After a rough summer, I finally scored a small cash in my weekly tournament I like to play out at Running Aces Harness Park. I hardly ever play more than one or two tournaments a week, so compared to my friends who grind five to six times that, my bad run hardly amounts to much. But since it lasted all summer, it was huge relief to get a cash.
In the weird way that poker works, I don't even think I played my best poker. Certain tournies during the bad run, I felt I played near perfect and just got unlucky in key spots where I got my chips in with a huge advantage. In this tournament, I just ran good early. Every time I was dealt a pair during the first five levels, I flopped a set and then turned a full house. And got them paid off. I was the tournament leader early with 40,000 chips but was never able to get much more than that. Eventually I was forced to make some moves and wound up going out in fourth.
I've begun a series of articles outlining the big blind math I use for tournaments. The first one is called Big Blind Tournament Math -- 100 or more Big Blinds (real creative, I know) and covers, unsurprisingly, the beginning few levels of a tournament, where you and most everyone else have stacks of more than 100 big blinds.