Sunday, December 2, 2012

WSOP-2013: Week #14

It’s Sunday, so time for a recap of this week's prep/progress toward WSOP-2013. This was another rough week of business travel, but overall I didn't do too much damage to my forward progress. As I stated a while ago, my goal for this holiday season is to simply survive it; any progress, improvement, and/or additions to the bankroll are going to be viewed as gravy. With that in mind, here's summary for the week:
  • Preparation:
    • Pregame. Did some mental warm-ups prior to playing this week in a handful of cash games I played, which paid off. On the flipside, however, I didn’t warm-up the three times I played tournament poker, which definitely didn’t pay off. In one case, I had a couple hours to kill Saturday morning before my flight home, and I just jumped into a big MTT without even really determining whether I had enough time to finish the damn thing. Argh. Went pretty deep, but then had to essentially donk off my chips as it was time to drive to the airport. Can you say Dumb? I can. Dumb.
    • Postgame. Didn’t really do any serious postmortems on hands this week.
    • Off-Table. Nada.
      • Forums/Hand-of-the-Day. Voted in every HotD this week, and again went 7 for 7 in agreeing with the majority of voters (which I assume is better than disagreeing with them!) Didn't, however, read any forum posts or make any comments.
      • Blog Entries. Started a new series of blog entries that analyze selected MTT hands in the WPT book series. The idea with these is to attack a lot of really common situations and hands from WPT V1-V3, such as big slick facing a raise, small pairs facing a 3bet, etc.., so that a) I've fine tuned REDi to be used in MTTs; and b) I'm comfortable with default plays.
      • Books. Read some more of the WPT V3 book. I’m really enjoying the series, and this volume in particular. It's particularly interesting to see how the three pros tend to agree in their analyses of a specific situation, and then read the author's take on the hand, where he often has done the opposite of what the professionals would have done. When he calls, for instance, and everyone else said they would have folded, the pros then analyze the hand as-played, often stating things like "I'm not sure why I'm now play the turn, but given that I must have misclicked and called, here's what I do now...." Fun, informative stuff.
      • Videos. None watched.
      • Podcasts. Listened to one of the Thinking Poker podcasts, plus Bart Hanson’s Macao trip recap. I’m actually behind 3-4 podcasts in the ones that I subscribe to. Travel and other stuff has been eating up the time I normally set aside for walking and podcasting listening.
      • Health. Surprisingly lost half a pound on this trip. I'm still up overall for the past few weeks, but long work days (and evidently lots of beer?) seemed to keep things from backsliding too badly. Back on the wagon, starting today...
      • Other. Played some DD Poker on airplane rides, which I'm still finding instructive, but otherwise there’s nothing really worthwhile reporting here.
  • Technique:
    • Preflop. I have been pondering the whole idea of starting hand selection and the fact that it’s so damn easy to get yourself in a world of hurt by getting involved in marginal situations in tournaments when not deep stacked. I also continually relearn the lesson that when you make a bad decision in poker you have immediately lost, even if you win the hand (I blogged about it here in a bug tip). As a thought experiment on this latter concept, I imagined a poker game in which the hand would be decided immediately after the preflop action was complete, but before the flop was dealt. In other words, if you make a bad decision (e.g., opening a trap hand in EP and then calling a RR by someone strong who has position) you lose the hand, regardless of whatever the flop brings. This is the essence of playing proper poker; the results don't matter; the decisions you make are everything. The next time you sit down to play, try this: Imagine immediately forfeiting any money you put into the pot when play a hand counter to what you should do. You open AJo UTG at a table of LAgs? That money is gone and you wait for the next hand. Call a LP steal attempt with 22 in the BB? That money is just taken away and you don't get to see a flop. Seriously, if this doesn't change how you play poker, nothing will.
    • REDi. The idea of good decisions = winning, and bad decisions = losing can be extended to post flop play, too. Poker is all about making the right decisions, not the results of a hand. Lather, rinse, repeat a couple million times. You'll eventually understand this. Or not.
  • Emotional Control:
    • Tilt Control. Aside from playing unprepared a few times, no real tilt issues to talk about here.
    • BRM. Same story as last week: I’m playing well within ‘roll in STSnGs and MTTs, but I’m playing too high in cash, especially now that I’ve cashed out most of my online bankroll.
    • Discipline. Played tired a few times when I shouldn’t have, but in general I played pretty solid, disciplined, perfect poker otherwise.
$ Results:
  • Tournaments (Online). Played three $11 STSnGs and one $11 MTT online. Didn’t cash in any of these, for a net loss of $44.
  • Tournaments (Live). None played.
  • Cash Games. Played a little more than 400 online hands in $25NL and $50NL for a net profit of $85, or about 35BB/100. Not a lot, but given that I was on a biz trip for the week, not bad either...
Summary: In general it’s wasn’t a horrible week, especially given that I was sleeping poorly, eating poorly, drinking most nights, and certainly not exercising. I’m back in town for a week, then off again for a week of biz trip, then I’m off for vacation the remainder of the year. I need the break...

All-in for now...

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