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October 06, 2005

Playing "My" Game

Posted at October 6, 2005 02:49 PM in Personal Poker Experiences , by Sack.

The month of September didn’t wind up showing a whole lot of fruitful results for me. It wasn’t a bust completely, I showed a small profit overall for the month, but nowhere near what I have been doing nor was it close to what I should be making given the levels I was frequenting. My pool game had taken a bit of a slide the month before as well. In both cases I felt as if I were fine and doing nothing wrong, because surely the blame could not be placed on my pretty little head… could it?

I finally took an honest look at my pool game, found a major flaw, fixed it, and haven’t looked back since. As soon as I swallowed my pride and put my ego in check I had to realize my poker game needed the same.

There’s the old saying, “You dance with the one that brought ya”. I was not doing that at all. I had completely gotten away from the game I usually played that had brought consistent results. I was playing lower quality hands because I had been seeing so many lower quality hands beat mine. Chasing draws all the time because I saw people drawing out on me. And sure sometimes it worked out and all was well, but day in day out over the long haul it just doesn’t work. Where I was usually automatic to make the final five in a 20 man tournament every single time, I found myself doing something new… I sometimes was the very first one out! That doesn’t sit well with me… ever.

Finally I just had to bear down, go back to my basics, and started playing ABC poker again. The results? I’ve tripled my dwindling bankroll that was back on life support once again. The topper was when I decided to hit a MTT tourney (which I rarely play). It was a nitro, and I managed to not get caught up in the crapshoot of the whole thing, played my game, and managed 7th out of over 250 people. It was my first “good” money finish in a MTT.

Once in a blue moon I try to find the positives in things, so I decided to look for one in my stretch of bad play. One thing I did learn from it besides the aforementioned fact that I need to play my normal “patient” game, was about how profitable well placed aggression can be. I’ve never used too much pre flop or early hand aggression, I tend to show weakness then try to pop it off at the end of the hand once you are reeled in. But now I’ve added a stronger element of stealing some pots and blinds, which really do add up over the course of a tournament. Notice I did say “well placed”, because you can get burned easily.

Overall I feel good… like I’m back with a few new tricks added to my game. As long as I can manage to keep my head right, everything else should fall into place.

Crouching Tiger

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