Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Getting Back to Basics

I think I've realized something about my limit hold'em game. Granted, I've been running pretty shitty both in shorthanded and full ring for quite a while now. However, that's not the only problem I have. I think I've been spewing money in a lot of spots with hands like middle pair and Ace-high where it should be obvious that I'm beat. In the old days when I was first start otu playing full-ring and following SSHE like it was the Bible, I wouldn't do this. I'd be very careful about the kinds of hands I played. Of course, I wouldn't fold a good draw in a large enough pot, but I also would routinely muck hands like middle pair in small pots when shown aggression. When I started playing shorthanded, and in tighter (pre-flop) full-ring games, I thought that this might be too weak and I needed open up my game. Here's the problem, I think I opened it up too much.

Sure, at a 6-max table middle pair is going to be good more often than it will at a full-ring table; especially in a heads-up pot. However, that doesn't mean I should raise with A8, bet the flop of J86, get raised and check/call all the way down only to be shown QJ, then curse my luck. When you get raised and the villain bets every street, that's probably a pretty good indication that most of the time A8 isn't much good there. Of course, there are going to be spots where the A8 might be good. For instance, I played a hand the other night where a player open-limped and I raised on the button with A8o, the flop came K83 rainbow, he checked, I bet and he raised. I decided he was FOS, didn't have the King and I was calling down. I think it had something to do with his stats, but I just didn't put him on open-limping with a King. I was right, but unfortunately he spiked two pair on the river with his 53s and kicked my ass. Was calling down there the right play? Probably not actually...if I didn't think he had a King, 3-betting the flop may have been better, or leading the turn. Either one probably works better. The key is that while there are situations where I might be good here, I need to be more careful. I need to pay attention to the type of player I'm up against and react accordingly and I really need to get back to basics and stop going too far with piss poor hands.

Since I won that tournament the other night I've managed to spew off at least hundred bucks, a good chunk of which came at NL cash tonight ($90+). I guess I've only lost a bit in my various other play outside of that. I really need to stay away from NL cash at least for now. Someday I'll probably pick up the Sklansky and Miller NL book and try to figure out how to beat NL, but for now I want to focus on a game that I feel comfortable playing, enjoy and feel like I should have an edge at, LHE. My plan for the time being is to try to hit 1/2 6-max on FullTilt pretty hard over the coming weeks. I'm going to try 4-tabling and try to really tighten up my play from the way I've been playing lately...and see if things go any better. I'm basically looking at it as an experiment. Sure, tight play in SHLHE may actually be sub-optimal, but it's also possible that I can develop a winning style with it. I'm guessing that what I'm going for is something in the 22/14 range or maybe even as low as 20/12 pre-flop, with a 2-2.5 postflop aggression factor. From there, I hope that stats like won $ at showdown and went to showdown fall into reasonable categories. I think I need to go to showdown a bit less often and get to showdown with the best hand a bit more often, but more than that I think I need to start folding more turns. That's probably my biggest leak. I also need to stop trying so hard to run over people. I know that I try way too hard to win every pot I play, especially every pot that I raise pre-flop and that's something I really need to work on. Yeah, if it's folded to me on the button I should be raising a pretty wide variety of hands, but that raise only shows a profit if I don't spew after the flop and that's the biggest thing I need to work on. All of this I think is attainable...and I think patience is the biggest key, which is why I plan to try 4-tabling. I assume that if I'm playing more tables I'll have less chance to get into marginal/bad situations, because I'll be busy playing a hand that's worth playing on one of my other tables. At least that's the hope for now.


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