Today I entered a 90 person, $24 buy-in tourney with a $4 knockout for everyone whom you felted.I know there are some of you out there who like the knockout element, how it allows one to recoup one's buy-in even if one doesn't go far in the tournament, but as of right now, as of this moment, I fucking hate knockouts.
First of all I think they penalize the quality hold em player. I'm of the opinion that the less you put your whole stack, or a great big by-god chunk of it, at risk, the better off you are. If you are in a knockout tournament, you could be convinced otherwise for what is, upon reflection, a ridiculously small amount of money. This is why I think that a knockout tournament favors the hyper-aggressive player, and turns knockout tourneys into all-in fests, an area wherein I am least comfortable.
I was cruising along nicely, having chipped up to a little above average stack at around 2.5x my starting point. I was picking my spots well, punishing group limpers, leading out only when I had the goods or had identified a weak player. But the spectre of old man Knockout reared its ugly head and made me make a decision I very likely would not have made.
I had 33 pre-flop with about 7000 in chips (it was a doublestack tournament, which I love, and might be the subject of another post). The player to my immediate right, who only had about 3000 chips moved in, and I sniffed a bit of weakness. I call and sure enough he turns over 46 off.
Now, of course this guy is a pork chop for moving in without even a whisper of a hand, but I think that without the potential to knock his ass out and grab $4 from him, I wouldn't have called with 33. Do I even need to tell you how this story ends? He catches a 6 on the flop and a 4 on the turn and cripples me.
My death knell was sounded about 10 hands later, when, as BB, I was moved in on by the SB. I had AK off, and snap called. I was elated to find myself yet another pork chop who moved in with 28d! What kind of ass-munch goes in with 2-8? When I'm stealing and bluffing I always have at least SOMETHING - a suited connector or two-gapper, a couple of big cards, a dry ace, something. But this chowderhead went in on me with deuce-son-of-a-bitching-eight.
Do I even need to tell you how THIS story ends? He flops his deuce and I take my bow, with my opponents chiding the winner and commiserating with me. My 28th-place finish did nothing for my bottom line, or my already incredibly bruised ego.
So I'm going to enter another similar tournament, having earned the buy-in with the easiest $20 heads-up match I ever played (I won easily whilst chatting on the phone with someone). Except this time, no god damned knockouts.