Sunday, September 9, 2012

WSOP-2013: Week #2

Well, it's Sunday morning, so it's time for a recap of this past week's progress toward WSOP-2013.
  • Preparation:
    • Pregame. All the tourneys I played (ST and MTT) were sit-n-gos, so there wasn't much game selection going on; i.e., I just looked for some free time in my schedule, logged in, and played. I did a tiny bit of pre-game warm-ups, however, in a few of the games, including a 45-man game that I took third place in. I've also dug out an old short-stack push/fold spreadsheet I created for situations in which my M is very low, and I'm reviewing/using it prior to and during games. For cash, I am doing a little bit of pregame game selection, but the main thing I've done to help in this area is leave tables where I don't have an edge and/or a good player with position is abusing me.
    • Postgame. I'm still recording my sessions (tourneys and cash) in my spreadsheet, but I've already gotten a little lazy about writing down all my impressions and things to work on, especially in cash games. That said, I went back and read my post-mortem notes, and I don't really hate anything I see. Lots of comments like, "played very patient" and "crippled due to bad-beat near bubble" and "maybe got too aggro once we made money, but got my money in good so I can't be too unhappy."
    • Off-Table.
      • Forums. Been reading some MTT forums on 2+2, and I posted one response to Quiz of the Day.
      • Books.  Still reading Snyder's The Poker Tournament Formula book. I finished the chapter on position plays, including methods to train and practice, such as playing blind, and now I'm halfway through the starting hand selection chapter. Good stuff overall. Also, yesterday I stopped by my local used bookstore and found a couple of poker books I didn't have. The first is Lessons From The Felt by David Apostolico; it's about tournament strategies and tactics. The second is Getting Lucky by Richard Sparks; it's the sequel to his first book Diary of a Mad Poker Player. Looking forward to reading both. 
      • Videos.  Watched part of the second video in the Last Man Standing series. This one is on early-middle game concepts, including knowing when to start shifting gears from super nit to more TAggy play. Good stuff.
      • Podcasts. Listened to a full Bart Hanson podcast, which focused on "patience" and specific hand reviews. Yes, his focus is mostly on NL cash games, but he is playing more tourneys, too, and drops some of these MTT hands in occasionally. Also listened to some of the weekly 2+2 podcast on my commute into work. These 2+2 'casts are, admittedly, light on strategy talk, but they do cover the poker news of the week, as well as being fairly entertaining.
      • Health.  Good news is I did a reasonable amount of exercise, including aerobic, some light weight training, and stretching. Bad news is my diet suffered due to a) people bringing goodies and junk food into work for the rest of us to munch on; and b) the wife bringing home fattening "comfort" foods and snacks. I actually gained a couple of pounds back this week. Arghg. I need to find some inner resolve to pass on donuts, chips, MnM's, and other "free" snacks that end up costing so dearly in the long run.
  • Technique:
    • Preflop.  Worked some more on my starting (cash) hand chart, including a post to this blog on the non-Ace broadway hands. The biggest thing that struck me doing this particular installment is how weak many of these "trouble" hands really are. Way too often, especially when I go on auto-pilot, I tend to take raises with some of these crap hands. When I have position against a weak player, this is probably OK, but in general I should be raising or folding with these kinds of trouble hands, and this is especially true in tournament play.
    • Postflop.
      • Evals (RED).  Had a couple of really good reads made while playing this week. I'm trying to put myself in my opponent's heads (i.e., L3 poker) a lot more, and I'm working on decisions to flop c-bet more. It's so damn satisfying to be able to call someone's hand  range down to just a couple of cards.
      • Line Implementations (i and DforDeception).  The only real thing to report here is I'm taking more creative approaches to lines once I decide on what I want to do with a hand. Sometimes this works, sometimes not, but it's making me think more deeply about how to maximize EV. It's borderline FPS, but I think to squeeze the maximum profit out of some players you have to get a little non-standard. For instance, I played one hand this week in which I flopped a set, but knew my aggro opponent had a marginal hand. By check-calling two streets and then check-min-raising the river I managed to get more money into the middle than I would have otherwise. Being able to do this is all about R is for Reading first and foremost.
  • Emotional Control:
    • Tilt Control.  Did a good job of not tilting. Reading my post-mortem logs, I only see a few instances of "argghg" and "...the cards seem to hate me lately" recorded. Counterbalancing these negative statements are a few positive statements like, "C'est la vie" when I busted on a bad beat, and "Got my money in good. Lost, but feel good."
    • BRM.  Played well within my 'roll for tournaments, but got a little outside my comfort zone for the current online 'roll in cash games. I "justified" it because the table I played at was very soft, but this is something I've got to watch closely.
    • Discipline.  Played very patiently and cautiously. Still need a lot of work in the area of "paying attention" but overall I'm playing fairly snug and focused.
  • $ Results:
    • Tournaments (Online). Monied in four out of the ten tourneys I played in, including one first place and two third places in ST SnGs, and one third place finish in a 45-man game. Only made a net total profit of $8.82, but any profit is good profit, right?
    • Tournaments (Live). No live tournaments played this past week.
    • Cash Games. I had a very good week in cash game play ($25NL to $100NL), with a net gain of $218 added to the bankroll over about 800 hands in total played.
Summary: In general, this was a reasonable week. I think I can do a lot more in terms of studying and working on specific reads. I also need to get the whole health thing (i.e., diet) back on track. Otherwise, I'm feeling OK with my progress. The bankroll is growing at a good clip, due primarily to cash game play, but I'm particularly proud of actually adding some dough (even if it is single digits) to the 'roll from tournament play, too.

All-in for now...

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