Last night I played in Worcester Region’s Eastern Poker Tour No Limit Hold’em tournament. This was the 4th EPT tournament I played in in recent weeks.
I was in middle position at a table of 9. My stack was almost $10K. Blinds were at $100/$200. Two players limped in in front of me. I raised to $600, one to my left called, one folded, then the Small Blind bet $3000. Everyone folded around to me.
$3000 seemed like an awfully large over bet, so, I put him on a medium to small pair – A hand that he didn’t want to play – or, he had AA or KK and wanted to sucker me in with the overbet. I called with the intention of seeing the flop and bailing if I didn’t hit.
Flop came K blank J rainbow, one spade. He bet another $3000 post-flop and on the turn. 8c comes on the river. Only threat on the board was a King, otherwise I had top pr. with highest kicker. No opportunities for a flush or straights. I moved all in. He called and revealed AK off. I was busted! Didn’t expect that.
So, I busted out at the end of the first level when my AJ spades was beat by AK off.
Bad Beat Game
Okay, so it wasn’t all bad. As I was walking out the door, the floor manager encouraged me to stay and play the bad beat game. The bad beat game would start as soon as he could consolidate two tables. I had never played one before, so, I hung around for another 20 minutes and sat down with others who had busted out of the tournament.
At one point, I was down to $1K in chips. Blinds were at $500/$1000. I was the only player left after another player busted 3 others and was sitting on $14K. Then a third player joined us, and I doubled up through him once or twice. Then a fourth player joined us and I was off to the races. I WON the bad beat table. Prize was a free entrance to the next EPT Tournament I play.
So, even though I busted out of the tournament early, I practiced “heads-up” play at the bad beat table. With fewer players and slower play, I was able to study the players more closely. Got great reads on the player with the $14K. I looked for the tells that I had read about in Joe Navarro’s Read’Em and Reap book about poker tells. The player with the $14K was broadcasting the strength of his hands, and I used that information to decide whether to call, raise, or fold. The tells proved to be very accurate indicators of the strength of his hands… After all, I came back from $1K to $14K deficit to win the table. Thanks, Joe Navarro.