I grew my bankroll around 30% last month and ended up going on a downswing once we walked into February. Nothing too major but it was pretty much eating into my entire profits. One major factor however was the fact I took a swipe at 10NL. Now that’s a big jump from 2NL – 10NL without a bankroll behind me but I needed to see what it was like (UB has no 5NL, how crazy is that!?!). I flopped trip Qs and played level 1 thinking, lost to a straight.

Which leads me last night and a decision which was instantaneous. I took a look at the tournaments and saw there was a $1+$.10 Rebuy and Addon starting 2am EST. I made a decision that I was going to win it. Not that I was going to enter, but that I was going flat out to win. 6 hours later and I take 1st place to push my BR to over $400 and a shot at 10NL!

In no way was it perfect poker but I played solid for the whole time. I made some good laydowns in a number of situations which, although most of them may be standard, was extremely disciplined for me. I remember only twice whereby I really got my money in with the worst of it. We were down to 3 tables and I’d pretty much hovered around the average stack count for the entire tournament. An average stack with the blinds and antes anywhere from 20-40% of my chip stack at times. In this case the big blind alone was 10,000 and two players limped with me in the big blind with 66. I push all in for my remaining 40K and hit a 6 on the river to triple up and leave someone crippled.

The second time was 4-handed and I was overwhelming chip leader with over 1.3m in chips compared to 600K of my nearest player. I had KJs and pushed hard, so hard that someone else went AI and I called. If I lost I would have been left with only 300K in chips (not too bad but maybe it would have tilted me?). I catch the flush versus a KQo.

So what can I take away from winning my first MTT? Patience is the key. If I feel like I’m beat, I probably am. If there’s a hand out there which can beat me and someone is betting like they have it, give them credit for it. There’s no rush. And THAT is the key, in an MTT there really isn’t any rush. If your chip stack is around 15K with the blinds at 2500 and 5000 with 100-200 antes don’t panic and go all-in with any two cards. Wait for the right moment. Sometimes the right moment doesn’t come and you have to try to play your way to a bigger stack, but that’s poker folks!

So I’m going to take the rest of the day off and relax. I’m able to move up to 10NL with a good sized bankroll and there’s another tournie just around the corner when I decide I’m ready to play again.

I’ve already made the decision I’m going to win.