Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shadow of a Doubt

Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 thriller 'Shadow of a Doubt'Have yet, really, to come to any decision regarding how to spend those tournament dollars.

As a stalling tactic, I jumped into another one of PokerStars’ 375 FPP satellites (36 players, turbo format) like the one I won last week. Was sitting tight for a dozen hands or so, watching as one particular player went all-in about every third hand. No one was calling him. Suddenly I had QsQc and decided to gamble. He had KQ-offsuit. Flop was 6c5cKc, but the turn and river brought no club or queen and I was out in a hurry. So in three attempts I have a second, a first, and a 31st.

Meanwhile I keep plugging along at the $0.50/$1.00 and (occasionally) $1.00/$2.00 limit tables. I did jump into a $3.00-$0.30 triple shootout on Stars earlier today, paying my entry with T$. This was, technically, another satellite to the Sunday million, with the top two spots earning entries and third place a cool $185. Not a bad situation, really -- only have to beat five players at the first table, five more at the second, then three at the third and you win big. I made it down to heads-up at the first table. I was outchipped about 2.5-to-1 when heads-up began, but liked my chances after having picked up on what appeared to be some weak play from my opponent earlier on. Alas, I went card dead, he played his chip advantage well, and I was out in second.

(Down to 211.70 tournment dollars, then.)

After the tournament was over, I began once more to go over my options here: (1) I could simply cash the tourney dollars and bank about $190; (2) I could “freeroll” my way through a few more tourneys; or (3) I could go for broke and play the Sunday million.

I know that for some such a choice amounts to a no-brainer -- not even worth fretting over. I’m genuinely torn, however. At different moments, each of the three options have seemed most attractive to me. Obviously I’m revealing something here about myself -- as a person and as a poker player. I’ve written before about how I tend to weigh various motivations to play poker. Truth be told, as much as I enjoy competing and being challenged, I’m essentially “risk averse.” Maybe I’m too used to being “short-stacked,” but I’ve never much relished situations -- at the poker table or elsewhere -- where I’m forced to hazard more than I’m willing to lose. Then again, I understand (and at least partially subscribe to) the observation Jack Straus makes in Al Alvarez’s The Biggest Game in Town, “If there’s no risk in losing, there’s no high in winning.”

It would be tempting to conclude that having such reservations at all itself constitutes an argument against playing the Sunday million. Then again, permitting the merest shadow of a doubt to prevent one from attempting something is a poor way to go. (How play a single hand of poker, then?)

Posted this here query over on the Card Clubs Network as a poll question. Curious to see what the Ante Up! nation has to say about this one. Click here to follow along.

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep focusing on the hand of the moment, and not fuss too much about the future. Or the past. Like the villainous Uncle Charlie says (in Shadow of a Doubt), “What’s the use of looking backward? What’s the use of looking ahead? Today’s the thing. That's my philosophy. Today.”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

play, play PLAY the millions already will ya!!!!


11/18/2006 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or play in the million and get some of your fellow bloggers to chip in and buy a piece of you!

11/21/2006 4:02 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

You say you wanna piece o' me? (Haha.)

Actually, since I myself have such reservations about funding a tourney entry, I couldn't in good conscience encourage others to do so . . . !

11/22/2006 10:55 AM  

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