As I mentioned in my last post, I have signed up for FullTilitPoker.Com “FullTilt Poker Academy”. I have just completed my first challenge assignment entitled “Sit and Go by the Numbers”.
My tasks were as follows:
1. Don’t finish in the bottom 3 in 4 9-handed S&Gs that pay 3 spots.
2. Fold A-J,A-T,A-9,K-Q, or K-J in early position 2 times while 7 or more players remain in a 9-handed S&G.
3. Go all in with A-Q,A-J,A-T while 5 or 6 players remain in a 9-handed S&G.
4. Play 5 S&Gs; your buy-in for each can be no greater that 2 percent of your Full Tilt bankroll
5. Finish in first place in 2 9-handed S&Gs.
Over all I played in 25 Sit N Go’s to complete my assignment. In theory, I could have finished this assignment by playing well in just five Sit N Go’s if I was able to complete multiple goals in the same Sit N Go.
Here are my results of the 25 Sit N Go’s.
First Place – 2 $4.50 x 2 = $9.00
Second Place – 2 $2.70 x 2 = $5.40
Third Place – 2 $1.80 x 2 = $3.60
Forth Place – 3
Fifth Place – 2
Sixth Place – 4
Seventh Place – 2
Eighth Place – 5
Ninth Place – 3
Total cost to play = $31.25, winnings = $18.00. Net cost of lesson: $13.25.
Experience – priceless.
One of the problems that I encountered trying to finish the assignment was to my second finish in first place. It turned out I was trying too hard to win. I would push all my hands to the limit, committing all my chips to draws that were not realistic. I took some time to read a chapter from a book entitled The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition. This chapter was about Limit Hold’Em written by Howard Lederer. I was reading this to see if I could get some help in my cash games of Hold Em Limit. While the book was written about tournament play, I felt I could get some valuable ideas about playing Limit Hold Em anyway.
What I did get was Howard’s idea of Limit Tournament play. He said that he played to finish in the top three places and did not play to just finish first. He said that by doing it his way, he was able to earn more cash overall as he always finished in the top third of the payouts in most of the tourneys. So rather than win just 3 out of 10 tourneys, he would place in at least 7 out of 10 in the top third. This would include some first place finishes as well. He would get paid for most of his tournament play.
In all, I had played almost 6 games at the end of this assignment just trying to get my second finish in first place. In the last three games I played, I tried out Howard’s idea of trying to survive and I finished in 8th, 3rd, and finally in 1st, completing my assignment.
If nothing else, this has caused me to rethink how I play in a tourney and I will use that knowledge going forward to see if my results improve.
How do you learn how to play your game? Do you use book learning? Video learning? Are you a natural and just learn from your experiences?