Finally won my first poker tournament

After a good days development, I sat down with my wife and as we watched Moulin Rouge on the big screen, I played a tournament on Party Poker.  I have never won a tournament.  I have come in 2nd place many times and was beginning to think I was maybe cursed.  I just could never seem to shake off the heads-up play and my counter player would simply suck away all my chips.  Well tonight the curse is broken!

It was probably the most intense online game I have ever played, up against at least 4 good players who just weren't for loosening up in the slightest.  At one point, I was right down to 492 chips (total chips on the table 20,000) and the cards were simply not coming for me.   But the blinds were increasing and I was being forced into a position on playing on the big-blind, which is one of the weakest positions to be doing any aggressive play from.

But pulled a good set of cards and simply went all-in and that bumped up my chip count to above 1,000.  Still not great, but with some cautious play my chip soon started to climb again.  When the table dropped to the last 4 players, the intensity multiplied.  Everyone of us didn't want to crash out and walk away with nothing; only the Top3 players make money.   I started the play in the weakest position.

In tournament play it is all about survival - don't get involved chasing rainbows. If you have nothing after the flop then let it go.  Sometimes though you get fools that will simply go all-in all the time and before you know it, a few hands later, they are knocked out.  Not tonight though; it was like the poker on the TV; people only played when they had a good hand, the bluffing was used sparingly. So it was very hard to read the other players.  Large pots simply went back and forth across the table as players swapped stacks.

I knocked out the 4th player and that was us down to 3; prize money time!  The play didn't loosen up here either and the 3 of us spent 20 minutes playing some very tight and close hands.  20 minutes doesn't sound a huge amount of time if it were a real life poker table but anyone that plays online will know that 20minutes of online play with just 3 players is a lot of hands.  Finally it was down to just 2 us, with me taking the chip lead.

Now having been down to this point a number of times before (and losing) I had been doing some reading on the best way to handle these situations.  The key is not to play more hands than you fold.  To let your opponent to suck away at your stack by stealing the blinds is very bad and before you know it, you've depleted your bank.  So more liberal play was in order and I have to say it worked.

A fantastic nights worth of poker and thoroughly enjoyable movie to boot!


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