The afterglow of the state championship. Or, why couldn’t this happen a couple days ago?

The MN State Championship for the FreePokerNetwork (MN Poker League) took place last weekend at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.  It was their 2010 WSOP Promotion and my fourth consecutive appearance at an FPN State Championship event.  I hadn’t had great success in the last three but did pretty well this time – if you follow us on twitter (@cplpokerpodcast ) you know I finished an even 40th (out of about 215entrants) when my short stacked A/J suited ran into Big Slick.

I came home and continued my Tuesday night league play at Erik’s Bar in St. Paul.  Lo and behold I won this week (about 40 players in attendance).  I got to thinking – does the State Championship affect my play at all?  I mean, even my two wretched Championship finishes had me in a strong poker frame of mind. I spend plenty of mental energy evaluating various aspects of my play and that of my typical opponents.

So, I did a little analysis of past performance in the week following State play.  A great aspect of FPN is that they record and keep a great set of statistics on players – you want to know how you did on that Saturday night two years ago when you were deer hunting outside of Ely and stopped in to play at that bar?  They have it.

We already know I won this week.  In looking at the past three State Championships and the regular league week immediately following it I find that I have one other win, a second and a 4th place finish.  The two wins came after my two better/deeper finishes.  Average attendance is 36 or 37 players over this sampling (so, it’s more than a really slow week of only 2 tables).

Sure, it’s a small sample but there does seem to be a strong correlation.  I final table a little more than half the time on average and have recorded 5 wins (in 74 matches) , yet have final tabled 100% of the time and have 2 of those 5 wins in the 4 matches after a State Championship.  It seems that the more intensified focus and stronger play overall raises my game.

Maybe next time I’ll try to stage a mock State Tourney a few days before actually going so I can stop saying: “Why didn’t this happen a couple days ago?”.   After all, I really wanted that shot at the WSOP this year.