This blog entry is going to be a pretty positive one since I’m happy to report that I'm still playing heads-up hypers. I haven't played a ton of games or won a ton of money, but I’ve learned a lot since the last time I wrote.
I had several big leaks when I first started playing HU. Probably my biggest problem was calling the turn and then folding the river when I should have just folded the turn in the first place. It was so bad that my friend and I named it the "Courtney Leak".
The Courtney Leak wasn't a new thing. It dates back further than I can remember, and I certainly had it while I was playing 6-max SnGs. The thing about 6-max, though, is that you see post flop spots a lot less often than HU. So when I started playing HU, I noticed the leak a lot more.
Despite having the leak in my game for long, it was never solved even though I knew it was there for a while. This is simply because not enough work was put into getting rid of it, as is the case with any leak that doesn't get plugged.
I finally decided that I needed to eliminate the Courtney Leak for good. My method of solving it was to ensure that I never forgot about it during any of my sessions. I used a notepad file on my desktop beside my tables and wrote in it, "PAY ATTENTION TO MY LEAK".
The notepad file helped me to always remember to look out for the leak. This caused me to think extra-long before I called any bets on the turn. I thought to myself, "What is my plan if I call? If I'm gonna fold when the river bricks, I should just fold now."
Plugging a Leak Takes Time and Hard Work
A bad leak like this isn't plugged overnight, but working on it daily helps get rid of it pretty quickly. I reviewed before every session and found examples of the Courtney Leak in my hand histories. I worked hard to focus on it during every session and the leak started showing up less and less.
After a two week period, I had eliminated the Courtney Leak completely. It also didn't take long to recognize the spots where it actually is correct to call the turn and fold the river. By plugging a simple leak, I became a much stronger player.
Now when I spot problems in my game during review, I put a note in my notepad file and look at it during my session. Just being reminded of what I'm working on while I'm playing helps speed up the improvement exponentially.
Looking up at what I've written so far, I'm kind of surprised that I've written over 400 words just about plugging a leak. I have a lot more to write about, which probably isn't surprising since I haven't updated this blog for around a month. I've been playing a lot more poker these days than in the summer, though, so I expect to update on a much more regular basis now.
In case you haven't read my previous posts here, I also keep a Mental Game blog. I try to post after every session, so feel free to have a look if you want to read my thoughts on a more daily basis.