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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Stats that Shape a Poker Tournament*
Number of Players Entered: 32

Cost of Tournament Buy-in: $30

Amount of Chips that Equaled: 250

Frequency the Blinds were Increased: every 30 minutes

Number of Hands I Played: 21 (five from the Big Blind)

Number of Hands I Won: 8.5 (40% of those played)

Percentage of Hands I Would Estimate that I Folded Throughout the Tournament: about 60%

Number of Hands I Went All-in On: one (the last)

Position in Which I Finished: eighth (tied, technically)

Payout for First Place: $500

Payout for Sixth Place: $30

Payout for Eighth Place: $0

Really, I feel pretty good about how things went. I got fairly decent cards most of the night. The best hand I saw was ace-king (off-suit), and I lost. Most of the hands I played were aces and kings with (much) lower number cards. The first hand I won was a queen-two (from the Big Blind). Once, I won with a suited nine-ten (Small Blind).

The only hand I regret was the final hand. I had a pair of nines, and I was the Small Blind. I felt good enough to call the bet to see the flop, which was two lower cards and a queen. I checked, but the Big Blind bet 300 chips. The table folded around to me. I only had about 340 chips and a pocket pair, with one over-card on the table. So, I took a risk and called the 300 bet, praying for a generous draw . . . or that the Big Blind (who was flush with chips) was trying to bluff and bully us. The Turn wasn’t a nine, either, but I went “All-in” with my 40-or-so chips. The last card also wasn’t a nine. And the Big Blind had the queen.

I think the painful thing was that I was almost out of the blinds. I could’ve played for free for a few hands (at the final table, no less) and coasted into the money. Because in the next three or four hands, the field was cut in half. Still, I predicted I’d finish somewhere in the middle of the field, but I lasted longer than several stronger players I know (coughcoughgloryholecough). Could’ve been the cards, but I think I might have played better than my usual.

* This post parallels that of the ‘Poo, whose tournament experience earlier this year I learned something from. Well, that and the e-mail she graciously sent with additional tips (all of which came in handy). Thanks, ‘Poo.