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Daniel - Poker Journal

Chip Leader Again

23 Oct 2008

I don't think I played extremely well today. I only made one crucial mistake on the day, but I wasn't able to pick up any tells on my opponents and was getting by thanks to playing what I consider to be a fundamentally sound tournament game. What I consider sound is very different from what many people may think, but I'm confident that I'm right otherwise I wouldn't continue to play this way.
When I say "this way" I'm referring to small ball poker. You've heard me use that expression a million times I imagine, but if you aren't looking into learning what it means or how to play it you are simply not doing everything you can to excel in tournament poker. I don't care how good you are, or how good you think you are, you can always learn more.
I give away tons of information about how I play the game, but the interesting thing about my approach is that even when people know how I think and how I play... the strategy remains effective, especially when you add a few advanced tweaks here and there.
For those that might not know, I teach small ball extensively at www.pokervt.com. There is that, as well as the books I've written. In the "Big Book" that I wrote I cover how to use small ball and what adjustments you need to make when your opponents know you are playing that way.

So while I don't think I really played all that well in terms of making reads, etc., falling back on the small ball strategy always gives me a chance to win. It's been a pretty sick run for me since my Europe Trip. I was chip leader deep into four of the five tournaments I played in London, got nothing going in Niagara Falls, and now find myself deep into the WPT Bellagio event with 513,100 in chips. Here is my table for day three:

1. Daniel Negreanu 513,100
2. Kasey Nam 278,300
3. Beth Shak 66,200
4. Nicholas Silwinski 228,800
5. Doug Lee 164,500
6. Bryan Devonshire 99,300
7. William Metz 285,900
8. Freddy Bonyadi 112,800
9. OPEN

Lots of chips at my table and some guys who know a bit about how I play. Again, that doesn't really bother me much at all.

With the 9 hour days at Bellagio tournaments it's very easy to stay fresh and focused. Every player I have ever spoken too just loves this no dinner break format. After 9:00pm you get the rest of the night to do what you wish and you don't have to be back until noon the next day. Fatigue really shouldn't be a problem at all.

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