Posted by Dr Fro 12:40 PM
March Madness has now come and gone, and I can get back to the business of this blog. Just a very quick note on the tournament: I am the first to criticize single-elimination tournaments for not producing the most deserving champion (Exhibit A: the New York Football Giants), but this tournament did 3 amazing things: the Final Four teams were clearly the four best teams in the tournament, the final game had clearly the two best teams and the championship game seemed to, in the end, reward the team that most deserve it (or punish the team that most pissed it away.) Good job, basketball gods.
I am almost finished with Last Dance, which a great book to read during the tournament.
On to poker…
We finished the regular play of the league with me as the regular season champion (ala UT in the Big XII.) That got me $40 cash and also more chips in the season-ending tournament, in which I did well but flamed in the end (ala UT in the Big XII tournament). I got third, we earned me $30 of the ~$400 pool. I had my sights set higher, but tournaments are a crap shoot. Always. No matter what the structure, in the end, the blinds will force some action and you will be left to the whims of the poker gods. Knowing this, I decided a few things a while ago:
- never expect to win money in a tournament no matter what advantage you may have in chips, skill, etc.
- it's ok to lose the tournament to another person, but never lose to the blinds.
What do I mean by that? Early in my poker life, I would play so patiently in tournaments, that the blinds would eat up all my stack. When I finally got a hand and doubled through, well, double of jack-squat is still jack-squat. So, knowing that I needed to get in the action, particularly late in the tournament, I decided that:
- If I busted out, it would be because I led into the pot and got called be a better hand. In a cash game, you might fold, recognizing the disadvantage of position. In the late stage of a tournament, you don't have time to miss an opportunity to shove, so you have to move big in early position, hoping to get a fold, a caller that is dominated or, at a minimum, a race.
- If I busted out, it would be because I called a big bet, was ahead, and got sucked out on. I can handle that. Suck outs happen
- What I can't tolerate is getting bet into, and making a bad call when I am behind. That is entirely within my control. I should have a good enough feel for my opponents to "know when to hold em, know when to fold em" in this situation.
So, I was first to act with KQs and an M of 4 with three players left. I shoved and got called by AK. Hey, shit happens. But he was much more likely to not have AK and I would probably pick up the blinds. Oh well, I least I didn't make a crying call.
So we are headed to Vegas one week from today. Thus far, the advice has been sparce, but Junell advised (and I concurred) that I avoid the Bellagio. For every maniac, there is a pro there. My experience is that the less glamorous cardrooms are the easiest to beat. One guy told me that Balley's is the fishiest. In my experience, that is moderately true. I was told that the action at Venetian was light. Other than that, not much.
I always go to Vegas wanting to play $2-$5, but I have been massively more successful at $1-$2. My theory is that the $2-$5 table has $2-$5 players, but the $1-$2 game is full of guys that are used to playing with quarters. Ergo, they are out of their league. I do well against scared money, because, for all of my faults, I am definitely not scared money (in fact, this is unfortunately to TO A FAULT).
So, I am still looking for Vegas advice, including a good, $50ish 50ish player tournament on a Friday morn or day. I am seen plenty of websites that give info on structure, but I am looking for a fishing report, if you know what I mean.
- Dr Fishy Fro