theoriemeister
theoriemeister
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January 19th, 2019 at 2:15:59 PM permalink
I have a couple of earlier posts on playing in BJ tournaments.

So far I've play 3-4 times and have never made it to the next round (only top chip player from each table advances). I have noticed that it's almost always ploppies that make it. We're each given $1000 to start ($25 min/$500 max bet), but from the very first hand the betting is so aggressive ($100+) that those players who are lucky can put the others in a deep hole very early on. In the round before mine I watched one guy bet half his bankroll on the very first hand, and then double. He had his entire $1000 on the felt for deal #1, which to me is idiotic. However, the dealer busted and everyone at the table was already $1000 behind--not an easy amount to overcome in 24 hands. (I console myself by thinking that he probably loses more often that way, but I happen to witness the one time he won.)

This past weekend I played and managed to become one of the last 2 players at the table. Three of the players had busted out by hand #15. A fourth player was gone by hand #21. I know that conceptually everyone else is betting way too big for the bankroll they have, but damned if they weren't getting lucky and winning hands! The guy in seat #1 received 3-4 BJs when had bet $100-200. (BJs pay 2:1.) The dealer received 2 BJs while I had $100+ bets out. Ouch! I received no BJs in 25 hands. (This is the second tournament I've played and not received a BJ.) When the chip count took place after hand #20, the leader had around $1600 while I had about $300. I was forced to bet everything; I got a push but busted out on hand #22. Sigh. (I did notice that the chip leader, instead of betting the minimum and coasting to a win, continued to bet $150 a hand.)

I'm finding it hard to follow Wong's advice and bet conservatively at the start. I'm finding that if I wait too long, I'm so far behind in chips and am forced to bet big just to catch up. Throw in a few losing hands when I have $200-300 out and it's all over. I suppose I'm a bit frustrated that people with no skill get lucky enough to advance. I know that luck always plays a role in any kind of gambling, but so far my opinion is that luck vastly outweighs any skill one may have--at least in BJ anyway. Still, my rational mind says that I should stick to my guns, play smartly and hope that lady luck will look kindly on me one of these times.

Sorry for the rant. Any of you have words of wisdom you can offer?
ars longa vita brevis
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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January 19th, 2019 at 2:28:59 PM permalink
I am not an expert. Imo, you are playing correctly by not being aggressive the first few hands. You do have to be dynamic and aware of your relative standing to others, and also cognizant of your position in the betting order, and change your bet range to adapt.

I think you already take those factors into consideration, so it may just be variance. 4 tournaments really isn't much of a sample size.

FWIW I encourage you to continue.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
theoriemeister
theoriemeister
Joined: Jul 4, 2015
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January 19th, 2019 at 4:22:52 PM permalink
Thanks, beach. And you're right, my sample size is much!

Still, it is fun to play and it's cheap to enter ($25 buy-in and $25 re-buy-in).
ars longa vita brevis
Deucekies
Deucekies
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January 19th, 2019 at 7:45:38 PM permalink
Agreed. Make your plays in the final 20% of hands or so. And if the aggressive bettors have huge stacks, them's the breaks. Chase them, and get your rebuy ready.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
aceofspades
aceofspades
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January 20th, 2019 at 6:49:52 AM permalink
My tournament experiences have usually ended one of two ways:

1-I win the whole thing (including chops); or
2-Casino makes a "rule" decision and I get the short end of the proverbial stick (curmudgeon anyone?)
ChumpChange
ChumpChange
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January 20th, 2019 at 7:41:02 AM permalink
How much are these chip leaders leaving the table with in each round?
$1500
$2000
$2500
$3000
$3500
$4000
More?

It seems like it comes down to the last few hands and if everybody busts while betting big, you'll be counting the winners with under $500 in chips. Sometimes just flat betting $50 and keeping around $1000 will keep you in the game.

I'd rather try a system to get to $2000 as a goal, if this were a cash tourney where the buy-in equals your chips, and you cash-out with your chips.
theoriemeister
theoriemeister
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January 20th, 2019 at 12:56:35 PM permalink
Hi Chump,

The buy-in is the same ($25) and everyone starts with the same amount of chips ($1000). Sometimes the table winner has close to $3000 and at other tables it'll be around $1100 (or less). Either way, only the chip winner at each table advances. There's usually 1-2 lucky players at each table who seem to win even when betting or playing stupidly (e.g., hitting a 14 v. dealer 5 or 6).

Although Wong says not to, splitting 10s seems very popular. I tried it this past weekend once and won both hands! I suppose it's just one way of playing a bit more aggressively without being too stupid.
ars longa vita brevis
FinsRule
FinsRule
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Thanks for this post from:
beachbumbabsaceofspades
January 20th, 2019 at 2:24:14 PM permalink
Betting large early is not necessarily a bad strategy, and doesnít automatically make you a ploppy.

Zig when others zag is my go to tournament strategy. If Iím putting my chips out last and everyone has bet small, betting half my bankroll is not a terrible idea.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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January 20th, 2019 at 2:35:15 PM permalink
Quote: FinsRule

Betting large early is not necessarily a bad strategy, and doesnít automatically make you a ploppy.

Zig when others zag is my go to tournament strategy. If Iím putting my chips out last and everyone has bet small, betting half my bankroll is not a terrible idea.



Agree. That's the kind of opportunity I'm talking about, when you're in position to see the other bets.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
theoriemeister
theoriemeister
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January 27th, 2019 at 10:55:48 AM permalink
Update: I played this past weekend, and played a bit conservatively at the beginning. At the end of hand 20 (out of 25), I was #3 in chips, behind the chip leader by about $400; 2 other players at my table had already busted out. I put out my biggest bet of the round ($300), only to lose to the dealer's BJ! I manage to win a couple of hands after that. So, it's now hand 24. The two players ahead of me placed a mid-size bet ($125) and I bet the max ($500). I received 5-5 v. dealer 3. I double, knowing that if I win this hand, I leapfrog into 1st place with one hand left to play. Instead, I receive a 2, dealer flips over a 9, then draws a 5 for 17. Curses! Even though I didn't advance, I was pleased that I was close enough at the end to have a chance.
ars longa vita brevis

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