My lack of endgame experience and/or skill showed itself in two recent tournaments. In the Bodog $30 + 3 $4K Guarantee this past Saturday, I made it to the final three tables but as one of the short stacks. With 21 players left, and blinds at 200/400/50, I had 2,821 left, for an M of about 3. The top 18 places paid, so I was close to cashing. I knew I had to push and pray if I were to make any kind of comeback.
However, there were two stacks smaller than mine at my table, and at least one other stack about as small on another table. I was aware of this situation at the time, but didn't give it as much weight as I should have.
In MP I picked up Ah 8c. It was folded to me. Normally this is an easy push for me, with an Ace and a kicker above 7, and a low M, so I shoved all my chips in.
The problem, though, is that four players behind me had plenty of chips and could call me without too much risk. I had to hope that everyone would fold, but my stack wasn't enough to scare everyone away.
The chip leader at my table, with a stack of over 17,000 and sitting on the button, reraised, doubling my bet. The blinds folded, and the button turned over Ad 9d. I did not improve and busted out in 21st place.
Although in most cases I wouldn't give this play a second thought, I realized later that I could have held on for a few more hands, even with my low M, to see if any of the other short stacks would take a stab and bust out, moving me closer to the money. I might also have got lucky and picked up a better hand and some chips, or I could have considered pushing with a hand less likely to be dominated if called. Perhaps if we were right on the bubble, instead of two or three players away, I would have been more conscious of it and more patient. I still might not have made it to the money, but I feel like I didn't give myself the chance that I should have.
I did it again in the Bodonkey last night. At the final table, I had built up a nice stack but saw it get whittled away on a few hands. The crippling hand went like this:
I'm on the button with 18,333 in chips. Six players; top five get paid cash and T$109 each. Blinds are 800/1,600/150; my M is just under 6.
My hole cards come Ad Td. If it folds to me, I'm shoving.
Drizz folds UTG. Donkette pushes her last 16,050 chips in. RecessRampage2, the short stack, folds.
Donkette had gone all-in several times in the last few orbits, so I put her on a fairly wide range of hands, although not any two cards. But if she had an Ace, there were several hands she could have that would dominate me, and of course any pair was ahead. If I had been smart, I would have let her have the blinds and antes, or let someone else challenge her. But I called, everyone else folded, and she showed As Jd. Sure enough, I was dominated. The board brought no help for me, and I was crippled. I busted just a few hands later.
Once again, I could have waited for a better hand or better situation since I was right on the bubble and had chips left. I called with an easily dominated hand and paid for it. The consolation is, I got my T$11 entry fee back for finishing sixth, and I got some leaderboard points to move back up to fourth place (from fifth last week, but down from third the week before).
Hopefully going through this bubble crap in two tourneys within days of each other will make me think harder when I have a similar decision to make in the future.
Side note: I cashed in another FullTilt $3.30 DSTKO SNG the other day, and then blew those winnings (all $6) in the special Martini rebuy game hosted by Katitude on Monday night. I suffered a couple of ugly beats early on, which I won't recount here, and decided to save my FT funds for another day. But I will be back for more of those $3.30 games to try my luck again.