There's Nothing Better Than Tournament Poker But Man It Can Be Such A Pain In The Ass
I have a confession- I am only about 2 weeks removed from busting the WSOP Main Event and I am absolutely FIENDING to get back onto the felt and play more live poker. I was in Vegas for 2 weeks this summer playing WSOP events and I love nearly every second of it. I played great, felt great, and the rush of building a big stack in tournament poker is unmatched. I love having piles in front of me and make my tablemates suffer. Putting other players in tough spots is the best feeling in the world. Having full control over the table, knowing they can't do anything to stop you. Just the best.
Unfortunately for me though, tournament poker can kick you in the ass as well. Sometimes you build up a big stack and then in 2 hands, you're out. In one tournament I lost QQ to KJ all in preflop, and then lost AKhh to 33 all in preflop. But let's say my AKhh beats 33 (the flop even came out with 2 hearts!), I have a massive stack on day 2 and a very soft table, lord knows how deep I would have gone. And that's the sick thing about tournament poker- sometimes it doesn't matter how good you play, one little card can change the narrative from "that player is sick!" to "just another guy".
Another example is in the $3k freezeout I played. Some people told me the $3ks are much tougher than what I was used to. I didn't have any problem navigating it at all. So I built up a nice stack, only to lose with JJ to AK all in preflop, with that god damn Ace falling on the river. If the board runs out cleanly in my favor I have A TON OF CHIPS about 100 or so off the money. Same play, same everything, just one dumb little river card changes the entire trajectory of my life. And that's what sucks about tournament poker. You can feel the highest of highs, but man, you can feel the lowest of lows. Sometimes the game simply is not just. The deck doesn't care if you have the JJ or the AK, the 33 or the AK, the QQ or the KJ, it just deals out and the chips are exchanged as such.
That's why volume is so important for tournament players. Because at the end of it all, as long as you play your A-game, eventually the tides will turn in your favor. You can brick 40 straight tournaments and then win number 41 for all that money back and more. You just have to consistently put in the work and then put in the volume. As long as you do both of those things, you can win. Plus the fact the field sizes for low buy-in tournaments are so massive, you have more landmines to dodge.
It doesn't matter if you're me or Daniel Negreanu, sometimes the cards just do not fall your way:
PokerNews - The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was unkind to Daniel Negreanu, who was never a part of the Player of the Year race this summer for the first time in years.
At the end of the series, he finished down just over $1.1 million, according to results compiled on his vlog. Speaking of the daily WSOP vlog, he stuck with that each day for 48 days despite the frustrating summer on the felt, and the videos were still every bit as entertaining as in year's past.
But there simply isn't any way to sugarcoat the results on the felt. The GGPoker ambassador received a payout slip in 12 events, but most were min-cashes or slightly above. He was unable to reach a final table in a live event for the first time since 2011, although he did finish in fifth place for $88,081 in a $7,777 buy-in online event, his largest score of the entire series.
DNegs is one of the best poker players in the world. There's no debating it. And he had a terrible, awful, no good very bad WSOP. He made zero final tables for the first time in over 10 years and lost $1.1 million. Does this mean he sucks at poker? Absolutely not! It's just a swift kick of variance directly to the ballsack. Sometimes, as the kids say, it just do be like that. If tournament poker was fair, Jason Koon or David Peters or Stevie Chidwick would win every NLHE event. But the cards don't care who should win. But that's what makes the chase so fun. You play these things for the glory of it all. To finally win your flips, to steamroll your opponents, make final tables, and if you're good enough, win the whole damn thing.
I'm now more obsessed with poker than I ever have been. But my obsession isn't just rooted in playing it- I am obsessed with getting better. "Getting in the lab" and studying. Actively working on my game. I want to go to next year's WSOP 80 times better than I am now. So many people out there are lighting money on fire- I found the live tournaments this summer to be way, way, wayyyy easier than most online ACR tournaments I play, and most everyone agreed.
Once the Summer is over we will be doing cool things with the Cracking Aces brand- I will have YouTube content, of which a lot will be hand history reviews and free lessons from some of the best players in the world. It'll be fun to share my learning with whoever else wants to actively get better at poker. What I find is the more I learn, the less I realize I know. It's a very hard game, but I want to put in the work and come June of next year, get ready to punish the people who didn't put in the work.
Shit, maybe one day I'll be able to fold a full house.
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