Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Birthday Poker Revisited

When I decided to start maintaining a pokerblog, my main purpose was to give me a forum for analzying my own hands, which up until this point, I really had never done. Furthermore, doing so on such a public forum like the Internet gives me the opportunity to get feedback from others as well. Of course, no one really knows me or my blog yet, so I'll have to wait to see if I get feedback from others, but I can definitely say I've benefited from my first two blogs already. Here's what I've learned so far:

$6 MTT

I don't question my preflop raise with KhTh, especially in position. But I threw my chips away when I played too fast. I was trying to steal the pot on the flop and the turn with my aggressive betting, and I played right into the hands of the UTG limper. Just because I wouldn't have limped QQ in that position doesn't mean others don't, and considering this was the first hand of the new table, this was a time to be conservative instead of trying to run my hand through everyone else.

Furthermore, the way the UTG played the hand he very well could have hit middle or bottom set (which if he did, he played perfectly) and for no real reason I decided to ignore this as a possibility.

$33 Omaha Hi-Lo

I still am no expert at Omaha Hi-Lo, and I thought I understood the structure of the game well enough, but I have finshed last to nearly last in the last 2 or 3 tables I've played (or this could just be variance catching up to me, after I finished 1st or 2nd in about 4 of the past 6 tables I plated). I think the biggest problems here are 1) I haven't shown restraint preflop and should be folding to preflop raises (especially early in the game, when there really isn't much reason to raise) and 2) I've been playing hands that leave me virtually no Lo option. I'm not as concerned about the leaks in my Omaha game right now.

$33 NL SnG

Looking back on the A3 hand, I had $1600+ in chips and was facing $300 in blinds on the next to hands. I think I panicked a little bit, fearing that $1300 after the blinds wouldn't have been enough to come back from. And granted, 6.5 BB isn't favorable, but considering some of the stacks, an all-in bet could have represented anywhere from 1\3 to 1\2 of someone's stack. And as I mentioned before, I played the hand like I wanted action when really I would have just been happy stealing the blinds to hold me over. Although I still would have been out when AK calls, a preflop push would have been a better chance to cause my desired outcome: folds all around. My rationale for the 3xBB raise may have come from the number of times I've seen mid-short stacks push UTG with absolutely nothing, and I was trying to create the image that I had a hand where I didn't mind seeing a flop even being UTG. But the biggest lesson is that I should have waited and if I get down to 6.5BB, that's fine: I still have about 5-6 hands before the BB hit me again, and I should have enough confidence in my game to build my shortstack.

Overall, I feel that sometimes I lack the patience to wait for hands or pick my spots. My patience is even shorter when I haven't been playing for a long time, and I try to make things happen instead of playing my best game. I haven't analyzed the $22 2-Table SnG that I played, where I finished second, but I think that I made some good moves in that tournament (more so than my bad ones), and I feel like that I still have enough poker skill to complete consistently. But there's always room for improvement, and especially since I won't be playing very often for a while, I need to capitalize on the times that I do play and fix the leaks in my game.


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