Ouch! I took an early exit in 93rd place on the second day of the WPT San Jose. Nothing went well for me in the first two hours of play, and I was down to about 40k in chips when I decided to call a raise with KJ of diamonds in the big blind. The flop came 532 with two diamonds, meaning I had a diamond flush draw, and perhaps one or two overcard outs to my opponent’s hand. How to play this?
There is an eternal debate in poker over whether playing big pot poker or small pot poker (“small ball”) is the best way to win a poker tournament. I tend on the whole towards small ball, but in this particular hand I decided to play my hand fast and try to push my opponent out of the pot. Even if he had me beat and called, he was unlikely to have me dominated.
I checked, my opponent bet $4000 into a $7400 pot, I check-raised him $15,000, and he moved me in for my remaining $18,000 or so. I called, and he showed pocket Jacks. Obviously, I was hoping he would fold to my flop raise, but even after I was called, I wasn’t in bad shape with a 47% chance to hit either a diamond or a king to win the pot. A virtual race. Unfortunately, I bricked off and that was that for this tournament.
C’est la vie, and on to the next.