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Can I win the Skill League 6 Out of 12 Months in 2011?

/Jan/2011

Pride goeth? Interesting concept

By: L_Goose52 @ 20:01 (EST) / 226 / Comment ( 2 )
I was answering a message from another member & was a little late to the 5:30 tournament.  I had been asking his opinion on how much of one's stack to risk early on a big hand.

About the third hand after I sat down and 7 minutes into the tournament I see . . .  pocket Aces! I had to smile, thinking "wasn't I just talking about this?" The first 3 players fold and the guy to my immediate right, who has a stack of 471 and a rating of just over 1400 makes it 60 (3X big blind).  I think about what to do.  A raise to 120 or 150 will probably get too many calls.  So I decided to raise enough to get the raiser all-in, which will pretty much ensure heads up & 471 is a reasonable amount to win.  So I raise to 600.  As expected, everyone folds to him & he calls.  He has J-10 of spades.  I think to myself "At least he has the Ace killers"  Why oh why did I let that thought go through my head?  Ok, I'm not really superstitious, but why tempt fate?  The flop was Q of spades, 9 of spades & 5 of clubs.  The turn was the King of clubs & my aces were dead.

My stack was now 1029, which was a disaster.  Even if I paid only one set of blinds per round, I probably did not have enough chips to last until the end of the 125/250 level.

How did I know this & why was it a disaster?  I'll explain.

These tournaments are very predictable.  A few hands into the 100/200 level, half the original field will be left.  At the beginning of 125/250, just over 40% will be left.  At the beginning of 150/300 it's down to just under 35%.  At the start of 400/800, 20% is left.  The bubble bursts two hours and twenty minutes into the tournament.

From looking at the graphs posted in the forum, I know that a highly rated player can lose 10+ pontis for finishing below 40%, wil never lose more than 10 points for being in the top 40% and will never lose more than 5 points for being in the top 35%.

Now, back to my sad situation.  If I do not make it well into the  125/250 level I will lose more than 10 points, because I will not be in the top 40%.  And I am going to arrive at that level unable to pay both blinds.  I consider losing as many points as I will win for an in the money finish a disaster - especially this late in the month & especially after boasting about what a great player I am.  It looks like there is virtually no chance I can make the top 35%, which would keep my loss to a maximum of 5 points.  A 5-point loss would not be great, obviously,  but not a catastrophe.  But to do that, I have to survive 125/250 ( which I can do if I don't have to pay the blinds) and a few hands of 150/300.  Unlikely to happen.  So it looks like I'm headed for a loss of at least 10 points.

So all I could do, was eat up all the time every time I had to act, and hope for something lucky to happen.  I got a bit of good luck, in that by using my time bank, I was able to arrange to start the 125/150 level on the button, which was obviously the best I could have hoped for.  I got blinded out about 3 hands into 150/300 with the field at 34.3%.  So, if  the graphs are accurate, I'll only lose 5 points for my aces fiasco.

The more I see of the Skill League, and I admit I haven't seen much of it so far, the more I am convinced that it does not reward playing to win, but playing not to lose (which is a bad habit to get into in poker) and that the most important skill is not out-playing one's opponents, but managing one's chips better than they do. 
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