Friday, January 16, 2009

Back to Basics

Anytime I've thought about improving my game, I've equated improvement with skills like pulling off sick bluffs, making huge (and correct) hero calls, and an overall hyper-aggressive style. I certainly hope to consistently make those plays part of my arsenal, but one thing I've realized lately is that improvement also means just minimizing my mistakes as much as possible.

I started re-reading HOH2 again lately, and one thing that I've picked up from that is that when I'm struggling, I'm playing too loose. Right now, since I'm playing only micro stakes, there's less value in floating or being too aggressive. Instead, I've refocused myself to playing much tighter, only playing speculative hands in position and\or in limped pots, and working on better pot control.

The results have been better, although due to a series of sick beats the past couple days, my bankroll doesn't reflect that. There's only been a couple of hands lately where I invested too much with lesser hands. I feel like I'm playing ABC poker right now, and I usually have to throw in a O8 or a mixed game every now and then to break up the monotony, but I'm also playing confident and successful poker as well. I may not be impressing anyone with flashy plays all the time, but I'm also playing generally mistake-free poker right now. I can't say that for my opponents.

I mentioned that I've had some bad beats the past couple days. Really sick stuff, like:

AQ vs TT on Q high flop goes runner-runner straight.
AA vs AJ AIPF gives him trips on river
AA vs A6 AIPF goes runner-runner 8-high straight
AA vs 66 loses to flopped set
KK vs TT loses to turned set

I've only had one situation where I got my money in bad (A9 vs QQ goes runner-runner flush even after QQ flops set), and I've certainly had other occasions where I've gotten my money in good with overpairs or dominating Ax hands and they hold up, but the thing that I've noticed lately is that I'm not tilting. Despite the fact my bankroll is extremely volatile right now, with each buyin representing anywhere from 7-20% of my total roll, I'm shaking these kind of beats off fairly well. Part of it helps that I don't have much money invested, part of it is that even 1st place in these things don't represent life-changing money, but the biggest part of it is that I'm able to live better with just getting my money in good. I'm doing a lot of what I need to in order to build my bankroll right now, and more often than not, I'm going to come out ahead. I definitely feel comfortable with where my game is at right now, and I know I'll have the monetary results to back it up in no time.


At January 16, 2009 at 10:17 AM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Sounds like you are playing great, good job.


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