I went to my league night knowing the bad news. I played too poorly at the start of the season to have wrapped up a top 6 spot. I was way down in the "yellow" band, not eliminated, but not favored to finish FTW. I dont know how many readers have read Elements of Poker , but the discussion about bringing your A game was particularly relevant. If there was one thing I could put my finger on that I did well that evening, it was focus. I tried not to be distracted and as the cliche' goes, "Keep my eye on the prize". That was good enough for 3rd place, which is where I needed to finish. With 3 left, I did call a pre-flop 3bet shove with JQs only to see KQ. A Jack on the flop sealed the improbable run, and I continued to hoover chips until the end, finishing in first. Despite all the work I did in the last 2 weeks on hand reading, that skill doesn't always play when you are not very deep. Most of my decisions were either simplified by stack or position, or were basic in nature.
I did make one HUGE mistake 3 handed though. I raised my button with air and the SB called. The flop was K63 and I have Q4o. He checks, and I c-bet which he calls. The turn is a 9 I think, and he checks, I barrel and he calls. Its at this point I am pretty sure he has a 6. So when the river is another 9, I feel like I can push him off this hand with a 3rd barrel. But I RUSH the river bet, which in my mind made it look very week. Despite a good sized bet, I was called down thin for the only time of the night. I was kicking myself not for the bluff, because I think that was a good spot for the 3rd barrel, but for giving off a pretty bad timing tell.
Still, incorporate your mistakes into future plays... What I mean by that is remember what everyone perceives just happened so you can use it should the opportunity present itself.
With the victory, can a seat the in WSOP Event #51, the new "poor man's main event" $1500 Monster stack 4 day event. It's going to be a BRUTAL grind that favors cash game players on day 1 where stacks are very deep. My plan for the next month is to get some cash game practice in while concentrating on post flop hand reading and line recognition skills.
League #2 wraps up this coming Friday and once again I enter the last event in the "yellow zone". I do think I have played well enough to win in league #2, but in 3 of the 8 weeks, suffered severe blows (beats yo) when I got a hand/player EXACTLY where I wanted and some 4-6 outer sent me to the dealer pit. Perhaps I have variance on my side then as I enter the final week, looking to get my money in ahead and have my hands hold up.