Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 21st 2014 Contents A44
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, June 21 , 2014
There are two key barometers for success in
tournament poker, but you must accomplish
one before you can set your sights on the other:
First, you have to make it into the money, and
then you need to focus on what you must do
to win it.
Tournaments can be evil creatures, because you
can put forth a tremendous amount of effort and
have nothing to show for it. Sometimes you can get
lucky and find a structure that pays back 20 per
cent of the field, but the more common payouts
will be distributed to only the final 10 percent to 12
percent. The odds are stacked significantly against
even the best tournament players ever making it
into the money.
When you approach the money line, it's not the
time to do anything foolish. A minimum payout
will be only slightly more than the entry fee, but
any return on your investment trumps zero. Ideally,
you'll always stay in a healthy chip position. This
number traditionally hovers around 30 or more big
blinds. If you have 100, then you are in fantastic
It's not exactly courageous poker, but lots of
players approaching the money bubble who aren't
in the healthiest chip positions will attempt to fold
into the money. If you have a healthy chip stack,
these players can be targeted for a lot of low-risk
chips, which can add to your strength.
In 2004, Greg Raymer took advantage of this
concept as play wound down to the final table. He
knew that everybody wanted to make the final table
of the World Series of Poker's Main Event, which
would be broadcast on ESPN, so he went into an
ultra-aggressive mode that allowed him to grow a
monster chip stack, which he later used to go wire-
to-wire at the final table for the championship.
Experienced pros will tell you that winning the
tournament is the only goal from the start. They
are willing to take tremendous risks in order to secure
strong chip positions, even if they end up going
broke early in the structure.
It's not uncommon to see a player come to your
table at an event like the ongoing WSOP with an
unusually large stack of chips in only the third or
fourth hour of the action. This player may have
received a hot run of cards, but the more sensible
conclusion is that he or she was quick to commit
a lot of money and chance the percentages.
The main motive for "playing to win" is in the
payout structure: First-place money lords over every-
thing else. Let's take a look at the recent $1,000-
buy-in Seniors Poker Championship (players must
be 50 or over) at the WSOP, which attracted a record
field of 4,425 players.
Las Vegas poker pro Dan Heimiller won the event,
producing his biggest lifetime cash, of $627,462.
However, ninth-place finisher Jim Custer -- who
finished better than 99.8 per cent of the field -- took
home just $51,573, about 8 per cent of Heimiller's
The big money didn't start to hit until sixth-
place finisher David Tran broke into six-figure territory
with his $115,651 prize. Anthony Wise won $206,492
for his fourth-place finish, and runner-up Don Mass
Making the final table is fantastic, but once you
have, the time for moving up the money ladder is
over. Your aim now is to win.
Got a poker question or have a comment?
Email Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loss of hair
Muscle of the pelvis
Solution to Friday's puzzle
The word may sound familiar, but do you know
what it means?
Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3 x 3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusively.
2 . . . Walter Raleigh
4&6 Rich confection (5,3)
7 Caribbean spirit
8 Force or vigour
9 Vessel for peas
11 Level of proficiency in
13 Republic to the south of
14 Big Ears' pal
1&1A Robin Hood's band
2 Number of Snow White's
3 Italian citizen
4 Drinking vessel
5 Situated between
12 Garden insect
ACROSS: 1 Men 2 Sir 4
Pod 11 Dan 13 Yemen 14
DOWN: 1 Merry 2 Seven
Bun 10 Dry 12 Ant
ONCE YOU'RE IN THE MONEY, FOCUS ON THE ULTIMATE PRIZE
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