I have been having a heck of a time lately in tournament play, either MTT or single table formats. I had forgotten that I need to give myself a chance to win or at least finish well.
I had gotten into the bad habit of trying to shove my chips all-in to win a pot by force. Of course I am always called by someone else that has a better hand or a better draw and more chips than I had. Busto!
I have just started reading Power Hold’em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu. This book was a Christmas gift from my wife, Diane, and it could not have come at a better time.
There was a time when I would enter a small MTT tourney with the expectation of placing in the top 5. But of late, I seemed to have lost my rhythm or tempo as a twitter friend of mine called it. It seemed that all of my moves were the wrong ones. So I went to playing mostly cash games instead. Then I hit the brick wall there as well.
Power Hold’em Strategy is much like Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2: Winning strategies for limit hold’em cash games and tournament tactics in that there are contributions from well known and successful professional poker players. Featured in this book are: Evelyn Ng, Todd Brunson, Erick Lundgren, Paul Wasicka, David Williams, and of course, Daniel Negreanu.
The difference with Daniel’s book is that it features the top young guns of poker. The book discusses image, ideas and tips and Daniel shares his “small ball” strategy.
I have already started using many of the suggestions I found in this book and they have helped to get me on track in my tourney play.
Last night I was in a satellite on ClubWPT.com. The prize was a seat for a tournament on January 31st at 9 pm. The ultimate prize is a paid WPT Boot Camp training session. There were 110 entrants to the event. Each of us was given 1,000 in chips. The blinds and antes levels increased every 6 minutes.
By the 35th hand, I managed to grow my stack from the starting size of 1,000 to over 5,100 and was in the top 3 when I overplayed Q9 off-suit. The flop was 6 5 J. I bet out 600 and was called. The turn was a Q, giving me top pair. I bet out 1,260 and was re-raised to 2,250. Without batting an eyelash I insta-called. The river was a J and my opponent went all-in and I called, leaving me with 150 in chips. All I had was the pair of queens with the board having a pair of jacks. My opponent turned over his pocket pair of jacks, giving him four of a kind, or quads.
Even though I had only 150, I decided to wait for a good hand before attempting to dig myself out of the hole I had made for myself. Two hands later I looked at pocket Jacks, went all in for my remaining 150 and won 600. Four hands later with AJ, I was able to go from 500 to 2,200. With a J10 and a good flop, my chip stack went up to 4,925. My chips went as high as 9,500 and I finished the tourney in 7th place with 5,345 chips remaining. Along with nine other players, I had won a ticket to the 1/31/10 WPT Boot Camp event on ClubWPT.com.
This all happened because I did not give up and had some luck as well.
Do you ever give up when you are short-stacked? Do you just throw your chips in and hope for the best? How do you handle downswings in an event?