Here’s a hand I witnessed at the Quantum Reload tournament I played in that I told you about here and here.
This hand didn’t involve me. Player A, a short stack, shoved the turn. Player B, a bigger stack, called. Player B had King-6 of diamonds. The board included the 2,4, and 5 of diamonds. Player A had two Aces, including the Ace of diamonds, so he had outs. By the way, he hadn’t raised preflop with his Aces. The bigger stack was saying “No more diamonds.” But a diamond did indeed hit. The bigger stack said, “Damn!” The dealer called the hand for Player A. “Ace-high flush.”
But the river card wasn’t just any diamond; it was the 3 of diamonds. And the dealer soon caught his error. Or at least one of them. “It’s actually a straight flush.” Indeed it was. The guy with Aces had the steel wheel. The dealer started to push the pot to the guy with the Aces.
Notice anything wrong yet? The “losing” player didn’t, but the guy sitting between the two players involved did. “Straight flush? He’salso got a straight flush.” And he pushed the guy’s 6 of diamonds next to the board. “A bigger straight flush.”
Yes indeed, the guy who thought he lost had the 6-high straight flush and was eventually and properly awarded the pot.
That’s the first time I’ve been at a table where a straight flush lost to a bigger straight flush. Wow. And lucky that one player not involved in the hand noticed what the two involved players or the dealer had failed to.
OK, so now I’m hearing you folks shout, “What, two posts about that crappy Quantum Reload tournament weren’t enough? It’s really a three-parter?”
Well, kinda. Let me explain. When I started that two-part post about my most recent adventures at the Bike, I honestly thought it was something I could knock out in a couple of hours and that it would be a (relatively) short post. I started it the very next day and figured I could have posted by early evening.
Boy was I wrong. The post sort of had a life of its own. Suddenly I was writing a two-part post. In fact, the first draft of it was actually too long for two posts. I reviewed it and cut a bunch of stuff out to make each part closer to an “acceptable” length. One of the things I cut out was the hand I started this post with. But I cut out other stuff too. A few words here, a few sentences there, a couple of paragraphs here and there. All told, I trimmed 1,000 words out of it, and it was still as long as you saw.
I could have cut it more, and I’m sure some of you would have preferred that. But I didn’t want to cut out any more. You see that was a “frustration” story….a list of one thing after another that went wrong for me. To me, it was important to list every one of those frustrations, every one of those things that went wrong, in order for the story to be complete.
So that’s why a day of really crappy poker ended up being a really long two-parter.
But I always intended to save the straight flush beating a straight flush story for another time, so here it is.
Now, as long as we’re talking about the Quantum Reload tournament, let me discuss it some more, and explain why I probably won’t be giving it another try.
One of the appeals of the tournament for me was the possibility of winning a whole lot of money for a really small buy in. I mean, I won around $1,700 for a $125 buy-in at the Aria recently (see here). But this tournament had a $30K guaranteed prize pool, and I could enter it for as little as $65 (assuming I took the add-on during the first two levels and also took the $5 dealer bonus). I really wanted to see what the pay structure would look like but I assumed that finishing in the top 10 or so would be a really, really nice payout.
Wanting to see the payout structure was one of the reasons I was ambivalent about busting out before the 20-minute break. It would have been convenient, but I would have left before they posted the payouts. As it was, I left so soon after the tournament resumed that I left before they posted the payouts, so I didn’t even get that piece of information that I wanted.
But a couple of days later, I remembered that the Bike had a blog and I thought I had seen tournament results listed there for some of their daily tournaments. Sure enough, I found a tournament result for a Saturday Quantum Reload. It wasn’t the same one I played, it was from a month earlier, but I think the info they posted gave me enough information. You can see the results here.
If you click the link, you will see a pic of the guy who won the tournament that day. As an aside, I’m pretty sure that guy was at the first table I was at. Just an interesting coincidence.
Anyway, that tournament had a final prize pool of nearly $35K. I’m assuming that’s in the ball park of the tournament I played a month later. And you will see that first place was $8,500.
I dunno, but to me, that’s a bit disappointing. Not that I wouldn’t love to win that, but it’s like only a bit more than double what the first prize was in that Aria tournament I played in, for a prize pool that was almost three times the size. The buy-in was smaller for some people but you could have actually bought in for more that the Aria ($145 if you bought in late, took the dealer’s bonus and the add-on).
But what’s even more disappointing is the scale downwards. Only 7 players got over $1K. I dunno, but to me, 10thplace for a tournament with that big a prize pool should be worth more than a measly $465.
It seems contradictory to be complaining about both the small size of first place and the small payouts to those further down the scale. But that’s what it feels like to me. I wonder where all the money went? I would say this: The first place money is surprising, but 10th place is incredibly disappointing.
Again, I get it that buy-in is smaller than Aria, at least for most of the players. But still.
The other thing is the time invested. On that blog, there was a previous entry that they still had 33 players left at midnight! I assume all of those people got paid, but how much? If 10th was $465 was 33rd place even $100? I bet a lot of people who got paid got less than they paid to enter, even if they didn’t re-enter. So imagine playing poker for 10 hours and making maybe $10—or perhaps losing $25. That doesn’t make sense to me either. That player who got $465, he might have been there to 1-2 in the morning, and may have started at 2PM.
I suppose this is really a good argument against tournaments in general. I mean, any big MTT is going to be like that, right? In order to make it worth both your money and your time, you need to go really, really deep, and if come up short and cash without getting paid much, you have to wonder if it’s worth it.
Sure you got to play poker for a long time and hopefully that’s fun. And sure, if you played cash for that many hours you could have lost buy-in after buy-in after buy-in. Maybe you would have lost $1K playing a cash game for that long. But if you are looking at it that way, you probably shouldn’t play poker at all.
I dunno. I sure liked taking that big cash at Aria back in January. But the more I think about it, and think about the other issues with tournaments (having to adhere to a schedule, issues with meals, etc), I think I might be playing less tournaments in the future.
What do you think? Am I wrong to think that the payouts at that Quantum Reload tournament are disappointing? I’ll tell you what, I’m sure glad I didn’t last to 11PM only to have left empty-handed.
Regarding the accompanying graphic, I really couldn’t even think of anything to look for to tie into this post, so I just decided to put a totally gratuitous picture of this rather attractive young woman here. Trust me, the pic has nothing to do with this post. I hope you don’t mind. Oh and by the way...she want's us to guess? My guess is 32F.