Poker Fish vs Poker Shark

Out of my depth (Party Poker Daily Major $100 buy in)

A polite reference to the assets of an attractive lady earned me a free entry to a $10 multi table tournament on Party Poker…

I had planned to save it until Sunday but upon browsing through the available games I saw a huge opportunity: a table with only 3 spaces taken, with the first cards due down in under 2 minutes.

I found myself in a satellite for the Daily Major, surrounded by absolute maniacs. All in pre-flop. All in pre-flop. All-in pre-flop. Rinse & repeat.

A few premium hands landed in the hole and I decided to make a couple of calls. Two villains dispatched and a comfortable chip lead was mine. At 1,500 chips I was 3* the starting stack when another maniac dropped in as a late entry.

With such random players I decided the best strategy would be to wait for one to eliminate the other and then use my circa 500 chip advantage to win the heads up battle. I would get some sleep and contemplate my strategy for the Daily Major: a tournament with a $100 buy-in and, in theory, some pretty decent competition (relative to what I am used to, anyway).


So far, so good, right?

Well, events didn’t quite pan out as expected.


I did win the satellite and it was as easy as I had expected given the playing style of my opponents. However I was then thrust straight into the daily major!

A quick tweet to @SixEightSuited (who you will note also won a free $10 buy in) confirmed I hadn’t actually done anything wrong.

Ok. So my plans of an early night were shot down. How seriously should I take this thing? Turns out the top prize is over $2000 the top 15 players get paid. About twenty times bigger than my biggest cash to date… *eek*

By the time I figured this out we were about half an hour in and I was doing OK. NO, more than OK. As it happens, I was IN THE MONEY!!


I had managed to steal a couple of blinds and win two all ins to more than triple my initial stack (which carried over from the satellite).

Admittedly one had been very lucky. I called an all-in on the turn to a board which I figured had missed my opponent. I had A9s and put myself on top pair (there was a 9) with ours to the nut flush. Turns out I didn’t have top pair – he was slow playing a bigger pair – but a lovely club came on the river and my opponent had an early bath.

The second all in was in accordance with the institution of Phil Gordon (at this point I can’t recall whether it was Poker: The Real Deal or Phil’s Little Green book):

“Re-raise to isolate”

My opponent, under the gun, went all in with a little over 1k chips. Blinds were around 200/400 at this time. I opted to go all in from middle position with pocket Jacks, figuring my short stacked opponent would be playing Ace-x, anything suited or maybe any high card. Everyone folded behind me and my opponent turned up big slick. Oops, we now have a coin toss!

JJ held out and I found myself in pretty decent position, as above.

From here, I tightened my game. Way, way too much and my stack was slowly being withered away by the blinds and antes. I made a large pre-flop raise in an un-opened pot from the button, save for one flat caller in middle position. My raise was too big and I committed myself to the pot.

Everyone folded except for the initial flat caller who happened to be the big stack: something I now realise I failed to consider at the time.

When the flop landed 3 3 J I went all-in. My opponent flipped up 9-3o. WHO THE HELL CALLS A BIG RAISE WITH NINE THREE OFF SUIT?!

As it happens, a big stack who figures a guy who hasn’t done anything for 20 minutes turns up with a half decent hand. By going in with a hugely speculative two cards he had the potential to catch someone out in a big way… and he did.

So I didn’t win anything, busting out in 34th place, but I really enjoyed playing. More importantly, I realised I was failing to consider what my opponents think I hold, not just what I think they hold.

Until next time…