Friday, October 26, 2007

Moving up the comfort zone - live play

Last night I ventured up to the road to a home game in Pine Island. 6 guys showed up for a sng type tournament. The structure and buy-in were a big different than I was used to. First, the buy-in was $40. The previous largest buy-in live for me was $20. My bankroll is sitting pretty well, so this only consituted a little more than 5% of the bankroll I have been contributing to. So I tried to just forget about the money. I need to remind myself that I am, in fact, a good player and I stand a good chance of not losing...that's harder than it sounds.

The next big change was the method they used for changing the blinds. They play 10 hands and then raise'm up. This allowed guys to take their time before playing. This is good and bad. It was a late night, and it took a while before we lost someone. Then once you are really short handed, the blinds really climb. Just an observation.

For the most part, the guys are pretty solid players. 2 of the guys played at Brother's, one stopped going recently, the other, Paul, I have played many times. 2 of the guys were at this house the last time I played. There style and ranges haven't changed. 1 new guy. He was on my left. Most of these guys play in bigger buy in tournaments in the area. They mostly started the night playing tight, but that seemed to change after the first blind level. Betting increased and a lot of raising was going on. I chose to stay tight and feel my way out of this.

These guys also seemed inclined to respect my raises since I was playing so tight. I saved most of this equity for the later stages of the tournament. I was also not really seeing much for cards...a reoccuring theme. 3 guys each did a rebuy before the rebuy period ended (25 hands). Making the final prize pool $360. I really never played that many big hands. My tight table image translated into a lot of small pots with a lot of respectful folds. I took great advantage of this later on in the tournament.

I spent my time at the table studying each player. For the most part, I could really tell when guys were missing the flop. The only problems I had were judging just how strong they were when they were strong. One guy, Bill, showed the definite tell of looking at his chips when he was strong after the flop, but other than that, the strong means weak and weak means strong was pretty much the norm. But how strong is the question.

With more experience live, I hope to be able to hon this skill and really get better at figuring out just how strong people are. It was easy to steal the dead pots, but nowing when I was beat was another problem. Any thoughts?

The other thing I noticed last night...when I'm tired, I seem to love the check call when I'm drawing. Holy Crap! If can spot my own tell, how bad is that? This is a very serious leak in my game. Do any of you have this same leak? How do you deal with it?