Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What To Do When You Are Running Bad in Poker.

89 - Cry Baby!Image by eyeliam via Flickr

What To Do When You Are Running Bad in Poker.

Lately, I've been running real bad in poker tournaments. I play on average about twice per week at different clubs in the Bay Area where buy-ins range from $180 to $225.

For the past month, I have been getting knocked out at the final two or three tables. Usually, when I get all-in I am in the lead. But, it doesn't matter as I continue to get busted. For example, in the last game I moved all-in with pocket 10's and got called by pocket 7's. The 7 hit on the flop and I was out in 24th place.

We all go through these periods and a lot of players just say it's bad luck. While that is probably true, I believe that you need to go back and work on your game.

What I Do When I Am Running Bad

Let me share what I do when the poker gods are against me.

Step 1. Read Harrington's book Volume 2.

I go back and read Harrington's book with an emphasis on the chapters about Inflection Points. This is really an excellent review of how to use the concept of M in your play. He reviews the Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Dead Zones based on your M.

After he reviews these zones, he has many excellent poker problems. The problems throughout Volume 2 are quite good. I used to get a lot of these wrong, and even disagreed with his advice. But, frankly, now I follow his thinking and may only get one or two problems wrong in each section.

Step 2. Read Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves

I know this is my book, but the book is not really about my plays. The book is a reference that I compiled from so much material by poker pros over 20 years. I like to review the book to see if there are plays I should be using that I may have forgot.

Just because I wrote the book doesn't mean I can recall all 101 plays at critical moments in a tournament.

Step 3. Play a tournament online

After I complete the first 2 steps, I buy into a MTT online at either fulltilt or bodog. After reading the first two books, I feel re-energized and ready to win an online event.

After I read these books again, I played online at full tilt. Unfortunately, I ended up finishing in 12th place and out of the money. Bummer!

Never the less, I felt like I was ready for Wednesday night's event at the Oaks.

Results from the Oaks

I was doing well, as usual in this tournament. There are quite a few weak players, which allows me to take advantage of their mistakes.

When it got down to 30 players, I was moved to a new table. It was unreal because I was moved to the same seat where I had been knocked out the last 4 times I played at the Oaks. But rather than thinking negative, I decided to think about how "I was due" to win in this seat.

Sure enough, things were going well for me in this "unlucky" seat. I was up to $17,000 at the $400-$800 level and had won two nice pots with pocket Queens and A-K.

After the break, the new blinds increased to $800-$1600 with a $200 ante. I was in the small blind. There were only 8 players at the table as we were down to 24 players.

Everyone folded to the button who raised to $5,500. He has me covered with $25,000. I looked down and found A-K again. I moved all-in and after the big blind folded, my opponent insta-called.

I turned up my A-K and he moaned. He revealed A-7.

The flop hit his 7 and I was 24th place the same seat.

Next Steps

So much for my advice on what to do when you are running bad in poker

What do you do when things go against you?
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

going through almost the exact same problem i play mostly 18-90 player SnGs online and i keep playing great until i get to the final table, many of which i go in as the chip lead, and end up finishing just barely into the money. I keep getting it in with the best of it and get sucked out on (mostly where they guy is down to a 6 outer or less going to the river). I keep telling myself it's just bad luck, but i don't know...think i'm going to read a few chapters out of Power Hold'em Strategy by Negreanu and see if that helps...maybe go pick up a new book or 2 as well

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