Tuesday, June 26, 2007

WSOP: What went wrong

I rarely wear sunglasses or listen to music when playing live poker. But if there's any place for it, I decided that place was the World Series of Poker, where players would be looking at my eye movements and I would need to stay focused.

I didn't care if I looked like some fanboy online player. I thought I could gain a small advantage because I might be harder to read.

Using that same reasoning, I also brought my black leather notebook (courtesy of Kuro) so I could take notes on people, just like I do on the Internet. I feel like I'm pretty good at reading people, but sometimes my memory sucks. So what if my opponents didn't like me taking notes on them.

Everything worked well at first. I got some respect. I started building up my stack. Eventually, I would reach a high-water mark over 18,000 chips.

But I failed to consider how the table was responding to this image I had created.

After the second hour, I fired two bullets after raising preflop and finally got my opponent to fold. I don't remember what I had exactly -- I think it was two high cards that didn't connect with the board.

I got out my notebook to write down something like: "6 seat folded to second bullet on low-card board."

He saw me taking the note and made some remark about how I was writing down my bluff. He was absolutely right. I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything.

It wasn't long after that when I sucked out to win that huge pot with KJ vs. JJ on a J88KK board. That's still awesome.

At that point, I should have realized the table dynamic had changed. I noticed that people weren't very friendly with me, and they were playing back at me more often.

I should have changed gears and tightened up for a few hours. Instead, I thought, "Wow, I have a stack now! I need to keep running over this table until someone tries to stop me."

From then on, only one of my steal attempts was successful. Every pot I tried to win ended up contested. I got card dead and couldn't make a hand. No one would fold to me, which would have been great if I actually had some cards. Instead, I bled off chips until I had to push all-in with A5.

I don't think it was wrong to use the notebook, sunglasses and mp3 player, but I wish I had realized sooner how quickly it made my opponents label me a donk. I guess I proved them right.

1 comment:

JL514 said...

It's funny how real life situations confirm everything you'll ever read in any poker book by the pros: one of the most important things you can do is realize your table image and play the opposite, and/or remember to change gears during a tournament.

Sounds like you played very well, you held your own in a huge event. Chalk it up to experience, and take it down next year.