Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wheeeee, Back To Poker Stuff

Thank you to all for the congratulations you left on my other blog. Suffice it to say that it's a very exciting time for me for many reasons, one of those being the fact that I'll have a legitimate income again to help support this poker habit of mine.

Anyway, let's get back to being a poker blog.

My one and only goal this year has been to improve as a poker player. I haven't developed any way of measuring whether or not I've shown improvement, but over the first two months of 2009, I do feel that I'm at least playing better than when I stopped playing regularly last year. These days, I'm still resigned to play microstakes SNGs, so I'm not really improving by going up against stronger competition. However, I have made some changes to my game that has helped me become more profitable in the short run.

First, and most recognizable, I've become more patient when I play. I first started doing this after I reread HOH2's chapter on zones (i.e. Green Zone, Red Zone, etc.) Prior to this, and especially in multi-table SNGs, if I find myself shortstacked, I've found myself pushing AIPF with a wider range of hands then probably necessary, and doing so earlier than necessary. Usually I'll do this when I fear that my stack size is dwindling so much that I lose significant fold equity, but in the games at these levels, I realized that fold equity is not as important because players just don't know how to fold. When you're able to shove AA AIPF in the first level against a raiser and get called by anything from AJ to 77, being able to induce a fold is more then just somewhat irrelevant, it's nearly impossible. These days, I'll allow my stack to drop a little lower than I usually find comfortable, looking for a chance to A) find a better hand that I can shove with or B) wait until I'm in position to push more aggressively against stacks that don't understand pot odds or M values.

Likewise, in single table SNGs, I've reigned in the aggression considerably preflop and focused more on getting value out of my hands postflop. Instead of 3-betting with a hand like AK or JJ, I'll find myself calling more in various positions and reassessing my hand on different streets. One consequence of this is that I may not get as much value out of my hands as I could by building a pot preflop, but I'm also doing this mostly when I feel that reraising preflop will not induce a fold or thin the field when I'd like. If I can get heads up, then it's a different story.

The side effects of this are notable in two ways. One, I'm basically playing conservative ABC poker. Profitable as it may be at these levels, I feel like I'll definitely have to make some adjustments if and when I start playing at higher levels and\or jumping into MTTs again. Secondly, it's just plain boring. For the past couple weeks, I've only been playing O8 and 8-game SNGs because I've been so bored playing NLHE SNGs. I've had some success, both in terms of profitability and in keeping my interest, but the flipside is that some of these games take FOREVER. In one game yesterday, we played for 90 minutes...before we even got to the bubble! I'll leave you with this hand as an example of what I'm talking about.

PokerStars Game #25098556004: Tournament #141887058, $10+$1 Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2009/02/18 19:49:36 ET
Table '141887058 1' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: amhrch (4403 in chips)
Seat 2: robin712 (2616 in chips)
Seat 3: mclarich (3786 in chips)
Seat 6: kelvio (958 in chips)
Seat 7: AA-KK-Man (1737 in chips)
mclarich: posts small blind 200
kelvio: posts big blind 400
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Kh Jc Tc Qc]
AA-KK-Man: folds
amhrch: calls 400
robin712: folds
mclarich: calls 200
kelvio: raises 400 to 800
amhrch: calls 400
mclarich: folds

The chipleader, ahmrch, had been limping a lot of low-Ace hands. Likewise, kelvio was not raising much preflop, so limping with a Hi-only hand was an easy call. I guess I had odds to call once kelvio min-raised but being OOP with a chipleader behind me, I elected to just fold and save an extra 400.

*** FLOP *** [6s 5s 5h]
kelvio: checks
amhrch: checks
mclarich said, "omg a check?"
mclarich said, "really?"

This is where I lost it. Not only did kelvio only min-raise when he was obviously pot-committed, he checks the flop? And amhrch refuses to put him all in? Is either person really going to fold this hand at any point?

*** TURN *** [6s 5s 5h] [7h]

Wait, it gets better:

kelvio: checks

And this is why these games take forever

amhrch: bets 400
kelvio: calls 158 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (242) returned to amhrch
*** RIVER *** [6s 5s 5h 7h] [5c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kelvio: shows [4h Ac 8d 3d] (HI: a straight, Four to Eight; LO: 7,6,5,3,A)
amhrch: shows [6h 3s 9d Ah] (HI: three of a kind, Fives; LO: 7,6,5,3,A)
kelvio collected 1158 from pot
kelvio collected 579 from pot
amhrch collected 579 from pot

Seriously, how fucking retarded do you have to be to A) put only 80% of your stack in preflop with a minraise instead of AIPF, B) check the flop when both players are committed, and C) check the turn with a straight + 2nd nut low?

I don't even think Waffles is that retarded.

1 Comments:

At February 24, 2009 at 12:53 PM, Blogger lightning36 said...

Just read the post on your other blog. Big congrats! It is not quite the same, but I had a house on the market for a year before it sold. The strain was tremendous. Now that everything has settled down, I feel almost guilty that things worked out for me.

It sounds like the new job will be great. Things have a way of working out in time. Glad that it happened for you.

 

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