I had a really good tournament last night, and an even better cash game afterwards. The tournament was nearly 50 people, and they host was only paying 6 places, which isn't nearly enough in my opinion, but still it was a great night. And if you know anything about my game, you can accurately predict at this point that I finished on the bubble, in 7th place.
A lot of people ask me why I tend to finish on the bubble if I don't finish in one of the top 2 or 3 spots, and the answer is simple. Most hosts simply return your buy in for the last cash spot, or maybe pay a small profit if you're lucky. This is all well and good, but I do not sit and play for hours on end for the opportunity to get my money back. That just isn't my goal. So when we get to the bubble, if I'm not a big chip leader, I tend to get more aggressive, rather than simply trying to slide into the money. This one little fact is the major reason why I rarely finish in the last cash position. My goals are simply higher.
Last night, we had one player that I've played with 3 times now. The best thing I can say about him is "he has a hot girlfriend". That's it. His poker game is pitiful. All he does is go all in every hand he is in. The surprising thing is that last night is the first time out of the three that I've seen him get into the money. The hand he took me out on was his normal play. I was big blind, with 10-7 of Spades. He raised preflop (and shocked me that he didn't go all in), and I called. Normally I would have folded it, but against this guy the game is just played differently.
So after the flop I am 4 to the straight, and 4 to the flush, and when I check, he just shoves all in. I know he has nothing, and I am probably the favorite right now....so I call. This puts me all in. No problem, because as I said, I didn't come here to get my money back. Well, by the time the hand is over, he wins it with a Jack high, no pairs. As I said, I knew he didn't have anything when he moved all in. He wasn't drawing to anything, but I just didn't hit any of my 15 outs, so I was on to the cash table.
So this brilliant player went on to finish 4th, and I went on to get everything he made ($150) in the tournament from him in the cash game. So I made my buy in back plus a few hundred more in the game that followed the game, and overall my night was very profitable. He made the money in the tournament, but was a loser overall on the night. I think I prefer my results to his! And do you know why I beat him in the cash game? Becuase his tactics did not change. He simply pushed all in every hand. In a tournament, if I lose the game is over. In a cash game, if I lose, I can just rebuy. And he never adjusted to this little nuiance of the game.
So there's the results from last night, and a little lesson to go along with it. Play to win, not just break even. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.