#10 Downer Street

I meant to add this to the end of the last post because it’s an excellent lesson in come-uppance or the turn of the worm or something. Certainly it’s an example of why you have to have the ability to stand back from your game and see how your own setbacks fall into the patterns established by players before you.

It had been only a few hours since I’d seen the remarkable self-destruction of the giant stack in the guarantee game and I was in another sub-rung of the EPT Steps competition. I’d had a very lucky triple up early on when three of us drawing four to a straight came up short and my ace kicker paired on the turn. After a few smaller wins I’d doubled up to more than 11K cleaning out three smaller stacks after a J on the river gave me trips. A little up and down around that level and then another pair of jacks got me up to 15,200.

The way the Steps Special tournament is structured, there are only 111,000 chips in play among 111 starting players. At the end, those will be spread out among nine players, averaging about 12,333 each. Some players would have more—maybe a lot more—but as long as you have one chip when the player in 10th place is eliminated, you get the Step A ticket. So this is the spot I should have started folding pretty much everything and let the smaller players slug it out, at least until it looked like I might be a little light for a few rounds of blinds.

Instead, I gambled on a TT and lost 900 above my small blind (300) and ante (50). A little later I went to showdown with KT and lost 2,600 extra chips. Tossed 1,200 away with 57 (admittedly, I was in 400 for the small blind on that one). Seriously? I was down more than 8K in eleven hands but the blinds had only touched me twice in that time.

I was down to 7BB but if I’d  looked at the other totals I could probably have still made it through to the winner’s circle. Instead, I went all-in for 4,740 with 5Q and lost, going out on the bubble and probably making the stacks under me (there were a couple!) very happy.