I've been on quite a run in my live poker escapades. I have to review my half assed notes to report accurately on my winnings, but as I mentioned earlier, I have already hit my goal of winning $1,500 by June. I've always played pretty well live, but I made a big change to my game and the results speak for themselves.
The big change is wearing headphones during most of the tourney.
I used to think that it was a bad idea. I'd miss some talk or some sort of tell that I could use later, but that just isn't the case, for me anyway. And yes, a BIG part of my game is reading players.
When I have the headphones on I appear to be oblivious...listening to music, rifling my chips...she's in another world. I like that image but nothing can be further from the truth. I am watching every move made when someone is in the pot. And I think the headphones make it appear that I'm just staring off into space.
When a guy is in a pot, I watch his face, his hands, his breathing, his blinking, the way he tosses the chips in....and then I see if he has a hand or not. And then I'll watch again when he's in a hand, and see if I can correctly guess his hand based on previous tells. It's a little game I play while I'm waiting for good cards. If I guess correctly a couple of times, I know I'm onto something. And sometimes, if I ask really nicely, guys will show me their cards, and that helps alot too.
But that's not the only thing the music helps with. It also helps me be patient. It enables me to fold mediocre hands that I might be tempted to play when boredom sets in. Music definitely helps me with the boredom of folding cards.
Lastly, I have specific songs that inspire me throughout a tournament. I like the following:
Acrobat by U2:
Don't believe what you hear
Don't believe what you see
If you just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy
When I first met you girl
You had fire in your soul
You know that your time is coming 'round
So don't let the bastards grind you down
Mysterious Ways U2:
She's the wave
She turns the tide
She sees the man inside the child
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
She moves in mysterious ways
You Learn, Alanis Morrissette: (after I've lost a hand)
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
Push, Matchbox 20:
...this ain't over, no not here, not while I still need you around
you don't own me, we might change it
yeah we just might feel good
I wanna push you around, well I will, well I will
I wanna push you down, well I will, well I will
I wanna take you for granted, I wanna take you for granted
Yeah, yeah, well I will
Hand in Pocket, Alanis again (cuz I think she wrote this song just for me!):
I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, Yeah!
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful, Baby!
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, Yeah!
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry, Baby! (that happens alot)
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly, Baby!
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
I'm sick but I'm pretty, Baby!
And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine