Powerplay versus Power Loss – Some thoughts

A backup generator for a large apartment building
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The weekly Twitter Poker Tour Tournament is played every Thursday Night at 9 PM Eastern Time on either the FullTiltPoker or the PokerStars site online. I was looking forward to this evenings tourney. I had already pre-registered days before. But this evening turned out to be a little different than the one I had envisioned.

I live in Southern New Hampshire in a small town. My wife and I just moved here from the Boston MA area last September. As I like to say, we went from the frying pan to the freezer.  And something that has happened over five times so far including today are power losses.

The latest power loss happened at just about 8:00 PM Eastern Time, just an hour away from the start of the TPT Stars Event #8. I called the local power company and the automated message said that I was eighth in line, please wait for the next available agent. Fifteen minutes and two power bars less on the cell phone later, I was able to report the outage.

Based on past power losses, I knew that power could be out for at least 1 to 2 hours or more. So I used Twitter to alert the TPT gang about what had happened and apologized if I could not get to the table on time. What would usually happen is that my online player would be timed out and would be put into a “Sitting Out” state until I was able to reconnect.  This would be a little annoying to the other players as they would have to wait for me to time out, which could take up to 90 seconds. Even that amount of time can seem like an eternity when you are waiting to play your hand, even if only to fold it.

Power was finally restored arount 9:30 PM Eastern Time and I was able to log in to PokerStars and start playing at 9:40 PM. By this time my online player, having no guidance from me, was down in chips from the starting amount of 1500  to about 1,200 and the blinds were 50/25 for the big/small blinds.

My first hand reentering the tourney was KK and I decided to shove all-in. I needed to build up my chips fast or lose fast. Everyone folded and I won a small pot of 125. The next three hands I folded.

Then I got AJ suited and again went all in. This time I won 225 in chips.  The next twelve hands, I basically folded to raises if I was in the blind as my holdings were nothing that might win a hand. Then I caught pocket queens. And I went all in again only to be staring at pocket aces held by “AcesFull_369”. This time I lost 875 of my chips bringing me down to 445.

Six hands later I caught AA and again went all-in, putting the pressure on the others. No callers, so I got only 150 in chips.

Four hands later, I was staring at AQ suited and again went all-in. I was called by Panndy623 who held a 54 sutied and my Ace paired, giving me the pot and 695 more chips. I continued to push and shove my way around, picking up a few more chips. But by now I was losing my blinds, having poor hands.

I still had a workable amount of chips, roughly 1600 or enough to last about 10 full circuits. So I would have to take my chances and try to get more chips fast.

My last and 45th hand was a disater waiting to happen. I only had 5 3 unsuited and I was in the big blind and NickRedford was the small blind. He called, I checked and we saw flop. It came out 4 A A. Nick checked so I thought, hmm, maybe I could push him away from this pot, having done so a few times earlier this evening. I shoved all in and he called.

I was trapped as his starting hand held the dreaded Ace. I still had four outs, if any of the four 2’s hit, I would have a straight. But that was not to be. On the turn a 4 hit, given the board  4 A A 4 and Nick a full house. I was drawing dead and ending up finishing in 20th place. The river card was a queen.

Powerplay versus powerloss. Perhaps a smaller probe bet and a fold if I was re-raised or a check down if I was called was in order. I could have waited for a better hand. But…

The power loss however is another concern. We do not have backup power. Even if I had a laptop, I would have needed an expensive cell phone card to connect to the internet. This power loss  lets me know that playing online tournaments is risky for me.. Had the entry fee been higher, like the $100 or $1000 tourneys that are played everyday online, this would have hurt.

At least in a cash limit game you might lose what was in the pot at the time of the power loss but you would be timed out and not lose any more blinds and antes. So unless I had a backup generator that was reliable, I am not too interested in participating in larger tourneys, risking my entry fees to power losses versus poor power plays. Just my thoughts. What do you think?

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