It has been a few days since I have written so I thought I would update where things are at. The biggest thing that has been going on is I have been working very hard at transforming my post flop game and trying diligently to develop into a more logical approach to post flop play where I make a concious effort to focus on extracting value where I determine where I am ahead and to get out of hands where I am behind. To catch you up if you haven't read or followed prior blogs, I have a little problem with firing a lot of bullets at people when I play. My game requires opponents to understand and comprehend the fold button and to assume that the pressure I apply means that I am ahead and they are behind. Doesn't really work terribly well at the low/mid stakes early to say the least and becomes pretty exploitable late. I have spent too much time overplaying TP/TK'r type hands and have been caught in a lot of disasters where I should have run deep and I have gotten in the way. So what have I learned, well first and foremost I found my fold button. It was a difficult hunt, but I found it and I am pretty happy that I did. I also in my adventure discovered the check button. So what is the tangible output from this, couple of things. First my aggression factors are dropping from 6+ (or inf more often than not) down to the 2 range, much more reasonable and also more indicative that my checks and bets can both mean the same things, but that I am not afraid to strart firing if I feel weakness. My game has settled out early from a 22/18, 20/16 type range down to a 16/10-18/14 type range. Why is that you ask? Principly I have eliminated a lot of the hands that cause me trouble for now and will work on re-integrating them once I become comfortable with my ranging/reading post flop. I have eliminated a lot of the A-rag offsuit hands from my MP opens, my EP opens have tightened up a ton (eliminated all unsuited broadways and such). I think the biggest change that I have had affecting my overall play is thinking a lot more about what is my hand, what is the situation at the table and what am I expecting to accomplish with my hand. I don't fear calling raises anymore from EP/MP raisers as I now have a much better plan on how to manipulate flop textures and to play against their action to effectively continue or get away from hands. So what does this all mean, well I have played a much smaller sampling of tourneys over the last few days and a lot more cash games to try to effectively remove the blinds/antes pressure from the equation and focus a lot more on value extraction and post flop play. I am seeing a lot more success, but I think I have a long way to go. I need to spend some more time like this focusing on how to manage this and to really make sure that these concepts take root as second nature. Confidence is up, which is never a bad thing and for the few MTT's that I have played I have been getting out of the early stages very effectively and am back to where I was a couple of months ago wrestling with how to adjust to the 30-45bb stack in the mid-late stage transitions (effectively learning how to play against the shorties when the 3bet shove stacks start to dominate the tables). I think that I can integrate the hyper aggression for the later stages to my game, with the caviot that I need to make sure I am not going to felt with TP/TK when the action dictates that I have to be behind.
Okay, I am heading back to my day, just wanted to check in and let you know that things really are getting better. I have to thank the players that I talk to routinely as they are making a huge difference in my game. If you read this and you don't have a group of players that you interact with, whose game you respect, that you can work with to learn and advance, scower the Forums, jump into chat, watch guys play and find your support group. This group will be a huge boost to you. The support structure will be the difference between frustration and success. Oh well, this is the Gman signing out. May all your flushes be royal!