Chopping the Pots in Tournament Poker
by David Revels, Co-Owner of 3 Aces Casino Parties
Ok, you have sweat, cursed, and berated the poker gods!! You have played every hand to the best of your ability. Your skill has been tested, your luck ran deep when you needed it to – and oh yeah baby, you got that suck-out miracle ace to eliminate 3 players on one hand…even though you were behind all the way – and your reward?
(drumroll): THE FINAL TABLE! Let’s face it, in tournament poker it’s better to be the first one knocked out so you can hit the cash games and possibly win back some of your tourney buy-in and maybe a few more bucks to have a ‘tater with that steak on Saturday night. The worst feeling is the bubble…WAIT…did you hear that loud POP?!? That was the bubble. Getting knocked out just before the money payouts…sick, baby, just sick.
But not today my friend – you have made the final table AND you’re in the money. You big ol’ boy – sitting with that mountain of chips that everyone is salivating for… You’re feeling good right now! Admit it, you want to take a picture of that Everest of clay circlets and text message it to all your friends. Heck, they would be shocked too…
So, you get heads up with ol’ big mouth himself: PHIL. He says to you, “hey buddy, how about a chop?” Well you have 70% of the chips in play – why in the world would you want to chop with this brat? You realize this guy can outplay you. And second place money is ok, but you want some mushrooms to go with that steak and tater too.
My advice to you – don’t sell your stack short! DO NOT CHOP 50/50. If the combined money of 1st and 2nd place is $1,600.00 – with first place being $1,000.00 and second place being $600.00 – Each of you takes the 2nd place money of $600.00. With the balance of the cash ($400.00) divide the amount of money by the percentage of the chips you have in play. With you having 70% of the chips, you should take $280.00 of the $400.00 and Phil should get $120.00. This is an awesome way of chopping the pot in fairness to the large stack that you have worked so hard to accumulate.
So next time you get heads up – remember – don’t sell yourself short if you are intimated by your opponent. Take what’s yours! And go ahead and have some cheesecake and gourmet coffee after that steak dinner…you have earned it my friend!