How to Analyze the Tournament Poker Structure


My plan is to compete in Event 7; I play in Harrah’s Fiesta Casino Event every fall. This is the first time I have worked in the casino business as a dealer. I wanted to ask the players who win money, what they did to earn it.

Event 7: Indians win the championshipIn Event #7 we have the winning hand. Everybody quit when they got cards they didn’t want, so only two players had paid. The hand was: Ac 8c, 3s. The SB puts up $10. It was folded to the button ($10), who called.

The flop was: 3s, 3h, 7d. Both Blinds check. The Turn and the River check. SB bets $10. The BB raises to $60. Everyone else folds.

I get the 8s and hit the flush on the River. I figure I have to bet the pot, since it’s all I can afford. I bet $35. BB calls.

Clearly, this is a raise, but it’s a raise that’s nowhere near the size of the bet I would have to make in normal play. The turn card helps, and I get another Pot-size bet from BB, which I figure out after a short pause, is the size of the pot for this hand. I call.

The river card is the 7h. I figure this should be the easiest non- dilemma card to hit, since I hit the flush on the Turn. I bet $120. This is another pot-size bet. Both blinds fold.

The Blinds verify they have lost with $90 stacks, while the Big Blind checks with a $400 stack. I figure this is an optimal time to check, since it’s unlikely I will make a similar bet to get a similar response. It seems like a non-brainer, but I have to resist the temptation to double-check, since that would mean checking out of the blinds here. Besides, I have a gut feeling about this. I bet $90, and BB calls.

The flop comes 3s, 3h, 7d. I am still not particularly happy with my hand, since I only have a gut-shot straight draw. It would have been better if I could have pocket hearts or diamonds. I figure at this point, they have to have a better hand than I do. I check.

BB raises to $300. It’s now $60 to go, which I consider to be an excellent price. It would have been easier to fold here than to call. If I had a hand like pocket hearts, for example, and I was being pot committed, I would have folded in this situation as well. But I played the hand well.

Therefore, I call the $300 bet.

The turn card comes 3s. There is a small card on the board, so I check.

BB raises to $600.

Then what? I have pocket hearts, and only a gut shot straight draw. I figure it will still be good enough to win the hand, so I call.

They instead go all-in. They showed Qc, by pulling $14000 from my stack.

I get pocket jacks.

Then what? They flipped over Ah, and turned over the same two cracked hearts.

Usually I would have folded, because of course I had Qc, but my mistake areas the turn and river. I had wronged a few players in the past, so I was somewhat feeling remorseful. I thought it was a bad beat, and I was playing with revenge.

However, the board had changed my mind. There was a flush draw. And, two potential hands for me to hit the flush.

I had improved my hand, but I still was a slight favorite. I figured that if I was any sort of favorite, I should be targeting the players who are out of the tournament. And, I did not want to sacrifice a chance of winning to save a tournament.

I announced to the table that I was Calling.

Then, all hell broke loose when the amateur bet $800 to win $500.

In less than 30 seconds, the amateur players moved in and pressed the Nuts against my hand. I had called $800 to win $500, because I still could not understand how his play disgusted me.

Then, it happened.

The amateur retailers turned over three £300 chips. They were now playing for their $400.

When I looked down and saw my £285 chips, I saw my opportunity. I pointed out that I would gladly trade any of the other £300 chips I had visibility of to trade with the $400 chip.

He did a thing like this: $300 chip into $400 pot.

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