Friday, October 17, 2008

Live Tournament Win!

So yesterday afternoon I got a text message from Matt, inviting me to join him at a local casino's weekly Thursday evening deepstack poker tournament. Being intrigued, I promptly inquire with the roommate about his interest, and we quickly decide that we're down to take part. Call Matt and get the details of the event, skip out of the office a little early, jaunt home to let the dog out, (literally, not a metaphoric reference to ghey activities with Joshua... we had to let his elderly pooch relieve himself before lockin' him indoors for another ~4 hours,) and we were quickly off to the live game with plenty of time to spare before the 6:30 start.

Well, fast forward a few hours, and ... I won! Took down 1st place out of 29 entrants for a $615 score on the $60 buy-in! Since I apparently love the bulletpoint format, following are some miscellaneous details & thoughts about the experience, (my first ever non-home game live tournament cash... let alone victory)...:
  • Never underestimate the incompetence of humankind. While there was definitely a handful of players there that knew what they were doing... there was far more that certainly did not! To me, as far as skill level is concerned, ~$50-$100 LIVE tournaments are similar to the $10 buy-in MTTs online.
  • My reads rock! People don't seem to try very hard to mask their holdings. I was surprised by the number of physical tells that were easily picked up on, not to mention betting patterns being very easily decipherable. (Pardon my floating my own boat here, but that's my arrogant nature, and if you visit this blog you're used to it by now.) Every single time I made a move that was due to a read, it worked out exactly as intended. Love it when a plan comes together.
  • Some people just don't have a clue! This one OLD bitch, (who actually started the tournament giving Matt an angry earful about his bad attitude / poor etiquette, for his choice to only show one of his hole cards after winning a pot,) couldn't understand the game if she was Doyle Brunson's mistress! The old hag (who wore a nasty looking perpetual scowl on her face, as if someone had put poison ivy in her Depends,) had just 9k in chips w/blinds at 1,500/3k, and she chooses to LIMP from MP... her and the BB see a flop of 389, BB checks, she shoves for her other 6k into a pot of 8,500, and the BB makes the call with 73o. She turns over AJo... and after bricking the turn & river she vents about her bad "luck," and the big blind's "gamble" of a call!!!??? WTF?! Some people should stick to Pinochle!
  • It's my belief that building one's own table image, or at least understanding of what one's own table image has become, is as much, if not more important than getting reads on villains themselves. After purposefully illustrating a very weak/tight nature throughout the first couple levels, I was able to easily exploit the tables' belief that I only played top holdings.
  • And, (in this week's note from Captain Obvious,) winning tournaments does require a bit of luck. While I cannot recall ever getting it in behind, I did have the fabulous good fortune to be dealt QQ and JJ while five handed, and in the cash... each held up to knock out competitors' Ax hands that had pushed into me, and this catapulted me to a massive lead going into the final three. Without these two huge pots, taking down the tournament would've required much more of a grind.
  • Taking first place not only won me the $615 prize, but also entry into the casino's monthly $1,500 freeroll, which takes place this Sunday. That's where I'll be to watch NFL games this week. Evidently the handful of tourney winners, and those with the most hours logged at their live games for the month get free entry into a 3table tourney where the top 9 make the cash in a monthly giveaway.
  • I suppose I really didn't "net" all that much, considering I did tip $75 to the very friendly dealers, and gifted my two buddies a return on their buyins, to make it a freeroll for 'em... and, of course, spent a decent chunk on contraband before the night was over. But still, I've got ~$350 I didn't have at this time yesterday! Good enough to put me in a good mood going into the weekend.
Curious of readers' thoughts on the dealer tip after the tourney win. Any insight into what's standard? I was informed ~10% is considered pretty decent, so I just sort of picked an amount a little higher. But after tipping the $75, the staff seemed almost overly appreciative... lead me to think I may have gone overboard, although didn't think this was the case. Maybe they just weren't used to a nice guy winning, I don't know.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Have a great weekend...

'Til next time...
Respect is all you have left in the morning,
~RaisingCayne

25 comments:

Matt said...

"While there was definitely a handful of players there that knew what they were doing... there was far more that certainly did not!"

After 5 attempts and zero cashes, I'm beginning to believe I should be included in the latter part of that statement.

Thanks for the gracious donation at the end. Let me know what your favorite beer is and I'll make sure I have some stocked up for the Halloween party.

Unless it's Coors Light. You're on your own there.

Congrats again; I'll let you know when I head back there. Probably won't be before the party, so see ya then.

DrChako said...

I usually play the tournament at Freddie's in Fife. When you get to the final table, which I've done probably 15 times, the standard "Freddie's Special Deal" is everyone gets their buy-in back and the dealers get 10% from the total prize pool. The winners (usually just the top 3 or 4) will often tip more on top, but I think 10% is already excessive.

Anytime you are headed up to Rascals again, give me a call!

-DrC

goooooood girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Evy said...

You are on a good run! Congrats at the score!

BWoP said...

Congrats on the win!

BamBam said...

RC.........

Warning ! Bam-Bam RANT about to occur.

A "tip" is exactly what it's meant to be! A bonus/reward ! The calculation of the "appropriate" amount, is solely upon the shoulders of the tipper! The reason you offer a tip in the first place, is the result of the activities that lead you to do it.

Should someone decide to try and convince me that there are certain percentage points that are considered "standard," I truly look forward to that discussion.

In my year's on this giant flying rock, I think I've only ever truly learnt two things for certain. ( one of which is obvious, when you consider the one I love!)

The other....

Make my time on this rock happy, I'll do my best to repay the favour.

For lessons on this credo, I highly recommend you make next years BASH!

30% of the cash I spent that entire weekend, went to the staff of the TJP......

FOR DAMN GOOD REASON!

Oh and ...... nice win!

OhCaptain said...

Congrats on the score!

I was a little befuddled about tipping too when I was in Vegas and won that tournament. OhCountess had literally just grabbed some chips and said to give those to the staff.

My befuddlement came from trying to figure out why I should tip. In the fees to enter the tournament was already included a tip for the dealers in the form of the an add-on and a fee. If everyone has already paid this...why should I tip more?

Fred aka TwoBlackAces said...

Nice score RC!

The Wife said...

Good win! Always good to hear the money land in the hands of a friend.

And did YOU actually put "Respect is all you have left in the morning" as your final comment?

lol . . .

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice job and nice recap!

"perpetual scowl on her face, as if someone had put poison ivy in her Depends"

This had me ROFL.

jamyhawk said...

Congratulations! Nice to hear about us donkeys (er -bloggers) can still take down a live tournament or two.

Great posts lately also.

Thanks for the pimpage...

HighOnPoker said...

Congrats. I would love to hear about the tells you picked up, even if you just remember them generally.

I usually tip 5%. The reality is, 10% is a lot of vig. I hate being cheap, but more often than not, the dealers in the tournaments are shite anyway AND the tips are spread out, so even if a few are good, its not like you can specify where your tips go.

lightning36 said...

There is no better feeling in the world than winning or chopping a live poker tournament. Uhh ... except for something private that has to do with my wife ...

Congrats!!

The Wife said...

I'm thinking of throwing an impromptu home game Saturday - do you have plans?

David said...

Late congrats on the win!

As for the tip, I tip 10% if there is no special consideration for the dealers.

However, I HAVE noticed in several of the Vegas tournaments that the add-on payment or $10 per player is designated to go to the dealers. Most of the casinos tell you this upfront, but you have to ask at other casinos.

When the dealers are already getting $400 ($10 per player on a 40-player, $100 buy-in tournament), I am reluctant to add 10% on top of that.

So let your conscience be your guide!

Matt said...

Bad news dude.

Mooski is gone from Rascal's.

Tournament structure is still the same, but organization is a mess. I'll give you the details another time. I'll still frequent there when I can but talk about bummer!

BamBam said...

Uuuuuhhhhhhhhh........

"AHEM!"

There! That oughta' be good for a post in the next few days!

My work here is done. Carry on people! Nothing to see here until Friday!

Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Nice take down.

OhCaptain said...

Tap, tap. [clears throat] ah hem.

Is this thing on?

BamBam said...

WOW !!!!

What a great spot this is! Did you ever think about writing..... Ooooooo...... anything at all, and putting it up here?

:p

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OhCaptain said...

Is this thing on?