Saturday, July 01, 2006

Event #7 preview

Jen's parents and sister came to town for the weekend to see me play and check things out. Unfortunately I was up in my room working on my blog instead of playing when they arrived. Since I had plenty of free time, we had an early dinner and then spent a few hours playing Pai Gow and craps at the Paris. We all won at Pai Gow and then got totally hosed at craps. Despite that run of bad luck Jen and I are still ahead somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 for "negative expectation games" (or stupid casino games that you can't possibly win at) which is great.

Tomorrow is Event #7 limit hold 'em. In limit hold 'em, unlike no limit, the bets are fixed or structured so you can't just shove all your chips in whenever you want. In no limit the size of the game is denoted by the size of the blinds whereas in limit the size of the game is denoted by the limits. If you were to play a $10/$20 limit cash game the blinds would be $5/$10, all the bets before the flop and on the flop would be in increments of $10 and all the bets and raises on the turn and river would be in increments of $20. Lets look at a few examples to make this more clear. If I was first to act before the flop my ONLY options would be to fold, call $10, or raise to $20 (I couldn't make it $50 or $100 or $27 or whatever). If I called the next player would have the same options. On the other hand if I raised to $20 the next player's ONLY options would be to fold, call $20 or raise to $30. If he raised to $30 the next player could only fold, call $30 or raise to $40. Betting and raising on later betting rounds works the same way except on the turn and river the bets and raises are in increments of $20 (ie check or bet $20 and then in the event of a bet the next player could fold call $20 or raise to $40). Limit hold 'em is far more popular than no limit in cash games and far less popular in tournaments. In fact until no limit poker started to appear of TV it was difficult to find a no limit cash game at all.

Tomorrow's event is a $3,000 buy-in event and I'm really looking forward to it. I've always done well in limit events, but don't play a ton of them because all the easy money seems to be in the no limit tournament. I think most players don't like limit events because the first few rounds can seem meaningless. The limits are so small compared to the number of chips everyone has that no one is in danger or being eliminated and it's very difficult to add significant number of chips to your stack early. Limit takes much more finesse and much less insane risk taking. As a result the players who aren't very good, who have a chance to get lucky and do well in the no limit seem to always come up short in the limit. I don't want to say there's more skill in one or the other, but it takes more than winning a few big hands to do well in a limit event. I'm also looking forward to most likely getting to play for a while tomorrow (only a hand full of players will be eliminated in the first hour or two) since I got bounced so early today. As far as that early exit goes, keep in mind that the worst possible outcome of any tournament it to be the last one out who doesn't get paid any money. In almost any tournament I'd much rather be the first one out and spend the day relaxing than play for 10 hours and still get nothing. This case is a little different, I guess, because the experience of playing in the WSOP carries with it some value.

Last year the $3,000 limit event only had 406 entrants so it will probably be my best chance to win a tournament outright. On the other hand the higher buy-in and the lack of sex appeal of this event means that it will be packed with all of the big names. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow (I'm about ready to deliver some more good news after these last few duds!)
Also for those of you who are interested I'm down $3,739 for the WSOP tournaments so far after playing 4 events and skipping 1 (to play day 2) although almost half of the damage is being taken by my backers (sorry guys!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well it's 8:45 here on the east coast, and I don't see an update, so we are hoping this means you are still playing like a maniac. Sending thoughts of horseshoes, 4-leaf clovers, pots o' gold at the end of the rainbow, and other silly good-luck charms.....

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