REVIEW AND TACTICS IN EVENT #1 $1100 NO LIMIT HOLD-EM
Well rested and with the renewed hope that only a new year can bring I entered into event #1 $1100 No Limit Event determined and confident. We started with 4,000 in chips and my tournament boiled down to two hands. In making my way to the tournament room I had pondered in my mind one of two basic strategies that I tend to implement at the start of the tournament.
One of which is to play loose aggressive and take lots of risks in building my chip stack. The other is to play almost the opposite. To play a very solid and patient game letting the opportunities come to me and wait for the right situation of hand to expose itself and find what I call the "release point."
Both tactics when implemented effectively give a separation from the field and a strong foothold in the initial climb through a tournament field. After pondering the different strategies in my ten minute walk to the poker room I had decided to go with the latter. This being the first event, I wanted to exercise some discipline and control and therefore decided the latter would be the best approach.
After sitting still for about an hour I found my first situation and for some reason decided to play it passively. Like a slumbering bear asleep for the winter I limped in back position with pocket tens. The button and small blind called the 100 BB who then decided to raise and make it 550 to go. All of a sudden I liked my decision to limp and rewarded myself with a deceptive call in position. The others folded and we took the flop heads up which fell J/7/7. A reasonable flop as I didn't figure my opponent to have a Jack. At this point it boiled down at least in my mind that he had a big pair or a big ace. He had played a very tight and standard game to this point and so when he led out for 500 I decided to just call. The turn was an 8 and he now fired two five hundred dollar chips to the middle. He had started this had with about 5500 and now I was faced with a tough decision for 1,000 as my stack now was sitting at 2600. Was he pushing me off this hand with the little extra muscle he held or did he have the goods. I elected to make a quick call (aka Phil Hellmuth style) as to show no weakness. The river was a 6 which made a possible straight and flush and without hesitation he fired again! This time for 1500. This in effect was my tournament as I would only have a single chip left if I called and lost.
His bet here perplexed me as I had played my hand just like I had a flush draw yet he didn't respect the development of the board and continued his aggressive stance. This seemed out of character for him to me and sent me into the tank. I've never thought so long about a hand in the early going and I continued to stair my opponent down for literally three to four minutes trying to gain some type of information. He did not break his motion in that whole time and I finally decided that for someone not to break motion in a pressure situation (the pot was 75% of his stack as well) for that long of period must have it and I released my cards to the muck. I later found out from someone at the table that he in fact had pocket Aces.
Now down to 1600 I made a stand with KQ suited . An early position high hand frequency but good player raised to 400 and I moved all-in in back position in an estimation that he was continuing his aggressive approach. He made the call with pocket tens and the board fell blanks for me and I was out.
Next up was the $1100 Pot Limit Hold-em event which I will recap tomorrow for you. Till then,
Enjoy the journey,
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