Played Too Long

I spent some time playing tournaments over the weekend and played a number of on-line freeroll tournaments at Full Tilt. I play these huge field 10,000 player freerolls to get some tournament practice in and spend some time concentrating. I did play multiple tournaments at the same time and for the most part felt pretty good about how well I was able to keep track of all my tables.

The really big thing I accomplished was taking a one hour break to take my wife grocery shopping in the middle of two tournaments. In the first tournament, I had a decent size chip stack of over 100 big blinds and it was a tournament where the top 250 players make it into a larger freeroll tournament so I did not need to win the tournament. The second was a smaller tournament and I needed to finish in the top 17 to get a seat in a 2010 WSOP Main Event freeroll with 5 guaranteed seats. I was a little worried about the second tournament because I did not have as many chips with only about 40 big blinds. These tournaments had 10 minute rounds and small antes so I could not be gone too much longer than an hour.

I managed to demonstrate to my wife that I have a balanced life and she is far more important than any tournament that I just put four hours of my life into winning. I was patient and took care of my family obligations and I did not even run back to the computer. Tournament number two was in rough shape when I arrived at the computer with less than ten big blinds and I was in the blind as soon as we came back from break. I probably needed the last two minutes of break to get my head back into the game.

The first tournament pretty much cruised into the qualifying place with plenty of chips and really required just conservative play. I made an interesting play late in the tournament when I was the small blind. The big blind was a big stack that was fairly passive and allowed me to limp in several times and we had checked hands all the way down as he never bluffed. I limped in with pocket sixes and he checked and the flop came KK4 and I bet pot size and he paused for a few seconds and smooth called. I was very suspicious of the pause. The turn card was a six and gave me a full house. I figured he had a king and I needed to make my next bet look like the first so I bet a little less than half the pot. He spent too much time again and this time raised me about pot size or 12,000 when blinds were 600-1200. I moved all-in for a total of 36,000 and he instantly called showing K8. The river card was a nine and I had doubled up. I wonder to myself if I really wanted to play that pot for all my chips late in a tournament when I have been playing well all day. Old habits are hard to break.

The second tournament I took a very aggressive approach and figured I would get some chips or bust out. I of course got enough chips to survive and at about 25 players left I woke up with KK and managed to hold off AK for a double up. I had all the chips I needed to coast into the qualifying position or top 17. I just needed to go to sleep and I would let the rest of the players blind away. I made a critical mistake at this point in the tournament and I absolutely feel terrible about how I played. I picked up AK on the button in a multi-way limped pot and made a raise to three times the blind and lost the blinds. The flop was AT6 and the player before me made a bet of twice the big blind which I called and we saw the turn. The turn card was a nine and he bet pot size and I needed to fold my hand or move all-in. As I was thinking about the decision my clock ran out of time and I made the call. The river was seven giving anyone with an eight a straight and he bet enough to put me all-in. I hated folding the hand but I was only four spots out of the money and I thought I could still nurse my baby stack into the money. I had crippled myself with just a single pair and I was forced to fold.

As I continued to fold my way through the blinds I picked up AA and trapped a smaller stack and we got it all-in pre-flop. His jacks caught a third jack on the turn and I was critically short stacked and still a couple places out of the money. In the big blind for over a third of my chips I picked up 33 and moved in to find a limper with 66 and I was out two spots from qualifying for another main event freeroll.

I think I played too long.

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