Quest to Winning Poker (Part 7)

Good Things Happening

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted, but things have been quite busy both poker-wise and life-wise. Work has been busy and been preparing for Christmas with shopping and getting work done before some time off. However, I have some good news.

The last few days have nearly brought my bankroll from big losses to nearly break even. I had 3 big finishes in 3 tournaments with a total cash winnings of over $500. I attribute it to playing tight but aggressively, keeping from getting distracted, and of course, a little luck as well. Here’s a rundown of the results.

Friday

I played a $3.30 6 Max Tournament with 340 players. Although the beginning was a little rough, I gradually moved up then picked up quickly as I busted a few players. I made the final table as the 3rd chip leader. We proceeded to play about 200 hands in which I took the chip lead several times. I ended up getting 3rd after losing 70% of my stack in a hand where I picked up two pair while my opponent hit a straight. However, I was pleased with the result and the $110 prize.

Saturday

I played in my first live tournament. It was a $20 buy-in with 50 players. After calling about 3 all-in plays and losing all of them to get down to 1130 chips, I slowly worked my way up, doubling up twice in a short period of time and I didn’t look back. I eventually took the overall chip lead at the final table. The 2nd place finisher busted out the 3rd and 4th place finishers on the same hand. The heads up portion lasted about 20 hands and ended when my opponent went all in with a straight while I had a flush draw and an overpair (Jacks). I hit the flush on the river to take the pot and the victory. I won $300, my biggest cash ever. Also, I really enjoyed playing live (more on that in a future post).

Sunday

I busted out early in a 1-table SnG early in the morning. However, I was able to play again in the evening (just an hour ago). I entered a $22 1-table SnG. I followed a very precise strategy – very conservative early on and slowly increasing in aggression. I gradually picked up chips and eventually took the chip lead and I didn’t let go, finally calling all-in with KQ against Q9 and my hand held up. I won $90.

Reflection

The key to my future success is consistency. I’ve had big tournament victories before, but I’ve also had big losses. This weekend showed me that I can do it if I play the best I can as much as possible. I recently read something in a book by Poker legend Mike Caro – basically, you can always play your best game. You can do this by just refusing to play when you are not at your best – e.g. when you’re distracted, sick, or tilting. This takes discipline, but it really can be done. I’m going to try to apply that to my game selection and picking times to play.

Also, I must always remember to respect the role that luck played in my victories. Although I think Poker is primarily a game a skill, luck has a huge factor. I caught a few good cards and combined this with decent play to win. However, we can’t get too cocky, because the next time around, we may play well, but if we don’t catch any good hands, we won’t have a chance.

In any case, I’m pleased with my progress and I hope I continue my winning ways.

 

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