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Poker: Skycity New Zealand Poker Open

March 17, 2013


While I was in Auckland, New Zealand I played a tourney in the Skycity New Zealand Poker Open. First I’ll tell you what I learned from the experience about the way they play here from my perspective. They play pretty straight forward ABC poker, which is very good for me, since basically they play every hand face up. They bet only if they have hit something, if they have a pair, or two pictures cards pre-flop and they fold if they do not hit anything. Still it’s not too easy to play against since you have to make a better hand than what they value bet.

That’s the only (but tricky) task here. No big bluffs or wired plays, so at least you know that you have to be better than they are when you decide to put money into the pot. Another thing is that they don’t change gears, so it’s their standard play from hand one until they drop out or go home. Personally, I like that but there was only a 2/4 game with a $300 max buy in going on…so it was back to grinding…I like to grind but I like it way better when it’s for bigger stakes!


The tourney here went okay. I made the final 2 tables (no pay), but experienced some of the strange things that can happen in this game. After the break, when we consolidated tables to two and we were 18 players left (only the final table got paid), I got dealt IN A ROW: A-J, A-J, A-K, A-Q, and A-2! So I received 5 aces and the first 4 of them were big ones! I only mentioned the 5th one because I had to play it for all my chips!

I lost 4 of the aces in this wonderful sequence that might only come by in that quality every 10 years or so. You can’t really ask for more than being dealt 4 top premium hands in a row in a later stage of a tournament. You should chip up and have a monster stack after this sequence and a smooth sail all the way to heads-up play and top ranks too! Well…so the theory goes anyway!

I was NOT dominated in any of these hands (I was actually dominating all of them so I did not run into a better ace at any time), nor was I in any coin flip situation whatsoever. The opposite was actually true. I was dominating all of those first 4 hands, being somewhere between a 60% favorite (if the guy held two other cards) and up to 82% favorite when I was dominating with my A-K to his A-10…but I still lost them all except A-Q where I got lucky on the river hitting my queen after the guy called with 10-9 and found a ten on the flop which was amazing! So with the one I won I even had to suck out!

Auckland, NZ Skyline

Auckland, NZ Skyline

So with about 15% of my stack left, I shipped it with A-2 (when I saw the 5th ace in a row I said to myself that I am almost certain that I will lose this one as well…but A-2 deserves to lose with an open shove since it’s such a below average hand)…however I didn’t want to waste more time and this A-2 after this big aces rundown was the relief for me to either double or triple up (if I got more than one caller) or call it a day after having this unlucky string of events. ๐Ÿ™‚

Guess what? The flop came 3-4-5…no kidding! I flopped the world! One guy called my all-in pre-flop holding 7-9 of clubs. One card was a club on the flop and the turn and the river brought 2 more clubs!! Well, in days like that you simply have to leave and be lucky that you had a chance to experience such a thing because if you multiply the probabilities that you would loose 3 out of 4 premium hands you get a 15% probability that this could even happen!

No big deal! 15% happens quite often actually but what really puzzled me was the probability that I would get dealt 4 premium hands in a ROW, which is 1.0972E-07 or .000010972%! Now that’s really small (it’s like one-thousandth of a millionth or a billionth percent) which is very close to impossible actually so you can see here the impossible can and will happen! If someone can experience such a thing in real life it’s always worth the price! What a ride! Maybe I should start to play lotto if I can hit such (impossible) probabilities! ๐Ÿ™‚


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