Patience

My game of choice in recent months has been the one table sit ‘n go. For some reason the structure fit my game at that time and I was doing well, learning a lot about stack management and short-handed play. But then I hit a slump, and when you go card dead in one of these things, you are dead. The levels are too fast to let you be a rock beyond the first three blind increases. I was getting frustrated, and my patience was put to the test.



Or was it? Was it really the cards going cold that had interrupted my winning streak? Maybe I had gotten more timid for some reason (I would point to the downward swing in my bankroll due to several SNG losses, for example). So I decided I needed to find a game where I could really train my patience but still have a decent shot at the money. Enter the small buy-in multis.



Tonight I played a Party 10+1 two table SNG. My stack was average for the first four levels, but then due to craziness by others at the table, my stack became rather less than average. And then to make matters worse, the blinds went up. Now, it is important for me to be *patient* in this situation, because a multi-table allows more time for play before I should start feeling pressured to grab some chips. And I only had to bust out of like fifty of these to finally realize that this evening! When my steal raises got called and the flop came Axx and I held KQo, I just gritted my teeth and folded. I didn’t let anyone goad me into chasing my chips with reraise after reraise. I didn’t say f*ck it and push all in with a pair of deuces (although someone else did when I was holding AQs. Take it down, Jodes.) I made good decisions and conserved my stack for the final table.



First hand at the final table, I am dealt 88. I’m in early position and my stack is still far from average. Here is where the fine line between patience and moxie blurs for me. But I figure, I’m new to the table, no one knows me except my buddies from table two, maybe no one will call and I can steal those juicy blinds. Woe to me, one of my new friends from table one looks me up. Well long story short, he holds AJo and gets no help. I double up and go back into “patience” mode.



Later. We’re six-handed. I’ve been hanging out, picking up some small pots. I’m dealt AJs in early position. A short stack goes all in. I seem to have no memory of doubling up on a guy who held the same hand because it’s looking pretty good to me and I try to isolate by going all-in myself. I figure, if I want to win this thing, now’s the time to make my move. Only problem is, the guy behind me is holding KK. I have him covered by a sickening 100 chips. I have some work to do. Oh, and did I mention the short stack held 99?



Well, it wasn’t over yet because the flop delivered me my beautiful ace. I know when I’m on the other end of this, I want to vomit in my opponent’s face, but hey, what goes around and all that. I busted two people and became second in chips. Ended up second in the tourney overall.



I realize that a 10+1 is small time and that my tale might make it into more of an epic that it could possibly be (what, Gigabet wasn’t there?) But every time my patience is rewarded, it is reinforced in my mind that this is a crucial poker skill. I think these small multis are great tools for developing patience, whether I then use that patience in cash games or larger tourneys. (Not sure if it’s counter-productive to my one-table SNG success or not. We’ll see.)



No hand to post today because I’m having trouble formatting them for the blog. Oh, and good luck to Chris from www.twentyoneoutstwice.blogspot.com – he’s playing in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tourney tomorrow. He’s definitely going to need patience to best that all-star field!