Fatal Ace And Ten

Tuesday 4/1/14 time 10:29 PM - PokerHelena

As Mr Harrington promotes tight-aggressive play he has a strong opinion on which cards you should get into a pot with. To my surprise Ace-Ten is not a hand to get into a play with from an early position. In fact, he stresses on it quite few times in his first book.

Today I played a live tournament in a casino for 2nd time and A-T became the fatal hand for me.

Ace - Ten, a.k.a The Huge Loss

I was the first to act. I checked my cards and saw A-10. I would have played it before, but this time I acknowledged the situation and gracefully threw away the cards. It was painful. However, the pain was not even nearly as big as it was couple of minutes later.

Tight player on the button raised and small blind called, whereas big blind folded. So there were two players in the hand. The board brought x-10-x (x being some small and meaningless cards that I don't even remember anymore). That's when I felt for the first time that perhaps throwing away the A-10 was a mistake.

There was a raise and a call, so 4th card was dealt and it was... tadaa... another ten! One player went all in, another one called. At this point I was almost crying. None of them had tens.

As I already saw that my A-10 would have won the hand, the 5th street brought and ace. I would have had full house. Ouch.

I know that the chances were small for this to happen. I know that as I was the first one to act there was possibility that a bunch of people with raise, reraise and go all in after me. However, this kind of losses are just soooo painful.

Ace - Ten, a.k.a A Little Bit Smaller Loss

Not long after the big loss I got A-T in my hands again. And again I was in early position. I thought "The biggest mistake I can make is to think based on my previous experience that it's correct to play A-10 from early position". So again I threw the cards away.

This time the board ran full of small cars, 10 being the highest card and pot was taken with Ace high.

True, not that clear case, but it also didn't give me back my much needed confidence.

Ace - Ten, a.k.a The Final Crush

When blinds increased and my stack started getting smaller I became to the "all or nothing" point. For quite some time I had to settle for nothing, as my cards or situations were not in my favor.

Eventually I thought I had a good chance. I was in the middle position, nobody had entered the pot before me, I looked at my cards and voilá - I had A-10 in my hand. I can't say I wasn't hesitant, but I thought this was my chance to double up (or at least steal the blinds) before the blinds would catch up with me.

Everone folded until the small blind who after a pause decided to call. When he showed 2-5 I first thought "What a hell was he thinking?" and then "I think I'm back in the game".

But oh boy how wrong I was. The board showed two fives and I was out of the game on 21st position out of 47 players.

Ace - Ten is a difficult pair of cards to play. Based on the latest experience I will definitely give this hand some more thought in the future.

Keywords: experience, strategy

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