In a poker tournament you do not need to hope to be amongst the chip leaders at the end of a particular daydo not chase "par" or average chips, just pay attention to what it will cost you to compete with flexibilityif you "feel" short your play will tend to be affected, and that is not a good thing.
This is a cousin of the experience you have had, or the advice you have gotten, about not playing on the day you are moving, or the wife is mad at you, or your boss fired you, or the dog got run overin other words absolutely anything that throws a curve at you and makes it hard to focus and be patient. You want to play when you can "let the game come to you", not when you have to quit at a certain time because you promised to be at the Waterman's for dinner, or your ride is leaving, or any other reason that comes up. If you are a professional poker player you know this and will arrange your schedule accordingly. If you are an amateur you often will play when you caneven if it is when you can leave work early and you have to be home in time for dinner.
When you are in a tournament you can often get distracted by other factors, especially in multi day events where stamina is one key to your possible success. Unfortunately I have a hand that illustrates this, at the WSOP in 2004 in the 10,000 buy-in event I was the big blind which was 1600, and I had a stack of 138,000this may have been below average, and well below the 200,000 plus that I finished the day before with, but it was a comfortable amount relative to the cost per round, and during this day's play I had dipped to a point of great risk and had been "all-in" numerous times. Now Marcel Luske made it 3500 to go from first position and as the action came to the cut-off they announced that this was the last hand to be dealt for the day, the button called, and I looked down at 3-3. Clearly it is right to call, but other factors were weighing on meit was late, the day had been tough, I have a history of going out on the last hand dealt, I knew that when one more player was eliminated the next table would pay 10,000 more than the current one, I did not correctly calculate what a small part of my stack this call would be, and Marcel had me covered... Okay, enough excuses, I laid it down! Ayah. The flop came A93 and I already felt badly. Now Marcel bet 6,000 and the European fellow on the button moved all-in for 87,000, Marcel mucked and we bagged our chips. This was a hard one for me to eat, I had made a big mistake and knew it. Later I told Howard Lederer of my bad laydown and his comment still lives with me, "Oh, Dennis, how could you!" as he looked at me with those penetrating eyes.
On March 27th 2006 Jesse Jones announced the birth of the World Poker Association with an open media interview on the internet. It was incorporated in Las Vegas Nevada on November 7th 2005 and purports to represent dealers, players, organizers, cardrooms, casinos, and others associated with the playing and/or promotion of poker. You can connect with it and read more about it at wpapoker.com. This organization has been sorely needed for quite some time and my hope is that we finally have the appropriate vehicle for creating a common voice with which to opine on issues that affect those in the poker industry. At the media-cast I mentioned that I felt that key members of the poker community should be at the center of this happening and I illustrated this with Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer as examples. Blair Rodman then commented that the WPA did not want an elitist atmosphere and that top "names" were going to be endorsing various 'leagues' and other outlets. This is true but because we have a 'star system' in our societyit is has been proven that where those big 'names' go many will followthat does not preclude the making of an organization where every person's voice is heard. In no way am I suggesting that some of those that support this association will have more than one vote, I am just saying that their support for it will come as close to ensuring success as is possible. Blair and I likely agree but we have a perspective problem, it is a situation where one of us thinks the glass is half empty and one of us thinks it is half full.
It is clear that the rules in tournaments should be accepted and universally applied. This is a big deal to Marcel Luske as well, and may have been what motivated him to start the International Poker Federation. It is my feeling that his vision is similar to that of the WPA's and it is my hope that they will work together, that ambition can be set aside for the common good of future poker players. The Hendon Mob from Great Britian is represented in the WPA but I would have liked to see a more international presence at the multi-media announcement but perhaps this was not easy to bring about. Poker News's Earl Burton had a number of important questions and I am sure he will write a piece on this announcement elsewhere on this site. (Ed note: Earl's piece ran about a week ago. You can read it here)
In America a group of those directing and running tournaments came together in 2001 to standardize the rules and procedures. The founding group called itself the Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA) and was comprised of Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and David Lamb. I applaud these three groups. The efforts made by them, and others that are not mentioned here, is well intentioned.
If you want a tournament to remain a local event then you are free to do as you wish. If you want it to bring in more players and be labeled a success then take care of it like it is one of your children. What I am saying applies to many events that are held all over the world. If you want more players from other countries to attend please be professional in running the event! If it is for the locals, or just the speakers of a certain language, why advertise it elsewhere? When rule infringements are routinely tolerated then international travelers will vote with their feet and not come back.
Correction (from Australia): the "hijack" seat is one to the right of the cut-off seat. Coming soon, to a theatre near you, there will be a name for the seat one to the right of the hijack seat (three to the right of the button)! I am making a joke of it here but it is ever so important to accurately describe your position when recounting a hand that having a label that clarifies that immediately is of immense value. Perhaps we should have a nickname for every position?
Until next time play good...and get lucky!
Ed note: Feel free to get lucky at Ultimate Bet