Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to play the Wed Game and my new goal

In spite of my horrible run online and in the casinos I have still managed to make money at the weekly home game at Greg's. My spreadsheet shows a net profit of $123 for a 17% return on my money.

When I initially started playing in the game a year ago, it was mostly a loose passive game. My strategy evolved into playing in position, waiting to hit my hands, and punish their calling station tendencies when I had a good hand. It has worked for the most part, but one of the nice things about this game is that we play against the same people every week. This leads to adjustments.

For the last month, the game has become much more aggressive. There are raises preflop almost half the time and there is a lot more crazy bluffing. A year ago I would never semi bluff a draw, because the guys would always bet so small that I was better off calling and waiting to hit my hand. Now the pots are getting so big, that it makes more sense to raise and hope they fold so you can win the big pot right away.

The trick in this game is knowing who will fold a hand. This is a tough trick to master because a few of the players will change their spots depending on how they feel that night. For instance, Devin used to be someone I could push out of a pot. Last night I raised A-5 offsuit in the cut off and Craig and Devin called. The flop was 4-5-6 rainbow. They checked to me and I bet about 1/2 the pot. Craig folded and Devin called. The turn was an Ace giving me two pair. Devin checked again and I bet 1/2 the pot again. Now Devin check raises me all in and I have him covered by about 500 chips. I call and Devin turns over 3-4. The river bricks and I bust him. 6 months ago Devin would have probably folded preflop and he definitely would not have check raised the turn. But now he's feeling bad about himself and feels the only way he will win is if he gets lucky. For the last month he has subconsciously made bad plays hoping to double up or bust early so he can go home. The problem is that it's impossible for me to know which Devin is showing up until I see him flip up his bust out hand.

Some books would say that you should be the table captain and if players are raising light, then you should reraise them and push them out of the pot. I happen to think that only works if the players are willing to fold. The last couple of games I played, I had the intention of being a bully but I never felt comfortable doing it. Plus in spite of reading the new book on tells, I am still having trouble reading some of the players in this game. Instead I played tight and waited to trap with my good hands. This can work well ,but it often depends on getting the cards. I'd rather find a way to win sometimes without the cards.

As for my online escapades, I have returned to low limit full ring games. I have been playing two tables at a time in the .50-1 limit games on Poker Stars and Full Tilt. I have also been utilizing the Poker Tracker software to track the fish in the game and it seems to be working out well. The problem is finding enough time to play so I can win some real money.

I have a trip planned in September to Vegas. I want to build up my bankroll online so I can take a decent chunk of cash to the tables. I have not figured out my specific goal yet, because I need to estimate the amount of hours and hands I can play and a realistic win rate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to spend more time changing gears. You play by the book. I think that you are easy for the players to read. It is very rare that you will raise in an early position with rags.