Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Excuses...


Was running through my pre-game checklist today, reminding myself of a number of things I want to keep in mind while playing in the tournament on Friday. For early stage play, for example, these include such wide-ranging things as:
  • Be very patient. Let game come to me. Don't force the action.
  • Tight/semi-passive play in first few blind levels (play almost a weak-tight game). Start adding aggression as the blinds climb. Be in full blown (re)attack mode by the time the antes kick in.
  • Do not gamble early. Main goal is to not lose a lot of chips early. Don't dig a hole.
  • First: Survive and observe. Second: Chip-up if I can. This reverses deep into antes.
  • Don't LP steal with hands I'm not willing to call a re-reraise with (or 4bet with). Stealing isn't worth it at the early stages.
  • Dump the small pairs and trouble hands in EP.
  • And so on...
Anyway, I've recently added three high level items to the master list:
  1. Have Fun. This is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind. Why am I going to Vegas in the first place? Because it's on my bucket list, that's why. I'm doing this because I want to experience, well, the experience of the WSOP. The stress of playing in a big event like this can easily overwhelm the whole big picture if I let it. I have to actually remind myself that the point of this fandango is to enjoy the WSOP. Experience it. Have fun. Enjoy. Take it all in. Play poker. Smile.
  2. Play With Heart. Trust my instincts and have the courage to pull the trigger when the time comes. And have the courage to fold, too. The buy-in money is already gone, so don't stress the money part. It's like posting your blinds; that money no longer belongs to me. These be sunk costs, boy. Play irrespective of the buy-in or the payout structure. Which brings us to...
  3. Make Good Decisions. It may sound simpleminded, but this is perhaps the biggest, most important and fundamental secret to winning poker. The results don't freaking matter: it's all about the decisions, mate. The absolute last thing I want to do is come back from Vegas wishing I'd played a key hand differently than I did, especially in tough spots. I can take coolers. I can live with bad beats. What I can't stand, however, is bad decisions. Especially hasty, bad decisions. My internal dialog on each tough hand is going to include something along the lines of: If this hand busts me out, how am I going to justify my play tomorrow on the blog? If I can't justify the play, I should not make it. It's really that simple. Think, reason it out, make a decision, then act.
Three days and counting...


All-in for now...
-Bug


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