Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shuffle Up for a Good Cause

I don't usually play on Saturdays because that's my agreed upon family day with my wife during the weekend. Yesterday was an exception however as there was a charitable tournament taking place in connection with a group that I belong to, so my wife and I headed out to play in the afternoon. It was a smallish event with only a couple of dozen players most of whom were from our group. We raised some money for a good cause, but I have some vision that this could end up being a much larger event on the scale of Jen Harmaon's event for the SPCA or Howard Lederer's event for the boys and girls club that I played in earlier this year, as will be seen below we have some people with good poker contacts in our group and I hope we look at ways to take advantage of that (again, all for a good cause).

I don't know if it's come through in prior posts, but I have not, as of late, been running very well. Card dead is a term I'm very familiar with. Now in addition, I've thrown my fair share of dumb plays in the mix, so don't think I'm trying to lay poor results off solely on luck, but objectively I haven't been getting a ton of help from the cards of late. I don't know if it was karmic because we were playing for the benefit of others, but boy did I hit a run of hot cards yesterday like you wouldn't believe. Over the course of the tournament I hit several straights, sets, a couple of flushes and was able to rely primarily on the strength of my cards rather than wily moves. I chipped up substantially early and was able to just ride that wave, play position and went to the final table as one of two substantially big stacks. I took a couple of pots off the other big stack and was able to get to the final two without ever having to be at risk for all my chips.

So I mentioned that there were people in our group with good poker contacts, and one of them invited their friend Jack McClelland to come out and support our cause. Sure enough, when it got down to heads up it was Jack and I. It was kind of weird going heads up against a guy I've seen running big WPT events on tv, and I was lucky enough to have something like a 5-1 chip lead when we were down to heads up. I did double him up once, but was able to just keep chopping wood and get that back. Then it came down to a hand where I had A6 on the button, raised preflop and he called. The flop came 644 and Jack put all his chips in. Given the chip disparity I can't ever fold there and in the end he had two overs. I faded his six outs on the turn and the river and it was all over.

It was a really good event for me, not just because we raised money for charity and I ended up with a ncie profit for the day, but because I really needed the confidence boost. Today I'm going to take the day off from playing and take it easy. It's a football and snacks day!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Poker Zen

I had a good session last night. It was not good in terms of monetary results, I played in a tournament and didn't cash, then I played a couple of hours of NL and ended up down about $20, so I was down $75 for the night. It was fantastic though in terms of my mental state. I was able to be very "present" throughout the night. I felt like I always knew exactly where I was in hands and I acted accordingly. When things didn't go my way, I didn't get mad or frustrated, I just acted accordingly and moved on to the next hand. Perhaps it was the result of listening to an interview with Tommy Angelo earlier in the day, but I was definitely getting my poker zen on. It was a good feeling, and if I can stay in that mode more at the table I know that will be a big step towards becoming a better player.

edited because when this originally posted only half of the second topic discussion got put up