Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Excuse the mess - Reflection on the State Tournament

It's a long drive home from Fargo. Plenty of time for me to reflect on what I kind of felt as a disapointing run at the 2007 Fall League Gold Rush Championship. I finished around 70th in a field of 351.

I've gotten a lot of comments and emails from people reminding me that I did finish in the top 20% of the field. I'm pretty proud of that, but losing is not something I enjoy. I enter a tournament with the expectation of winning it. I have only the one goal.

I'd like to thank Brook, with the Free Poker Network, for including a link to this blog in the updates on their site. If you followed that link here, welcome! This is a blog. My grammer is periodically suspect. I apologize for the mess. I did reread my last post...it's needs a bit of help, but it was late and I wanted to give people an update on where I finished.

The more time I thought about the tournament, the more I realized that it was mistakes I made that cost me a chance to go deeper. Some of my decisions were suspsect and my actions definitely wrong for the moment.

The thing I love about poker is that we can, in a large extent, control our own destiny in a tournament. We notice things like my move all-in that ended my tournament. That was an unfortunate bit of luck. I was a 3:1 leader in the hand when the money went it, but it doesn't change the fact that I was desparately playing ace rag out of position. I needed to do this because the blinds were eating me alive.

I also realized that the KJ hand I mentioned in the previous post caused me more anguish and lost opportunity than I really gave it credit for. It took me off my game. I realized on the way home that I hadn't given the hand enough thought. I was a monster to win the hand, yet I played it scared of the suck out. The suck out wouldn't have come because I couldn't put him on a hand that could suck out on me. Aggression was the wrong move. I should have been looking for value.
Each one of the tournaments is a learning opportunity. I'm taking from this one the knowledge that I'm not really in control of myself yet. I need to be more disciplined in my actions and decisions. I had a lot of fun, but the fun was tempered by my in ability to move on and adapt at times.

I did spend my down time taking pictures. I've included some of the best here. I was hoping to get some time to shoot more photos but that would have cut into my playing time...not a good trade off. Definitely -EV.

Guys from the Free Poker Network, if you've read this far, here are some of my thoughts on how to improve this tournament.

#1 -No smoking - the smoke was terrible up there. I might just be used to it being completely smoke-free, but my eyes were burning! #2 - Turn the music down! There were times at the table I couldn't hear anyone talking. I know, I know, I wear headphones a lot. But even when I wasn't wearing the headphones, I couldn't hear anything. They actually helped me block out the noise.

Everything else was run pretty well. The staff, as always, did a great job of keeping it moving.

The only other complain I had was the service at the Hub was terrible! I know it was busy, but the staff people I interacted with couldn't have been more spacey. We asked a question, they'd answer it and leave. This was common...

Waitress: "Are you ready to order?"

Us: "Yes we are. One quick question, where are the bathrooms?"

Waitress: "The are over in the corner." [pointing to a corner as she leaves the table]

Us: "Hello? Where are you going? We wanted to order?" [this was spoken without anyone hearing us, she had already left the area]
Normally, I'd just figure that it was a distracted waitress and a one time thing. Apparently, they trained all the staff this way. We got one question and they'd leave the table. A one hour break and it would take 30 minutes just to order. Surprisingly, the food was fantastic! My guess, they blew the budget on the kitchen staff.

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