Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Poker, Mental Strength and Carrying on Through Adversity

The bad run continues, failed to cash in all 5 of tonights games. Even had the misfortune of having my pocket aces cracked twice, nothing I could have done second time round, just one of those things, but after 2 long sessions of constant losses, my net profit for the Sit-N-Go’s as dwindled to nothing.

I need a break, but with my bonus hanging over my head I don’t really have that luxury. Sure I’ve got plenty of days left, but I’m still needing to sit in 3 Sit-N-Go’s per day just to make it by the deadline, and Ideally I’m looking to get there far sooner.

On a few occasions my play does seem to have been affected though, and after almost 3 days of coming up short, I’m finding hard to brush it off and keep playing without the building losses affecting me, both on the table and off.

With that in mind, I’m taking some positive steps, within minutes I’m ordering Collin Moshman’s Sit ‘n Go Strategy and will reduce my time at the tables other the next couple of days, trying to pick up a more modest 3 or 4 frequent player points instead of the 10 I have been aiming for these past 3 days. I will also get back to reading my copy of Harrington on Hold ’em Volume 1.

As strange as it sounds, I’m also going to look more into Zen, meditation, techniques to improve your my power, inner strength and such, as reading Zen and the Art of Poker as opened my eyes to other disciplines that might be of benefit to my game. An example would be using teachings from other disciplines, such as Zen to help me improve my ability to steel pots late in tournaments without the cards. This is one of the weakest areas of my game, which I feel is more a process of mental strength as opposed to strategical thinking.

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January 24, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Thoughts on My Sit-N-Go Play and Switching Games

Maybe its just because I’m having a bit of a rough time with the game a the moment, but I’m starting to question myself and how I’m doing things. Not in a panicky, desperate way like I seemed to do the last time I was in a bad run, but still I’m beginning to pose some questions to myself.

Maybe its just because of lost rather a lot of games since I got back into it, far too many in fact, but then again, maybe thats the reason why I’m able to see these things, we don’t question ourselves too much when where winning do we?

I’m finding myself in lots of situations where I feel torn between how best to play it, and I’m not talking about moves or read based plays or even about math based plays, I’m referring to basic strategy.

I’m consistently, of late anyways, faced with situations in the Sit-N-Go’s, where I believe in theoretical sense I should take one course of action, but also acknowledge the opposite course, which seems to have left me sometimes doing one, sometimes doing the other, almost at random, without no real sense of it at all. All of these situations relate to the stages of a Sit-N-Go, where I’m adjusting my play based on how deep I am in to the tournament and how big the blinds are relative to my stack.

A basic tenet of my Sit-N-Go play, as been pieced together from the NL section of Lee Jones book ‘Winning Low Limit Hold’em’, which I wholeheartedly agree with, but I’m begging to face lots of situations where I feel this isn’t working for me, and may actually be costing me pots, and with that tournaments cashes.

These issues are beginning to affect me so much that I am starting to consider moving to cash games once I’ve achieved my bonus, at least for a while. I have a copy of Skylansky’s NL Hold’em Theory and Practice which I could use as my guide, and can I give the Sit-N-Go’s a break, maybe just playing the occasional two table or a larger “bargain tournament” scheduled on Poker Stars and try and build up my bankroll via this route, returning to the Sit-N-Go’s with enough funds to rejoin them at the higher, $5 level.

A closing thoughts, should I be aware of playing hands according to the stage of the tournament I am in, but be willing to play the hand as if in a vacuum when the situation warrants it?

These are two recent hands that seems typical of this dilemma I seem to have put myself in :

Here in the BB I find AK and with a raise to 4xBB and two calls, I elect to call instead of re-raise, as a re-raise would commit a large portion of my stack very early in the tournament.

I did the complete opposite of what I feel I should do, because of the “early stage” game plan I have developed, based on the Lee Jone’s txt, whereby I would only re-raise with kings or aces so early. I was fortunate here, as if an ace fell I would likely have gone broke.

Treating this hand as if the stage of the Sit-N-Go didn’t matter, perhaps in a cash game, I would re-raise around $400. After watching this player throughout the rest of the match, he would likely go all-in at this point, then I would likely fold with no information about the player to suggest otherwise.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1980689

I limped in here with AQ in MP with some a call and two folds in front, because I felt it was too early to raise. Though this is something I mentioned not long ago, I’m willing to call a standard raise with AQ here, so I should be willing to make a standard raise here with AQ, correct?

Everyone else calls and the big blind checks. On the flop I hit TP. There are two checks and a bet of 3xBB in front of me, so I raise him $140 more, to put him to the test and to chase out any draws. I get a call behind me. Then the raiser comes over the top for a further $400. I fold, and I fold because its the 1st level, and I didn’t felt my AQ wasn’t strong enough to play for all of my chips against a caller and a re-raiser. Its unlikely he held AK, but with me not raising pre-flop he could certainly have had A8 or A9.

This is a problem I’ve faced before in the $1 Sit-N-Go’s, where ego-minded players tend to play back at you, because the assume you must be bluffing in these spots because you didn’t raise pre-flop.

Playing this without consideration to how early this hand occurred in the tournament, I would make a standard raise to around 5xBB pre-flop, and on the same flop, be prepared to go all the way with it, depending on the individual and is betting action.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1986196

Any thoughts on this?

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment