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Monday, June 25, 2007 

Quite the weekend...

Didn't have any grand expectations this weekend, but did have a determination to make something happen. And happen they did... (how dramatic)

Here's how it went down.

Didn't play at all Friday night. Used Friday to unwind with my wife, relax, eat a nice dinner, see a movie. No poker on Friday's really seems to help my focus come Saturday. Got a good night sleep and tried to hit the ground running Saturday. Didn't quite work out that way. My total bankroll was all in play by 2pm Saturday afternoon and I came up with nothing. I was playing shitty and had nothing to show for it. Had to clear my head. Stepped away for a few hours.

It can be pretty eye opening to go through an entire budgeted bankroll and see that you have nothing to show for your many, many hours of effort. You can't necessarily pin point bad play. But you know that as you play with the last remaining funds in your roll, you are in essence playing differently. I hate that. I know better. Play the same, no matter what. I chose to reload my account. I put in $500 with the mindset that I just HAD to turn this into something.

With some money back in my account, I decided to hit a few 20 table SnG's. Things were going well as I played these so I decided to get a 3rd table running. Took a chance on the $100 Saturday deep stack at 7pm. My logic was, invest the $100 and know I'll have a chance to play a long tournament which provides me the opportunity to make my own success. Broke out a bottle of wine, got relaxed and played my A game. While I don't encourage anyone to get drunk while playing, a glass or two of wine can really relax the nerves. For what it's worth, I think it helped.

As I was playing the $100, I cashed in a few of my other smaller games which put me in a good place mentally. Took that momentum and applied it to the big one. 9 hours later, made a 3 way deal and walked away with over 4k.

I knew I was getting into a long tournament. But man, 4am was pretty rough. But obviously well worth it.

In hindsight, played a good game. Chipped up and didn't risk my stack unnecessarily. When the right situations presented themselves, I struck with authority. So, in some regards, I did play tight/aggressive. But later on, I did change that around and became far more aggressive as my stack grew. Once I picked up the momentum, I didn't look back.

Went to bed quite satisfied with my turn around.

Sunday comes awfully early. But I got up with a smile on my face. Spent some time in the kitchen baking of all things with my wife. Ran some errands. Was home by 2pm. At this point, knowing that Sunday's big tournament on Stars was a $1000 event, I didn't have any grand aspirations for playing it. However, I did decide to take a shot at a 1 table satellite for it. This table went so quick, I had to really ask myself if it happened. I took it down in less than 30 minutes. Was crazy. Everyone just kept pushing and I woke up with a few good hands that held up. I was now bought in for the $1000 at 4:30.

Things were working out well. Decided to relax and stay away from my computer until game time. Got my head straight and just enjoyed the day.

4:30 comes around and I'm feeling good. Confident. Focused. Things started out slowly but about 1 1/2 hours in, I started picking up decent hands. With these hands, I chipped up on a steady basis. Several hours in, I found myself with a healthy stack. Before I knew it, the money bubble approached. Knowing I was only in for $100, I did not stress. Bubble came and went and I was very happily in the money.

At this point, just became a feeding frenzy. Obviously many were content with the bottom payout. People pushing their stacks left and right. I took advantage of this and continued to build my stack. Quickly found myself 3 tiers into the money.

Things were looking great. Sitting there with the button and look down to see AA. With 100k in chips, this could really be a key hand. All fold to the cutoff who has about 60k in chips. He pushes all in. I re-raise to isolate. Just him and I in the hand. He shows 66. I'm feeling okay when I see this but you know that little feeling in the back of your head you get every damn time you enter this situation. Sure enough, flop comes KK6. No help on the flop or river. Crippling. Brought me down to around 39k in chips. Talk about deflating. Before I had any real time to evaluate the situation, next hand brings AK suited. I'm in the CO. Middle position table chip leader raises for 15k. All fold to me, I push. Just him and I. He shows QJ. I hit an A on the flop and double right back up to 80k. Next hand after that, AQ. I come in for a 15k raise and pick up the blinds. I'm sitting comfortable again at 105k.

Talk about a stressful little point of the game.

Things continued to go well. I soon found myself in the next money tier but was losing chips. Before long, i was short stacked again and needed to create a situation. I was down to 50k and decided in late position to be aggressive with an AQ. A fellow short stack in middle position pushed before I had the chance. He was in for 60k which obviously covered me. I went into my think tank. This guy was being overly aggressive. He had been racking up chips but got called down twice showing him in with mediocre hands. This push at this point looked like a tiltish play. I put him on a range from AJ to A9 with smaller pairs. I specifically remember telling myself here, that "I do not have to call". I should have listened to my inner gut. I called anyway thinking this was a good chance to chip up. He shows AK. And I'm out in 69th with $3200 more in my pocket.

The cashing part was great. But I would be lying if it wasn't bitter sweet. Seeing a 1st place payout of $350k and knowing I had a real shot...well, it can be eye opening. I made a mistake with the AQ but did believe I had the better hand at that point. Not going to beat myself up too much though. Overall, I played a good tournament and had a great weekend.

With that being said, the plan from here will be to do nothing stupid. Going to pick and chose a few decent tournaments this week and try to keep this momentum going.

Anyhoo...back to the real world.

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dude, you rock!
I'm just learning poker and am in Jax. please keep blogging!

Of course you played a good tournament and you really had a wonderful weekend.You balanced it quite well. I also play poker online and liked your blog.Thanks for writing.

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