Saturday, 20 June 2015

Being Patient Like Alex Fitzgerald

Quite often in poker you come across a tricky situation where you are unsure how to act but perhaps feel obliged to act in a certain way. This regularly occurs in my usual jackpot sit n go games. For example when you are dealt a good pocket pair during the mid to late stages of a sit n go you are ready to get involved. But what happens when there is significant action before you. That pair of nines doesn't look quite so attractive, but it might still be the best hand. I recently read a good related article in the final WPT Poker magazine published last December. In it Poker Pro Alex Fitzgerald responded to a question about such a scenario during a multi table tournament. The player asking the question had felt obligated to get involved in a hand based on his chip position and the cards he held even though he did not feel comfortable doing so. 

The thing that interested me here was that Alex encouraged the player to avoid the obvious and mathematically optimum strategy in this situation. Instead he was encouraged to follow his instinct and wait for a better spot. Based on my related experiences in the world of sit n gos I agree with this advice for two important reasons. You may be giving up a small amount of equity by following this path. However you are avoiding sacrificing all future potentially clear cut opportunities. As Alex concluded "Making a slightly tight fold is much better than putting in all of your chips without a clear idea as to what's going on." There is possibly a more important second reason, for me at least. Being in control and being mistake free is key to my focused A-game. If I make a mistake or take a path I doubted in this kind of scenario and my actions backfire it can affect my play across all the games I am playing. Suddenly my A game becomes my C game and I take on every opportunity to gamble and flip for chips. Patience is still key especially in the middle stages of a sit and go. So dump the pair of nines, follow instinct not obligation, stay in control and wait for a better spot. See you there.

Thanks Alex

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Top Twenty

My main focus this year has been on the Maui Jackpot Sit N Gos. My successful journey so far has seen me play around seven hundred games and achieve two top twenty Sharkscope rankings and win three consolation bonuses for 150 Euros. I am currently ranked seventh for the best 100 streak average profit at this level this year and ranked eleventh for the best 500 streak average profit. The former has a good chance to see the year out and become permanent but the latter could be close to call. I am very pleased with my efforts especially as there are an increasing number of regulars playing these games. Overall I am up $1713 year to date and intend to continue my Maui mission playing perhaps another thousand games this year whilst mixing in some other action on Full Tilt and Pokerstars. 

Most recently my form has been somewhat patchy but I ended May on a very high note, a sequence of 12211 leading to a consolation win and a near thing on the 37000 Euro Jackpot. In both second place games I had a chip lead during heads up play but could not quite take them down. I played the final four games simultaneously and having won one must have been at least 25% to win it all when heads up in the other three. A great effort but also massively frustrating. I could recount the hands that would have clinched it for me in these games but I won't. To be fair I had plenty of luck along the way in the five games so I can't get too hung up about the final outcomes. I have to take forward the positives from this. Once again I have got myself into a great situation. When there I was relaxed and playing well despite the huge potential jackpot. I made no mistakes when it really mattered. The key for me now is to get there again soon and hope luck and skill can take me just a little further, finally to Jackpot glory!

Good Luck.