So, we get to go to the Northern Quest Casino Fall Festival of Poker in Spokane, Washington. We are only playing one of the tournaments, as far as we know. Kind of sticking our toe in the water and see what happens. I’m more of a ‘dive in head first and find out how cold it is after it is too late’ kind of person myself, but we are taking the “smart” way this time.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about this tournament as we get ready to go. I know that every tournament has its own personality, its own “vibe” (to use a cliche), and I’m trying to get a feel for this one. It’s hard. I did some research online to see what the structure is–not much to be found. A couple of forum posts, none of which were favorable to be completely honest. I guess some of the past Northern Quest Fall Festival tournaments had some unpopular blind structures and starting stacks. I figured it couldn’t be “the worst” tournament though, because you do pre-register and it is my understanding that most of the Festival tournaments sell out all their seats before the day of the tournament. But still…the foreboding “not very good” posts about it had us wondering.
What we do know, so far, is that the starting stack this year for the one we are playing in is $15k in chips. What we don’t know is the blind structure. From what we have been told (verification not possible yet) is that in the past rounds were 15 minutes and the blinds doubled every round. One of our any14poker.com “group” (Yes, that would be you Bonnie) called the Northern Quest Casino poker room and no one seemed to know what the structure was. She said the employee sounded extremely busy, so she didn’t get to ask much.
Armed with the information we have, we are considering all our strategies. I would love to hear from others how they play a $15k starting stack, and anything anyone wants to post about deep stack tournaments in general. I love to read, so every chance I get, I look up deep stack strategy. The other day I asked a friend how they like to play them and they said they play very tight–especially at the beginning. It isn’t unusual for them to fold overcards, especially in early position. The person told me they folded AQ os, and probably would again. The same day I read an article written by a pro that said your range of calling hands from middle position to late position should be pretty wide, even to call overbets with unsuited connectors while the blinds are still small. The rationale was that nobody will ever put you on the made hands with those cards, and it tends to psyche out your table opponents and make them afraid to raise you because you will just call anyway with “junk!” They also tend to call you when you have the nuts because they can’t predict what you will play. The contrast to this is the conservative players have a much harder time getting paid off, and tend to blind out because they can’t get callers when they do make their hands.
Personally, I tend to think the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. I know that position is almost everything in poker these days, but not necessarily always the late position. I’ve seen some of the strategies start to use the psychology of the big bluff by the UTG, which other players automatically assume means a huge hand or the player would never play that position.
I haven’t settled on my strategy yet. I may develop it after folding for the first hour so I can see how the other players posture. Whatever we do, it will be an adventure. We will enjoy our time at the Northern Quest Fall Festival of Poker. Who knows, maybe we will be able to post a review for all the world to see on any14poker.com Be watching for it!
Tell us what YOU would do…we’d love to hear it.