Poker / strategy
Came Runner-up in My First SPL Freeroll: Strategies & Mistakes
For quite some time I was trying to grab a seat on the Scorum Poker tables not only because I was interested in this sport and wanted to play some hands after long but also it is probably one of the first sports activity that Scorum users could do together. I could not join it earlier for a few reasons including my own loaded schedules and time zone differences. However, this weekend (Saturday night) I managed to join my first tournament named: “Tucks Daily 30 chip freeroll”. Hence, first of all, I am grateful to @tuck-fheman, his team, and sponsors of the freeroll tournaments, who are providing us with an opportunity to have some fun together while winning some chips and SCR. Secondly, I would share my experience of the tournament, the revival of my excitement/enthusiasm for Poker, strategy towards the victory and the mistake that landed me as a runner-up. Players Analysis and My Strategies: In total, 5 users started-off the first round with 20/40 blinds, all had the same amount of chips (about 5000) and my initial strategy was to stick in there at least up to 10 hands. It is actually not that tough to stay in the starting game as nobody usually attempts any bluffs or big blinds. Even if any, one can just fold to pass because a little more time should be spent on the table before calling big raises so that to understand the gameplay of the contestants. Meanwhile, I got lucky and managed to build up my stack by playing some big raises. By the time we reached 130/260 blinds, I almost had the biggest stack on the table (about 9K), while some new players with large stacks joined us. @Kyrptokeeper was not catching any luck, seemed a bit frustrated but to his fortune, a couple of players started to be more aggressive with their raises and he won some hands, which slightly imbalanced the table. I hadn't read much from him about Poker or his strategies so I diverted my focus on his playing style as he was looking a bit more confident with his bets after winning those hands. Therefore, instead of raising on the blinds even with the superior cards, I let him make some aggressive moves so that he would be kept under dark about the strength of my cards. Finding the right opportunities I managed to shift the balance of the table back into my favor. Having a big stack on the table is important for two main reasons; first the obvious one that you can stay in the game for a bit longer, ability to call any amount of raises but personally the second advantage is more important that it protects you from bluffs as the other players would fear the loss of their short ones or may cause a further imbalance. However, it did not turn out as expected and Sircork decided to what he called “burning down the house” (as you can see in the chat section in the next picture) and started to make big blinds. That was not a great opportunity for me so I refrained myself from any cold callings but within a couple of hands, he lost all his chips and jsock got the biggest stack on the table afterward. I lost my lead, the blinds were increasing and I decided to make my way back with patience, however, other contestants were probably exhausted and wanted it all to be over soon. I again held myself back from letting the ‘call’ button flow through this purge which I am not sure was the right decision because in the blink of an eye, kyrptokeeper and jsock had lost their chips and Philippe had won a huge pile. From there on, fold was not a better option as among two players auto-blinds were being fetched so I decided to give almost ever next hand a try because it was a 50-50 chance of win anyhow and that could be brought by even a 2’s pair. The bigger challenge here was to fight with almost X4 times the stack while carefully navigating through the possible traps. A couple of times, I got really nice cards K pair on Flop, and pocket Aces but he folded even on my slightest raises after the flop. Maybe, it was my mistake not to raise on the blinds with such good cards but I thought that he would avoid playing blinds as those could be a clear indication that my cards were stronger. Anyhow, I gave it a shot and started to raise on the blinds instead, which was quite dangerous considering my weak position but surprisingly he responded with calls. By the time blinds had reached 1500/3000 our stack values had been switched. I was clearly in a stronger position and all I had to do was to wait him out so that he would lose chips on the auto-blinds and not regain the power but, but, but, the pride of having a bigger stack and being so close to the victory blinded my senses. He tempted me with an ‘All-in’ and I said to myself ‘let’s finish him off’ while ignoring the weaker pocket cards “46 clubs”. Result and Conclusion: I lost that hand and got disappointed for letting go of the discipline. I gave in to those emotions, lost a couple of more hands and was eventually leaving the table as a runner-up. To justify myself I would say that we started the game very late in the night (2 am) and the tournament concluded at about 5 am so I was not in my best possible senses at the end. I had already exhausted myself with the constant focus but that is all, you know. The truth is, it just takes one moment of carelessness but overall, I am really satisfied because I did not expect that I would be able to play for long hours with consistency and even would secure 2nd place. Overall, it was a great experience, the SPL team have really put an effort into their website interface. I am looking forward to joining another one this week with all the excitement of getting back into the game after about 3-4 years. If you are a Poker fan and would love the idea of playing with Scorum users, that’s the best place for you. They are frequently offering 100 SCR Freerolls and especially, lookout for the 1000 SCR Freeroll planned for November 24. Unfortunately, I shall miss the event due to some conference schedule but hope to catch you at the next one. May the lord of Royal Flush be in your favor.