Well, fresh off a nice finish of 68th that finally moved me back up into the top 500 and well over 2000 points in the standings, I continued to play rather cautiously in the next tournament, breaking the top 700 or so. ( I can't remember and it's not posted yet). Now, I'd managed to finish 68th by playing cautiously. I won a few hands early, had some nice cards, got a decent stack and held on to it. I bet a bit more aggressively when I was above average stack, but spent most of the game just above, or slightly below average. When I'm above average, I'll bet on suited cards, no matter what the spread, or how low they happen to be, I'll at least want to see the flop. When I'm below average, I want to see I can get a straight out of it too, or have at least one reasonably high card in my hand. Below average, I fold low pairs if the betting is too rich. I'll fold Ace and a low kicker. That sort of thing. But above average stack, I'll generally throw some chips in to see what the flop looks like.

Now, when that works, it  works well. If you just be consistent in your betting, you're hard to read. If you win a high percentage of the showdowns, people start believing you and fold to your raises and give you hands. But after only managing to break the top 1000, as usual in the next tournament, I decided there were hands I could have been much more aggressive on. I folded early with an AK at one point, to a guy that won the hand with a J high. That hurt, I'd simply been outbet and was too cautious. So I decided to change that this morning.

I started off well enough, winning an early all in, getting to 4000 chips when the rest of the table were under 2000. And it went downhill from there. My aggressive style won some hands, lost others. I stopped trying to read people, stopped believing their raises, and my showdown percentage went down from 90% to 50%. It wasn't pretty, and I finished barely in the top 4000. I'll lose some standing points on that one. And the thing that really got to me, was how stupid my play was. All the things that make me lay down a hand and save some chips, went flying out the window. I don't play chess that way, I play chess to build a solid defense and let the other guy make a mistake first. And they will. I do the same in backgammon, I don't race and hope for lots of doubles, I play for position and trap. Once I've trapped you, I'll catch up very fast. And frankly, that's the way I like to play poker. Plod along cautiously, defend my stack, make you think I don't have the guts to call you. Until I do, and take your chips. I think I'll stick to cautious, it's working better.