Yesterday in Part Two of our look at the life of poker pro Sam Grafton where he talked about satellite formats, scrutinising your game and hand reviewing within the world of poker. Missed the second part? Read it here. Now join us for part three as Lee Davy continues with his fantastic “A Week in the Life of…”
What method of learning do you deploy?
When I first started playing, and wasn’t professional, I would look at training sites and I would rail players I admired and would try and be like them. I used to think, “This is how a top pro plays,” and wanted to be like that.
Develop Your Own Style
Now, in order to succeed at the highest level, rather than just make a living, but try and create titles – and thrive -you have to go above and beyond that and develop your own style. Always be innovative. I talk to the likes of Chris Brammer and Ash Mason and they don’t try to imitate someone else. Instead they spot things that everyone is doing and they figure out a way to exploit it. The point is I am not trying to imitate someone on a training site now; I’m trying to come up with innovations myself. That’s why I don’t feel like I need the help of a training site as much anymore.
What I do though is constantly talk to a wider variety of people about the game. I’m very lucky that my best friends are some of the absolute best people in the game, and likewise, I will talk to anyone who wants to talk to me. Sometimes you can hear of some things really interesting from less established people from the game and I am always happy to talk strategy with anyone.
Watch And Learn
I will also watch, when I am down to three-tables if say a Moorman or a Brammer is deep in a tournament. I will watch the hands and then ask them, “What did you have there?” or, “How can you check back the river there?” Just to gain that little insight into how these really great players are thinking.
Was there a hand you played really badly?
There was a miracle hand with 50-left in the GUKPT Main Event. I had and 20 bigs and I re-jammed into [Ax] [Kx]. The flop comes down [Ax] [Ax] [9x] (no diamond). Now, I never normally budge from my seat until all five cards are dealt, I hate this getting up from the table lark, and I never do it; but instinctively I was up and as I had friends at the table, I wanted to shake hands and say goodbye. Obviously, it came [Tx], [Qx] so that was my little miracle. Bad hands, let me think…I am having amnesia…I don’t think I had any bad hands…they all go pretty perfectly to be honest.
What was your favourite hand of the week?
At one point in the GUKPT Main I had Igor Kurganov on my left and Jake Cody on his left. Jake put me under a lot of pressure throughout the day. He was three-betting me, constantly; and flatting me and taking pots away from me. I think if this competition had been a year or two ago, at some point I would have blown. My only strategy would have been to get into a big variance war and just get the money in. I would have thought, “This guy is bashing me up and I need to do something about it.” I would have been all-in with jack-eight at some point because I couldn’t cope with a player as good as Jake in the position I was in.
Now I understand
When you have someone that good, you have to make adjustments and it’s ok to make that adjustment and be tightening up. You need to drop your ego. Eventually, he three-bet called with ace-queen, which given the dynamic of the game was understandable, and I had kings. It sounds ridiculous in the modern game to think of waiting for a hand. But in response to a player as good as Jake that’s exactly what you have to do. He’s someone who you are just not going to be able to out play – out of position – and so waiting for a hand was the optimal strategy.
When I did get a hand I got paid off. I opened from early position where he couldn’t three-bet me as much, I didn’t open his button as wide as I was opening it before…when he was in the small blind I always opened because it was a good spot to get a raise through. Those are the kind of adjustments that show there is maturity to my game, which was not there a few years ago.
About the Author
Lee Davy is a writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog at or on Twitter
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