Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The losing streak and Omaha

Good News: I've discovered Omaha 8 or better. After reading some posts on 2+2, it seems to be the consensus that O8 is the easiest game to take money off of players who don't know what they are doing. Holdem is a game of small edges, while Omaha is a game of big edges. I have been dabbling with the .50-1.00 games and I have won money in 3 out of 4 sessions. I am getting a better idea of good starting cards, but I am still lost on when to raise and when to just call. I'm sure I will get much better with experience and reading a book or two.

Bad News: I'm still getting my ass kicked in the Sit-n-Go's. I'm still positive over all my $55's but not by much as I close in on 100 played. I watched some of the hand histories on the party poker replayer online and I think my problem has been over aggression. I have been bluffing too much and betting at the first sign of weakness. I need to be more patient, especially near the bubble. I just finished playing 3. In one I was crippled early when my KK ran into a slow played two pair on the flop. I didn't get anything playable the rest of the way. The other was another bad beat. The third, I was doing really well and made the final 3. While in 3rd, the shorter stack went all in and I had Aces in the big blind. I called and he made two pair to beat me. That left me with the short stack. I waited for Ace anything and ran into a higher Ace. I still made a couple of silly over aggressive moves, but I thought my play was much better.

Apparently Josh and Chris have discovered this blog, so I just wanted to say welcome and feel free to comment or add your opinion to any of my stories. My friend Bill thought I was a freak for doing this. Oh well. I'm sure he'll never look at it again anyways. Besides why would he want to read about all the times he has lost money to me on the golf course.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

WSOP fever and random musings

I have main event fever. I have been checking the internet postings of pokerwire and the Tao of Poker for chip counts and seriously wishing I was there to take it all in. It is freaking unbelievable that Greg Raymer has a legitimate chance to go back to back and win this thing. As of today there are 60 players left and he has about an average chip stack. He was the leader at the start of the day yesterday, but lost a big chunk of chips when he was outkicked with KQ vs AK when his King paired up on the flop. Also I think the world may be coming to an end if Mike Matusow wins the Main Event. He is second in chips right now. I can't imagine what the that fame and money would do to him. He would be dead within 2 years.

My poker updates......last weekend I tried to play a bunch of $55 sit-n-gos on Party. I played 3 at a time and managed to squeeze in 21 tournaments. I may be reverting back to the mean. I lost $255. I had 1 first, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds. Playing 3 tables at a time is not all that difficult, although surprisingly I find it hard to concentrate on the other players and look for tells and patterns. I guess my main focus is just playing my cards and making sure that I don't time out, that I put note taking on a low priority. That definitely needs to change.

I also had some tilt creep in. It is way too easy to get frustrated by one hand and have it seep into your other tournaments that are going on at the same time. In a ring game it may only cost me a couple of bets before I calm down. In a sit-n-go at a later level, one false move can bust me out.

I was stuggling with a couple of situations. I had medium pocket pairs in late position and facing a raise in front of me. With a lot of chips left is it best to reraise and take control? Or is it best to just call, keep the pot small and see what happens on the flop. With AA, KK, or AK I almost always raise, because I don't mind someone reraising all it. With QQ, JJ, or 10-10 I may have to lay them down to a reraise.

A few times late in the tournament I was forced to reraise all in with medium pairs and I kept running into overpairs. Earlier, I always seemed get overcards and I was winning my coin flips. Oh I how I love the luck factor!

Another struggle is when to go to war with an overpair to the board. I heard Phil Gordon say that it's a cardinal sin to go broke with a lot of chips with only a pair. I went broke with a pair of Aces in my only WSOP satellite even though I was a huge favorite when I made the call. There I had the benefit of being able to read my opponent's body language. Online it's a totally different matter. Online players tend to gamble much more and I can't tell you how many times I have seen players go all in with top pair and medium kicker. Is it worth taking the risk early in the tournament?

From now on I will concentrate more on following the action even when I am out of the hand and I will consider being less aggressive with my medium and low pairs and see how that goes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New Limits

It's been a few days since my last post on moving up in limits. I've given it some thought and I think I will move up, but not to 10-20. I am going to try the 5-10 games. I may also have to try the 6 max games at 3-6 and 5-10. Party Poker has just opened the 3-6 6 max games and according to the message boards, all of the bad players from the full 5-10 games have moved down to the 6 max games at 3-6.

My decision comes down to my hatred of losing money. I think I would need to slowly adjust to the higher limits so I don't go crazy when I have a losing session of 20 BB's. at 5-10 that is only $200. At 10-20 that would be $400 which is like a bad Vegas trip. Once I play around 10,000 hands at these levels, I will reevaluate. Hopefully the new broadcast of the WSOP 2005 on ESPN in July will stir up all the fish again and there will be even more new players on the net.

An interesting thing happened while playing a Sit-n-Go over the weekend. There were 5 left with similar chip stacks. I was on the button with 99 and UTG raised all in. It would have taken 95% of my stack to call him. I still had a lot of chips left and I felt like it would be a coin flip if I call. I decided to adhere to the cardinal rule of sits which is raise when folded to and fold when raised to.

Later I wanted to see if that was a good play, so I posted the hand history on 2+2. There were a few off the cuff responses, but one guy put up an analysis using ICM and poker stove. I had seen ICM but I was not aware that poker stove was free. I did the long hand version of my EV on the hand on paper and it came out slightly ahead for me to call. If you plug in the numbers to ICM it truly becomes a coin flip because if you lose, you are out of the tournament. The great thing is that poker stove will do the EV calculations for me automatically. So now I have a new toy.

On another topic, I have been following the results of the World Series of Poker closely and I am amazed at how many pros are still wading through the fields of thousands and taking down these titles. The fact that Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstein, and Phil Ivey have won bracelets this year is a true testament that the balance between skill and luck in poker, is still heavily weighted in the skill category. I can't wait to see how the main event turns out.