One might assume that poker professionals are beyond doubt and they always know what needs to be done when they buy in for a major tournament. While it is true that the experience in this line of work and past performance gives them an edge over amateurs, not even poker pros know it all or are immune to mistakes. Raymond Wu tried something different the last time he participated in the Asia Championship of Poker and he learned a valuable lesson that he is willing to share in his latest blog post in PokerStarsBlog.
The poker professional explains on his blog, how he decided to push his game into overdrive after winning the PLO event at the ACOP in 2012. His approach was slightly different to what the vast majority of his peers consider to be standard tournament strategy. Instead of taking it one step at a time and hoping to survive the bubble stage with a decent stack, Wu opted in for a strategy that is commonly referred to as “go big or go home”.
What he attempted, was to come out firing on all cylinders in the first stages of the tournament and push less aggressive players around. The idea was to accumulate enough chips when everyone else is playing cautiously, focusing mostly on how to survive the first couple of levels. If you win enough chips early on, by the time the tournament reaches the bubble stage, you will have a deep stack in front of you, which is the best case scenario.
This is the time when players are more likely to be intimidated by aggressive plays and those who value their tournament life too much will not stand in your way. Wu hoped that the strategy would give him an excellent opportunity to take an early lead and start the final table as favourite. Unfortunately for him, his plans didn’t come to fruition because he failed to survive the initial stages of most of the tournaments and busted before the first three levels concluded.
This would’ve been a shocking outcome a few years ago, but this time Raymond was not surprised because he knew from the very beginning which were the risks. The experiment went terribly wrong, but he is not too upset because he got to learn a valuable lesson, even if he did it the hard way. He drew some powerful conclusions that should help in the future, as he plans on building on this newfound style of poker, while toning down his aggressiveness in the early stages.