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By lyubovi1993, May 23 2016 10:19PM

As I write this I am in a state of self loathing. I just got back from blowing a huge chip lead in a $1200 buy in tournament at the Grand Casino in Tunica. It is not so much that I lost my stack that bothers me as it is how I lost it. I made what I feel was a terrible play. I made 2 mistakes on this hand, one of which I can chalk up to inexperience since I am new to live tournaments (I have played many tournaments on the web but this mistake could not be made there) and one of which I have no reason for other than stupidity.

Here is what happened. The blinds were 2000/4000 with a $400 ante if memory serves me correctly. We were down to about 30 people in the tournament (top 18 places paid, though I am never concerned with making money, only with making top 3) and average stack was slightly above 40k. I was sitting with about 80k, as I had played perhaps the best 6 hours of poker of my life and the cards had managed to fall in my favor up to this point. I had been in a few confrontations, and every time my hand held up. I had made a few amazing bluffs, one of which I will relate to you in the next post. All in all things were going very well when Vinny Vinh, a very aggressive (and I think very talented) tournament player made it 16,500 to go from under the gun and I found myself with JJ in the seat behind him.


This is where I made my first mistake which was not asking how much he had left in his pile. He had his chips all mixed together making it almost impossible to estimate how much he had. For some reason I seemed to think he had around 40k, but it turned out in the end that he had almost as much as I did. Had I asked for a count of his stack I think I would have avoided my second (and far worse) mistake, which was shoving all in behind him. Had I known that I would be effectively out of the tournament rather than just in a pressured position as I thought, I would probably not have raised, and certainly would not have lost more than the 16,500 it would have cost to fold. Also something was telling me that he had me beat, as my first instinct was to fold, and a poker player should always trust their first instinct.