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by Roy Winston |  Published: Feb 03, '08


I am watching the Super Bowl from my house in Rancho Mirage. It's been a little torture in that a bunch of friends have been texting me from the game and giving me details on all the great parties they've been attending this weekend. The Giants played well in the first half, although they missed some opportunities, they played great defense. The challenge for 12 men on the field and the resulting first down by penalty was just wrong. I loved Bill Belichick when he was with the Giants, and maybe the same stuff went on back then, and although he has great success as a NFL coach, he reminds me of some poker players that shoot any angle they can, to gain an advantage. I was amazed to see the Giants make it to the Super Bowl, and thought they played great, particularly the defense and Eli Manning. Watching the Giants win the Super Bowl and end the Patriots quest for a perfect season, Priceless. Congratulations to the NY Giants on a great game.

I am thinking about heading over to San Diego tomorrow for the WSOP circuit event. I'll either head south or play at the Commerce.

I have been asked lately by friends, players I meet, and by emails to about what are the things that one can do to help get deep in tournaments. What I will do over the next few weeks is go over some of the things I do, and think about on a regular basis to improve help my game.

First off, I try to be in the right mental state for playing poker. What that means is not playing when you are upset about other things that distract you. One of my good friends who is a great player, was one of the chip leaders, was fighting with his girlfriend at a break while leading in a 10k event at the Bellagio recently. After the break he busted out. Needless to say this didn't help their relationship. As I have mentioned in the past, one thing that I try not to do is put myself into a bad situation. That is not playing marginal hands in poor position. For example, in the early phases of an event, playing hands like KJ in early position. Unless you flop a straight, or by some miracle a full house you can wind up losing a lot of chips. Next, have a plan and think ahead. Don't put yourself in a weak position pre-flop only to get in deeper after the flop and by the river you are drowning, no pun intended. Always be able to throw a hand away. At the Borgata main event with 8 players remaining, and I may not recall the hand exactly however the point is the same, the chip leader from earlier in the day plays a small suited connector and flops top pair with no kicker, the other player had an over pair which held up. The pre-flop play should of alerted him to how far behind he was and laid the hand down pre-flop. The ability to lay down a hand is paramount to winning tournaments. Remember, even pocket Aces after the flop is just one pair.

The Oracle

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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