I started as big stack, with about 20% of the chips in an 8-person table. After an hour that was closer to 25 or 30%. Then it started going bad. I’m still not sure how. Hands like this I suppose.
I have Q-8 as dealer. What the heck, I’ll raise and see what happens. I get a caller, and the flop is J-10-8. He raises. I have an inside straight draw and bottom pair. I have outs, and he may be completely bluffing, ok I call. The turn is the same kind of logic and I lose a bunch by the time I am forced to fold on the river. I suppose I shouldn’t have played the Q-8 in the first place. Another time I go in with K-10. The flop is 4-5-6 and the same guy raise big again. Argh! A few hands like this and I am just one of the players, no longer big stack. (As it turns out he had big hands on both of these so my eventual folds were correct.)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I had A-9. The flop was 10-9-x. I bet, was re-raised and called. The turn was… I don’t know. I forget. Anyhow we got to the river (another 10), he raised big again. I there were a lot of things that could beat me, but the betting pattern didn’t add up. I called, he had a set of 10s. The betting pattern didn’t add up because he changed to slowplaying me in the middle and I fell for it. Dang.
The key hand of the night:
I am big blind. The first person, who is short-stacked. goes all in. Everyone folds to the small blind, who also goes all-in. I have K-Q suited. It’s about a third of my stack. After thinking it through I decide I can afford to go in and see what happens. A win on this hand puts me back in control. I also call.
The flop is Q-x-x. Small blind checks. I am sure I have the best hand. But.
Tournament strategy says that I should check. Tournament strategy says I want me and the small blind in the hand, so the odds are good than one of us knocks out the small stack. In other words, I give up some chips (or expectation of chips) in favor of gaining position. I decide to call. The turn is an Ace. When we show cards at the end, the small blind has jacks (losing), I have queens (losing), and the small blind has A-x. He wins it. I guess it worked as planned, I gave up chips and got tournament position. I guess.
1) Should I have played the K-Q in the first place, or just let them fight it out?
2) When the queen came up, should I have checked with the top pair, or made a big bet to push out the small blind?
After that, things just didn’t go well. I didn’t get any good hands, didn’t connect on any flops, didn’t have enough chips left to push people around. The end was anti-climactic.