1 PM Mar 2 2012, Mandalay Bay, 8th (28 entries)
This small tournament only provides an initial stack of 3K in chips with 15-minute levels.
After managing to stay afloat for the first few levels, when the blinds and antes were at 50-200-400
on the button I caught
Uncharacteristically for this table, all six players in front of me limped into the pot,
so it was an automatic call. The blinds called and checked, so the whole table entered the
unraised pot. This is a rarity during tournaments. Much to my delight, the flop came
To my further delight, all eight players checked it around to me, so I pushed all my
remaining 2700 chips into the middle. One player in early position gave it a whole bunch
of thought, I think holding just an ace in his hand, then finally folded. The rest folded,
too, including a player to my right who was holding a six. So I doubled up. When the
player with the (probable) ace asked me what I had, since it had been an unusual hand, I
went ahead and turned my cards over for everyone to see. I rarely show my cards without
having to, but this time it seemed okay to.
When it got to the final table I was holding about 9K in chips, slightly more than the average
stack size of 8400. Before very long, two hands came up where I chose to fold my hand instead of
putting most or all of my stack at risk with somewhat marginal holdings. In the first
one I held
in early position and limped in for 1000. It got folded around to the button who went all-in
with a stack that I had covered by about 1500 chips. If I could do it over again, based on what
transpired later I'd obviously make the call now, but at the time I didn't want to risk going up
against a higher pocket pair, so I folded.
The second close decision came a little later when I was holding
on the button. The under the gun player went all-in with a stack that was very close to mine
in size, everyone folded around to me, and I too decided to muck my cards after giving it some brief
deliberation. The blinds mucked, too, so I'll never know what the player was holding. With a much
smaller stack he had gone all-in earlier with next to nothing in his hand, and maybe I had a lot
better hand than he did, but again, it was still a close decision no matter how you look at it.
A little while later after getting no cards at all, I caught
in early position. This was yet another marginal decision, except this time I'd be opening
instead of calling someone else's all-in. Given this difference I felt
it was worth taking a shot, so I shoved my remaining 4800 chips into the middle.
Also informing my decision was the fact that the blinds
and antes, at 100-500-1000 (plus the 1K limp with the pair of sixes), had eaten away nearly half my
stack. The situation was getting a bit desperate.
What transpired next was pretty much a carbon copy of what I was experiencing yesterday,
when every time I raised, a whole bunch of reraisers came out of the woodwork. I had no way
of knowing this ahead of time, but believe it or not, my odds of winning the whole pot in what
would turn out to be a 4-way hand preflop, were going to be a measley one percent!
One of the worst things about this was the fact that it was the player to my left once
again who insta-shoved after my all-in raise. And just like yesterday, the player to his
left also went all-in! To top all this off, the button decided to go all-in, too.
It turned out the player to my left was holding
The player to his left was holding
and the button was holding
The AJ held up and knocked out three players, including myself, thus creating
a three-way tie for 8th place.
If I could pick between the pair of sixes and the QJ-suited to do over again and
call the all-in raise with, it would be the sixes I'd go with. Since I had limped,
the button might have figured my hand wasn't very strong, and hence gone all-in with
something I had a good chance of beating. But there are no do-overs in poker (except
for the similar decisions that will inevitably come up during future tournaments).