Lamentations and Gnashing of Teeth
So how tight should you play when you're on the bubble of a large tournament? I don't know why I'm asking this question here, since I'm not sure anyone that reads this blog actually plays poker.
Here's the situation earlier tonight. I was sitting in about 50th place in chips with 120 out of 2000 players left in the tournament. I was in ultra tight mode obviously. In the big blind I was dealt the dreaded Hilton sisters. At this point, this was the worst of the 4 hands I would play with at this point. Someone in middle position raised it to 6000. Small stack on the button pushes. I think about it a second then push in the rest of my chips, which was about 12k. The guy thinks about it a second then calls. He's got me covered by about 1000 chips.
He shows AJo and of course an Ace hits on the flop and I'm whining like Uncle Bull having to go out with the boys without his boys.
Aggression got the best of me here. I should have put him on an Ace and just called the raise to see the flop. With a flopped Ace I would have played a lot more carefully. I lost my concentration and got into a routine.
Early in the tournament, I only play AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs, and AKo usually. If I do play them I just push in. With 1900 people standing in the way of you making the money, it's a great strategy. With only 120 left I have to play a lot smarter and get more information by seeing the flop. My opponent probably shouldn't have called that large of a raise with AJo, but it paid off for him in the end obviously.