May 16th, 2005

happy natalie

I hate tournaments

And yes, I've read Harrington's book, and I plan on reading it a second time. And no, this isn't a case of sour grapes, although if I was winning tournaments with regularity, I'd probably like them a bit more, I admit.

But all that aside, I still hate tournaments. While skill is a huge factor in these, there's just so much more luck involved. Someone calls your AK for a large raise with AQ and they either take you out, or they make enough of a dent in your chipstack that you can't recover. All your mistakes are magnified as well - I donked off some chips on a stupid turn bluff and was crippled as well; in a cash game you can do that and still be able to recover - the ability to reach into your pocket allows you to even make money off your mistakes.

I played two tourneys this weekend, in the first, I was by far in the top tier of players - there were only two out there as good or as better as I am, and of course I run into someone who falls in love with his AQ and I'm out in 11th place. And I'm mad, because this guy is a poor player, he's been that way all night, and I would be able to take much more advantage of that if we were playing a ring game. In fact, my friend Adam (who also got kicked out) said to me as I was venting, "It's early, you should just go to the casino and make your money back in a ring game."

Which, of course, I did, and I brought Adam and I took home 10x the buyin for the tournament, so I made my money back and then some.

Then I played in the WPBT satellite last night, and again, got AhKd to a Ad 4d 4c flop, and bet pot (after a decent preflop raise of 4x the blinds), and got one caller. The turn, Jd. I've got the nut flush redraw and the guy is definitely not on a 4 as he hesitated enough after the call to make that clear. I bet pot again, which is most of my stack, he goes all in for $100, and I have to call.

Of course, he has AJo and I don't get any help, and am crippled with $70. I manage to hang on for a while, but eventually get knocked out with KJo on the button (I limped in, hit top pair on a J T 8 flop), got bet into, raised pot, got a hesitating call, pushed in on the turn since I knew I was good, and got called by T9o and the river was of course a 9 and IGHN.

Yes, I could have bet all in on the turn which probably would have won me the pot, but I hated my K.

Give me a cash game any day. I never have to play a short stack in a ring game, and there's so much less luck involved IMO, and even if you make a mistake, you can use that to your advantage later in the game - your opponents will remember your mistakes and you can use that to get paid off.

But maybe I'm just full of sour grapes. Or maybe I'm just cranky because I woke up at 5 am and couldn't go back to sleep and it took me 2 hours to get out the door this morning because my head is not fully screwed on until 7 am.
in bed

Vegas, baby, Vegas!

Since I saw Bill do it, I figured I'd be a lemming and follow along. For those of you reading this that are making the trip to Vegas for the WPBT tournament, I'm coming in Wednesday the 1st, and leaving Sunday the 5th. If you want to meet up before the tournament, or the WPBT storming of the castle on Friday night, drop me an email (maigrey at livejournal dot com) and we can exchange cell phone numbers or the like as soon as I determine you're not a crazy stalker type.

I'm staying at the Orleans, so hello, bowling!

Also, just for public edification, the picture on my info page is of Natalie Portman, not me, so don't be looking for her when you're looking for me :)