If you look in the comments of my last entry, you'll see that the guy that outed me as a poker blogger at one of the local freerolls replied. Now, I wasn't trying to make him look like an ass for possibly misreading his hand. I know I've done it, in much more important settings than a free tournament. Though, I'm not sure the rubes sitting at a 2/4 table at Canterbury knew the difference. But, the one thing I will say is this; guy whose name I do not know, if you play this Thursday at Rock Bottom, do not try to bluff that guy. He'll call you without cards in his hand. He will suck out on you, that's a given. After the 10th time he had to be told he had cards, I gave up.
It also helps that the guy that replying has a blog of his own, so now I don't feel like a huge frickin' freak.
As far as the freerolls go, they're more of 'real poker' than I thought they would be. Sure, you have the occasional stragglers that have never played before. And there's the people that think they're king high will hold up against an all-in with 7 people still left to act behind him. Of course it does, too. But the quality of play hasn't been beyond incomprehensible. It's been as good as I can expect; mediocre.
As far as all that goes, though, I don't think I'm going to be playing in many more of them. Sure, it's a lot of fun to hang out with some buddies and play poker in a live setting without investing a lot of dough. But the problem is that I've come to the realization that making money and building a bankroll are big motivators for me. I want to get better. I want to move up in limits. I love poker, but it's not always about having fun. Even without playing in any other bar freeroll series in the Twin Cities, I'd wager that Riverush is the best amongst them and I'd recommend them to anyone. But I'm spending more in beer and time than I'm getting in return from placing high in the tournaments.
"Just don't drink while you play", you say.
"Fuck you" I reply without nary a pause.
We all know that's not going to happen. If I'm going to willingly step foot in an establishment that serves me the tipple, then tipple I will. Even though I rarely drink enough at the events to get drunk, even if I only have 3 beers a night--at 3 nights a week--that comes to right around $60 a week to drink, and not get close to drunk. I do not subcribe to 'social drinking'. If I'm only going to have one or two beers, I might as well not even drink. Saves me money, and also from the disappointment that I'm not drunk. So, while I'm at the bar wasting four hours and spending $20, only to come out empty handed, I could be at home killing the 6-max NL games on Doyle's, working my way towards that new laptop I so desperately
Let it be so.
Even though I don't make a shit-ton of money playing tournaments, I feel that part of my game is finally starting come around, especially after reading HOH'emI/II. The first book I like to describe with an appropriate "No shit, Dan?". Most of it common sense, and if I'm grossly overestimating what passes for common sense these days, then, well, I must be a real fucking genius. Just like Val Kilmer in Willow. Or something.
My early tournament aggression/chip accumulation needs to be tweaked like a stiff nipple, but Volume II has helped me by clearly explaining one area that I was just too dumb to understand: pushing in late stages before it becomes too late.
Thought process 6 months ago
I have an 8xBB stack near the tournament bubble and I'm dealt A6o UTG . All of the stacks left to act are much bigger than mine, much bigger. Well, I'm the first one in and I need to double up because the blinds are going to get to me and I have less than 10xBB blah blah blah. Let's push and hope to get lucky.
Huh, wouldn't you just know it; I got called by AK and 10's and I'm out on the bubble. Again.
Instead, you decide to fold and wait for a better spot..
(My only peeve with the HOH books is that much of the time the player in the book does the exact opposite of what it is I know I should do. I wanted to check, not push my 50xBB stack in against a larger stack while holding 2's. GODDAMNIT!)
First, an M of 6 isn't that desperate, even if the I have to give up my blinds coming up. Also, there are so many people left to act behind me that it's more than likely I'll get called by any decent Ax or any middle pair. That's trouble.
The main improvement in my game has come from being more patient when I'm shortstacked. True, there are times that I should be pushing with crap in hopes that either I don't called or get lucky, but there has to be a better spot than UTG with a crap ace with everyone at the table left to act. In the past, I used to do it over and over again. Because I'm not that bright. Hell, that A6 would be a great hand in LP when I'm first to open the pot, but not so much in EP. They might as well be UNO cards in EP.