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Monday, May 08, 2006 

Winning Online Poker Tournaments

Starting balance: $2,190.00
Ending Balance: $1,995.00

When you can do no right...
There are days you can do no wrong and hit every flop you play. Then, there are days like yesterday where you can do absolutely no right.

I played in several multi table tournaments yesterday in hopes of making a good showing. I did absolutely horrible in everything I touched. My JJ all-in against, QQ. My AK all-in against AA. Every single time I had a great starting hand, I found myself up against a better hand. And when I did find AA in the hole, everyone folded to me before I even placed a bet.

I realize online poker is not "rigged". But like I said a few weeks ago, you got to wonder which poker god you pissed off after a day like yesterday.

I will say this though. This blog is helping me a great deal in determining areas I require improvement on. As I was getting ready for work this morning and reflecting on my play from yesterday, I was working out a script in my head for the blog. As I contemplated my actions and the reasons for my poor showing it was like a lightbulb going off over my head. This is my conclusion:

I was very frustrated that I had very limited time to play poker this weekend. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to gain this WSOP entry. Obviously, I do not yet have it. Along with the tournament entry, I want to maintain a healthy bankroll with a steady drive to increase said bankroll. So, beyond World Series of Poker satellites, I strive to perform well in normal multi table tournaments. So, with limited time to concentrate on my play this weekend, by the time I finally did get some down time to play yesterday evening, I wanted to cram everything in to the few hours I had available. While I had plenty of opportunities with great starting hands, in hindsight, I simply played these hands far too aggressively putting too much on the line. I didn't leave myself enough outs with bad beats in mind. Bad beats are part of the game, I certainly understand that. But when you risk your entire chip stack and loose, you have nothing to build back from.

So, while my main rule of thumb is patience, I failed to take that to the next level yesterday. I waited for my hands, but I failed to play them correctly when they finally did come. I wanted to take these opportunities and use them to double up at all costs. This was the wrong approach to have. The key item missing yesterday was optimizing these opportunities. Therefore, this is the adjustment I will make moving forward.

Winning Online Poker Tournaments...

To summarize:
  • Practice patience
  • Don't be overly aggressive just because you have limited playing time
  • Optimize your play
  • Leave yourself outs when applicable
  • Only play when you have the time to spend playing the right way
Tonight's Plan...
Don't Loose!

Until next time...

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