Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We're all masochists!

Tourney players are a weird breed. We go and play tourney after tourney after tourney, and most of the time it is just plain frustration. Maybe we don't get any good cards which can be quite frustrating. Or maybe we finally get good cards only to lose to a bad beat. Or sometimes, we finally get good cards only to not get any good action.

Last night was one of those tourneys where I felt like I was playing well and getting good cards, but I couldn't make a big move as I just wasn't getting any good action. Winning a poker tournament is a lot about good timing. For example, last night I flopped a straight and my opponent folded on the flop. Why couldn't he have an overpair, or two pair, or a set? Later I flopped a flush and my opponent bet-folded the flop of KT6. Why couldn't he have AK or a high club? I raise with KK and everyone folds. I raise with A-T and I get reraised. To win a tournament you have to have good timing or things just don't go your way.

In another tournament, I started out on fire in terms of quality hands. On the very first hand I flop a set of fives. I bet pot on the flop and on the turn, and my opponent hits a gut shot straight on the river. The very next hand I get dealt TT and the flop is 977. My opponent bets and I call. The turn is a blank and he pushes all-in! OK, I guess he had 99 or A7, lol. I folded. The very next hand I get dealt JJ. I can't remember the post-flop action on that one but I lost it too. There goes over 1/3 of my stack in 3 hands! We're all masochists!

My online pro for a couple of weeks experiment has now ended. We leave Colombia tomorrow to go back to Atlanta and a normal life again. I played 96 tournaments over the last couple of weeks, cashing in 17 of them. That is an 18% cash rate which sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, I didn't hit any big cashes so I actually lost money. To make money in tournaments you have to go real deep to get the big pay days. I had a bunch of finishes in the big fields where I finished 30th to 60th - just not quite deep enough for the big cash. In the smaller field tournaments (100-250 players), I made a few final tables, but no wins and they were in the smaller buyin tournaments.

Even though I lost money, I am happy with my results. I certainly didn't play perfectly, but in the bigger tournaments I felt like I had good concentration and was giving myself good chances to make some good money.

So back to Atlanta. I won't be playing tournaments daily while I'm in Atlanta but I do plan on trying the play a lot more on Sundays. Sundays is when all of the big tournaments are and they are just too lucrative and too fun to miss. These will also be a great way for me to continue to work on my game and improve my play so that I will be really ready for the WSOP next summer.

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