First Tournament

by john on July 17, 2003

I played in the Texas Holdem Poker Tournament at Canterbury Park tonight. My first ever poker tournament. I play poker there occasionally but never have found myself in a tournament. This was their weekly Limit Holdem event, $45 buy-in, $10 fee with one $45 re-buy. It ended up there were 144 entrants with the top 9 finishing in the money – $3,750 for top prize down to $375 for 9th.

The blind structure started at 10/15 with the betting 15/30. Moved up every 20 minutes. After the first intermission one hour in we were playing 100/200 blinds with 200/400 betting. People really started dropping off then.

I was pretty happy with how I played, it felt like I played just about exactly how tight I should be playing. I even mucked AQ in early position twice. And good thing too – both times I would have lost some big money. During the lower limits I won the first four pots where I saw the flop. I was chip leader at that table for some time. None of the hands were really memorable.

I was moved once as the tables started consolidating as people were busted out. I bided my time for awhile with a fairly small stack until the blinds were 500/100 and the bet structure was 1000/2000. For the first time in the evening I found myself all-in. With 2 callers, I had KK up against QQ and AK. King came on the flop and it held up. Working capital for awhile! A little later we bumped up to 1000/2000 and 2000/4000 and the end came quickly for me:

Got into a pot with TT that I shouldn’t have gotten involved in, lost to JJ. I was down to my last 1000 and was UTG. Dealt 34. Thought about it for a second and then mucked. Next hand I’m all in for 1000 on the big blind and I’m heads up against KJ. I hadn’t even looked at my cards yet and flip them over to see 34 again. A 4 comes on the flop and it holds up and I’m back in business. After mucking the small blind I’ve got 2000 left. Next hand I’m dealt KK and I go all-in calling another all-in better and he flips over AJ. Ace came on the flop though and that was the end of me. 22nd place out of 144, no money but some degree of pride anyway.

Of course on the car ride home I started second guessing myself. Players were really starting to drop like flies at that point and being on the button I could have lasted for about 15 minutes without it costing me anything. Could I have gotten down to 9th place? Probably not, I suspect that as you get closer to that final table the play really tightens up, but it still would have been intriguing to see. But I don’t think I can muck KK on the button in that spot.

What a blast – hope I can do it again soon.

{ 1 comment }

jeremy July 18, 2003 at 11:07 am

Very good showing for your first tournament, I’ve actually read a bit about the tournaments at CP and would like to go there some time if I’m ever in the vicinity.

And you’re absolutely right, there’s no possible way you can muck KK in that spot! Even if you had more money. And you have to muck 34 under the gun if you have one more shot, just about any hand is better.

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