2010 World Series of Poker is Sneaking Up

I spend many hours every week writing my blog and reading about poker. Every once in a while I find the time to play some poker. I spent most of my vacation playing poker and the week I have been home I have been sick in bed.

The time in bed has given plenty of opportunity to read and study poker. I have also been reflecting back on my play from the previous week. I think this is an important part of the game. You must be able to honestly assess your own play or you need to find a coach or buddy that is willing to go over your play with you and give honest feedback.

My biggest problem from the tournament was letting my stack get too low. I tried to keep myself above ten big blinds but I was not successful. Part of the problem is when there are 21 players and the three tables have seven players each the blinds are coming around fast and I need to make more aggressive blind steals. When the tournament was combined to two ten handed tables I was back in my comfort zone.

Once again as the two tables became short handed I was not able to speed up and make the necessary blind steals. This time the problem was magnified by the doubling of the blinds. I had to release my blinds because I was dealt crap and the pot was raised enough to put me all-in. I had every intention of gambling and making my move before the blinds increased, I just never found a place to make the move.

Some of my readers have asked about going deep in the tournament but not being able to finish the tournament. There absolutely is a time where your stack size forces you to gamble. I believe that most players are waiting too long to take the shot. You must make your move before the rest of the table senses you are desperate. I know it is easy to say, but I will try to help you know how and when to make your gamble.

Always watch and evaluate the players and know who is playing tight and who will defend the blind no matter what. The blind defender is usually a young guy who calls the pre-flop raise and then moves on the pot on every flop regardless if he has anything or not. This is not the guy we want to take a shot at with nothing. You may even get lucky and find a player who looks at his cards early and gives you a read. When you sense that the blinds can be stolen, you must steal them no matter what two cards you have. If you get called fire a continuation bet. If you are called again you may have to give up the steal. You are trying to win a tournament and it is fine if you get caught stealing. It happens.

I have coached players from the rail and told them that they have to steal the next blind no matter what and called for the steal just because I knew the blinds would not get involved.

This has been my major focus this week and it really just comes down to reading the player and knowing tight players will only call raises with about 10-20% of the starting hands. they miss the flop 70% of the time so your continuation bet will pick up the pot most of the time. That leaves about 5% of the time when you will get caught stealing.

The chips are there for the taking so please by all means help yourself.

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