I've recently watched TheLangolier's video on how to consider situations rather than waiting for the perfect cards. Actually I've only watched half of the first video so far, but already it made a difference and I finished 104th in the OSL.

To start off, I finished 38th in a 25 c SNG with this hand, and it got me incredibly upset. But then I thought it through and figured I played it right and got unlucky, so it's not my fault.

I remember thinking at the flop, what can he possibly have? He can't have two Jacks because I have one, and I guess if he has a Jack something, I have a Jack Ace, so that'll hold up. And so I called all-in thinking I was ahead. I was multi-tabling stacked, so was very surprised to get a pop up saying I'd been eliminated. When I checked the card, the guy got runner runner on turn and river, and when he was pushing me all in I actually had him beat.

So then I watched TheLangolier's video and decided to try some of the advice in the OSL. And I know none of the hands I post here are "card dead", but usually I seem to lose with these hands regardless or take only a small pot. It was great to make decisions based on the situation rather than the specific cards, although the cards of course helped. I also was not scared to blind steal far more, though that may have been aided by my large stack.

First, I had this hand. 

I ran it through the Odds Evaluator, and at the start I was on a coin flip against their collective hands. So I had 48 percent chance of losing, while each one of them individually had less than 10 percent chance of winning. Seeing as it's OSL, I was sure someone would get a straight flush But I figured, this is pre-flop. Pre-flop I have the best hand and most people push in with any odd thing, and it'd be -EV to not play aces pre-flop.

For once, my aces held up! This set me up for a nice run into the OSL (I was 27th for a short while), and allowed me to play a few more 'situations'. 

Two hands later I had aces again, but this time I just took the blinds, I guess the table got scared of me knocking out half the table in one hand (or, more likely, they fell asleep).

Then I got this hand, KK. Standard raise from me, the guy re-raises. I was a bit worried, always think of that +EV comic "But he could have Aces!"

But it's OSL. This is where a HUD came in handy, the guy was pretty loose. 

At 37.5 percent, he's playing pretty much anything with 9 or better and all pairs:

Although the pot odds are low, I already have a hand that is pretty decent, so 3bet him to indicate strength. He pops all in. I was actually quite scared to call, but then another comic from +EV reminded me "You never fold kings pre-flop".

Worked out nicely. 

Later in the piece I lost a big chunk of my stack to this hand. 

Looking back at it now, I think I should probably have flatted the 3bet instead of 4betting. He was already all in, why 4 bet? Hmm. Advice welcome.

Then this hand I was playing by just reading the players:

I didn't think Villain 1 would call as he was folding quite a bit, I was specifically targetting Villain 6 with my bet. All others were sitting out. I knew that Villain 1 would fold to any bet somehow, but not entirely sure how at the moment. It's usually a strategy that seems to work for me - bet pre-flop, bet on the flop, most limpers fold. 

When Villain 6 raised like that on the river, it just seemed like a bluff. I'm not entirely sure if my play was right, and it reminded me so much of my first hand I describe in this post; but I had him covered, the pot odds were 3.5:1, I had top pair, top kicker, I figured he'd have bet out if he made a pair of queens on the turn, and I guess I could afford to lose the pot if he turned his bluff into a weak two pair. 

I was very surprised however when Villain 6 turned over absolutely nothing.

I read a PokerStarsBlog today talking about envy, and while I disagree with the definition of envy most people have, there was a good line there:

"How has he earned the chips that have allowed him to get to play a crucial coinflip?"
Maybe before winning that coinflip, he could afford to lose others.

So taking chances early on, when you can afford it (small blinds) or when you have the best hand (eg, aces preflop) and playing with conviction or even raising rubbish when you know the players are weak gets you through the game for later levels. Dave says in his video that the good cards won't come fast enough to keep up with the levels and you really need to play right situations to accumulate chips even when you don't have the best cards. 

It was a great night of learning. I'll finish watching that series of videos on the weekend, and I'm sure will learn something more.