I'm off the schneid! Strangely enough, I started the evening with a $10+1 SnG and guess what?! I came in third. Big freakin' surprise, ain't it! NOT! As you can probably tell, I'm pretty frickin' sick of these damn thirds.... Granted, it's profitable, but also frustrating as hell.
So, how did I break the six out of seven trend? I moved UP to the $20+2 tables. The play is less wild and the hands are much easier to read at the higher buy-in, making it easier to make plays and judge hand strength. I may have learned something here... or I just got lucky.
I'm not sure my bankroll justifies the move to $20+2 for all my tournaments, but I definitely felt a better rhythm at this level. It's very possible that I'm just not "loose" enough for the play-any-two-cards, high risk cowboys at the low levels. I know, $22 buy-ins aren't exactly the WSOP, but I think it represents a different group of players with different sensibilities, and these sensibilities are more logical and therefore more "read-able".
Let me put it this way, after we got down to five players, it took 28 hands to eliminate the next player. With only four players and blinds at 150/300, the chips were 2600-2100-2000-1300. Guess who was in last place? But I never felt in jeopardy even shortstacked. I knew I could wait two full orbits for a decent hand, and that an early raise might well take down the blinds. Sure enough, on the first hand I raise to 600 in cutoff with A6o and take the BB. I fold for a full cycle and see JJ in BB. One limper who folds to my raise and I'm basically in a three-way tie for second. Another A6o in the next hand. I raise and get one caller to see the JJ2 flop. I bet out and take the pot (and the chip lead). A couple of orbits later I see AA in SB. Unfortunately, the BB was blinded all-in and I couldn't bet. Very unfortunately, his J4o ends up in a straight when 5678 hits the board.
24 hands after we get down to four hands, we finally lose someone, and it turns out to be TWO people, and though I'm the chip leader, I'm not the one who busts them. AK beats AQ beats Q7 (Q7?) when QJx flops and the T on the turn makes the final Q moot. Now, we're head to head and I'm down 4440-3560 with 250/500 blinds. Very next hand I have K7 and I complete from SB. Flop is KTx. I bet out and get the BB to lay it down... And I never trail from then on, polishing him off in a tidy ten hands. The penultimate hand was the backbreaker. With the chips at 4800-3200 and blinds up to 300/600, I raise from SB to 1200 with K9o. When the flop came up A83, I represented the Ace by betting 2000. He paused and folded, putting my chip lead at 3-1. I put him away the very next hand.
It was a weird feeling. I was able to put people on hands accurately, lay down at the right time, and bet aggressively. It was like I KNEW what they were thinking... "He's betting, he must have the ace" or "He's just raising the minimum, he must want a call"... and I was able to take advantage of my instincts. At the $10+1 tables, I was always confused and off-balance, unable to put a guy on T3o or 84 after he called a raise. Paradoxically, my personality is better suited to the greater discipline and logic of the $20+2. I think the $50+5 has guys that don't give a shit about money and the $10+1 has guys that don't get it, making both groups impossible for me to read.