Saturday, October 6, 2012

Deal? Or No Deal?

When you get near the end of a poker tournament, players often start to talk deals to chop the purse or cut-in the would-be bubble losers by taking money off the first place prize.

I've taken lately to starting these conversations, especially if I'm short stacked.   I'd much rather go home with a win in my pocket then come all that way and have to leave empty-handed on the bubble.

So today I was short stacked and starting to sell the deal offers with six players left (when top 3 would normally be paid).  The chip leader wasn't having it.  He had about 10 times the chip count I had, and he was looking pretty good to go all the way.  All I could say know "anything can happen....".  But no dice.

So we played on....

Knowing that I wasn't going to get a deal...I had to play more aggressive.  I pushed all-in with K-Q suited, and the chip leader called me with A-4.  I won when I paired my King.

A couple minutes later, he went all-in, and I called with pocket 9's.  He turned over A-6 and I won again.

So I doubled up against the chip leader twice in a row and now I had about as many chips as him.  Meanwhile a couple other players had been knocked out and we were down to 4.

NOW he was willing to talk deals!  Again the negotiator, I offered a deal for the top 3 chip holders to each take about 30% of the purse, and the lone short stack the other 10%.  Deal accepted.  Everyone happy.

Queens laid down

An interesting decision came up for me today at the Palace...twice!

Once right before the final table, and once a little later while at the final table, I was dealt pocket Queens in late position.  Normally a very good hand (and position) and at this point in the tournament it's one I would go all in with.

But the first time, there was an all-in and a call in front of me.  The amount bet would have put me all in as well.  With two bettors in front of me thinking they had good hands, I was less confident about my Queens.  I didn't want to get sucked out by a guy with a solo ace or king.  So I folded.

The first time this happened, the original bettor turned over a bluff and the caller turned over a K-Q.  Sure enough, a King came on the board and I would have lost.  When I told the table what I did, everyone thought I was crazy, especially the winner who didn't get my chips!

Then a while later it happened again!  This time, there were THREE all-ins in front of me with my Queens.  Again, I figured there had to be some higher cards out there and I didn't want to face them, so I folded.  Two of the all-ins turned over an Ace with a middle kicker (10, J, or something like that), and another guy turned over pocket Kings!

His King's held up, and again I breathed a sigh of relief by having saved my chips.

I went on to chop the purse at the top 5 when I had second place in the chip count.