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Daniel - Poker Journal

Small Ball Rocks!

22 Nov 2008

Iíve rededicated myself to an extreme small ball approach before going to Europe and as I mentioned in a previous blog it has really paid off as I have been consistently deep in virtually every tournament Iíve played since. The B.C. Championship is no different.

In fact Iíve actually tweaked the system a little bit further and gone even smaller. During the stages of the tournament without antes, I only min-raise before the flop and I NEVER re-raise before the flop. That kind of play is for donks who are accustomed to playing in tournaments with 20-30 big blinds, but thatís not the kind of tournaments I play in and that strategy is totally unnecessary in the big buy in events. I donít care if I have AA, KK, or AK, Iím going to see a flop and wait until after the flop before I make a bigger investment.

I up the raise when the antes are introduced, but only slightly. For example, at the 500-1000 level with a 100 ante my standard raise was to 2200. I will make it 2400 at a slightly tougher table, but would never go past 2500 unless I was actually going all in on a short stack.

Today and yesterday I focused on my system and let the cards do the work for me. I watched as others busted themselves while my chips steadily climbed for most of the day with the exception of one hiccup. I raised to 5500 with blinds at 1200-2400m with a 200 ante (smaller ante than normal), with AA. The small blind raised me to 19,000 and I pushed him all in for his 45,000 more or so. He shrugged and called with AK. The flop came K-8-4... 8.Ö K! I havenít taken that beat in ages so I guess I was do. That knocked me down to about 150,000 but I clawed my way back by nickering and diming my opponents with a steady stream of small raises and value bets with the occasional continuation bet bluff mixed in. I didnít play a single big pot in a marginal situation. Not one.

I ended the day with 298,900 in chips and there is about 70 players or so left from the original field of 690. 63 places are paid, but Iím obviously not concerned with cashing and am sitting on a very good stack. Not sure where I rank, but there is 10 million chips in play so Iím well above the average and almost surely in the top 10 or so.

Unfortunately none of the sites are covering the event with online updates, but Iíll be sure to check in with you guys at the end of day three. We are playing down to 9, so it could be a very long day. Despite this being just a $2500 buy in event the structure allows for a ton of play. Everything about the structure was solid, with one minor exception. The antes are too small. At the 400-800 level the standard ante is 100, but in this structure it was just 50. It makes a pretty big difference and I donít like the type of approach it promotes, but as the levels increase the discrepancy is lessened which is a good thing.

Anyway, Iím off to bed now. No drinking, no partying, and no more hangovers!