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The Race Is Over!

It’s over!  The epic battle between good versus evil has gone the way of the good guys with victory in the 10k Challenge over the valiant, but sadly outclassed, Duck.

I had a good evening on Party Poker where I picked up a small win and a final table which put me within $100 of victory.  I kind of wish I’d played on that evening to end it quickly, but unfortunately I slept and the run-bad gods set in to torture me a little more before ending the challenge.

I think I went on to play another 20 or so tournaments without cashing.  I bubbled 6 tournaments in that time with a couple of brutal beats.  The two that stand out were AA vs KK vs QQ, where a Q on the flop was the difference between bubbling and being chip leader with 12 to go and a few G’s for first.  I followed it up later that evening with KT vs K9 on a king-high flop, and watching my opponent make a runner-runner king-high straight-flush. LOL donkaments.

Finally one dreary Monday morning I registered in everything I could find and by 10am I’d clocked another min-cash in the PokerStars $55 100k Guaranteed to tick past the $10k barrier!


So what came of this silly challenge and was it worth it?

I collected a net $575 win from Tim for the side bet – $250 for the win, $100 for the best live results and $225 for final table bonuses.  However if you look at my actual results, by guestimate puts me at around that same figure down.  I have every tournament tracked, and could do some stats, but I don’t think I’ll worry.  More important is how I’ve actually been playing and whether I’ve been able to improve my game.

I’ve never really ever taken tournaments seriously until this challenge, which was one of the reasons why I agreed to it in the first place.  I was keen to improve my game and concentrate on getting some results.  I think I have achieved that to a degree.

A huge incentive for this was for me to get a major live tournament cash result and I achieved that at the JHDSS.  Tim was a huge favourite to win the live results side bet, especially after he flew out to a big lead early on, so I’m very happy to get this result.  However online I was hoping for better results.  While I think I put in plenty of volume, I didn’t get that big cash result.  Not enough final tables in big tournaments and not enough wins.  While there will be a lot of hit and misses in tournaments, you really need to make sure you get that big cash when the opportunity arises.  Unfortunately I fell short on too many occasions.  I didn’t win the races that mattered and I had some rough luck when deep, so that left me with too many min-cashes and not enough large results.

I felt like I was playing well, so perhaps it’s just variance.  Or perhaps there’s something I need to work on to try and accumulate a bigger stack when entering the money stage of the tournament.

One other positive to come out of the challenge was that I also picked up my first Pot Limit Omaha win.  I followed that up with a couple of other PLO cashes, which was pleasing.  PLO is not a game I’ve studied or thought much about, I only play for fun, but I think there are elements from PLO which can help me improve my Holdem game.

While I feel like I’ve improved, I have discovered how much I hate tournament poker.  There are big highs when you win but a lot of pain in between.  If you’re playing well, most tournaments are probably going to end in a bad beat story, since you’re (hopefully) usually getting your money in good and there are a lot of landmines to get past in these things, so eventually one might go against you.  In a cash game you can reload and continue to punish the bad players.  In tournaments, there is no comeback.  You’re out and you lose your money.  I found that part hard to take, and tilted a lot more at bad beats than I would in a cash game.  Especially when I’ve gone deep. Fprtunately I got through the challenge without breaking any stuff, but the neighbours must think I’m a madman from all the yelling. Or a wifebeater.

So I will be happily going back to my cash games now to grind out some profit.  I don’t know if playing exclusively MTTs is a profitable venture for me and I don’t think I can handle the brutality.  However I’ll still play the odd tournament for fun and hopefully that big score is still within reach.

In regards to the bet itself, Ducky has commented in his blog Tilted Behvaiour that he would change a few things for the next challenge as he was unhappy that many of my cashes were in <100 player tournaments.  Fair enough, however I don’t think much would change.  The rules were set at the start, and I felt that I always had an edge in being able to play more volume online.  I played many <100 player tournaments as it was in the rules.  It allowed me to pick up extra FT bonuses which frankly was just smart as I collected an extra $25 bonus each time.  In fact, when I had a decent lead I probably should’ve played MORE small tournaments to collect more FT bonuses before the challenge ended.  However there was always the threat of Duck collecting a massive score at anytime, and I respected that and was never comfortable with my lead.

Duck also said suggested that the next race be done based on PLB points, and I totally agree with that.  That would restrict it to 100+ player fields, but would allow buy-ins of less than $22. For the record, I would’ve won if this race was based on PLB points also, and I think I would be favourite to beat Duck in such a challenge.

However I won’t be back to defend my title in the next race to 10k, so good luck to anyone who takes part.  It’s just not a profitable or pleasurable use of my time.

I do however still have one tournament goal.  At the start of the race I toyed with the idea of reaching the Australian top 100.  Half way through the race, I thought that was a fantasy.  Now that it’s over, I still think it’s a realistic goal.  I’m in no rush, and if I can play a few majors here and there, I can pick up enough points to get there one day.  More immediately, I have my target set on Tassie’s #1 online ranking!  I’m currently #2 but within striking distance!  Joshua Reid, your ass is mine!

GG Ducky, see you on the cash tables.  Peking duck all round?

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