Featured in the run:
- TWO future One Minute Mystery hands.
- A hand so tough, that Schulman asked for the Hand History after the match... (I'll post it later tonight in its entirety.)
- 3 hands where I was pedaling a monster, just to see it reduced to a danger hand on the river due to a board pair or 3 suit card.
- Some of the best reads I ever made, catching a player with second best hand.
I could on and on for hours, but I am not Hoyazo. (haha). But I will say this...
I think I know why I WON this instead of just cashing. Here is my take on that:
- The matra really did help. I know it sounded like a joke, but things like that keep you "in the moment". Yelling that mantra keep me engaged and excited when a 3+ hours event can have your interest and focus phasing in and out.
- I had light background noise. Usually this is an unimportant DVD (last week it was old Benny Hill discs), but last night it was Mrs. Columbo cleaning out her closet for the first time in 6 years and making little comments. I'll compare myself (ever so briefly) to John Lennon there who wrote songs with the TV on, Radio on, and reading the newspaper all at once. This is far better than silence for me.
- I did not have an enitre level of "card death". You dont need to be Astin and get big pocket pairs slapping you in the face, but you need at least something to play in a level. I had a reasonable set of card. (Is it just me or is it much harder to be card dead in 6-max?)
- Someone made a HUGE mistake against me in the middle rounds. After losing a big hand when my KK got cracked by AQ for half my chips... I drop from first in chips to tied around 10th. And I am tied with the person who took my chips. Now, you have all these chips and you flop a flush draw with 2 overs. You make a pot size bet and your opponent (the only player to have you covered) comes over the top. Do you call? Really? A couple of people argued that you HAD to call. I am in the opposite camp (as were many others). I dont see how you can call and keep your sanity. Why risk your TWICE average stack fighting a battle that YOU DONT NEED TO WIN. I can see it from both sides, but I still rather have the set than the draw, which is what I had. So the overs are no good and the flush draw doesn't get there, and I get ALL my chips BACK from this player! That was HUGE. HUGE(addendum: In the guise of disclosure, I did NOT have the set. As a matter of fact I had NOTHING BUT AIR and hit a pair on the river. but my POINT was there is no way my opponent can put me on less than TPTK here, more likely a set.)
- I had enough chips at the final table to continue to play MY STYLE. I was playing with a couple of guys who were decent, but were not a familiar with "small-ball". I really got away with playing a style that usually I have to abandon towards the end. Purephophet I think new this and would try to keep me honest.
- Not defending my blinds was costing me chips... BUT I used that to my advantage at times. I am a poor defender of my blinds. Pureprophet, Pushmonkey, and zeroluck were stealing from me more than I like, but I took it like a man. Why? There are 2 schools on this, the Phil's. Ivy defends like he has a monster every time. Hellmuth takes his lumps and sets up future plays. I follow the latter (because I suck at the Ivy method). When I forced a player to play a bigger pot, I had the best of it.
- At the end, Heads Up with Zeroluck he would just pound me. Not only would he bluff on flops, he would rub it in by showing his garbage. I rarely did the re-steal, confused by the aggressive play coming from the new guy. Instead, to my detriment at first, I played dodge-and-parry looking for openings. But my experience recognizing patterns came more and more into play as I extended the duel. Sure I was laying down hands where my bottom pair was ahead… but there were just enough times where the trap was a crushing blow.
I find it incredibly ironic that last year I LED in money taken from the Hoy, yet never once finished first. (A testiment to both the good and the bad of my style of play.) But by playing a little more for first and taking on a marginal amount of additional risk, I finally cracked that glass. Now when I reach a final table, I can stop obsessing about "here comes another second place". And that is worth alot more to me than the prize money.