Final Category: Reference Books
Great. I was up against a Research Manager and a Writer and we get reference books at a category. I knew my way around the library a long time ago, but since the start of my career, I had lost acquaintance with all but the legal section of reference. My first day on Jeopardy! culminated with me being the only one to correctly answer the Final Jeopardy question. That was enough to propel me from second to first and bring me back for day two. Now, I was in third but the scores were tight. The research manager had 12k, the writer 11.4k, and I was within striking distance with 9k. The only way for me to win would be to get the answer correct and hope the other two missed or for all of us to get it wrong and to make the correct wager. During the time set aside for the final commercial break, I made the correct bet and waited for the answer.
“When it was completed in 1928, Britain's P.M. said, "Our histories, our novels, our poems ... are all in this one book"
I immediately knew the question. It popped right in to my head. All I had to do was write it on the screen and hope the other two somehow missed this gimmee. Before I could get my virtual pen to the glass, though, I started to think. “Is that really the right answer? It’s much too obvious.” “It can’t be big enough to hold all of that information” “It must be something else.” I went through my brain storage areas and came up with two alternatives, one of which I was able to dismiss with confidence and the other which eventually made it onto the screen. Fortunately for me, the writer gave the answer I summarily dismissed and the research manager gave the same one I did. The correct wager gave me the victory. Half-right was enough for the win.
Both of my big mistakes came in the Full Tilt 24 + 2 this weekend. Friday night, I was playing extremely well and was in the top 10% with about 1/3 of the field left. I suffered a bad beat to get down to a slightly above average stack when I picked up KK in late position. UTG raised to 3x the blind and if folded to me one off the button. I re-raised 2.5 times his raise. All folded to him who called. The flop was QJx rainbow and UTG checked. I bet 2/3 the pot and he called. I immediately thought he had QQ or JJ. Nothing else made sense in that situation. He called a substantial raise preflop so he’s got a pair, probably TT-AA or AK, probably suited. With a Q and J on the flop, he checked. Holding a pp TT or less or AK, he would probably bet and hope I was holding an under pair or unimproved overs. Holding AA or KK, he would bet and make it expensive for me if I was holding AQ, AJ, or was drawing to a straight. By just calling my bet, he telegraphed his hand clearly. Luckily for him, I am a second-guesser. I got all his money in on the turn and he flipped over JJ. I was crippled and went out short of the money.
Now, there was no doubt in my mind that he had JJ or QQ but I somehow convinced myself I was wrong and went from leader to also-ran. This is one trait that is keeping me from making that next, great leap forward.
The second mistake was in the Sunday night tournament. Below average with 25% of the field left, I made a 3x raise from early position. I should have just gone all-in as I left myself pot-committed anyway. After I acted, I moved on to one of the other games I was running at the time. I could still see about half the Full Tilt table behind my active table and saw all folders back to me. I don’t have auto-muck on FT for some reason and when the buttons popped up for me to act, I flashed to the table and hit the “muck cards” button. Unfortunately, it was really the “fold cards” button as I had been raised by a hidden player. I gave away most of my stack without even seeing a flop. Divided attention cost me the pot and maybe a payday if I had gotten lucky. Being able to play more than one table is great. Don’t act without verifying the situation though, especially in NL and tournament situations.