Sunday, September 21, 2008

The New Neighborhood

Other then my extreme frustration with Poker Tracker 3, I spent the past week pretty much focused on Limit Hold 'em on Poker Stars. I know I'm not the rock star many of the other bloggers are in that I didn't play even close to "thousands" of hands this week, buy I did log 700 hands in 11 sessions. According to PT3, that's 12.05 hours...jeebus.

Here are some of my observations thus far. It's impossible to make money at .10/.20, or I was unable to ever do it. Out of the 3 session I played, 1 was profitable. At this level, you are seeing the river usually with 3 to 4 of your closest friends.

Up one level however, at .25/.50 - I found pay dirt. Granted, this morning, I had one absolutely ridiculous session. At this level, I made $20 in about 30 minutes. I get the feeling that the people I was playing with were just trying to get rid of their money. In one hand, we capped it pre with me holding QQ. I hit top set on an uncoordinated board and continued to cap it on the flop. My opponent slowed down on the turn and river. His ten high no good. If every session was like this morning, I'd quit my day job. Of course, the girls in my life decided to start the day and I had to leave this table. I was actually quite sad about this because some of the truly bad players still had some money.

For the most part, my strategy has been to stay tight and aggressive paying very close attention to position. I'm beginning to think that a problem I was having in No Limit was my lack of skill after the flop and keeping track of where I was in the hand. So much of No Limit is preflop, you get quite used to winning hands without ever seeing any cards. That luxury is completely gone in Limit. Winning a hand preflop is almost impossible at these stakes.

Another leak I'm quite sure I have in my No Limit game is not giving up a hand in time to save some money. This skill has been very lucrative for me in Limit. In Limit at these stakes, the float is almost never an option, since you really need to pay attention to the check/callers.  Check/calling is a humongous sign that someone is drawing. Read the board and try and figure out what hands could be drawing. Think under pairs, straight and flushes. People with made hands will be betting.

In limit, pay attention to where you are at in the hand and make sure you have somewhere to go. a lot of people will be in the hand and a lot of boards can be coordinated for someone. Pocket Queens are cool, but in the end, an over pair maybe no good. Don't go broke with just a pair.

Trapping in Limit is much different then No Limit. In No Limit, you are trying to induce action from your opponent by trapping. In limit, people are much happier to see free cards and hope to hit something better. Keeping that in the crap out of your cards. The only way to get value out of your hand is to put money in the pot.

Limit also really reinforces the concept of pot control. Check/calling is a tool that you can use too. You can control the price you are paying in heads up pots by using this. In multi-way pots, you can sometimes keep the pot smaller by doing this if you have no aggressive people between you and an aggressive player. Raising the pot opens the door to be raised again. Sometimes, we want to limit our losses while seeing more cards.  Think about it.

I did get to play a session of live poker at a neighbors house. He's actually a profitable online player and when the season turns to autumn, he starts calling emergency games when the wife is away. This 7 handed session was quite fun. I enjoyed the thrill of calling a preflop raise heads up with 94d and hitting top two pair and hearing the magic words, "I'm all in" come out of my hosts mouth. Later he did get me back when I called his preflop shove with AJ and he turn over AT. 5 cards later...the ten high straight is gold. Good thing the conversations are top notch and the beer is ice cold.

Now that summer is over, I got a feeling the live poker is gonna pick up...hear that Gentleman Jim, PokerFool, Bodie25 and poker is gonna pick up...


Gentleman Jim said...

That is a good thing, a very good thing. Now if I can just pick myself back up out of this whole lack of money thing, we'll be ready to rock. Stupid car.

Drizztdj said...

And after the hell that is September is over (two days off work all month!), I'll have some time for poker.

Pokerama also has been running a live game.