Sunday, August 05, 2012

From now on, Josie is in charge of my career

I had another min-cash in a Black Chip Poker tournament this afternoon. It was an especially frustrating one because when we got into the money, I had the biggest stack. But then I misplayed a couple of hands and got unlucky in a third, and I was the first one out after the bubble. GAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I griped a bit about it to Josie via email, since I considered it her fault that I've been on this flurry of online tournament play lately. She quickly wrote back, telling me to enter a coupon tournament. That's where the top finishers don't win cash, but pick up a prepaid entry into a more expensive tournament. Given the frequency with which I've been min-cashing, her logic was unassailable: "I'd like you to play for a token. That way when you min cash again it'll be for substantially more money. Size of token is up to u. $33 - $100. Go do it."

my way sure hasn't been working to get me any significant progress towards that elusive $1200 and batch of brownies, with the deadline looming tomorrow. So I might as well try it her way.

I looked at the tournament lobby, and one such event was starting just a few minutes later. It was an $11 buy-in, and the top eight finishers would all win a ticket to get into any $100 + $9 tournament. So I did it.

And whaddya know? I won one on my first try!

So now what to do with it? Josie had apparently gone to bed (what with the east coast time and all) and wasn't responding to emails, so I was on my own. There were basically two choices: I could hang up the pokerz for the night and tomorrow enter the Merge network's version of a Sunday major. This is a big deal with a guaranteed prize pool of $125,000. That obviously gives potential for an enormous win, but it's also a tournament that attracts all the sharks. It would be a much tougher field than I usually have to face on BCP. It would also likely take many hours to complete, and I might well be left empty-handed after investing that time.

The other choice: In about ten minutes, they were going to start a $6000 guaranteed deep stack turbo event. (If anybody can explain to me the logic of having a tourney be simultaneously deep stack and turbo, please do. It has always seemed to me to be an illogical structure, trying to simultaneously achieve two mutually inconsistent goals.) Only 24 people had registered, which meant that there might be a huge overlay. (There wasn't in the end; a bunch of late registrations put us just past the threshold, at 61 runners.) I was still feeling reasonably fresh, and had been playing smart and carefully through the coupon event. So even though I don't like turbo structures, I decided to jump in. I was willing to take the higher probability of a cash rather than try to gamble on the big one tomorrow.

I put on some Mozart (scientific fact: Mozart is only slightly less powerful than Elvis Presley at bringing the poker run-good) and dug in. I was determined to concentrate, rather than play with the divided attention that I admittedly do most of the time. That nearly $2K first prize was singing its sweet siren song to me, and I wanted it. So I turned off the Olympics, checked Twitter only during breaks, stopped taking my turns in Words With Friends games, and studied what my opponents were doing.I got a rush of big hands right at the beginning, had a double-up within the first orbit, and was on my way.

And it worked! I didn't win, but I made it into the money--and not even a min-cash this time:

You know what that is? That's a $488 payback on my $11 investment. It's also my biggest online tournament score since Black Friday, more than a year ago. For somebody like me who has invested essentially no time and effort in studying contemporary concepts of online tournament strategy, that's not too shabby.

There were a bunch of hands that I took snapshots of, but, really, I don't think they're particularly interesting, and right now I'm that weird combination of too tired and too excited to talk about them. Suffice it to say that I both took and inflicted my share of ugly beats along the way. I was consciously being more aggressive than my usual style because of the turbo structure, and that increased my variance. Ah, hell, why soft-pedal it? It was a freakin' roller coaster! I swung between chip leader and being on the verge of elimination more times than I could count. But it worked out well enough. Not a complete takedown, but still quite satisfying.

It also moved my marker a long way toward the goalposts: My BCP balance now sits at $831. Hitting $1200 by 24 hours from now is still problematic. It basically means repeating today's performance, which is demonstrably an outlier. But it's not impossible.

I'll give it a fair try anyway--as soon as Josie tells me what events to enter.


Josie said...

Wow. Congrats on the nice cash! The suggestion (or demand) was mine but the great playing was all you. Well done.

24hrs. Tick tick.


Rob said...

Nice score.

Mozart huh? They never play that in the live poker rooms.


Patrick said...

Good luck!


Memphis MOJO said...

Nice job!

That obviously gives potential for an enormous win, but it's also a tournament that attracts all the sharks.

You sell yourself short -- you are one of the sharks, imo.

Littleacornman said...

Congrats.That's a fine roi!

Josie said...

What Mojo said.