Playing at the SIG poker tournament is always entertaining and tonight was no different. My table had a lot of new players and included a few experienced players notorious for making it far in the SIG tournament. I’m not too proud of my early play on this table, the experienced players happened to be on my left and therefore I chose to play a little tighter than normal. It quickly became apparent that this was the incorrect strategy, as there was barely any preflop play and it generally cost me only a big blind to see the flop. My wakeup call came when I folded A2s on first position and I could have seen a straight flush on the river with no raises in between. “The Professional,” who happened to be the dealer at my table, had a good laugh at that hand. I quickly changed my style of play, I saw most flops for cheap and doubled up when my Ace hit against pocket Kings.
My initial mistakes meant that my stack had not grown too much and the rising blinds were rapidly diminishing it. It was also approaching the end of the night and I didn’t want to limp into the 2nd round, so I decided to go big or go home. A favorable hand eventually appeared in late position, a KQ offsuit. Looking at the players on my table, I was pretty sure that I would be called with an Ace something. That would give me 2 live cards and a 40% chance of winning around 3 times my stack, so I pushed all-in and I was hoping to get maybe 1 caller. It turns out that the other short stacks on my table had a similar thought and decided that this was the time they would go big. My all-in was followed by 3 other all-ins and their hands were A7 offsuit, TJ offsuit and 67s. If you calculate the preflop probabilities for these hands, my hand is slightly ahead with a 29% chance of winning. The flop came out as a K-5-10 followed by a 5 on the turn and J on the river, my stack had more than quadrupled.
Riding on a wave of confidence from my quadrupling hand, which was mostly luck, I started making better decisions. I was able make a few plays, steal a lot more blinds, and end the night with a healthy stack in front of me. Round 2, here I come!