back-to-back MTT wins
"Confidence is contagious" Vince LombardiJust a brief follow-up to yesterday, I played the same MTT as last night (Absolute 8:30 $10 rebuy) and would you know I actually won it again! I can't remember ever winning back-to-back MTT's. Tonight was 146 players and I took down $1326. I can only remember 2 hands right now. At the final table, I was chip leader and had 99 and layed it down on a 763 rainbow board against the other biggest stack who raised preflop and bet enough to commit himself on the flop. I felt he had an overpair for sure and when he showed me TT I was really happy. Later, when we were 3 handed, I had a stack of around 560K, the short stack was down to 80K, and the other player with a 180K stack minraised to 40K from the button. I pushed A6 expecting him to fold many holdings here (he had minraised/folded several times) but he called with AT. Board came 345J2 and I was heads up with an 8-1 chip lead. I blew the chip lead and was down 3-1, but then came back to win. I actually played 4 MTT's both last night and tonight. I final tabled the 2K guaranteed $24+2 Razz on Fulltilt tonight and the $20 HORSE last night on Absolute. In 8 MTT's over the last 2 nights I won 2, final-tabled 4, and ITM'd 6 of them. My confidence seems to be back up. Now I just need some Zen perspective to remind me to bring the ego back down :)
Another MTT win
"My idea of a diet is eating thin-crust pizza" MelindaTook down a $10 n/l rebuy last night on Absolute; about 120 players and first place was $1120. There were two key hands that catapulted me into the chip lead.
With blinds 300/600 and a 50 ante, I had AA utg with 20K chips (about average chip count) on a very aggressive table and decided to try for a limp/re-raise. One player limped behind me and the button raised to 3000. I made it 8400 to go and the button called, so I figured he had to have a hand. Flop was 227 and I wanted all his chips. If he had a pair he was felting here no matter what, but if not I think that’s a dream flop for a weak-lead type play and I made a ridiculous bet of 1200 into a 18K pot and he raised me all-in with JJ and I held up.
A little while later, with blinds 400/800 (75 ante), the table had tightened a little and I picked up 88 with 37K chips in late position. There were 2 limpers and I contemplated a raise here but elected to go for set value and just call. Flop came A98 and I was just hoping there was an ace out there. The first limper (36K chips) bet out 800 into the 4K pot and I made it 3200. He re-popped to 11K and I elected to flat call. Turn was a 5 and he quickly pushed 23K into the pot and showed an A8 when I called. We were the two biggest stacks at the table and it made me an overwhelming overall chip leader with around 40 players left.
I maintained a chip lead by stealing blinds through the bubble and final 2 tables. Three times I got an opponent all in when I was a 60/40 dog, but I lost all three and entered the final table 3rd in chips. I think I played well at the FT, picking my spots nicely and when we got 3 handed I was fortunate to get a nice suck-out when my all-in bet was called after the flop with A2 against AK on a 344 flop and I turned a 2. Shortly after I was heads up with a 3-1 chip lead and took it down when my K9 flopped 986 and got all-in against his KT.
Out of the Hole
“If you focus too closely, too intensely, on a problem when it occurs, it appears uncontrollable. But if you compare that event with some greater event, and look at the problem from a distance, then it appears smaller and less overwhelming” The Dalai LamaSo I got well out of the hole and into the black for the month this week by playing games that I haven’t played in a while. I built up some confidence by playing some heads up no-limit tournaments with no blind increases on Stars and winning 19 of the 25 I played. These are great games that really reward skill over luck due to the blinds not increasing. After that, I followed up by winning 2 HORSE MTT’s, one was a $33 tourney worth around $1000 on Stars and the other was a $20 on Absolute worth around $400. I played 5 other HORSE tourneys this week and made 3 more final tables, finishing 4th, 6th, and finally 8th in the Stars $109 buy-in. They were smallish tourneys, the kind I like, ranging from about 60 to 110 players. In the Stars $109 I ran into 2 consecutive full houses to knock me out when I made a flush followed by aces-up in Stud.
I always think that alternating games when struggling can result in a turnaround. It gives you a fresh outklook on things. There are lots of choices: you can change stakes, live/internet, change internet sites or casino, full ring/shorthanded/heads-up, cash/sngs/mtts, limit/no-limit, holdem/Omaha/stud/other, or some combination of these. This is a solid reason for all those specialists out there to learn all games and styles.
Looking at this from a Zen standpoint, this can be somewhat similar to changing perspective. You can even compare it to a morning meditation, which allows a fresh-mind. Except this way, the fresh-mind is forced because you are playing in a game you haven’t played recently. It allows you to forget your primary game for a while and forces you to concentrate on right-playing in a fresh game, and in time you return to your primary game with again fresh thinking.
“There is always hope, hope that we’ll stop killing each other, and that someday we’ll all live together in peace on this planet,” Klaus Meine from Scorpions during the introduction of Wind of Change
Poker 2007 is off to a rough start for me. I haven’t had a losing month for almost 3 years, but that trend is in jeopardy. I’ve had a very bad run and admit to having lost some confidence. Confidence is such an important part of this game. Personally, it turns me weak tight where I’m afraid anytime I’m raised. I’m letting go of solid hands anytime I’m raised on the flop, and calling with hands I know I’m likely beaten in when the pot is bloated. Anybody out there on the confidence rebuilding team?
I heard about The Palms is having a $1 million freeroll, details are still sketchy but it seems the qualifications are 300-500 hours (300 gets you in, 500 gets you the maximum starting chips) between now and June 31. I hear they have a television deal to go along with it and are reserving the right to invite up to 30 players who don’t qualify with enough hours. That’s a lot of hours to commit, but I might give it a go.
“Because I’ve pretty much given up on most adults” Barry Greenstein responding to a question on The Circuit about why he prefers to give to children's charities.
New color, new fonts for a new year. Soon maybe even some links to other pages/blogs...Okay, quickly, other 2007 goals:
To lessen tilt and distractions and play each hand independently from any other
To leave poker where it belongs, at the poker table, and not to carry any frustrations experienced at the table over to anything else in my life
To continue on a path towards greater happiness
To show more compassion for others
To help point just one person to a life of greater fulfillment
To speak up, if given the chance, for those who cannot speak up for themselves
To make some new friends and enjoy the old ones
To make my best efforts toward regaining good health, and to not get too caught up in allowing any possible failures in that area to affect my true happiness
To make passionate love to Shana Hiatt on a beach in Cancun while sipping margaritas under a full moon