Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Friendly Pot Limit and SNG Strategy

Last weekend I went to Rob's house to watch the ASU vs USC football game and play some poker.

We played 1-2 blinds and pot limit raises. I played with Jon, Rob, Carlo, Ryan, and Ken.
I am becoming more and more convinced that pot limit and no limit cash games are not my best game. It is so much more of an art of reading people as weak or strong and being willing to put all your chips in the middle. In limit poker, I can only make small mistakes and I take great pleasure in making one or two extra bets. Plus reads are much less important since the math basically dictates your decision on the turn and river.

We all started with $40 to $60 and Jon went on a heater right away. He is great at playing with his friends. He talks all the time and really mixes up his chatter well. So far, I can never tell when he's telling the truth. With some well timed bluffs and some good cards, Jon made $180 in less than 2 hours.

I lost $45 and only won one pot. I gave two pots away. Once I had Ace King offsuit in the small blind. Carlo and Ken folded then Ryan raised to $4. Rob folded, but as he did, he turned over a King. Jon then reraised to $10. If Rob doesn't turn over the King, I probably call. As it was, Ryan is pretty tight when it comes to preflop raises. Jon usually doesn't reraise so I thought he must have a pretty good hand as well. Thinking that one King was dead for sure and that there might be one or two other Aces and Kings in Jon and Ryan's hand, I folded.

Sure enough an Ace came on the flop and Ryan and Jon ended up checking it down. Ryan had something like Ace-10 and Jon only had Queen-10 suited. I really looked into their soul on that one.

The other hand I gave away was when I had AJ suited on the button. It was folded to Jon and he raised to $4. I made it $10. It felt like I challenged Jon's manhood, so he called. The flop was all low cards and I totally whiffed. Jon checked. I didn't want to give Jon a chance to check raise me, so I checked as well. The turn missed me again. Jon checked again. For some reason I thought he was in call mode so I did not bet again. The river missed again, but this time Jon put in $10. I think I only had about $20 left so I could not raise him out of the pot. All I had was Ace high and I felt like it was the best hand. I ended up folding and he turned over a rivered flush. I let him check into runner-runner. More evidence that I suck at No-Limit and Pot-Limit.

As for the Sits I have been doing pretty well. I have my overall rate of return on the $55's up to 11% from a low of 1%. I was browsing the two plus two website and I came across an interesting strategy. Here is the post http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=3564205&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&fpart=1
I have been frustrated by playing tight early and not getting any value from the hands that I do play. In other words if I have Ace-King and raise preflop. I get one caller and the flop has a King. Usually I bet 1/2 to 2/3 of the pot. It seems like 75% of the time they fold and I just win the preflop bets. This post suggests over betting the pot or even pushing all in. This looks so strange that a lot of players will think it's a bluff and call with 2nd or 3rd pair.

I know that I will not call my opponent's all in bet in the early stages even if I feel it's a bluff because I have the discipline to wait for a better opportunity. I usually just make a note that this players overuses the all in bet and look to trap him later. I think most players see the overbet and think bluff. Then they think," I don't want to be bluffed by this retard so I will call."

I am going to give this approach a try and see if I get anyone to bite.


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