I started the Skill League at the beginning of the month & basically played my usual tournament strategy.  That did not work very well.  There's just not enough play to make my ususal raises & play my usual hands.  I realized I had to tighten up . . . A LOT

So next, I started entering the tournaments at the last minute, running the clock & playing only premium hands until the antes kicked in at 125/250.  That worked ok, but it struck me that since I'm a better player than the vast majority of the others in the league, it was to my advantage to play as many hands as possible.

I watched one of the league leaders for a couple of tournaments.  He was playing about 20% of his hands.  So I pulled out Vol. 1 of Harrington on Holdem & wrote down the starting hands for the various positions.  This means I play about 9% in early position and 30% from late position.  I'm not raising as often as Harrington suggests, however.  That would eat up chips too fast. 

Another thing I've realized is, that it's not a complete disaster as long as I finish in the top 60%.  That deficit is relatively easy to make up.  So, if I can make it half-way through 75/150, it's pretty much ok.  As long as I make sure I'm left with enough to pay the blinds that far, I can take a few more chances in the early rounds to try & scoop up some of the dead money.

I figure what I need to do, is play more hands, avoid marginal situations & try not to put too many chips at risk early.

There's a fine line between being cautious and being chicken though.   I mean, if I have pocket aces in the first few hands & someone is willing to get it all in with me before the flop, I'm going to do it.  And tonight in the 10 pm tournament, I was in the BB with AK of spades, with the blinds at 15-30 and just over 1400 chips.  UTG +2 raised to 120 & it went fold, call, fold, fold to me.  I thought about folding, because in this situation, it's not unlikely that one of them has a pair & the other has an ace, which means some of my outs are gone.  But it just seemed too chicked to fold for another 90 chips.  I was rewarded when the flop was a king with the Q,2 of spades!  I donk bet most of the pot, intending to shove if I got raised.  I didn't want to risk the flop getting checked around & having something scary show up on the turn.  Neither of the other players called.

I went on to cash in the tournament, so I think my rating should be back over 1800.

That's it until 10am tomorrow