1-9-06 [poker]Played my first big tournament in a while, a $109 multi-table. 267 players, I made 15th place for $226. It sucks to get so close and not make the final table. All the money is in the top 10 (first place was $7000). On my last hand I got in with a PP racing and missed it. On the plus side, I was very short stacked early and still managed to get that deep. You start with 1000 in chips, and I went down to 300 almost right away on some tough hands, and fought my way back to above average chips. I made a few really good plays, but mostly just played good patient value poker.
I think maybe the last hand I should've folded. I was in the small blind with 33. A loose nutter limped in late position. That means he had ass. If figured if I pushed, the BB would probably fold (he was tight), and the loose guys might fold, but more likely call with overs. So I'm racing and getting the BB and my SB for free value, which is nice. But is it worth risking getting knocked out?
Let's do the tournament equity math. I had 6432 chips before I paid my SB, average was 17800, blinds were 500/1000, so my M was around 4. I'm in bad shape, but I still have $1100 in tournament equity at that point!! If I get knocked out, I get $226 (all places up to 10th pay the same).
If I just fold in the hand, my equity goes down to $1000, that's -$100 EV !. If I win the race my equity goes to $2379. Oo, that's nice actually. I was 52% to win, so the EV of racing is 0.52*2379 + 0.48*226 = $1345. So, actually the race was a good value. Racing instead of just folding is a +$345 value decision. Damn, it sure doesn't feel like I got $345!!
As a rule of thumb, I can see that racing here was beneficial because the payout structure up to 9th place was flat, so creeping up places is not worth anything, and most of the money is in the top two, so I really want to make a run at a high place. In this kind of structure real money value is pretty close to chip value, so a move that's +EV in chips is +EV in real money. It's possible I could have tight-assed my way up a bit more, but I'm happy to have raced for the chance of getting a stack and taking a high place.