Daniel - Poker Journal
Day 2 Playing it By the Book26 Aug 2008
My focus during the tournament, as I mentioned in my last blog hasn't been all there and I don't feel like I'm "in the zone" exactly. So, when that happens, and I'm unable to pay as much attention as I feel like I should, I go on auto pilot, essentially playing the exact strategy that I outline in my book Power Hold'em.
It's a great strategy especially in slow structured deep stack events. I can wait, and wait, and wait, until someone blows up and just stay afloat until that happens. It's actually really easy.
Today I floated around the 50k mark for most of the day and was never worried about going broke at all. Later in the evening, during the last level I scratched my way up to 120k. Then with about 15 minutes left to go in the night:
Guy raises to 6000, Kelly Kim calls, button calls, I call from the big blind with 6d 8d. The flop comes 6h Jd 4d and I checked. The raiser bet 12,000 and it came back to me. I loved the flop and didn't care too much as to what he had, and raised it 30,000 more. He thought for a bit and went all in, of course I called. He had AJ... I missed, and that had me down to 30k.
Those are the kind of coin flips in a tournament I'm willing to risk my chips on for three key reasons:
1) It didn't bust me.
2) I can't be a big dog against any hand. Coin flips pre-flop, that's not the case. You could have AK and "think" it's a coin flip, when in fact your opponent has AA or KK. That's never true when you play big draws in big pots after the flop.
3) It's a great way to semi-bluff. Think about it- this guy can't really beat squat when I make that play. He has to "hope" he is racing against a draw, because otherwise, I'll have AJ crushed there every time.
Oh well, if I win that pot I'm looking like a player, with about 230,000. Instead, I'm on the grind with 28,400 but the blinds are only 1200-2400 with a 300 ante. That doesn't scare me at all.
The important point of all of this, I guess, is that I haven't done anything "special" exactly, but the small ball strategy that I employ is so effective that anyone who uses it can succeed in deep stacked tournaments. By not understanding the effectiveness of this approach you can never become a great live tournament player. It is completely impossible.
I need to be a bit lucky tomorrow, but I'm just not all that worried really, despite having slightly less than 12 big blinds left. I won't panic at all, and when I get my chips in I should have a decent chance to either chip up slowly, or double up. This game is so easy :-)