I played in a no limit tourney this past weekend. $60 buy-in, 16 players, the payout was as follows:
1st place (60%) - $576
2nd place (30%) - $288
3rd place (10%) - $96
Like always, I was eyeing the nice first place cash. Anything short of $576 and I'd be disappointed. My strategy was simple: play tight early, learn about the other players and then exploit their weaknesses. By the end of the first two rounds, I was pretty much able to determine what each player was capable of doing. The only player that worried me was the guy who was playing loose agressive. He was playing one too many hands and very aggressively on a fairly passive table, thus he was able to build a very nice stack early on. Loose aggressive big stacks worry me. They can cause all types of trouble. By the end of the third round, he had already busted out two people and had a nearly 3 to 1 chiplead over everyone else at the table. Fortunately, I was able to stay out of his way and actually managed to grab a few pots in the meantime, building my chip stack to a little above average.
By the start of the fourth round, I had about 14,000 chips left. Blinds were at 800/1600. I was on the big blind with two middle position limpers, including the loose aggressive big stack. I look down and I see AK. Trying to win the pot outright, I made it 6600 to go...almost half of my chip stack. Everyone folds to the loose big stack and he cold calls my 5000 raise. I was hoping that he didn't call, but he did, so I told myself that I had to go all-in after the flop, regardless of the flop because if I didn't, he would've pretty much put me all-in anyways. The flop comes Q83. I declare "All-in". He folds quickly. Phew!
After another hour of play, we widdled our way down to the final table of 8 players. My chip stack had increased to about 28,000. After stealing a few pots here and there, my luck had ended with a three way draw. Here were the odds as calculated by twodimes.net:
pokenum -h ac 5h - qd 2c - js tc
Holdem Hi: 1370754 enumerated boards
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
Ac 5h 547343 39.93 818966 59.75 4445 0.32 0.400
2c Qd 327973 23.93 1038336 75.75 4445 0.32 0.240
Js Tc 490993 35.82 875316 63.86 4445 0.32 0.359
Check out the hand of the week on the boogster website for more information on how this hand was played out. Please post your comments!