I tried something a little different tonight. I played two games of poker at once. Helaine told me she had heard about others doing it… usually managing to slow down either or both of those games in the process.
With that in mind, as a goal to avoid, I entered a $5.50 one table tournament and the $1 affair that begins at 11:30 PM.
It is a little unnerving to play two at a time, but doable. At the beginning of a game, when there are 9 at your table, things are slow. Often you can set your action before the bet gets to you. Let’s face it, most of the time you’ll be folding and you’ll know that as soon as you’re dealt your first two cards.
The $5.50 game started about 20 minutes before the $1 tournament. So by the time the tournament began, the $5.50 table had lost a few players and was moving at a much swifter pace.
Pokerstars software brings a table’s window to the top of your stack if action is called for. That comes in handy. There were only a few times when both tables needed me at once. I don’t remember playing a live hand on both tables at the same time. If I did, it wasn’t much of an overlap.
I did make the decision that the $5.50 table would take precedence if things got hairy, and I found myself watching that table more than the larger tournament. It was a strange game once we got to six. We were tightly bunched. In fact, we were tight enough to go from worst to first on a single win. That happened to me and probably others as well.
By four, one player was totally dominating the chips. He had over $10,000 with the other three splitting the remaining $3,500. The leader broke the fourth player, so we went to three with two of us nearly tapped out. By that time the antes were $400/$200.
Number three went in a few hands. By that time I didn’t even have $400 for the big blind. I won two in a row going all in before the flop. Finally, on the third hand, I went down too.
So, $5.50 invested and $13.50 returned for an $8.00 net. And, I was still live on the $1 tournament… but only barely.
I never really got excited in that game, probably because I never had cards. In a tournament like that, you need to be skillful and lucky. I did make one tactical error early, going in on a hand I should have folded. From there on in it was downhill.
I ended up finishing 444th out of 1068. No one above 99th was getting paid. Even then, if you outgunned 967 others to get paid it would only be $1.60, or 60¢ net!
The ‘real’ money goes to the top-5, with $267.01 to the grand prize winner.
I haven’t mentioned where we stand recently. We had gone up $10 over our original stake and then, the wheels fell off the wagon. No matter what we got, no matter what we played, we lost. Earlier this week we had gone down nearly $150 from our original buy-in. As of tonight, we are down $102.40.
Considering we’ve been doing this since mid-August and the house takes 10% of each one or two table tournament entry we make, I think we’ve had some pretty cheap fun.
I’ll say this much… I am very much looking forward to our yearly trip to Las Vegas. I have more table time in the last three months than in the rest of my poker playing days. I was always able to hold my own at the low stakes tables in Vegas. I never won over the long run, but I never got hurt. It might be different now. I am much more disciplined and much better able to read the table, though still not the other players.