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Brief Blue Lights
My first week back from California has been great! I am feeling more energetic...more motivated...more optimistic...and more focused on tournaments. Every day I have managed to pick up a few hundred whether it was playing sngs. mtts or low stakes cash. I am comfortable with the philosophy of just trying to get on base with a single or a walk and not feeling like I need to hit a grand slam every time I sit down to play.. The homeruns will come...interspersed here and there. One almost came last night.
I played a $26 satellite and won a seat into the nightly 75k on FTP. Grinding through a strong field, I found myself at the blue lights after playing a very patient, TAG game. 8-handed I got dealt Ac7c in the sb. The button had been raise folding a ton of hands, so when he raised the button, I reshipped my 11 BB stack. All seemed well til the BB reshoved on top of that!!. He turned over AK. GG me. It just wasn't meant to be last night..because I played the best I could and was happy with my decisions on the Final table bubble when I was nursing a 8 bb stack, (short stack ninja baby!!) and equally satisfied with my decisions at the FT. 8th paid out $1800 which was a sweet return on $26....More importantly, that deep run and brief visit under the blue lights re-affirmed that I my tournament game can still deliver results. It motivates me to want to try even harder today.. and to be more patient with my decisions.
Also, I have incorporated a much tighter style of play in my early to middle game. I noticed that I was bleeding a lot of chips during these stages when I would get a stack, by raise-folding to three bets.. or by raising preflop and then shutting down postflop if I missed the board. I was playing hands like 9 10 suited or KQ suited Out of position etc. I feel that the nitier Tag style suits my early to middle game better and then when the bubble aproaches I can open my game up a bit. So if you notice me folding a lot more than usual... it's not that I have lost feeling in my right hand....im just in super grind mode :)
In fact a few days ago.. I did an experiment in a $12 90 man sng where I only allowed myself to play 10s, JJ, QQ, KK, AA or AK. If I had any other hand I had to fold as long as I had over 10 big blinds. If I fell down to 10 BB, then I was free to shove whichever hands I wanted. Also, I was allowed to play the forced blind hands, as long as they weren't raised. Employing this strategy, I took 6th place. It was an interesting experiment, and though the strategy was extreme, it really went to show that the right amount of patience, combined with solid shove/fold short stack strategy can be a strong foundation to a successful tournament game. If you combine effective resteals, and avoid bleeding chips... well...you will find yourself under the blue lights quite consistently.
In this day and age where online tournament poker has evolved into an aggressive arena of 3-bets, and 4-bets, I am finding it to be more effective sitting in ambush.. waiting to pounce and capitilize off their aggression. Accumulating chips post-antes by reshipping the frequent "raise-folders"... practicing the patience and focus I had lost over the last 8 months.
It feels great to be back...
Best of luck today peeps and don't forget to drink your "run-good sauce!!" Sweet Sunday here we come :)
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson