My First Live Tournament
On December 17th, 2004 I played in my first ever live tournament. It was a satellite event for the WSOP held in Orleans. There were approximately 140 players and the buy-in was 100$. I got there early and drew a seat on table 7. I found the players at my table to be loose aggressive players. I myself played a very tight aggressive game. I waited for the plum hands and then bet them hard. By the second break (2.5 hours into the tournament), I had turned my initial 2500 in chips into 17200, my record was 12 hands played and 0 losses, and I was in second place in overall chip position out of about 80 remaining players. Needless to say I was thrilled.

I continued to play in my tight aggressive style down to about 30 some odd players. At this point I was down to 7800 in chips, mostly because of the blinds, and the following happened:

Blinds: 600/1200
Position: Small Blind

Everyone folds, and then the guy just before me (dealer) RAISES 3000.
I re-raise ALL IN.
The big blind folds.
The original raiser has me just barely covered (maybe 1000 over).
He calls.
He turns over K Q.
The flop comes with a Q.
I'm not worried.
The turn comes a K!
I'm worried, I'm worried!
The river comes another Q... full boat!
So, my AA was cracked by KQ on a pre-flop all in.

I finished 30th, but I learned a lot and had an awesome time!

Lessons Learned:
  1. A tight aggressive style against loose players is rewarded in early tournament play.
  2. As the blinds increase more rapidly, you need to start "picking up" some pots through a slightly looser style of play, in order to maintain your chips.
  3. In a tournament people will call all-ins, if it means they could knock you out and/or they believe they have a good chance of doubling up a shorter stack.
  4. Even pocket rockets can be cracked.

I'm playing in another WSOP satellite on January 29th, 2005. Let's hope I can put these lessons into practice. Wish me luck and maybe I'll see you there.

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