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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gaining confidence

As the International Poker Open is just 23 days away I have started to play the PokerStars Deepstack tournament as often as possible. With 30 minute levels and 5.000 starting chips this is the perfect training for the IPO.

And my results are getting better and better. I lasted longer and longer (although I busted on the bubble last week) in the last time. But today I was really successful by making a 5th place out of 206. It was a fight for more than 8 hours and as always it took already 5 hours to make it into the money. Winning almost $250 is a nice thing but the most interesting part is the way how I was able to reach this 5th place.

I was almost card dead for most of the early stages of the tournament. And until the second break my stack was down to 3,000 chips while the average was around 10,000 or so. I resisted to gamble and waited for my spots (which is of course easier with that great structure). On the last hand before the break I got AA and was paid off in a nice way. On the first hand after the break I got KK and received a nice pot again. That brought me up to average. Unfortunately that was it again for a long time with playable cards. So even with the good structure I eventually reached short-stack play and was forced to change into push or fold mode. But again I was able to select my spots (cardwise and position-wise) carefully. I never doubled up but was able to increase my stack slowly. I wasn't in big danger before the bubble but still down at the lower part of the field with 27 players getting paid.

After the bubble bursted the whole play became looser and I was able to take advantage of it (as I was doubled up two times and took down some good pots). Unfortunately just before the final table I was the lowest stack again. I sneaked into the final table and doubled up with my greatest hand of the tournament when my 99 vs. AQ improved to quad 9's. But finally my TT ran into a AJ and a flop that contained another J.

Of course I had my fair share of suckouts (I think I was behind in two crucial confrontations) and won some important coinflips (being ahead when the money went in). But I was amazed how you can get that far without many good cards. But "Patience and Aggression" are most important here. Therefore my stats look very good in that tournament: VPIP 12.01% / Went to Showdown 21.82% / Won at Showdown 58.33% / Aggression Factor 3.86

No surprise my results are better the deeper the structure is. I know this for some time now. But I'm getiing more and more on the right trail in my tournaments. This gives much confidence for the coming tournaments in Vienna and Dublin.

Being mentally exhausted is quite normal after that long time. Especially as I had played a rebuy tournament for 3.5 hours late last night until I busted as 236th out of 2,068 for a small win (as I only invested the buy-in and an add-on). But that reminds of a nice video I found some time ago. The theme is "endurance" and I really like it ... of course (but not only) because they use swing music for it.

"Endurance - because it's a marathon not a sprint"


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