Thursday, February 07, 2008


On The Other Hand ...

A friend and reader of this blog directed my attention to this article :

Top of the league ? You're having a laugh !

Hmm, yes, good point well made. Although I reserve the right to change my mind about something in the space of a couple of years, and I could also point out a few reasons why "but that's different", there is enough in there to pull me back towards the middle ground. After a particularly gruesome start to the month I took a day off yesterday (well apart from a couple of hours in the afternoon, lol addictaments), played through a few hand histories (even from January, the month of cake) and could see a problem.

Basically I was playing extremely tight poker in the early and middle stages of the "other" tournaments. These being the ones other than my favourites (the stars rebuys), the games that are on the second screen or tucked away in the top corner. As a result, not only was I missing good spots to use position rather than plain hand strength, when I picked up a hand those players who did have half an eye on proceedings weren't giving me any action.

This is the kind of thing that's a lot easier to pick up offline. It's well worth playing back through some hand histories, not just to monitor your own play but to try to gauge the differences between different sites and buyins, and even just to practice hand-reading. Here's a good resource for playing tournaments back :

Popopop Universal Replayer

You certainly can't beat the price, which is $0. So tonight I cut out a couple of tournaments and tried to do a better job of multi-tabling without just waiting for big hands on half of them. I also tried to play more hands in good position, and worry about being reraised when it happened. This helped me to make a final table on Ongame and reach the last two tables on the Full Tilt $150 tonight, before busting out in unavoidable coolers (with 93o and J8s). The main thing was it felt like I was playing a lot better so hopefully I can take this forward.

Hi Andy,

I must say you've hit on something I was afraid to mention for fear of sounding foolish, since I'm primarily a cash game player.

I watched a few of your recent winning hand histories and was very surprised, having been following this blog since roughly the beginning. I'd imagined you would play a much more 'new school' style - more Snyder than Harrington for example, given the pace of these online games in order to get decent monthly returns.

Personally I'm overcautious when I enter a tournament (I do so rarely) because I find the most common mistake in a cash game to be calling too often, I get scared that if I do make an adventurous play I'll get snapped off by a silly bottom pair insta-call. I imagined that a high volume tourney player's edge would mostly come from identifying which players are safe to attack, spotting weakness and going for the kill, but I see that a more conservative and considered approach can also get great results.

Thanks for posting the hand histories!

TBH I still think that the most important thing is to play well with 20 BBs or less. I've watched a few videos lately where the hero plays really well mid/deep stacks (better than me for sure), explains himself very well, understands the game, but just isn't aggressive enough with the short stack. When I see this and I look up the guy's stats his ROI is invariably 50% or less.

I also haven't seen anyone on a video who open-shoves as loosely as I do. Action Jeff comes closest from what I've seen.

Glad you liked the hand histories.

Anychance of swapping blog links?

I personally think that the two key things in MTT success boils down to survival and managing that 20ish BB stack. Easier said than done. Solid play normally paves the way before the luck/suckouts/ happen
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