Squandered Opportunity in Multi-Table Poker Tournament Part 1

Played in event 1 at harrahs. I think there were 212 runners or so. The format and structure, again, left plenty of room for ample play. I found myself second best a couple of times early and missed two mega draws where had I shoved my opponent would have had to call and busted me.

Sometimes in tournaments you just have a feeling it's going to be your day. This feeling hits you early in an online poker tournament. When you play poker tournaments online you can be hitting everything and chipping up and it's obvious... or you can just get in the groove and feel like you will steadily improve and outlast the competition. True running great when you play poker online or live is more fun, but being in the groove can almost be relaxing in a zen like way. In long live tournaments I find the groove more often leads to success. When you are comfortable with your table image in an online poker tournament and you have spots you can attack being settled down is the key to patience.

Then there are days you hit your coin flips. I won five straight, all in on four of them doubling up to a saftey zone with each. That doesn't happen very often to me. When it does it usually goes hand in hand with a deep cash. I was running so good, at one point I pushed with AK getting called by. JJ, I said King ball on the flop to myself and visualized it as the middle card. Splat King of Spades right in the middle of the flop.

When you are having one of those days the key I find is just not making any mistakes. The confidence you have and the repetitive image of you winning pots can help you accumulate chips as opponents opt for folding when they aren't sure.

I didn't get any big pairs today except for pocket queens. Didn't really need them with my coin flip success, and an underrated aspect of running good (or being lucky) stealing and not running into hands.

Early on, I noticed a little bit of a disturbing trend at the table, not disturbing for me but an openess of hand discussion by almost every player. People would analyze how they played a hand, question what everybody had, and then debate whether or not the player was lieing. Normally, there is a little bit of this but for a good solid level or two this was rampant. Sure, I gleaned some nuggets on how people play, but I found the entire conversation kind of boring.

We played those hands we are not trying to garner a consensus here, yeah that was the right play, you thought correctly, pats on the back for everybody, we can sing some campfire songs later, and tease the dealers en masse. We are a happy nine. Not surprisingly there were little in the way of fireworks at the table and we lost people at a snail's pace.

So, on one of those days, those rare days where I'm hitting the hands I need to hit, and I feel I'm going to cruise rather comfortably to a deep finish, we have a dinner break. I dined with Craig Gullung or "Sparky", a friend of Gene's, and we compared notes. I think we share a very similar style and similar strengths. I brought up a tell of one of our table mates and he had spotted it and noticed a subltety that I hadn't picked up--it was the way he casually splashed his chips out with a strong hand--but on his vulnerable ones there was a noticeable hitch.

Sparky has faced some challenges recently and I'm glad that the results have been coming for him in poker. After playing with him for hours... he was the guy that short-stacked me when my draws didn't come, and a perfect river bet to chase off my chasing ways. He seems like a very cerebral player with a knack for knowing where he is in the hand.

So, during action, I participated in the table game of hand analysis, and I was as guilty as the rest of the table as we'd discuss hands with asides and try to put all in players on hands. He caught some hands early, but even after taking a hit or two, seemed to also be on cruise control for the final table.


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