Ornate Push

 
 

 

 

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lots of play

I played for about 4 hours last night, and really enjoyed it. I had 3 $.25/.50 tables open on Stars with $50 on each and one tourney at the same time. The cash games were largely uneventful save for a 5 minute rush around 10.20pm when I made 3 sets and 2 full boats and got paid pretty well on each. I was a great run and gave me some encouragement after a boring evening.
The tourneys didn't go great, the first was a satellite to another EPT satellite. It was great value with only 32 entrants but unfortunately the blinds caught up with me and I decided to push my A9 from the SB when a loose player min raised in late position. Unfortunately the one player who could cause a problem with this move (the BB) woke up with AQ and called to send me home.
The other tourney I played was the doyles rebuy, it went reasonably good until I trapped with KK against another laggy player. I limped, he raised, I called. The flop was 4-7-10 rainbow and I checked intending to check-raise. He pushed and I called in an instant. He had 4-8 sooted. The turn was a 4 ! So that hand took like half my stack and it never really recovered.
The main thing I noticed last night was that I am doubting some money away through weakness. A couple of months ago where I would have committed myself 100% based on my read and pushed my stack if thats what it took to win the hand I am now playing a bit weaker and it's costing me. I am certain that this is just a couple of hundred hands away from returning to me but at the moment it is a little frustrating to feel that I am playing to only 70% of my (limited) ability.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mental

It takes a lot of focus and concentration to win at poker, and since my little break I've found it slightly trickier to get into the mental place that lets me see the cards falling like a kind of meditation. I used to find that reading various blogs that discussed a hand or a way of thinking would cause me to search for answers and think about one hand or concept for hours, but lately I've had trouble finding anything that challenges the way I think about poker or makes me consider playing any different. Maybe that’s a good thing, as it means I'm confident in my own beliefs at least, but it feels as if I am not learning anything new and we all know that in poker, stasis = death.

The last post I read that I actually thought about for more than 2 minutes was this one by Juice. There were a few interesting pieces in the hand and so it was one that could be considered from that of the Hero, Villain and "What would Phil Ivey do" perspectives so I enjoyed thinking about it for a while. Juice has been reading Scott Fischman's book too, I've always thought that Fischman, Boyd et al associated with "The Crew" lack class but I'm always willing to consider anyones opinion on poker if it might improve my game so having read some of the posts from Juice I've got a copy of his book "Online Ace" and am going to give him a chance to impress me. I honestly hope it contains some "gem" of wisdom in it that will add a new level of depth to my play.

Seeing as it's been so difficult for me to find pokery content that makes one think, I did a bit of searching last night to see if there were any new blogs that might inspire. I did this whilst watching Panorama which had a special about the dangers of internet gambling. It was a strange episode, they didn't really tackle issues or discuss it in depth. They showed the presenter giving 2k to a young kid who plays poker for a living and in 48 hours he'd doubled the money, then they switched to a girl who'd stolen 1/2 million from her employers and lost it all betting on the horses. They then switched back to the poker kid and presenter who in the 6 hours of their scheduled recording time decided to go for broke outside all good b-roll management practices and blew the gains + original stake in a short time. Programs like this shouldn't demonise the activity, they should explain why bankroll management makes short term variance sustainable and educate people that this is the correct way to gamble and enjoy your fun whilst limiting your risk.

Back to the blogs, if you wanted to see what it's like to play at high limits and do extreme things with your bankroll look no further than 88%concentration currently on a downswing there's good advice being given in his comments but I fear the lad seems too young to take most of it onboard. He's a UK poker player, speaking of which I found some more home-grown blogs while I was surfing, so here they are

Dibble-tc who recently travelled out to the Singapore Betfair Asian Poker Tournament which was won by Tony G
Canary Mike, from Brighton - the blog often sounds like it's just a vent but the boy has ambition.
Redcar
3xBB
Doob
M C Roller from Aberdeen
Toshiwonka, in particular this post
Rumtiddle
HighStack Betfair player who I sat down at tables with months and months ago on occasion in the days when I liked betfair poker and their software wasn't as appalling as it is today. His limits far surpass mine nowadays and the blog is a good read.
Wildcat
Shaaboom
and finally
Mrs Dests , who has a very similarly looking blog to Rosie who recently won another MTT, congrats !

Go have a squizz at some of these players if you need something refreshing I'm sure you'll find it in some of the above

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Heads-up

I got to the point where I had a few heads up last night, with me ending up on the wrong side of all of them. Two more $13 satellites to Sunday's main event and two more busts when from my perspective I had the guy "in my pocket" Unfortunately that's the thing, from their perspective I'm sure it was the other way around. The first guy told me that "he owned me" despite him playing such a basic strategy it let me back in the game twice from being outchipping me 6-1. Eventually it took KK and QQ on consecutive hands for him to be able to win. He thought he played well I thought he played terribly, but he went through... perspective.

In the next one when we got HU again and this time I was a 2-1 leader, on the second hand he pushed 9-10o and I called with A-3o, the 9-9-4 flop was a killer. Three hands later I pushed the hammer and it refused to beat his AJ. I'm sure that guy was convinced he outplayed me too.

Life never gets any easier, but poker at least always gets better that your last bust or bad beat, part of what I love about the game is that at helps me keep my perspective on real life. It even's my keel so that on a bad day things aren't as bad as what some people do at the table, and on an awesome day I can keep my cool cause things still aren't as awesome as when I won such-and-such a tournament.

Just booked a mini pre-christmas shopping break, from the 16-20th December. Hopefully between now and then I can earn some $$'s to spend on pressies !

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Playing again !!

Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best.
Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to do what's right and not be second-guessed.
- Bob Dylan


Slowly but surely I'm remembering how to play poker again. It's strange but after about 6 weeks of hardly seeing any hands, in the last 24 hours I've played about 6 hours of poker and "redone" the learning that took 2 years to gain. Even after a short time away I feel rusty, unsure of myself. I haven't got back to trusting my reads again yet, I'll need a few more hours and a bit more confidence.

Just goes to show that breaks are good to get fresh, but if you wanna stay "ready" it's important to keep thinking like a poker player while you're away from the table. It does feel comfortable to be back though. I've played mostly 2-table satellites to the sunday million and am 0-4 so far. One 4th, a third and two seconds on the first table of the two you must win to get your seat have helped restore a little of my belief, a little time and luck and I'm sure I'll go through.

Ah poker, wonderful isn't it ?

And thus the balance was restored

Monday, November 13, 2006

Reflection

The last couple of weeks have been enlightening. Today, finally, though that makes it sound like I've been longing for it when I haven't, today I feel the desire to play winning poker. So tonight I'll be back out there, re-learning what I thought I knew.

Some moments of enlightenment :

* I often only want something because it's difficult to get
* Always being a favourite preflop is no way to win a tournament
* When I achieve something difficult my perspective changes and instead of feeling pride I feel like it was easy
* Like Julia Robers, my personality type is INFP
* Player poker makes me a less moody person
* Work sometimes has a sense of being too important and my reaction is to reject it entirely
* I have to be very focussed to play great poker
* The grass is always greener on the other side
* Poker adds an element of balance to my life
* Focus is not a state that can be forced, but it can be encouraged
* I want to be a great player because I love the game, and to enjoy it to the maximum I must play to the best of my ability

For those you who were mad enough to keep checking the blog, thanks, and I hope you don't feel too neglected. Some of my best friends who I've seen at least once a week for the last 10 years or so haven't seen me for 6-8 weeks, so I hope that puts it into perspective for you.
In the meantime it seems I missed the big build up to the FTOPS, which has a guaranteed $1m prize pool for its main event next Sunday. While this may seem "HUGE", PokerStars has a $1m tournament every week. So it aint that special. Hopefully I'll win entry to both this week, and get to spend Sunday night doing one of my favourite things.

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Description

Ornate - adj. 1. Elaborately, heavily, and often excessively ornamented. 2. Flashy, showy, or florid in style or manner;

Push - 1. To exert outward pressure or force against something. 2. To advance despite difficulty or opposition; press forward. 3. To expend great or vigorous effort.

Ornate Push - The messy ramblings of a troubled poker player and tilted mind.

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