Thursday, November 20, 2008

Major weakness in my Game

So after months of playing Mtts and getting much better, i think i've keyed in on a major weakness in my game that has been keeping me from making that big score. I rarely tilt any more, bad beats just roll off me. I honestly can not tell you one bad beat story from memory. But my major weakness is still mental.

I have difficulty playing the 12bb-23bb stack late in tournaments... usually down to the final 5-6 tables or so.

I seem to somehow make one simple mistake that loses the tourney for me. sometimes its a big mistake like playing the wrong hand or a subtle mistake such as missing a spot to open shove or reshove. For example, the other day i went deep in the $50 50k on fulltilt eventually finishing 55/1000+. At the time i busted i was actually 20/55 with a 22bb stack. I made the mistake of playing ATo utg, was called by btn and the rest is history... i don't have the details on hand, but suffice to say i stacked off.

But the point is that earlier in this tournament AT was an automatic fold for me. I was making great reads and laydowns preflop and post flop. Folding AT utg was the right play early and it was the right play late... so why did i play the hand? A momentary lost of focus..shrug. Not sure but i know i do stuff like this regularly, like getting reraised from bb lastnight and 4betting AI with A7s. We were 4handed and i had been very aggr so i thought maybe he was just playing back at me. But it was a $10 mtt and players are incapble of that, so he showed me AK i lost and was out a few hands later.

I need to work on my mental toughness in these situations. How sharp am i after 5 hours of play. How clear is my thought process and reads with a 23bb stack and large blinds.

Let me try to illustrate the problem more clearly.

Lets say your sitting in a tournament with 62 left, you have 109k stack and you're in the top 10. Sounds good right. But wait the blinds are 3k/6k soon to be 4k/8k meaning you only have between a 13bb-18bb stack. You're top 10 and one of the big stacks at your table... the other stacks are shorter but they're still a significant portion of your stack and all are ready shove or call. If you raise you have multiple stacks ready to shove and you will be priced in to call... if you tighten up the blinds will destroy your stack... what do you do? see what i mean?

You have to be thinking clearing, you have to be sharp, this is not a time for losing focus, you have to grab your nut shack and push the right hands, reshove with air, lay down that medium strenght hand thats the best thing you've seen for ages....

this is where i usually make my mistake.

The Plan - I always have a plan right.

1. Review all my tournaments and my play in these situations
2. Watch Pxf videos at this stage of the tournament and stack size.
3. Review public hand histories of this stage of the tournament
4. Get coaching focusing on this aspect of my game.

I will focus on getting this done over the next few weeks... coaching will be a last resort or rather the last step taken.

Lastnight results:
finished 12/797 in a $10mtt
played 4 $12/45 sng on stars... got a 2nd and 6th.

-Island Grinder

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