Situations can Change Quickly at the Final Table

Quick Change GraphWhen I started playing poker years ago something was quite clear right from the start and that is things can change in an instant!

You can go from hero to zero in one hand and back to hero the next. I’ve experienced the highs of winning and the lows of taking a bad beat that has knocked me out of the tournament on the bubble!

The other day I won a 20 seat Sit&Go tournament and played another 50 seat tournament after it. I had made it to the bubble in a comfortable position and I made a bad decision and was busted on the bubble. Here I was thinking I’m going to cash in two straight tournaments and maybe even win both. In an instant that all changed.

I’m a sports fan, in particular hockey, and I’ve always believed that you can draw many parallels for what happens in sports to what happens in life. I’m a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club.

They have not made the playoffs in the past 3 years and this past summer they cleaned house and brought in a new general manager who in turn changed the whole makeup of the team trading many veteran players and bringing in new young faces. He called it a rebuilding year and told the fans not to expect much. I was expecting a long year. Well, long story short they are playing an exciting brand of hockey and are doing much better than expected.

In American football, one throw for a touchdown can change the whole game. It can be a turning point in a season. In baseball all it takes is one swing of the bat !

In poker I practice much of that same strategy. If I am losing I look at my game and analyse why. If I am on a losing streak and have suffered from bad beats I don’t worry to much about it. If I am losing and I am in hands with the worst of it more often than not I have to analyse my play and make some changes.

This is one of the great things about this game of poker. Things can change in an instant. You can instantly make changes (whether they be minor or major) to your game and be back cashing in the next tournament.

Quick Turnarounds

This is also one of the reasons why you can never give up in a poker tournament as long as you have a chip and a chair. You can double up a few times and be right back in the thick of it!

Sometimes things happen in a tournament that you are not a part of but it will significantly change your status in the game. You are probably getting bored of my stories by now, but here is another one!

A few weeks ago I was in a 20 seat Sit&Go and we were down to 10 players. I was the short stack but was still confident in my game to that point and felt I could still make the top 5 as it was the top 5 that got paid! I went card dead and did not have the cards to push. I survived down to six players but was down to 4 big bets.

I was under the gun and folded my 5-2 cards. To my surprise there was a bet, a raise and a re-raise. The big blind was the chip leader and he called, the original better called as did the first player to raise. So there were 4 to see a flop of Qh-7h-Js.

Again there was a bet, raise, re-raise and everyone called to see the turn. It was the 5 of hearts. The chip leader checked but the original better went all in, he was 3rd in chips. The other two called and the chip leader in the big blind paused, and went all in! Everyone called. The original better had J-J, the other two had A-Q and Qh-10h. The chip leader turned over Ah-Kh! He took all 3 players out. I think “Oh my God” were my exact words!

I went from 6th place and being short stack with 4 big bets left and the big blind coming up to 3rd place and a decent cash. What can I tell you things can change a turnaround in a flash at the final table.

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