July 2007
« Jun   Aug »



Live updates: Orleans Open $1050 No-Limit Hold’em

 Click on the graph to enlarge.

 Tournament begins at 12 noon (8pm UK time)

Day 7: Limit folly

I don’t want this to sound like a bad beat story, because I played it bad and put just as much money in the pot when I was behind as when I was ahead, and should have lost less.  But this is what went wrong in the limit tournament, and why it just felt like I played a slot machine for six hours.

For the first three hours, you spin the reels and win or lose a small amount of chips.  If you run hotter than the Human Torch then you might be able to double up by the end of level 3.  Likewise, if you’re incredibly unlucky or repeatedly try to force moves that are doomed to fail in a limit game, or call down with crappy middle pairs, you might be broke sometime before the start of the fourth hour.

I never thought I’d criticise a tournament structure for being too slow, or starting with too many chips, but this one was.  You wait around five hours, your good hand doesn’t hold up, you’re dead.  Could have done without all that waiting around and passing 2% of my stack back and forth, really.

For most players, the game actually starts round about level 5, where you can start to dent another player’s stack and improve your own significantly enough to make a difference.  At this point, you’re betting your tournament life on a couple of spins of the reels.

My first moment of significance – and my moment of doom – came in level 6.  Blinds were 200/400, and I raised to 800.  The player to my left called, and the next player in turn raised to 1200.  It’s four bets from me.  Piggy in the middle called, and the other raiser did his best to cap it (it’s a five bet cap) but only had 150 more.  We saw a three-way flop with 3750 (about 16 small bets) in the pot.

With one player all in, I checked in the dark expecting to see no further action for the rest of the hand.

Flop: 9 T Q

The cold-calling suckout monkey bet.  I realise now that I should just call down here, but instead I decided to unleash a mighty check-raise.  What purpose does that serve?  None, really.  He is folding nothing for 19-1 pot odds, and the last thing I need to do is cripple my stack.  Yet that’s what I did.

After he called, I then spitefully bet out on the small turn card.  Why didn’t I pay attention to the fact he was betting a dry side pot in the first place, and consider that just perhaps I was already beaten?  Why not take into account that being able to play another hand if I’m not going to win this one is more important than pushing a tiny edge that I might not even have?

Only after he raised did I realise that pocket kings were no good.  But with 12-1 pot odds to draw to the gutshot, and possibly two more outs to catch a set I had to call.

There’s no getting away after that.  Just in case he overplayed top pair, I check/call the river.  His set of nines is good enough to beat me, but not the set of tens from the all-in player.

So I lost 1.5BB more than I should have on the hand.  It doesn’t sound that significant, but it was.  With only a thousand and change left, I was committed to whatever hand I decided to play next.  The best sniff of anything I got the next two orbits was A7o, and I barely lasted long enough to pick up the dinner buffet coupon (although I do have a 100% record of surviving long enough to collect this extra food comp) before busting out.

I finished about 60th out of 90 players.  A big disappointment considering this was the extra tournament I wanted to play that made me decide to look for backers to cover the additional cost.

However, I can now say with some certainty that I’m not going to go out of my way to play a limit tournament again!