I played poker at the casino this evening for a $30 buyin. Tonight I wanted to stay away from the all-ins and play smart. There were 30 players tonight. I started out in the number 9 seat next to the dealer until a tenth person showed up after about 3 hands were already played. I played very tight, during the first part of the tournament I would play strong hands and won some pots. I was building my chip count. At one point I played 10Q and ended up with a straight which knocked out 2 players. Not too long after that we went on a 5 minute break. When we started up again we were down to 2 tables. The cards I was receiving were mediocre hands. I would have an AKQ and a very weak kicker. Or an individual would go all in or raise the pot and I would have to fold. I was getting blinded out and not winning any hands and I finally had a $500 chip left. The small blind was $500 and I played my last chip. I had a 107 off suit. Four individuals went in on this pot. The flop came x10x, the turn was an x and the river was a 7. I made two pair and earned $2000. At that point the other table lost a player and asked for the player behind the dealer button. That happened to be me. On the second hand at the new table I have QQ and I went all-in. Three other players called. The hand came xKx, turnX, River X. I turned over my pocket Q's and the person on the button turned over Pocket K's for a set. I went out in 14th place.
How would I have played this tournament any differently? I need to learn how to pick up pots early and build chips during the early rounds. I played good hands when they were dealt and stayed away from big pots that would drain my chip stack if I would have lost the hand. The only hand I raised was the straight draw, all other hands I would call with the best hand.