Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I am the Greatest

Won my second multi-table tournament today, besting 89 other competitors to qualify for my second "Sunday Qualifier" in the ESPN WPT promotion. Normally you don't learn much from winning, because winning happens when you stay within yourself and do what you already know works. Losing is what teaches you.

This tournament was a little different because I was experimenting with a new style, a more aggressive style that is more like what is played by the majority of good players today. What was interesting to me about this experience was how hard it was for me to accept the huge swings in stack size that come with the territory of being a hyperaggressive player.

What I began to see as the tournament wore on was that the swings of a hyper-aggressive player's stack almost act in the opposite fashion as those of a normal conservative player's stack (which is the style I normally play.)

When nothing is really happening, your stack is growing slowly because when nobody makes a hand, you take down the pot. Then your stack will decrease sharply because somebody makes a hand and calls or raises your bet and you wind up having to fold and cut your losses (or you lose a showdown.)

As long as you maintain, equilibrium, though, you are doing well, because of two things. One, in a tournament the blinds increase regularly. For a conservative player this is a problem, because the rate of decline of your stack as you wait to make a hand keeps increasing. For an aggressive player, your steady rise in chips will keep pace with the blinds (as will the losses.)

What's more, when you finally do make a real hand, you are more likely to get some action because it will be harder for other players to tell the difference between when you are betting with little or no hand, and when you are betting with a big hand.

Don't have much more to say than that. But it was a fun and interesting day. No more poker now til Sunday (the MTT's aren't good practice for the Sunday Qualifier, for reasons I'll discuss tomorrow.)

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