Like the rest of the poker journal community, I, too, was unable to get the hand history of our tournament from Choice. Boo!
I will attempt to write up a tourney story, but lack of data might skew some of my details. If/when Choice ever sends us the history, I can go back and edit this post.
I was immediately dismayed when I opened the tourney window for Choice. Last minute entrants were signing up in numbers. Two of them signed up right before the tourney started. They stuck out like a sore thumb, because I had never heard of them, and they were BOTH from Lakewood. Now, I am not accusing anyone of cheating, but this is a big no-no in the Internet poker world. To have a husband/wife playing in the same tourney, which is very small, at the same time, should not be permitted.
As usual, I was the only one who seemed to notice this. Or at least, I was the only one who spoke out about it. By the time I educated a few people about this duo, it was too late to do anything about it. This really bothered me.
Many of the participants were upset about the fast structure of the tournament. It didn't worry me in the least. For one, I am used to playing in very fast tourneys. Choice's structure was like the WSOP compared to the Belle, lol. Also, the day of the tourney, I contacted support, to get the structure. The support man, Luis, gave me the wrong information, but it didn't make much of a difference, because the structure he gave me was even faster than it turned out to be, haha!
I would advise participants of any tourney to study the blind structure before signing up for, and playing in, a tournament. Not to do so is unwise. We must be prepared, and investigate everything.
**find out the structure
**find out where the participants are from
**map out a tournament strategy well before the play date
I was dismayed that other journal keepers came into the tournament completely blind of these things.
Since there were 32 entrants, we were seated at four tables of eight each. I was seated in the eight seat. Iggy was in seven.
The tourney progressed quickly. Like I've already stated, the blinds didn't bother me in the least, I always managed to stay ahead of them.
I was able to steal quite a few pots, but for the most part, I was dealt quality starting hands. I wasn't being dealt premium hands, and only received two Group One hands the entire tourney (QQ, JJ), but I was hitting quite a few flops (TP), and able to limp many times in the blinds.
After the tourney was over, Iggy said he was surprised at the number of hands I played, given my rockish reputation. The truth was that I was dealt a lot of playable hands.
Towards the end of the tourney, at the final table, I was forced to make lots of plays with marginal hands. Luckily, I had many hot & cold hands to take the risks. Even more fortunate, was that most of the opponents were staying out of my way, fearing my raises and all-in's. I could have been knocked out of the tournament many times, but I survived, due to the lack of callers.
Most people think of the number of opponents they eliminate during a tourney. I never think of those things. I usually try not to get involved with all-in players, unless I am given a hand which warrants that action. I try to BE the all-in, not the all-in CALLER. So I don't believe I knocked any players out of the tourney. That is consistant with my playing style. I don't have to knock out any player, except 2nd place, lol.
I was very successful and lucky throughout the tournament. I was given way too much respect by players who feared my experience.
Naturally, luck and respect matters most on the last hand played, haha.
I was in the SB with A8s. We were down to the final seven players. I completed, although raising would be another option here. We had one EP limper as well as the free BB.
I hit the flop solidly with A8x. There were two spades on board, so no time to slowplay. The button designed for all-in is placed right below the button for the minimum bet. I accidentally hit the minimum bet button, doh!
The BB got out of the way, but the EP player raised. Oooh, just what I wanted, although I didn't mean to slowplay it like that. I put him on an ace, and my two pair clearly would have him dominated.
I reraised all-in. He called quickly.
Ooooh, what joy! He didn't even have a pair! He had limped with KJo and had a gutshot! Wooohooooo, I was a 96.36% favorite to win the hand.
But then the turn made him openended.
And as fate would have it, he got his runner-runner straight on the river. Over 96% doesn't mean very much if someone catches runner-runner perfect.
So he had me outchipped, and knocked me out on the bubble. Call me Ms. Bubble, lol.
I thought his excuse for calling my all-in made the beat funnier than anything else that had happened in the tourney. He said something about me pushing him around the whole game, and since he finally had me outchipped, he was in the position to stop the bullying. Hehe! Now those are the players I love.
The software at Choice wasn't the greatest, but it certainly wasn't the worst either. I was surprised at so many negative reactions to it. I've played in tourneys that had even worse structures, with abominable software.
These journal keepers are just spoiled :)
The six remaining contestants went on, all of them in the money. I was so happy for them.
My biggest surprise was Scott, the fat guy. I didn't see that one at all. He ended up taking second. He thinks his play of A6 on the last hand was bad, but I would have been all-in immediately, with that kind of hand, head's up, so there ya go. I am extremely aggressive when shorthanded and HU, and my results have been fabulous, so I can't think of any other way I would have played.
The worst complaint I have about Choice is that they closed the final table as soon as the last hand was over. I mean, BOOM, we were gone. No time to say congrats, no time to talk about the play, or find a place to congregate and chat. We were just kicked out like red headed stepchildren, lol.
I hope you have enjoyed my incomplete report. I had a great time, even for someone who hates Internet Poker!
1) Mean Gene
2) The Fat Guy
4) Poker Code
9) Chris Falco