Going for Three in a Row
by npte80 | Published Jan 11, 2011
This past November, a week after the November 9 had aired I decided to take my casual online poker hobby to the next level. I made a deposit into my poker stars account to play with, but of course like most noobs I lost all of it, and went on to deposit and loose 3 more times before realizing playing for real money is not the best way to advance my game.
After researching for a week I picked up 6 poker books and read through all of them, two of which were Phil Gorden's "Real Deal" and " Little Green Book" which helped me start to think like a poker player. I also read "The Theory of Poker" by Sklansky, which helped me understand the numbers behind poker. The others I don't want to name one of which made me readjust my whole outlook on the game, and has helped my game tenfold. I also at this time decided to stop playing poker online for money, and use it strictly as a training ground. I started playing play money sit n gos. I know some may think these game have no credibility, but I feel like once its down to the last 20 people the play gets much better. With this preparation I decided to start playing the low buy in tournaments at the Seminole Immokalee Casino in Immokalee, FL.
My first Tournament went pretty well. I have to say though I was very intimidated playing live. I had played live a few times in Vegas, but other than that had no experience with it. Being so intimidated I played super tight, and busted out in 12th place out of 65. At this time I was still hung up on the "Little Green Book" by Gordon, and implemented his style of play into my game. Too bad I was to inexperienced to realize his style of play is for deep stack long blind level tournaments, and not for the low buy in 15min blind level tournament I decided playing.
Then I reread my secret book. ha-ha... Then it suddenly it all clicked for me. The very next week I make the final table and end up chopping with three people left! The next week sucked horribly. My wife decided to tag along this time excited and supportive of the hobby that just helped pick up those last couple Christmas gifts that we wanted to get. Her being their only made me worry about her being bored which took my focus off the game. Now add being dealt 8 premium starting hands out of 13 and than missing the flop all 8 times it was a recipe for disaster. Too unfocused to read and study my opponents, and to pissed off that I just missed the flop 8 times with premium cards. I end up betting and folding my way out in 48th place.
Next week it was like I could do no wrong. I can’t sit here and say that I caught amazing cards because I didn't. I just outplayed my opponents to a tee. After playing for a few weeks and seeing the same people every week I got extremely comfortable in my environment and just went into a zone. I was more confident in my game and skill that playing live had become the same as playing online except now I have so much more information about my opponents. I chopped with me and just one other woman left. we both had about the same in chips, but she had just slow played pocket aces on me to perfection catching an ace on the flop even though I had caught my Q 8 two pair and doubled up, so I was not about to lose the chance to guarantee a payout that's right in between 1st and 2nd. It was a great win for, and I was extremely happy.
The next week I made the mistake of taking 200 of my winnings to the local dog track that I had read was weak. Yes their play was week but everyone at my $1/$2 no-limit table had the strength of a bankroll that I did not have. These people played every hand almost at a 10 person table 6-9 people were seeing a flop every hand. This was just not a style of play I was used to. I quickly went up about $75, but then had two hands where I had a set but there were 3 to a flush and 3 to a straight on the board each time. after that I was down to $80 and just left. I cant compete with people who are willing to spend 600 bucks in a half hour so that they can play every hand.
The next tournament I played was this past Saturday on my birthday. This time I decided to play a $50 knockout tournament. I had never played on the weekend before, so i didn't know what to expect. I was kind of disappointed at first because the field was only 31 players, they were only paying 5 spots, and 1st place was only $400. But I was very happy with my competition, after just two blind levels I realized that all of these people know their shit for the most part. It quickly became a challenge for me . The tournament seemed to last forever. after a hour and a half only 3 people had been booted. One woman who i knocked out who I put all in with my set of threes who called with a queen high flush, but I caught a 3 on the river to make QUADS it was pretty bad ass. She was pissed though. I end up going into the final table third in chips, and then I knock out a guy with pocket kings to put me in 2nd in chips with 5 people left. Everyone folds to me I'm the SB, I look down at pocket jacks. Being that were down to 5 the blinds are $500 ante, $1500SB. and $3000BB. So theirs 7k in this pot already which is a little less than a 1/5 my stack so I push all in with 40k, because I just want to take this down now, and not have to worry about how much the chip leader is willing to spend to see the flop and have him catch a queen, king, or ace. I'M INSTANTLY CALLED!!! HE HAS ACES!!!! I'm out with only $50 to show for it. I do believe however this was my best performance against the best competition I had faced.
Now that all brings us to tomorrow, If I cash tomorrow that would make it 3 cashes in a row and would give the confidence to go to the next level of stakes and start playing the $125 deep stack tournaments. I'll be back on Thursday of an update of how the tournament went!