Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've Fallen Off The Wagon

I decided that one week without playing was long enough. With all the poker going on in the world right now, I am anxious to get better and improve my game. I am trying to dedicate myself to learning the games of Cash No Limit Hold'em and Omaha 8 or better.

My first night back was a little disappointing. I lost about $20 last night mainly because my Aces got cracked by pocket Queens on a No Limit table. Otherwise I played ok.

Things I want to focus on while playing Omaha:

1. Reading the board and my cards. I want to stop and think what is the nuts? How many outs do I have? Too often I rush my decision based on the easy draw. I need to consider all the draws.

2. After reading my hand becomes second nature, I need to concentrate more on what my opponent could have. It is definitely more difficult to put players on hands in Omaha versus Hold'em. It's not impossible however, and I need to get better at it.

I don't think I will invest in Poker Tracker for Omaha. All I really want to know is if I am making money, so I will keep track of that on an excel spreadsheet. I don't think there has been enough information published on preflop raising or calling to have any idea what the stats mean.

I have been reading the Sklansky / Miller book on No Limit Hold'em. So far I am not very impressed. ThAll of their arguments are based on math. That's all well and good, but this takes a lot of assumptions on their part. Assuming that a player will call 20%, fold 20%, and move all in 60% of the time is almost impossible. If the math is based on assumptions then it really is just a guess.

Now if S/M had posted a hand example on their website and then polled their readers for an answer on what they would do? Then I would have a little more faith in their assumptions. Right now it looks like they have a theory and then make up the numbers to fit the theory.

There are some good nuggets of information in the book. It's best when they try to summarize a point at the end of the chapter. When they use the following phraseology, the book comes alive. If your opponent tends to fold, consider doing ________. If your opponent will call another bet on the river, consider doing ________. Things like not semi bluffing a nut flush draw if you think you can stack an opponent if you hit it, versus betting the non-nut draw if you feel you can win the pot now. These are things that most low limit players are not considering.

In fact, after I am done reading it, I may go back to Phil Gordon's book as my bible in the low limit games. I think S / M may put me on the wrong level of thinking to beat the .50-$1 NL games on Full Tilt and Poker Stars.

In the mean time, I am going to limit myself to only playing on two sites. Poker Stars and Full Tilt. I like both of the sites and I get rake back on Full Tilt. I am going to try and utilize some of their frequent player point features and win some money on free rolls. I can't generate enough points if I spread my play over 4 or more sites. My screen name on Poker Stars is "larryvq" and my screen name on Full Tilt is "Poker_Bully1". Feel free to say hello if you are one of my few readers.

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