Poker, poker, poker

Friday night (last Friday…boy, this has been sitting in the queue for a while)was again my bi-weekly. I thought I’ve been cold-decked in the past in these tournaments, but the cards were absolutely frigid this night. I managed to pull a few steals over to keep my stack stable as the tournament progressed, but as other people accumulated chips, my chances were looking worse and worse. In fact, the only two hands I went to showdown with were behind the whole way and won on the river. And one of those was runner-runner straight. Fortunately, they were both short stacks (which was why I was involved) and I collected their bounties. When we merged down to one table, my fortunes started to turn somewhat. I pushed when I had the goods and thankfully the hands held up. When it got down to heads-up a fortuitous pair of pocket kings sealed the deal and I walked away with first place again. A satisfying victory, but there are still a few problems with my game.

The one thing I really need to work on is my poker face. I used to be fairly random in my mannerisms while playing cards so I never particularly worried about remaining overly stoic. I would occasionally start shaking when bluffing, but I’d also be shaking when holding a monster. But more and more often now I feel that I am betraying not too subtle clues about my hand whenever my opponent goes into the tank. My eyes are constantly darting all over the place. They flick from player to felt to TV to … well, just about anything in the room. And if he takes long enough to call, I will inevitably start with the shakes. Does anyone have any secrets to remaining stoic at the table? I’ll be trying to get more live play in so I can work on this to avoid embarrassing myself more than I need to at the WPBT event, but.

Played a good chunk over poker at Party over the rest of the weekend trying to work off the BONUSFEB $200 bonus (yes, I should probably mention these things before they expire). A combination of spectacularly bad play combined with a few unfortunate beats led to a brutalizing of my bankroll. Well, with the two hundred bucks I ended up for the weekend and even slightly up over the first session I played towards the bonus, but I still ended up being down $20 from my deposit when all was said and done. Quite a bit of wasted time. I think maybe I should start making only partial deposits on this large 1-week bonuses, as it will help to make me feel a little less forced into playing.

In community news, I’m finally adding Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio to the links on the right. It’s a weekly podcast on poker put together by a group of players here in Toronto. It’s great stuff and they’ve even got PokerProf contributing on a regular segment.
Also, there is a HORSE WPBT tournament tentatively scheduled for this Sunday on Full Tilt Poker. I haven’t financed my FTP account yet, but I am planning to play in this tournament. I’ve been playing a lot of HORSE in my home games and been doing some reading on the various disciplines. I love getting a change of pace in game selection and though I don’t expect to do very well in the tournament, it is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

2 Responses to “Poker, poker, poker”

  1. Haps says:

    Regarding the poker face. Time to develop a consistent method to act whenever in a hand. Do something but do it all the time either way. Personally I stare at the flop monster or bluff. One thing I should be doing is immediately just stare at the flop and recite something in my head over and over(Oh Canada if you want).

    Doesn’t matter what the action is just do it consistently.

  2. tp says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have been picking a point, usually somewhere on the rail, and just staring at it, maintaining the same focus and posture regardless of the hand. Not quite as effective as staring someone down, but like you said, I just need to find some consistency first.