"The jaws of poker are always open to devour mistakes at the table."
April 2, 2022

After a long drought we finally had a cash game at The Bellagio. We lowered the stakes to $1500-$3000 limits and picked up some new players. I think that is very necessary; the poker economy simply isn't strong enough to support the ultra high stakes we have played for years. Two players lost over $200,000 in the game. For Pete's sake, how much higher do we need to play? Fortunately, I had a nice win to offset my lousy NCAA basketball picks. I think America may have problems in the economy because I've always said poker is a great barometer for how the economy is doing.

While I have had a lot of success in the tournaments, I have always considered myself a cash game player and I don't really have any pre-tournament strategy as a lot of people do. I just kinda 'wing it' and go as my gut tells me. I always thought that was right but something happened in the Irish Open that made me think that might be wrong...

I don't put a lot of strategy and hand examples in my blog because there are plenty of books and articles about that. It was the second day of the tournament and there were 100 players left out of 677. I had $62,000 which was above average in chips. Four of us were in the pot that was raised to $4,000 before the flop. I had the 7 and 8 of clubs. The flop was 8 7 2 rainbow. The guy that raised the pot bet $11,000. I raised $20,000 and he moved in on me. Of course I called and the turn was another deuce and I was out of the tournament. In a cash game, I would have bought some more chips and kept playing with no remorse because I know I had played correctly.

But, in a tournament, you can't buy any more ships. So, should you 'just call' and see the turn before you raise? If I had done that I would have saved $46,000 and continued playing. The reverse side is what if the turn card gave him a hidden set of trips or made him a straight? I guess I'll ask Phil Hellmuth what he would have done because he has the best tournament record of anyone in no limit Hold'em tournaments. Stuff like that is why I prefer cash games. I know I did it right for the money.

I guess what happened to get me thinking about this was when I went back to our suite in Dublin after getting eliminated. My wife, Louise, said: "Oh, no, Doyle! Did you go all in again? Why don't you save back 40-50% in case you lose?" I looked at her in amazement because she has never played a hand of poker. I asked her what she was talking about and she told me she saw Johnny Chan say on TV he won a tournament and never went all in ?

I started to tell her I was a big favorite when I put my money in but decided not to try, but it got me thinking....oh, well, I guess I'm doing OK.

- DB

@EricOosterbeek No, it's just good natured ribbing. He is a cool guy.

21 hours ago
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