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Massey: Emotional Control 50 Dimes Down

Massey Poker Emotional ControlWhat’s up World,

I know I know… I haven’t written a blog in like 4 months. In my defense, I don’t have a laptop anymore because it fizzled out in Miami, and I have no need for a new one until I start playing online again. Also, I played a tournament almost every day this summer and had absolutely no desire to spend time writing after each long unrewarding day. Call it being lazy; I’ll just call it being honest. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last blog.

I finished out the WSOP Circuit in St. Louis and New Orleans. With 6th place and 15th place finishes in tourneys (respectively), I earned enough points to qualify for the WSOP National Championship. I drove straight to Las Vegas with Jake Bazeley and Kurt Jewell in Baze’s car. I slept the first 12 hrs of the drive because I was still up from the night before. If you were at Baze’s house or have heard a story from a 3rd party then you know the reason(s) why I didn’t go to bed that night. New Orleans was a really good time lol. We got to Vegas and Kurt got us a room at Cosmopolitan that first week before we started the long summer grind. Needless to say we partied pretty hard. It was then time to go to work; I had a full schedule of WSOP bracelet events and Venetian tourneys to play over the next 2 months. I was as prepared for poker as I have ever been. At the top of my game, excited, confident and ready to breakout, I was eagerly awaiting the reward for all the hard work I had been putting in these last few years. And so it came…

2 months. Zero cashes in bracelet events. One single cash in a Venetian (17th) for $2795. Zero cashes in Rio Deepstacks; and I didn’t play a single hand of cash. What does this amount to? Yep, you guessed it… a $40,000 downswing. This was definitely not what I had in mind. Although my confidence never wavered, I was incredibly frustrated with what had transpired up to that point. I definitely hadn’t played perfect. I can think of 4 huge mistakes that may have/did cost me my tournament life. I also know there were several minor mistakes along the way that may have contributed to the end results. However, all in all, I played good/great poker the entire summer. I would honestly give myself an A- overall, maaaaaybe a B+. Regardless, I definitely played well enough to produce a better result that I did. That’s variance.

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Navarro says there are important verbal tells, too

Re-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

Joe Navarro

You’re an expert in non-verbal behavior, but surely during your studies you’ve heard plenty of comments. With the WSOP approving table talk this year, what are some verbal cues (e.g. cracked voice, incessant chatter) you’ve discovered and what do you think they mean? — Matt Cooper, via email

That is a great question and one I hear more and more. Over the years, I’ve found people who lack confidence, people who are weak or marginal, tend to have a few vocal tells worthy of mentioning. When we are stressed, we tend to make more speech errors and our vocal chords get strained so the pitch of our voice goes up.
Ask another player a question and the cough or the need to clear their throat before answering may tell you they’re suddenly weak. Or they answer and the voice cracks or goes up an octave.

If you hear these things, chances are something is bothering the player; the question is what is it? Is it stress because they’re marginal or weak, or are they hiding their strength? That’s where betting patterns come in to help you sort that out.

What is the most common tell you see at the poker tables? — Lisa Patterson, via email.

Three tells are most prominent in poker, though more than 200 have been identified and studied. The most common one is lip compression, which just about everyone does when something is bothering them.
The next one is neck touching when something you see or hear is an issue.

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Are you playing non-exploitable poker?

Re-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

David Apostolico

Much has been written about exploiting opponents on the felt. This is a critical part of the game. If you can’t identify and exploit the weakness in opponents, you’ll rarely have an edge and ultimately you won’t be successful. I’m quite sure every winning player spends a great deal of time and energy on this aspect of the game.

What is less certain is how much time and energy is spent on a related aspect of the game: making yourself less exploitable by opponents.

Take a minute now to do some soul-searching and ask yourself how much time and energy you spend working on exploiting others vs. working on preventing your exploitation.

Be honest. I’m guessing you spend more time on the former. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t believe an equal amount of time needs to be expended on both or that there’s any right percentage.

Every player is different and should play to his strengths to maximize his profits. However, I do think players at every skill level could spend more time and energy working on making their play less exploitable.

So, how do you do this? Mixing up your play and not being predictable is obviously a good starting point. However, poker isn’t played in a vacuum.

If you’ve been super tight in a tournament and find yourself getting short-stacked when everyone folds to you on the button, you may feel your tight image has built some fold equity for you and it’s time to make a move.

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Massey: Updates from the Tournament Circuit

What's up World,

I have been slacking on the blog I know.  My POS computer died in Miami and I have been lazy I guess.  Anyways, I'm sitting at the restaurant bar in the lobby of Harrah's St. Louis at the moment.  I'm watching the Bulls vs Heat on 1 screen and Hawks vs Coyotes (Game 4) on the other.  I came down to eat and write this blog.  Theres 2 other chicago area poker players I know, Manny and Dylan, sitting at the bar watching the game too so I joined them.  Its been quite a nice ride the last few months.  After winning the PLO tourney in Chicago for over $40,000 and a seat to the Main Event, I played the Main there and busted on day 2.  We went out for Lawton's birthday that night in Chicago but stayed home no longer, as i left for Atlantic City to pick up some WSOPC Points that I needed.  I only played 3 tourneys there, and had no cashes.  i did go out a lot however, partying with Kurt and Jacob Bazeley.  We had a really good time away from the felt.  After AC I flew down to Miami to play the tournament series at the Isle in Pompano Beach.  I stayed with my good friend Steve Karp.  He has a nice house on North Miami beach w a pool and an extra bedroom.  He also had an extra car for me to use…. Thanks Steve.

The first tournament was the day after I flew in. the $570 $75k guarantee.  The field was made up of 20% great players and 80% bad players, and this was a 1 day event.  To make a long story very short I won the tournament in 14hrs for $22,000.  This was the 2nd time in 2 weeks that I flew into a city and won the first tournament I played.  With my newly found fortunes I felt it was ok to skip the rest of the small tournaments at the Isle and basically just play the Main Event.  (another Chicago grinder, Zal, had showed up at the bar to watch the games and joins me on my right.  I've always liked Zal) My brother and Kurt came down for 2 weeks and stayed with Steve as well.  We went out and did a lot of stuff.  We went down to South Beach and partied, went to Space one night until 6am, went to 2 Heat games and was court side, did the beach a bunch of times and some dining,and shopping, etc, etc.. (wow, Hawks just tied it up 2-2 w 2 goals in last few mins!!! 1:26 left in the 3rd) I played the $3500 Main Event and busted.  I spent the next 2 weeks playing cash games.  i decided to skip going to Council Bluffs for the circuit and just stay in Miami and grind.

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