Friday, May 07, 2004

Flush beaten by straight flush, film at eleven

I get trapped.

Yes, yet another Texas Hold'Em story. I enter another freeroll tournament at Ladbrokes, no entry fee, first prize $125 down to 40th, $2.25. There are 919 entrants and for fifteen minutes I never go further than calling to the flop when it's cheap and I'm in late position. That works well, because there are "only" 675 left already and I still have 1400 out of the 1500 I started with. This because of the stupid eager ones that go all-in pre-flop all the time when they have anything and we wave them goodbye one after one.

The action starts. I get pocket kings, out of which one is a club. This I play, but only raising the default amount suggested by the interface (blind). The flop is all clubs out of which one is an ace. I still hang on, only raising the default. The turn is another club and I have a flush hand with A and K. Good, but I still only raise default. The river is something and... I read an article by James McManus from when he played in WSOP, he also had decided to play carefully and by the book and yet his hands (the ones with fingers on them) seemed to throw the chips in by themselves. Only I and one other player to the right of me were left.

I go all-in you see... That's not something you should do early in a tournament I think, but I didn't think. Much.

What did I do wrong? It was a good hand. A flush with AK in it is unbeatable, no other flush can beat it. There was no outs for full house or four of a kind. But there is one other hand (or two, really) that can beat it. The straight flush!

And what did the other player have? A straight flush, five high, I see when he calls me.

What I should have done was
a) to have looked more carefully at the cards and spotted the outs, seen that it was indeed beatable. But it was a low straight, The Wheel.
b) just raised, not all-in.
Then, if my opponent had
a) called or raised I might have called it and just lost a moderate amount and still survived.
b) gone all in I'd have thought more carefully, probably folded and griped about it.
c) folded , I'd have won a nice pot.

But there I was, afflicted by what Gary Carson calls FPS (Fancy Play Syndrome), "Ha, let's knock this guy out of his shoes and socks!", and knocked out at 627th place without a shot at the $125 first prize or indeed the $2.25 40th prize. I guess I'm the stupid eager one. The opponent's comment: "Bet you felt really safe with that king."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

I then go to a normal No Limit table with blinds 0.25/0.50 and sit down with $10 in real money. With the first hand I play to a showdown, I win (with a pair of tens, the other one was probably bluffing) and now have $23 in real money. The next hand I play to a showdown (and win, with two pair K2, can you believe it?) makes me have $46 in real money. I've more than quadrupled my "bankroll" just by winning two hands. Play where it matters, play only when you can win! I leave the table with $39 (real), a few dollars were eaten up by blinds and calls that didn't go anywhere.

No comments: