The idea of playing live tournaments always excites me no end for multiple reasons.
For one, it gets me away from the computer screen that I perpetually stare at for more than 10 hours a day.
Secondly, because I feel it takes me closer to a purer form of poker , sitting across opponents , judging their moves, hiding your emotions and holding real cards. The atmosphere is electric, with a lot of energy flowing through the poker room. You sit across people , looking at them , judging them , making mental notes. Who is afraid ? Who is flamboyant? Who is the thinker? Who will be easy to manipulate? Who to be afraid of? Evaluating people on their strengths and weaknesses, putting them on ranges and waiting for the right time to make the move.
Ahhh! Live is a different ball game.
So we started our second year of participation in the World Poker Tour, Goa.
Last year was a pretty successful year as we made two Final Tables , In Highroller Event and the Turbo Event. In any case I feel I personally perform better on Live felts, so we went with a lot of positivity.
The first two events however did not go very well for us, Mostly card dead and getting suckedout out we could not make any money in the Kickoff event that took place on 13th November and the Deepstack event on 14th November.
Uncanny how it may be, we busted both the tournaments to Villain Holding A10 off, In the Kickoff we had AQ and Villain flopped two pairs , In Deep stack the villain went on to make nut flush with four diamond cards opening on the board.
But we did not let it dampen our spirits and in the bounty tournament managed to reach the Final table and ended the day the runner-up, nearly missing the trophy but making an Even Chop (splitting up the top two position prize money equally) with the winner for the prize moneys. We went on to cash the Main event and making no money in the Highroller or Turbo event this year.
All in all a not so satisfying tour for me personally but can't complain either.
Now a little about the basic dos and don’ts at LIVE tourneys, for those of you yet to make your first live trip to a series/tournament.
1. Do not take unnecessarily long to make a decision.
I’m not saying don't give it a thought or be hasty but just don't tank on every hand. Usually, players are folding their hands and waiting for the next hand to be dealt so they can participate, there’s one player taking time on every hand for every decision (bet/raise/fold) is not so nice for them.
2. Always place your bet in front of you.
Never throw it in the pot directly, let the dealer collect it when the action on that street completes. Just to make sure every player has bet or called the right amount and avoid controversy.
3. Always act when it's your turn not before it.
You mucking your card before your turn gives an unfair advantage to the player on your left.
4. Make your bet or raise by compiling the pile of chips in front of you then move them over the betting line.
Throwing chips in one after the other is called STRING BETTING and is not allowed. Its best to announce your action and then put in the chips, for eg. Say "I BET X AMOUNT" or " I CALL" or "I RAISE TO X AMOUNT".
5. Remember to put in the antes in time.
Most of the online players forget to post the antes when they kick in and have to be reminded every hand. Better to learn it beforehand and not delay the action on the table. Online the antes/blinds are automatically posted but live players have to learn to post them in a timely manner.
6. Don't Lift your cards from the table.
One reason is it tells the table who all are in the hand, Secondly you reduce the chance of other players accidentally seeing your cards.
7. Don't abuse the players or the dealer.
Many people end up cussing when they lose or get a bad beat. Please understand its the nature of this game and abusing can get you barred from the games. Keep the conversation healthy. Give everyone the respect you expect from them.
8. Never discuss your cards when the hand is still in play.
Whether you are in that hand or have folded, revealing your cards is a strict NO NO.
So go ahead and have fun playing LIVE poker. If you have any queries about tournaments in Goa, feel free to comment below and I will try to address it as soon as I can. Ill be coming up with something for all the noobs in my next blog. Stay tuned!