The chance factor – not everyone wins all the time

Mary Frith ("Moll Cutpurse") scandal...
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I have been playing a lot of single table tourney events of late as part of a series of steps in a  attempt to win a seat at a WPT event.

These steps are fairly liberal in that you have at least five chances to win out of nine players. So even a good player that does not get any cards might still get a chance to try again. Either at the same step level or one just below.

I like to think of myself as a good player, but then so does everyone else I think. It took me five attempts at step five before advancing to step six. I have already played one step six and have won another entry into another step six.

I have noticed some interesting play at the table. People being people, sometimes they cannot resist the impulse to try putting on a play. When ever I notice a player that always enters the pot for a specific raise almost every hand, I am suspicious that he always has a good hand. I know that this is one way to play that will confuse an opponent but in a tourney this might be a mistake if overused. At the time, he was the chip leader with over 5.600 in chips.

I was the short stack with less than 2,000. We started with 3,000. I was in eighth place, one player was already eliminated. I planned to call the big blind but move all in if the aggressive player raised his usual 5 times the big blind bet. At the time I had a pair of eights, pocket eights. I called the blind which was 125. The aggressive player raised to 625 and I moved all-in with my remaining 1,600. Without even a second delay, my opponent called and turned over a pair of twos against my eights. My hand held up and with the blinds and antes and the pot, I moved from 8th place to 3rd and the chip leader moved to 4th place. Even now I am puzzled by his play, unable to figure out why he would go all in with a pair of two’s even though he was the chip leader. But I accepted the gift and moved on.

For a while I moved up down in position and was in 1st or 2nd place, winning and losing small pots. There were five players left at one point where I was in second place. The third and fifth place players went all in against each other. As a result the fifth place player was eliminated and I moved down to third place. In a short while the forth place player was done when the chip leader won his chips. Whenever I say he or him, it could either be a male or a female. The avatars of the remaining two players indicated that they might be female but these days no one really knows what an online player looks like or their gender.

It did not take me long to figure out that I was the target. Because the top two would move to the next step, they each took turns at trying to get my chips.  I finally got down to about 2,000 chips and had to just about go all in each time I had the chance. It was not long before I was eliminated. My last hand was A 10 against J 9. It was against the chip leader and she hit both the jack and the nine for two pair.

I have seen this happen a lot. Usually a short stacked player with a better hand will lose to the large stack player. It seems that the short stack player is doomed regardless of his hand. I am sure that the reverse is true as well. You just notice what happens more when it happens to you.

Do you lose out when you are the short stack even though you have good starting cards? Does random chance work against you when you are short stacked? Is this a case of might over right?

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