So, just how unlucky was I in my poker tournaments on this trip? I can certainly fudge some figures together to show a pretty unlucky number.
In the three main tournaments I played, I got my entire stack in and called exactly three times. I lost them all.
If it had been just three coinflips, I’d be losing them all roughly once in every 8 times that this sequence of events cropped up. I’d still be cursing my luck.
However, because I was a massive favourite in one hand the actual number is more like 1 time in 80. The other 79 times, I’m winning at least one of the all-ins and going a little bit deeper in at least one of the tournaments.
There’s no guarantee of converting that into winning money, of course, but if you constantly fail to get past your first all-in situation there’s absolutely no hope.
In my key hand at the Golden Nugget (it didn’t quite bust me, but left me so short stacked everything afterwards became irrelevant) I was a 95% favourite when the money went in.
Blinds were 50/100 and I’d raised one limper to 600 with my KK. I got an immediate call from my left who then also called my flop bet and my turn push for about 6000 chips in total. The board was J424, he had QJ and revealed "I thought you had pocket tens". Obviously. The river brought another jack, one of the two remaining cards in the deck he could win with.
You’d think that one would have hurt more, but actually I felt pretty good about it. A coinflip is a coinflip and there are times you just have to push and hope. You usually don’t want to get called because half the time you’ll be going home. This time know I played the hand just fine.
Being a 95% favourite is an absolute luxury. You’re four times less likely to go broke on the hand than with pocket aces against pocket kings all in pre-flop. There’s no shame in betting the ranch when you’re in such a commanding position.
Whereas with 50/50s, well… you can always ask yourself "did I really have to do that?". The answer is usually "yes", but there’s always room for debate.
So, sorry to all my backers that I couldn’t manage to bring back a fat wad of cash for you, and unfortunately I can’t pay you in Sklansky Bucks. Next time I’ll try to be luckier.