your poker evolution
The world of poker can boast of a number of well-known poker stars who are famous for their unbelievable game achievements. However, each of them has not been a pro from his birth and has a story of failures at the beginning of his poker career.
Chris tells, that in the days of Moneymaker's boom, poker was so simple that many of his skills have improved much later. He even thought that the biggest mistake at the beginning of his career was that he spent not enough time playing. Of course, it was necessary to relish the opportunity, while the game was easy, as many players did. Another issue that was particular for that time was the low level of opponents game. Due to this fact Chris managed to get away with it. It was not necessary to constantly focus on hands, one could play for fun and still get money. Chris also confides that he could even drink during the sessions. Once he woke up after a roaring night and found $20,000 on his online account. However, he could not remember how he actually won this prize. Klodnicki confesses that now such behaviour is unacceptable. He admits, that it took some time to understand the intricacies of razz. For example, at first he did not understand that draw may be stronger than finished hands. At the WSOP-2008 Chris took the 2nd place in razz tournament, playing with terrible mistakes. For example, he thought that his JxTx9x is higher than Kx7x2x. Only the next day he figured out why he was being raised all the time.
A few years ago not the strongest player, who liked to throw chips, sat at the PLO $200/$400 table on Full Tilt, and James considered it a good opportunity to strengthen the bankroll. But he ran into the wall. Overnight he lost $200,000, claiming $25,000 per table. Obst does not know what he was thinking about, but he did not leave, and continued to make buy-ins. Naturally, he did not realize that he was a donor in that game. James completely ceased to pace himself. As a result everyone benefited from the session including that player. James played normally, but he could not cope with the tilt. In a while he lost his grip. Again and again James pressed the deposit button and could not stop. That night he was totally carried away. In such a way he tried to calm down. The next day James forgot everything. Now James Obst keeps his temper in line. It was not an easy task as he even had to change several monitors and laptops.
Back in 2005 Will Failla sat at his first final table in the $1,000 buy-in tournament at Foxwoods Casino. There were 9 people left, Will had a huge stack - about 150 big blinds. A player after him made a standard raise, and Will raised AxKx. Will did not want to make a call or make a 3-bet in order not to get in trouble, so the inner voice told him to finish the hand immediately by making a push. Naturally, such huge all-in made his opponents fold one by one. But when the turn came to the raiser, he was excited to make a call with aces, as his stack was a little bigger. Will stayed anxious for a long time because of this hand. It was not necessary to be out. Will confesses he was ashamed when the raiser showed aces. He could easily got into the top 3 just folding, but he panicked and took 9th place. Whereas In those days he was still going crazy when getting AK, now Will does not like this hand at all. Will was worrying about that knockout for about two years. At the beginning of a career, one is ignorant of whether he will ever have such a chance in a major tournament. Of course, Will Failla was lucky to had many other opportunities to show his talent, but then this error seemed to him fatal.
Sean Buchanan remembers so far, how he showed down a very strong hand in the final of the WPT in Bellagio in 2009. There were 5 or 6 players left. Farah Jaka showed down a raise, Josh Arie made 3-bet, and Sean just folded with Ax Kx on SB having a stack of 30 blinds. This fold was a real struggle for Sean, as it was an excellent opportunity to push. But at that moment he did not want to hurry as he thought that understood his opponents’ poker strategy well. In addition, Scotty Nguyen had a short stack, so ICM also played its role. Looking back, it is clear that Sean chose the most conservative strategy of all possible. It turned out that Arie had KxQx, and Faraz had garbage traditional for him at that time. They both would fold after his push and Sean would take a decent pot. Sean claims that many players would go all-in in such situation not to look stupid in a television broadcast, but he always rows against the wind. Sean is confident in his poker skills, so he does not allow cameras to influence on his decisions. However, it would be better if they influenced on Sean during that game. He took the 4th place. If he won, maybe he would not recall that game so often.
In 2012, when Ian just started playing in live tournaments, he had problems with playing a short stack. It would seem that it is impossible, because there are not so many options with a short stack, but Ian managed to make mistakes quite often. For example, with a stack of 12-15 big blinds Ian could call a raise at pre-flop with suited connectors or law pairs hoping to catch a strong hand. Sometimes he was even limping. But with a stack of 15BB and less, you can never limp or call, if action is expected. It took some time for Ian to realize, what harm these small mistakes cause. It's funny, but now when playing with a short stack a lot of creativity is allowed. You can not play passively as before, but you also do not need to wait for the opportunity to push. Stop-and-go method (calling without a pre-flop position and being the first to go all-in on the flop) is also used sometimes. Ian is determined that the reason is that modern players feel much more comfortable with 10BB stack and less.
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