So, this past weekend has been dedicated to refocusing on poker. As stated before, I somehow lost focus and found myself unable to make accurate reads, and doing other donk-like things. I stated I believed this was due to both "off table baggage" that needed emptied and maybe too much repitition. Time away from the table would surely be beneficial to both bankroll and state of mind.

So, here I am, making my return to the felt; recommitted, focused, dedicated. Gone are the days of playing to merely pass time. Doing so is -EV. I'm not going to play with the boys unless I plan to win. Again, -EV. I'm not going to open a table, knowing in 20 minutes I have somewhere to be or a call to take. Still, -EV. When it's time for cards, it's time for cards, period. If I can't or won't give it my all, then I won't give at all.

Enter the weekly live card game. I sat focused, let chips fly around me as two of the biggest LAG's in the weekly tournaments were at my table and slinging chips all around. I sat back and let that happen, carefully picking my spots. It would have been fun to get caught up in a pot between them, but it's not my style... and not +EV unless I'm going in with a quality hand and in position. As a result of this discipline, I did not enter a pot with them before they both busted out. I did, however, manage to chip up a time or two before our table broke down.

12 players remaining, blinds increase, action folds to me on the button. Looking down, I see the four-five of spades looking up at me. I throw out a standard 4x blinds raise, thinking total steal. A somewhat short-stacked small blind makes "the call." Big blind folds up shop. The flop comes 4c-10s-8s. Acting first, the SB pushes forth a 3/4 pot sized bet, which leaves him about 1/2 the pot left in his stack. Obviously, my decision is call or fold.

Going through my reps, he thinks I have overcards, I think he has overcards (40% likely in my mind) or an overcard (60% likely) - probably not suited (60% likely). He'd not have just called with a large pocket pair. He's not the type of player to call with a small PP either, though I imagine he "could" do so with twos, but I find it unlikely he'd fire with twos, unless he thought the board didn't help me, which is quite possible. He "could" have King, King-ten, King-Jack, or King Queen. Maybe even queen jack-queen ten, though less likely, unless suited. Maybe "the ace" and a ten? Nah... I don't think he'd call with "the ace" and a big card.

Let's see what I have, relative to the board. Here I sit, bottom pair, shit kicker, and flush draw. IF I am behind, which I do not think I am... I theoretically have outs for redraw with my two remaining fours, and three fives. There's five outs with great certainty. Miracle runner runner
straight is a possibility, but I wouldn't even count that as an out. I do have the luxery of 9 outs, maybe eight for a flush.

There's my 13-14 outs I need... If I am behind or redrawing, that is. I think I am confidently ahead though. Thus, I call. There was good news and bad news to this call, before the turn and river came. The good news is that I was in fact ahead... slightly. The bad news is that he did have overcards, two of them to be exact... King Jack Suited. They were suited to spades though. I knew he was not happy with my calling, based on his commentary while I was talking through my math problem. So, I sit ahead, he has the outs. My hand holds, as the board misses him but gives me two pair (5 on the turn). He ponders assult, as I rake my chips in.

I end up taking fourth place in this tournament, not a bad showing. I managed to maintain interest in the game the entire time. I paid attention to hands I was not in. I made quality laydowns when I read behind. I feel the focus to my game returning. Maybe a break was all I needed.