Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

My first ever live tournament

This article was written just after playing in my first Live tournament earlier in the year. I had submitted it to Poker pages when bored at work. I never expected it to be published on the site, I had in fact completely forgotten I had written it until today when I was looking through the writers archive. I only read the article because the guy had the same name as me!

Anyway here it is in full:

Where experience counts By Mike Lacey
3 Months into my poker career I decided to enter my first real live tournament. So far my experience has been limited to online play where I have won a few small tournies and am up about $500 since in started (this would be double that if I could avoid the temptation of the cash games in between tournies!). I have also been invited to a few home games all of which I have left with more money than I went in with. I feel I have picked up on the game quickly but I have no doubt I have a long way to go before I can call myself a good player.
The tournament I entered was a $250 freezeout at the Fitzwilliam card club in Dublin and I was one of 69 entrants looking for a first prize of $7500.
Having paid up I took my seat. Blinds started at 25/50 and with 5000 starting chips my initial game plan was the same as my online one. See as many cheap flops early on and bet when I made a small match and check raise on a biggie. I was on the button for the first hand with KQ off suit and put in a raise of 75 with a hundred chip without anouncing raise. I was called on this error, but the was allowed bet to stand. Both blinds folded and I won my first ever live tournie pot! However now everyone knew I was inexperienced and every time I bet someone raised and everytime I called the flopped missed me completely and I felt a bluff would be automatically called.
Having lost $1500 very quickly without a showdown I started to tighten up and didnt get involved in any of the next dozen or so hands until it came to my unraised big blind, in which I find myself looking at K6 of hearts. I checked one caller and the small blind and the flop came 3 hearts. I check after the small blind checks and the other caller immediatley goes all in for about 1500. I almost have my chips in before him and he turned over Qx of hearts.Result. I was back to just over starting chips and my confidence was boosted ten-fold.
I was getting no cards and most hands were being raised pre-flop by a couple of aggressive players. The next pot I played was with AK offsuit picked up in the big blind again. The only caller was a player whom from the table talk I learned had won the last big competition so I was a little wary to raise. I had also seen him milk a pot when he had flopped trip hooks earlier. A 10 2 was the flop so I put out a $500 test bet which after some thought had been called. The turn was 6 of clubs giving two clubs and two spades on the board. I put him on an Ace with a lower kicker or a flush draw so I bet another 1000 then realised straight away this would not a big enough bet to get him off the hand and almost expected a raise from him as he had plenty more chips than me, he only called. The river was 8 of hearts so I knew he had missed any draw so I put out another 1000 and he called with K J and I scooped another pot. My read on his hand was wrong but my intution he was on a draw! was spot on so my confidence grew yet again.
The blinds were starting to get larger and I was still getting no cards, however my confidence was starting to grow. The player to my left was only going to call the increased number of all in bets with AK or better. I started making some all in moves myself with any hands with a King or Ace just to pick up a few blinds and nobody called.
I was just getting by the blinds and by now they had gone up to 400/800 and I was still sitting on around my starting chips so I was desperate for a hand to double up. I picked up AJ under the gun and thought it's now or never, I raised all in and all folded around to one of the few people I knew before the tournament started. He had not heard or seen me go all in and he announced all in himself. I thought I was going to go into the flop behind as every time he had anounced all in before he had shown AA or KK. My heart skipped a beat and the he turned over AJ.No flush came so I lived again!
Down to the last 20 I picked up JJ and small stack went all in and was called by one of the big stacks on the table. I thought for a few seconds and called myself hoping they only had Ax giving me 50/50 for almost tripling up. I was facing AK and A 10 and the flop came A J 5 nothing on the turn or river and I had made the last 18 with 10000 chips left.
People were falling fast and I was still getting no cards and my blinds were getting raised and I was getting ready to have to chance all on a marginal hand when I picked up pocket kings and managed to double up against pocket 9Ts. The blinds got to 2000/4000 and I had 10000 left going into my big blind with JQ and there was only 11 people left and 10 got paid. There was one caller and on the table next to us I heard that someone else was all in. My hand was checked down until 8 8 2 5 J was on the board. I put all my chips bar 1000 into the pot thinking he had nothing but might call anyway. He raised me my last l000 chips and thinking my queen kicker was best I called. He told me I had won and showed me his jack, I thought for a moment I had and the when I asked for his kicker he turned over a King and I was gutted. The other all in on the other table had resulted in another player being knocked out and as he had more chips than me I was the man out on the bubble in my first ever live tournament!
The experience was great and I will be back back a little more experienced and if the same situation arises I will just check the hand away unless of course I have the nuts! 11th out of 69 is not bad for a first go against some top players including a few pros. If I can improve by 10% each game then I will be winning soon!