Archive for June, 2007

Tournament turn-around

Posted: June 29, 2007 in Tournaments

Not posted for several months now, been too busy playing. Have set a regular Tuesday night for a Hold’em/Omaha freezeout at Loose Cannon and a regular Thursday night at Deep & Steep at Gutshot. Having read and re-read Harrington a few times, my game has come on wonders. I think simple things like tracking everyones M is really helping my concentration, my focus on the game is great, and is allowing me to make quality moves at the perfect time. Financial track record has improved as a result, in the last five weeks I’ve had two 3rd’s, a 2nd and a 1st place at LC, albeit at 9 to 10 handed games. No cash at Gutshot this year, but the field is much bigger there, between 100 and 150, so I really wouldn’t expect to make a final table more than once in eight to ten games.

Have been working on different areas of my game during cash play. I know I play the middle phase of tournaments badly, when I’m ahead on chips and need to start playing more pots and more marginal situations. Tried to recreate this situation in a cheap cash game with some friends last weekend, folded only 15 hands preflop in an 8 hour session, and tried to play my bottom and middle pair holdings and decent draws aggressively. Net result was a small loss, but suspect that was because of a few other players being too loose due to the micro limits. In a tournament, opponents are going to fear a big raise much more than in a cheap cash game. I picked-up a lot of pots with very little, maybe that translates well into my target game…

Next area of to focus on is to improve my poker memory, I know that it’s appalling. Approaching this logically, I figure the first thing to is identify those player characteristics that it’s worth remembering (in general does the player continuation bet, what does he slow-play with, what hand groupings does he play from early/mid/late position, etc); thenĀ find some way of anchoring these to the person. Ideally in a way that can be maintained between sessions on folk I’ve not played with previously.

After an appalling run of bad play and bad beats in 2006 I took a notebook to a home game and made copious notes, much to the chargrin of the boys. The process of writing things down really helped me remember what was going on, and I even picked-up a few tells that I still find fairly reliable today. Maybe this is a way of starting, probably just need to create a simple shorthand and find a game where people don’t complaint too loudly about my occasional scribbles. Perhaps the blackberry is the best place to keep these…

For the record, have had a fair search for reading material on this topic, but there seems to be a complete absence. They say everyone has at least one book in them, maybe I’ll spend a few years working on this area of my game, then write one myself.