I have always been honest with everyone around me in regards to my poker, my results and my skill level. The honesty doesn’t end here. My first live tournament was a pub poker tournament and I was terrified! I had a friend from the group I had been playing online play money with come to visit for a weekend; we couldn’t resist and went off for a game of live poker. She felt the same as me, at least I wasn’t alone.
Entering the room was terrifying to say the least. I expected maybe 30 people and 3 tables, not a packed house with all 12 tables full. On entering we asked if we could be seated at the same table and the wonderful tournament director obliged. I seriously think back and I may have chickened out if he hadn’t, my friend gave me some comfort. What didn’t give me comfort was who i sat next to. On entry my best friend’s son who is a poker shark and plays live cash games all the time was in the cue to register behind me. Over and over in my head was the thought, “Please don’t sit next to me” sure enough he was placed right by my side.
I was going really well in the game, playing what I thought was tight solid poker. I was wrong about how I played and look back and giggle at myself now. As they say, practice makes perfect! I was far from a tight solid player. My nerves were made worse when I got myself entangled in a hand with the dreaded one, my friend’s son. I had A9 off suit and had crazily called from 1st position at the table to see everyone fold around to him, he was big blind.
An ace came down on the flop and amidst my shaking hands I somehow overcame my nerves and managed to make a bet. Shamefully I didn’t bet the correct amount as I was used to pushing buttons – regardless he folded. He asked me “What did you have?” I showed him my A9 off suit and he came straight out and said “What the hell are you doing playing rubbish like that at the start of a deep stack tournament in first position?” I had little clue what deepstack, first position and obviously also little clue what rubbish hands were as well. I then played premium hands only and ended up around 16th which wasn’t bad I guess. Needless to say I went looking up poker lingo for those words deepstack and first position and worked positioning into my game.
Regardless of who you are and what limits you play, you are going to get nervous playing tourneys, at least one stage through the game. For the record, my friend beat me, she came about 13th.
We followed up with a live Sit N Go, by then I was more than drunk and my nerves had calmed. Although one should play as smashed as I was on this occasion it paid off, with me taking it down. Thank you to Jimmy Beam for my first live win! Did I say that? Yep – indeed I did. Also thanks to god for making me hot, it really helped.