"It's all about pot control, right?" - Peter Eastgate to Joe Hachem, WSOP2009.
The above quote is one of my favourites from the coverage of last years WSOP, which is currently airing on ESPN over here in the UK (and by the way I don't know what Everest are complaining about, their marketing is in my face every 5 mins during the broadcast). Another quote I like is "why do the pushin' when the donkey will do the pullin'"
The previous week, when I hit a couple of final tables in 180's my pot control was getting really good. I was improving at small-ball, helped by Daniel Negreanu's section on the subject in his book Power Hold'em Strategy. Since Saturday my attempts at pot control have been failing and I'm not entirely sure it's my fault. Pretty much everytime I've had a big starting hand I've been forced into a decision for all my chips. Even when I've got a decent number of chips I've been running into the guy who's had a horseshoe up his ass for the last 20 minutes and has an even bigger stack. After a raise from me he reraises forcing me to call half my stack or push, I push with QQ get called by 88 and the board runs out 567-7-4. I raise with KK get called by the BB and see a Q73 rainbow flop, the BB check-raises allin and I call to see Q8 hit an 8 on the turn. I know what this sounds like. It sounds like bad beats AND it sounds like I'm being results oriented. If there's a point, other than just having an outlet here, I guess it's that even though I am not a believer in the get-them-all-in-there-with-any-edge strategy sometimes my opponent will force me to do that. Sometimes they'll get lucky regardless. Sometimes it'll happen more times in a row than you thought possible. If anything it reinforces my belief that small-ball is better than long-ball.
The trick is to keep playing well, and not let the mind/ego get tricksy with the best possible play at this moment.
Just writing this post helps me do that better.