Hey everyone, hope you all had productive Novembers. I had a horrible rough patch that last week but still managed to claw my way to the 30 dollar mark so no complaints here. But it is a new month and a new chance for everybody to make some leaderboard money.
     I use the phrase leaderboard money for a reason. There are basically two kinds of people that play in the PSO. The ones that are here because it is a freeroll with a small prizepool per tourney and those that are trying to win the real payouts of the leaderboard. If you are trying to make some leaderboard money then you are also here to try to learn and improve your game. The two go hand in hand. You cannot get one without the other.
    If you are here for those two reasons, then you need to keep in mind that the PSO is not a series of poker tournaments. In a poker tournament you are trying to make it to the final table and hope some skill and lady luck propel you to first place. The PSO league is anything but a series of poker tournaments. It is all about earning points for the leaderboard. You get them by min cashing. If you get 10th place in a tournament you get only slightly more points than someone who comes in 144th place. So the best strategy is not to try to get in a position for a deep tourney run but in a position to min cash. Sure, once the bubble is popped you want to do everything you can to chip up and make a run, but that is completely secondary to just breaking the bubble.
     So gambling your tourney life early on has much more meaning here. An early exit equals negative points. So the key is to not risk your tourney life early. Wait for opportunities to come up that maximize your chance at success. Calling a maniac's all-in on the first hand when you hold pocket aces is more than tempting. And I am not saying to fold them. Just remember that aces get cracked plenty often by garbage hands and with high risk comes high reward or possibly high penalties.
     My strategy is to wait out the early rounds, let the donkeys knock themselves out, and try to make a move for chips around the level 5 blinds. This is a great opportunity to take some notes on my opponents, kill some clock, and lessen the chance for negative points in case the hands I do get involved in don't go my way. This is not to say that I wouldn't play a monster pre-flop hand early in the tourney. But it is a wise idea to try to keep the betting small if possible so if you lose the hand, you do not leave yourself crippled early in the tournament. If you get the nuts, then you can make a push for big bets, and likely the donkeys of the league will call you down.
     The problem with three or four betting pre-flop early in the tournament is that the bad players don't respect raises. They want to see flops and raises don't scare them at all. Many times they will simply push all in to your raise forcing you into a tough decision. And betting your hands after the flop doesn't scare them much either. They usually keep on calling, hoping to catch their three-outer on the river. 
     So just remember that survival is the key. Keep your pots small in the early stages unless you know you cannot be beaten. Kill some clock. People go out at a very fast pace for the first hour of the tourney. Making it to the first break usually has half of the field eliminated. Once the antes begin, it is time to make the most of your monster hands and try to put yourself in a position to break the bubble. Patience is the key. Early outs are usually because there was a lack of patience. Stay focused on the goal of breaking the bubble and you will see your name on the leaderboard with some money listed next to it.
     If you are a seasoned pro of the league, then you already know all this, but this info is for the newer members who are just discovering the league. Leaderboard money vs. pennies. I know which one I am always gunning for. Best of luck to everyone this month whatever strategy you use to make your move on the leaderboard this month.