If you'd like to advertise on this site, please email me to discuss details and rates.

Stupid bubble...

Well, the $13K Guaranteed tournament at Absolute Poker ended up being a rebuy tournament. So, for the first hour of the tournament, anyone with 1500 chips or less could make a rebuy and grab another 1500 chips. Although Absolute paid my initial $20 entry fee, there was nothing I could do about the rebuys. I only had one plan of attack: play tight and try to grab everyone else's chips. If someone at my table wanted to spend another $20 for a rebuy, I'd just save my money and keep grabbing their chips.

There was a total of 249 players, with the top 27 spots paying (27th - 19th paid $100, 19th - 10th paid $171, 9th and up paid a lot with top prize being $4K). During the first hour of the tournament, rebuys were unlimited. I must have knocked 6 people out of the tournament, only to have them buy-in again and again. One guy bought in 4 times in the first hour! When 27th spot pays $100 and you've already spent $100 on chips in the first hour, I think you're doing something wrong.

I picked up some great hands in this first hour and with everyone being all-in crazy given the rebuys, it was easy to make money. I picked up AA,KK, AK twice, and JJ. I knocked someone out with each of those hands except the AA which I misplayed.

With the JJ, I actually knocked two players out. UTG raises to $300 pre-flop (blinds were 50/100), a loose player to his right calls the raise, and all fold to me on the button. I'm holding JJ and raise it up to $800. UTG goes all in for his last $130 after calling the raise and the loose player (this is the guy I knocked out four times) calls the raise and re-raise. Loosey only has $630 in chips left after calling the raises, so I go all-in (I have $6000 or so at this point) and he calls. UTG has KQ, Loosey has QJ - basically, I win the hand and both players rebuy.

By the first break, I have $11,500. During the break, everyone but me buys the double add-on ($3000 more chips) so my once impressive $11,500 is only slighly in the lead at my table.

After getting back from the 5 minute break, the blinds go up again (they were going up every 10 minutes - about once per orbit around the 9-person table). I'm immediately in the BB and have to pay the $300 big blind. I won't bore you with the details, but I went card dead for the next 45 minutes or so. I didn't pick up a single playable hand. By the time the second break rolled around, I was at $8500 in chips (average was $18,000) and hurting pretty badly with the blinds being at 750/1500 and antes at $50. There were still 190 players left in the tournament at this point, so I was nowhere near making the money.

When play resumed, I managed to steal a few blinds, doubled up with 99 and AJs, and was managing to stay around the $17,500 mark. Some big players started coming to the table and as we approached the third break, play at the table had become the "all-in-or-fold" type of play you see in the late stages of the tournament. At the third break, there were still 52 players or so remaining.

Anyway, my downfall occurred when I had only $13,500 left in early position (UTG+1 with the table 7-handed). I picked up 66 and decided to try and steal the blinds. I only had enough chips to cover the blinds twice more (M = 2.5) before going out and I wanted to make sure that I'd make it into the money. Everyone had been stealing the blinds and the tables were super tight everywhere. Basically, I was not sure if I'd make the money just by sitting back - I was the short stack in the tournament and no one was going anywhere. So, all-in with 66, the button goes all-in as well. At this point, I think I'm screwed - the button only has $19K left so he must have a hand. When we turn our cards over, he show KQ...I don't know how he makes that call at that point in the tournament. I mean, I'm a clearly tight player and I've only ever shown down good hands, but this guy decides that his KQ is probably best. Still, I'm happy at this point - I've got the best hand and could double up as long as he doesn't get lucky. The flop comes down 9 T J giving the button the nut straight and I'm left to catch runner-runner to stay in it. I don't catch squat and I'm out in 30th, three spots from a free $100.

What lessons did I learn?

First, the people playing $20 tourneys don't seem to be any better at this "poker" thing than me (well, at least the people at my table). I always had my money in with the best of it and was constantly getting called by awful hands. So when the time comes to play in these types of tournaments regularly (when my bankroll is there), I think I'll manage.

Second, rebuy tournaments take a long time and give a huge advantage to the donkeys out there who play the all-in game in the first blind levels. They take stupid chances and either double or triple up, or they just rebuy and keep trying.

Third, when the blinds go up every 10 minutes, get ready to gamble a bit.

And fourth, sometimes it's best to try and limp into the money when it's 1:30 in the morning and you've been playing for three and a half hours.

All in all, I'm happy with my play - but I'd be happier with $4k in my pocket!

No comments: