I think I played the entire tournament near perfect other than two or three mistakes I made throughout the duration.
When I was in my online poker prime and was learning key fundamentals of NLHE I'd always look to find what I was doing wrong and correct it. I would get well respected pro players on AIM and every time I felt that I played a hand in a sloppy way I would message 8-10 people on my AIM and ask them how they would play it.
After about two months of playing nothing but tournaments I felt that I made an average of two or three mistakes per tournament. These weren't mistakes that everyone would recognise as mistakes either, these were any way that I played the hand that WASN'T perfect.
If I didn't play the hand as best as I knew how then as far as I was concerned I had made a mistake. Mistakes had nothing to do with results either - one thing that was pushed on me really early in my poker career was not to be results oriented.
Just as an extreme example if I have 2-3o and decide that after being reraised preflop a shove is the most profitable play, it's not a mistake to me even if he wakes up with kings, as long as I am doing it for the right reason.
After about two months of playing tournaments for up to 20 hours a day, I finally came to a point where instead of averaging three mistakes per tournament I would only average one or two mistakes per three tournaments and eventually I would be playing almost exactly perfect, in my mind.
How is this relevant to WPT Niagara? Well, I'm still in the stage of my live tournament career where I am on average making three mistakes per tournament.
You may be wondering, wait a minute Sorel, online tournaments are obviously tougher than live tournaments, how can you possibly be making more mistakes in live tournaments than you do online?
Well, the answer is that there are so many more options in live play that should effect every one of your decisions.
Just to give one example, in live tournaments you have the option to stare your opponent down and verbally engage the opponent who's involved in the hand. Phil Hellmuth is an absolute genius at this, and I would say that at least 50% of his success comes from this talent alone.
With this being said, if not playing every hand perfect and not saying exactly what you should say to the opponent involved in a hand in order to render a specific action or get a tell is considered not perfect, and I consider not perfect a mistake, then I'm probably making a lot more than three mistakes per tournament!
My ultimate goal in live poker is not only to play every hand correctly but to also engage my opponents in a manner that gives me as much information as possible.
Since I'm inexperienced in knowing which of my actions render which reactions, it's something that I will get better with, with experience.
I'd rather not put up huge blog posts so I'll get onto the key hands in the next few entries listed below.
Day 1 Niagara - Should have shoved on the flop
Day 2 Niagara - Short-stack to top ten stack
Day 3 Niagara - Ups and downs and pleased with a cash.
More blogs from online tournaments pro Sorel Mizzi: