50, 000 chips qualifier today

This was one of those tournaments where you don’t need to win, just to finish in the top five to get a entry ticket for a 50.000 chips tourney.

I saw some interesting tactics. One guy, in the latter stages just before the final table went all-in on every single hand and won some and lost some. I almost nailed him with an AK suited versus his Ace, but the board produced a straight and the pot was split. He recovered and got back up into second place by the time the final table came around and then went AWOL, but still easily qualified for one of the five tickets in second or third place.

When the tournament stopped as the 6th player was eliminated I had the largest stack, but of course that could have gone south very quickly.

I joined late and started brightly, but then took a hell of a beating on this hand where I had AK unsuited. I had tried to raise preflop, but there was some kind of software malfunction and I had to call before I was timed out. It didn’t make much difference, but I guess I would have had a different perception of the villain’s hand. Anyway, I played this one like a fish out of water. Gulp.


and was down under 1000 chips. However since I was surrounded by a shoal of fishes, I recovered in time to get into the lead position soon after and from that point on it was plain sailing.

Here is an amusing hand where I picked up Aces and got some revenge on the villain who had almost ended my tournament in its infancy. This was one of the cases where I DIDN’T want to see an Ace on the river as it could have filled his flush if it was the Ace of Hearts.


This was an amusing hand where I picked up cowboys and played a pot with the all-in every hand maniac.


and another shot at him here:


and this was the final hand of the tournament.


The all-in maniac gave me some food for thought, seeing that he was never eliminated, but maybe he just had to go somewhere and wanted out. If you just go all-in on every hand at the beginning of a tournament, you are either going to double or triple up right away and be able to dominate the tournament, or you will be out with little time wasted.

I once saw a player go all-in on the very first hand from under the gun and was called by another player in the cutoff. Both of them turned over pairs of Aces, and one of them completed a flush, and the other little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home, but hard to see how any other result would have been possible, given the lie of the cards.


I think you should post your stuff every day MekonKing, both here and on the blog, great stuff.

You write well, back it all up with actual hands, and provide interesting narrative. Bravo!

Well, thanks. The follow up is that I entered a 50,000 chip tournament and went out on the very first hand, which has never happened to me before.

What happened was that I had a few distractions going on with my kids when the tournament started, plus a low stakes sit’n’go that I was playing to pass the time. On the very first hand I was under the gun, and turned over a pair of nines. I put in a meaty raise of 5 times the BB, which was 200 chips, hoping to get a caller with two high cards, and win a nice pot if the flop came mostly low, and the player in the cutoff re-raised all-in. I was not really paying attention, or had not given much note to the stack sizes and reflexively called, not realizing that it was an all-in call that I was making, until seconds later, by which time it was too late. The villain turned over KK and the rest is history.

As far as I can see the villain went on to finish in 6th place, but I think his move was the right approach. Raise all-in at the start if you have a premium hand and hope some fool calls and gives you a head start to the tournament.

I then went on to play a 100,000 chips entry 9-person sit’n’go in which I did not play at all well, and ended up busting out in 5th place. I thought the standard of play was better than in the lower entry tournaments, and the players tended to have better starting hands.

Here is where I busted out at the end. I held 5 and 6 of spades and had second pair on the flop plus flush draw and hoping to double up and get back into contention, With thirteen outs and two cards to come, I had a roughly 50/50 chance of beating an unimproved overpair but it was not to be and when the villain turned over Queens, which was about what I thought, it did not go my way.


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I enjoy your poker prose, Mr. Mekon. But have you considered that you might be the Villain?

Of course, those pre-flop bets can be a double-edged sword. I just learned a hard lesson that a bit of defense is good business. I put in a 8X BB raise (with AQ suited) when several players flat called ahead of me when I was in the BB. The “villain” in the UTG position, who opened with a check raise, flat called me. I put in a pot-sized raise post-flop, having missed out – the flop included a 998. Mr. UTG flat called again. Guest what? It turns out Mr. UGA had a 108 suited in the pocket. Who flat calls with that junk out of position? I ended up losing my stack on that one but I learned a lesson: Too much aggression can get you smoked. Somebody at the table made a comment that I was making an obvious bluff (true enough), but I did not put UTG on that hand because I assumed that any caller would have high cards. I assumed that my junk hand would hold up against their junk. In hindsight, I played this hand poorly. See for yourself:


Yes, I looked at your hand, When you opened 8xBB you telegraphed that you either hand a medium pair like 99 and hoped to take down the paltry blinds without a fight, or that you had a premium high hand like AK, AA, KK, QQ. What you are ignoring is that the villain was the big stack on the table with double the size of any other stack, so he could afford to take a few risks. With 99 on the flop it is possible, but unlikely that you have pocket 9s. One he called the flop bet, you should have given up the hand. I see this all the time, that players with AK and AQ raise, miss the flop, then just plough on regardless and throw away their stacks instead of backing off and looking for easier pickings.

Even if he did not have an 8 or a 9, the flop suggests all kinds of straight possibilities, and he might have called your bet with pocket 8s and flopped a full house.

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That is exactly my assessment. I should have laid it down after I got called, especially given the range of hands that were possible. That said, I have see people pay to see the river plenty of times, so I thought that firing another shot would be okay. Also, stack size is not really a big factor in ring games as it is in tournament play, so I did not consider it. But you are correct about my trying to ram through this hand – that was the lesson of the day. Thanks for the response.

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