Poker: Sometimes It’s About the Endurance

Since my last post, I’ve played in quite a few more tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. I really need to slow it down a bit.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. What do I mean by endurance? Take a look at this screenshot showing my statistics for the last tournament I played in:

Endurance Poker

This is where I sat after outlasting 81 players in a tourny of 90. What it shows, essentially, is that I’ve been dealt 52 hands and I’ve won 3. I had only played four hands past the flop, and I won two of those.

So even though I had only played a few hands, winning only 3, I had lasted long enough to place “in the bubble.” You just got to be smart, knowing when to play and when to fold… though Kenny Rogers says it so much more eloquently. Outlast everybody else, no matter whether you’re winning or losing.

Sometimes poker is as much about how patient you can be as it is getting lucky. Few amateurs understand this.

Here’s a “What would you do?” scenario for you.

I am dealt pocket kings. There is a pre-flop raise to 160 (double the big blind.) Three people ahead of me call, I call, plus two people behind me call. The third behind me raises all-in (about 6,000 or so). There’s a fold, then another raise all-in (to about 10,000), and a caller right behind him. It comes to me. There are two players left to act after me.

What would you do?

Most people would call. I folded. Why? Odds.

I don’t care if the three people that called before me had absolute junk. If I call, my odds are less than 30% regardless of what they’re holding, and I can be almost certain two of them have an ace. For 30% I’d call a small raise, but no way am I going to risk everything. If either of the two players behind me call, my odds shrink even more. And, as you could probably tell, I’m at a very loose table where the odds are high one of the two will call.

So what happened? The two players behind me followed my lead in folding. The players flipped their cards, showing mediocre garbage. At first I laughed, especially since one of them flipped a 10-6 and nobody had an ace. Then the flop brought the player on the 10-6 a straight draw. He landed his straight on the river. Then I laughed again and told everybody what I had laid down. They probably thought I was nuts without any idea why I ever would have laid down pocket kings pre-flop.

Odds my friends. If you don’t understand them, then you’re simply playing by luck. There’s your poker lesson for the week. That’ll be $20.

One thought on “Poker: Sometimes It’s About the Endurance

  1. Stu

    Speaking of endurance…

    I just finished a tourny of 90 where I won zero (that’s nada) hands. I saw 5 flops, 3 of which were the result of my being in the big blind with no raises.

    I actually made it to the final table (outlasting 81 players). Finally, I get a hand: pocket kings. I’m first to act, I go all in pre-flop. Two callers. After getting garbage the entire tourny, this is the only worthy hand I’ve gotten. Talk about being in the bad seat! Somebody had pocket aces and knocked me out.

    The one good thing about being in the bad seat? You never have to wonder what to do! ;)


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