Alright, so I’m going to go into a little bit about my chop in the weekly Wednesday Texas Hold'em poker tournament over at Harrahs. As previously, mentioned I rode a little bit of luck, I exploited my table image, and had the right timing to not bang into a hand whenever I made a move.
I also found folds where sometimes I wouldn’t and had the courage to shove in places I hadn’t before. I’ve previously written that I think this tournament requires a bit of a different poker strategy because of the way they’ve set it up. In fact, it’s more like a Mega satellite poker strategy than you standard poker tournament strategy.
I think the blind structure is carefully crafted to induce a chop about four hours into the tournament and to get the poker dealers, floor people, and poker players elsewhere as quick as possible. So in some ways, when you approach the endgame you have to understand that eventually the blinds will overwhelm you and rational players will have to chop.
At some point there reaches a time where you shift gears away from amassing chips to win (or more vitally to influence the chop break-down) to making sure you survive to the chop and you have enough chips to merit a big portion of it. Of course, if you see the other players adopting that strategy exploit it.
More on that as it applies to this particular tournament later, as there were some funny variables that arose out of our discussions for a split of the cash.
Early on I didn’t enter many pots and never really put my chips at risk. I slowly chipped up and found myself folding to bigger river bets. In short succession, there were two hands where I had that feeling that my opponent was just stealing by throwing out a big bet to steal the pot. In the first one and maybe the second I eyed the pot and decided it wasn’t worth the size of the bet they made to call. I waited for tells and I didn’t get a good read on either.
The second one of course felt like salt being poured a bit on the wounds. I watched a third player study me intently in that hand as I folded probably second pair with some consternation. Hmmm, I filed that away.
Sure enough we got into a hand. I was in the blind with garbage in a multi-way pot. Flop came out 866. I had 8-4 I believe. There were a couple of tight regulars that were involved and I was pretty sure they missed but a hand like 99 was a possibility for the one in early position, so I wanted to thin the field and see where I stood.
I led into the pot. The early postion tight regular hemmed and hawed and looked down at the players after him to act. He didn’t want to fold but he did. His position and the fact, I could easily have a six in the big blind there got him out. The guy that eyeballed me before chucked his chips in and we were heads up. The turn gave me a flush draw but put a higher straight draw out there two. I think it was the nine of hearts. I bet again and he called.
River was a non heart 10. I checked hoping to get to showdown. He fired a 1500 bet. You start with 5k in chips, and it was early so the pot might have only been 700 total. I went deep into the tank.
... to be continued...