. Arggg. Back to starting chip stack. Yipee.

In level 3, the best hand I got was QJs. And it was UTG and I folded it. Nothing else the whole level.

At the start of Level 4, I'm down to 1525 in chips (An M of 5. Yay). No cards again, and then our table breaks. Or course it breaks to a table that will probably get broken again soon (since this is where they do the cash games). I only get involved in one hand. An old dude in MP min-bets to 400. I go all-in and he tanks for a little while and ends of folding.

We get to Level 5 (100/200/a25) and I still have around 1500 in chips (M of 3!!). In the Big Blind, I have Q9o. There is a limp, and then one of the active guys puts in a small raise to 500 (only 2.5xBB). It gets to me, and its only 300 for me to call into a pot that already has 1225 in it. I should of called (Or probably pushed) but my weak ass folded again. Of course the poker gods laughed as the flop came with a Q and a 9, and I would have won a really nice pot. A few hands later I look down and see pocket Aces! Woot! There is one limper, and I raise it to 800 (just over half my stack). Its folded back to the dude, and he thinks for a while and finally folds. I hit my high mark for the tournament, 2150 in chips. I whopping 150 chips over my starting stack.

And then this is where I get screwed by the poker gods (And the floor staff). Here we are, probably one of the last tables left in the cash game area. Every single table around us is getting broken up and moved to the tournament area. And of course the blinds go up (200/400/a50). And the BB gets to me (I had really thought about stalling like people do online, but I didn't). And then of course right after, our table gets broken. And I go and find my new table, and I should have just walked around looking lost when I saw that I would be in the BB again in two hands there. I sit down with a huge stack of 1050 in chips (M of under 2). two more hands, and the BB is on me. I have to push anything in the top 50%. First I get 72o. I fold. UTG I get 93o! Ahh WTF?! I'm in the BB now. About half my stack is in the BB now. Please give me a good hand! PLEASE! I look down and see...... 62o. Another EP short stack goes all-in, MP and button call, and I decide I might as well see if I can get lucky. No help for me, and I am out of the tournie ( I did end up getting a Inside St Draw on the turn, but the river didn't give me my 4 outer).

I probably finished right in the middle of the pack. So for the last hour and a half, I saw pocket Aces, QJs, and then nothing else. I don't even remember seeing another face card I was getting endless 32o, 84o, 92o. I was the king of deuces.

I probably only saw 4 flops all day. I raised a total of 6 times, and only called once (the 1st level QTo hand).

I probably had about 125 hands. I got AA, KK, AKo, AKs once each. The only other pocket pair I got was 6's. I got A6s once. QJs two times. QTo once. I remember getting A3s once too. That's about it.

I did have fun though. And I learned a lot. What did I learn? Well, is tournaments like this, you have to play really aggressive. I didn't and I paid for that. Even though I was getting sh!t for cards, I needed to raise more. Steal more blinds. I obviously had a tight image, since no one called the few raises I did put in. I also learned that when you play a tournament with the blinds and levels set up the way they were, you have to get good cards and get lucky to go far.

One thing I was worried about in playing my first real live MTT, was if I had any tells. Bah! When you're playing push or fold poker, forget tells. Play your cards and that's about it. There is no room to make moves, and post flop play was pretty much non-existent. Maybe later on in the tournie things would have gotten a little better with deeper stacks, but when you start a MTT with only an M of 40, and then that goes down by half every level, forget about it.



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