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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

August 18, 2005

Sometimes, It's All About 3rd Place

by Luckbox

It was Wednesday night pool table poker again, and I was hoping for a big turnout to help me get a little more tourney work before Bradoween weekend. We had 17 show up this time. And in Lousiana, we don't have to worry about the cops showing up.

I played pretty solid despite not getting very good cards. The best hand I saw early on was AQo. I raised it to 3xBB (150) and got two callers. The flop came down AKJ. I decided to get cute, which was pretty dumb considering the range of hands that beat me with that flop.

I checked and both players checked behind me. The turn was a blank, and I lead out for 500. I didn't realize the player to my left only had 725 left and he quickly pushed all in. I was committed and had to call.

"Well, I know I'm behind," I said, flipping my AQ.

"You sure are," he said, flipping QT. He played it perfectly, making a move on me I just didn't expect. When the miracle T fell on the river, however, I was relieved to split the pot. It shook my confidence a bit. I think I should have seen that coming.

Beyond that, I mostly played premium hands hard pre-flop and bet when ragged cards fell, scooping pots without showing that I missed most of the time.

We were suddenly down to 5 and the top 3 paid. I found A9o and raised it up to 3xBB. The player to my left had me outchipped and immediately went all in. A small stack called him and I mucked. He flipped pocket A's. We were down to 4.

The next hand, I catch A6s and I raise to 3xBB. The same guy immediately pushes all in again. It's folded back to me and I think long and hard before mucking. He flips American Airlines again.

I'm now down to just 1325 and the blinds are 400/800. My BB is all rags and it was called and raised in front of me. I decide to take my stand on my SB instead.

With 400 of my 525 in the pot, I peek down at Q6o. I guess it could have been worse. But then I hear the magic words "All-in." UTG raises it to 1400 pushing all his chips in. With the Big, Big stack in the BB, I knew he'd get a call. I could have made a stand, but I wanted that $20. I folded and watched the short stack go. Lucky me.

It turns out I would have split that pot. But it wouldn't have mattered. One hand later, I looked down at Ace-rag and it fell, knocking me out in third.

Unforunately, my buddy, "Steeley Dan" didn't learn from my play. In the second game, he was shortstacked, but in third place out of 4 players remaining. "Old Man" Chris was about to throw his last 750 in pot with the BB at 800.

Instead of waiting, "Steeley Dan" decided to make a stand with A5s against a healthy stack in the SB and a healthy stack in the BB. He only had 850 and the SB hardly thought about it before calling. "Steeley Dan" was fortunate the BB wasn't paying attention because he mucked despite needing just 50 more to call.

The SB had K6o, and a 6 on the flop was enough to burst "Steeley Dan's" bubble. Just one more fold and he likely would have fininished in 3rd and won $20.

I know we play to win tournaments, but sometimes, when you're struggling just to make the BB, playing to just finish in the money is the correct way to play. Never risk your tournament on the bubble when another short stack is about to make the mistake for you.

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