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Poker Tips To Get You Rolling

Mar 11, 2008
I've fallen behind in the Monday league and am now 9th among active members, out of playoff position (top 7). I'm not sure at this stage that there is much marginal effect to going, in terms of my competitive position. I doubt I will make the final table in either tournament, and at the same time don't believe that the winners of either tournament will seriously damage my overall standing.

But in terms of my personal life, the marginal effect of going would be adverse. Greenwood isn't super far, but it takes time to get back home from there, and I wouldn't finish any earlier than 9:30. I would not get home earlier than 10 pm, which would leave no time to do laundry, and though I could maybe cook a meal and get some reading done, it would assure another late trip to bed and another night of short sleep, which would effectively derail the rest of the week. Plus, being out and about, I'd have to buy at least one meal, and there's $6-7 right down the pike. Any less does not buy sufficient subsistence.

With all that in mind, it has led me to call into question the utility of attending the SPO events. The tournament formats are understandably fast, as they need to get the tournaments in within a reasonable hour, but the end result is a glorified turbo that's short on poker skills and heavy on pushbotting. Whatever superior poker you play in the first 2-3 rounds is almost immaterial unless you score big and gain a big enough stack to coast into the final table, and even then, you're at the mercy of the cards: I've seen many a chip leader go down in flames in 6th at the final table, simply because the blinds are so high that even the leaders are forced to shove all in or call all-ins for much of their stack if they elect to play a hand. The other guy outdraws and there goes half your stack.

The bounty tournament's format is a little better, but still very fast, and once down to 2 tables, you're essentially pot committed on any pot you elect to enter, and the remaining players at that stage are all aggro sharks. Shove in, and eventually somebody wakes up with a power pair and you're gone, or shove on the flop and somebody's got top pair top kicker, two pair, or a set on the flop... and it seems like you NEVER hit. But sit on your chips and wait, and you get blinded down to nothing.

I've luckboxed a couple of the fast Monday tourneys, but I've never gotten closer than 10th in the bounty tournament. Two weeks ago was the kicker, when I won that massive pot at the end of the first hour, and it didn't matter because I caught nothing from that point forward. I'm not seeing the point at this point, other than to promote nitty play that's counterproductive in actual fast tournaments. Does whatever experience I gain in playing these provide more marginal value than just playing the freerolls at home? A little, as you're only seeing 1-2 callers before the flop, which is a more realistic depiction of tournament play... but is that little value worth all the sacrifices I have to make to attend, plus any of the drawbacks to playing the format? I doubt it.
About the Author
Jon Caldwell is a content manager. Much of his articles can be found at http://www.poker-tips-online.net/poker-tips-onlinenetcat/poker-tips-onlinenetlink.php
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