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04/10/2005: "scarecrow's only scaring hisself"

maybe i should have come to this conclusion earlier in my poker career...i am sure i probably have read it in one of the dozen poker theory books i own: going all-in preflop is not only dangerous, but often quite dumb. lemme repeat that (so that when i re-read this, it will soak in):

going all-in preflop is not only dangerous, but often quite dumb.

of course i am speaking specifically about tournaments; in cash games the implications of all-in are far less serious, since you can always hit your wallet again and again and again. but in tournaments, the all-in is your chance to end your play in one fell swoop. yea!

tonight in the Northside tourney i did just that: in middle position i look down and find two red aces. before i can even contemplate how i want to play them, the under-the-gun calls raise. with the blinds at 6000/12000 UTG starts stacking green 25K chips, preparing to bet; the four, yes FOUR, players to his left all fold while he is still figuring out what to raise - thanks guys, appreciate you helping him out. when the dealer mentioned to them about acting in turn, i feigned a little anger - i was hoping it would make the UTG put a little more in the pot; UTG end up raising 50K. with 72K in chips in front of me, my only option was all-in. everyone else folds, UTG ponders and calls and we roll 'em: his cowboys versus my red rockets. you know the ending, no need to recount that - all outers less than 10% always hit!

on my drive home i began to ponder the validity of the all-in. post flop play is far safer, since over 70% of the cards you'll play have been revealed during the flop. i realize had i called the 50K raise i would have been crippled providing that i laid my aces down on the flop: 22K is barely enough to pay the blinds that would be coming round. and of course, it is doubtful i would have laid aces down even when the king hit the flop, anyway.

still, i think my tournament play should focus on seeing flops, making correct plays based on the real information that is presented by those three cards. while pocket aces are great, the reality is that NO hole cards are the nuts pre-flop!

anyway, i would like to say i took my beat with aplomb. my favorite saying is becoming, "that's poker, baby!" and i like to try and say it with a Scotty Nguyen flavor. ;-)

as you may notice with the titles, i am hip-deep into Beck's new album, Guero; it is currently being played repeatedly, with my favorite track changing with my mood. if you don't have it, consider buying it - should be able to pick it up for $10 at any of the big box retailers.

hopefully on wednesday (my partial day off) i will have time to go get a PSP! i am anxious to not only play some games but to try putting some TiVo content on it, which i have read it possible!

well, i am currently playing in an Full Tilt 2000 FTP points satellite to their $500+35 WSOP tourney...guess i should go pay attention to that.

wish me luck!

~~~~~
well, 71 entered the tourney. at one point i was down to something like 580 chips. i managed to climb back into the thick of things, only to crash and burn in 12th. at least it was a freeroll, so no big whoop. still, it would have been nice to make the final table. alas, that's poker, baby! ;-)


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