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My "Learning to Win at Poker -- Chip by Chip" Diary

I've gotten to the final table of the PSO warmup qualifier freerolls 3 times. Once I won a ticket to the Sunday warmup but the other two times I lost -- due to a discipline problem I need to conquer. My loss last night serves as a perfect illustration.

I arrived at the final table somewhat shortstacked. So I needed to play at least a bit in order to survive. Luckily, I managed to double my stack. Now there were at least 3 players with far fewer chips. At that moment I had a thought -- "Sit out now!"  Basically, it looked as if I could just outwait the other shorter stacked players and be in the top six. And if I stopped playing I couldn't get into trouble.

But no. I couldn't bring myself to do it. And then, unluckily, I had a couple of hands that seemed like beautiful winners. So first, my straight lost to a full house. And then my AK lost to -- whatever -- I don't even remember. But I had lost so many chips with my straight that I needed to gamble with my AK.

I've lost at crucial moments before -- on the bubble or very close to the bubble -- by lacking the discipline to quit playing while I'm ahead. As a result one very happy but probably surprised player with a much shorter stack than mine ended up in the top six.

In short, to become the player I want to be, I must cultivate the iron discipline to fold when I should -- whether because I'm on the bubble or because I can "smell" that my wonderful cards are nonetheless beaten by the other guy.

I'll never be a great player without having great folding as a key weapon in my arsenal.

Have a wonderful day. See you at the tables. 8)
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