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Getting back into the game

Follow me as I return to the game after a 1.5 year break
By: UMGUY
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After taking a break from the game for the past one and a half years, with the exception of a few MTT's, I decided it's time to get back into the game. Though I was far from being a pro, I was a profitable player at the micro Sit & Go's when I left. I know that returning to form as a serious poker player is going to take some work.

The Cowboy's challenge is initially what pushed my game to the next level. Thus, I've decided to return to this format playing a single tournament format. The $0.25 45-man Sit & Go's were always a favorite of mine so I decided to return to doing these. More information on the Cowboy's challenge can be found at:

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/forum/showthread.php?39095-Official-Rules-for-the-Cowboy-s-Challenge!

The Cowboy's challenge suggests playing 100 games a month, but I do not have the time for this so I'll be doing it at my own pace.

I began by revising some basic poker strategies at the pokerschool courses. I will not go into depth on these strategies as the pokerschool explains these much better than I am able to, but I will share a few that I feel are most important to my game.

1- Play tight in the early stages. By only playing category 1 and 2 hands, I can play these more aggressively once they're made hands and watch the more inexperienced players throw their chips at me on loose calls.

2- Don't bluff in the early stages. This has a lot to do with #1 as those loose calls mean bluffing is going to fail far too often making it a poor play in the early stages of these tournaments.

3- Don't get blinded out in the mid and late stages. Make sure to give yourself a fighting chance and pushing all-in when your hand allows it. This often results in stealing the blinds and often when there is a call, I am at worst 40% to win.

4- Play for first. Once in the money, don't play to move up one spot in the money rankings, play to win it all. I find this results in a larger profit margin in the long run.

I chose to play 4 tournaments at a time, registering for them back to back and not starting another once all four have ended. This allows me to play multiple tournaments all at similar stages and blind levels allowing me to focus in on stack sizes and appropriate bet sizes more easily.

My goal is to play these tournaments until I have profited $100 at which point I will move up to the $1 45-man tournaments. I realize this is a very conservative approach to managing my bankroll, but I feel it will give my game the time it needs to prosper.

To date, I've played 24, $0.25 45-man Sit&Go's. I've been in the money 8 times (11 final table appearances) finishing 1st 5 times! I've profited $12.40 thusfar.

In conclusion, returning to a familiar buy-in level, revising some poker strategies, and playing at a pace in which I am comfortable with has led to some early success. Only time will tell if my play can remain consistent, but I'm confident that if I keep working on my game and implementing proper poker strategy that my success will continue.

I'm not going to go through the trouble of posting tournament ID's and results, but if you'd like to follow my progress I suggest using a poker tracking site. I use www.officialpokerrankings.com and I began this process October 2013.

I will continue to post monthly to update my progress and share some experiences. Thanks for reading.

-UMGUY

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