Wednesday, February 16, 2005

More Potpourri

Wow, thanks for all of the encouraging comments (on my Live Journal, that is) and the private e-mail.

I think I may have been misleading when I talked about taking a break until I figure out how to get over this hump. I sometimes write things thinking they are obvious to everyone, yet no one gets it. Even Glenn thought I meant "take a break" from all things poker. All games, all limits, cash games, tourneys, online play...everything. So I'm a dope for not being more thorough in my last post.

I meant that I wasn't going to keep dumping $500-2000 into single tournaments when I felt that I was dead money. I meant I wasn't going to play over my limits in Stud or Stud 8.

I have every intention of playing the little tourneys in Laughlin, maybe playing some O8 cash games, playing here and there online. I just won't continue to play above my skill level until I get past this crossroads. Someday things will be great for me, until that time I can continue to play up to 20/40, maybe 40/80 if the games are good.

Again, thanks for all of the great comments!
I get a lot of comments, both online and in person requesting I post more about strategy. More of the Negreanu/Trumper type posts analyzing a hand step by step. Outlining my thought process as I'm playing, both overall and on each street.

Well, I've never posted much of that in my journal, but I have made lots of overall strategy and hand analysis type posts on 2+2. Some of them are pretty good (although there are a billion people who can do better than I can!).

I have included my own posts in full, while also giving you the link if you want to read the entire thread and get a good overall picture of where the initial poster was coming from.
So here you go, two of my recent posts on 2+2:

"First off, do you have Zee's book? I think it is perfect for the microlimits online. I have used/seen other strategies and none of them produce the results that Zee's strategy produces at these limits. I had a conversation with Steve Badger a couple of weeks ago at Commerce about his low limit O8 strategy, and told him that something that aggressive could never work online at these limits. He chuckled and said something about it being the California way, that the live games are ultra aggressive and you have to be willing to up the variance in order to get good results. He didn't argue with me that in online microlimits, it wouldn't work to be that aggressive.


I don't know that I'm playing that badly. My party stats have me seeing about 22% of the flops over several thousand hands, but I've only won 3%.

Is this outside of the blinds, or including them? I only see about 20% altogether.


I'm only playing ring games, 0.5/1 tables with an average pot over $10 and the occasional 2/4 table with an average pot over $40.

Why the big jump in limits? Does Party not have 1/2? Does the 2/4 just have a reputation of being fishy?


high hands all between T-A (except trips)

This might be your weakness, right here, especially if you are not adjusting for position. High hands lose a lot of their power in these loose, fishy games. You might be bleeding off a lot of little bets by playing ALL of these hands.

As much as it seems contrary to a decent player to play in a tight/passive mode, that is often what is called for in these ultra loose low limit games. I am super tight, hiding in the weeds checking and calling until I cannot be counterfeited, have a scoop-type hand, or have a hand that has more outs than misses and other type situations. Then I can come to life and be ultra aggressive. Until that point, though, I don't sit around bleeding off small and/or big bets to super fishy players who might have 599K and hit a set of nines to my AA23, lol.

I'm not saying that tons of bets and pressure don't work at higher limits, they do, but at microlimits, the guy with 599K is simply NOT going to lay his hand down preflop no matter how many bets you make it. Nor is he likely to lay it down postflop if a king comes along, the board doesn't pair and the board is not coordinated. He will take that pair of nines all the way, and if you continue to push AA in those situations against six or seven fishy opponents at once, you will bleed off a ton of money.

Yeah, sometimes your hand was good, or sometimes you would have hit had you stayed all the way to the river. But most of the time you simply would have lost money.

In the long run, at these games, it's so much about the bets we save, not the giant pots we win.

Overall, since I have been playing microlimit O8 online, I am up about 400 bb's. This is playing .25/.50 and a little .50/1.00 at UB, mostly just to pass the time in the winter when my blood sugar is bad (I have diabetes). I have played about 150 hours, so you can see that my win rate is super slow, yet steady. I have been down as much as 40 bb's in a session, but I have never had to reload, and have just slowly taken in the money, over time. So what if it takes a while? What else do I have to do, lol? My variance is low and I can play by rote while ill.

I am a loyal devotee of Ray if you couldn't tell, lol, so these are just my experiences. Hope they give you something to think about, at any rate."


You shouldn't feel that discouraged if you are having success else where and not at Commerce. In LA and Commerce in particular, they/we play at a different speed that takes "outsiders" some time to adjust to.

I am a winning cash game player at Commerce. I'm just not making the MOST of my winnings. Commerce players are nuts, yeah, but I should take more advantage of that.

I'll give you an example, since you provided some for me.

When players are drawing dead for a low in Stud 8 in AC or Foxwoods, they tend to slow down, go into check-call mode or even give it up, if they are pretty sure they are drawing dead.

NOT at Commerce! Not only are they NOT going into check-call, they are betting and raising while drawing dead! It's amazing. So here I am, with my made 743 low, while they are DRAWING to an 876 low, lol. And they are the ones betting and raising ME! So instead of just constantly making it more bets, I'm thinking of overcalls from the rest of the table. After all, that is what keeps them in the hand on the east coast. The flaw in my thinking is that they are going to stay in there whether I jam or just overcall! They are used to that kind of maniacal play. Here I am begging they don't fold, when I have nothing to worry about on that part. I'm sure you know what I mean, since you are a native, lol.


My unsubstantiated feel on your play is that you probably fall on the weak tight side, which seems to be prevalent amongst a lot of 2+2ers I notice. That was the problem with my friend that I had mentioned from AC, he was admittly weak tight, because that style of play was good enough to get the money in AC.

Obviously whatever style you have developed has had success, but that is not to say it will have success in any type of game.

See to me, what separates the players from those that play is the ability to change gears. That means cash games or tournaments.

I think that perhaps I'm more tight/passive than weak/tight. If you are using the definition of "weak" as taking a hand too far when I am in a hand, then I'm definitely NOT weak. I'm too much of a "folding station," lol.

Now, in tourneys at Commerce, yes, I do tend to fall on the weak/tight side, because I can't afford to throw a hand away given the structure. If I only have enough chips to get through a hand or two, I pretty much have to play it out unless I'm beat on the board. There is no wiggle room.

I definitely have to change my tourney style for Commerce. That is a given, or I'm never going to cash.

I'm going to try to play at the Bike next month, for the Winning o' the Green. The buy-in's are smaller, but I'm sure they have the same atrocious structure. I've heard the Stud and Stud 8 games there are fantastic.

I most definitely have to do something. I just want to scream sometimes in these events. I'm baffled at some of the plays I've seen. I'm not one who is easily affected by bad beats. Since I'm so tight, they happen to me all the time. That has been part of my success in poker, my ability not to steam.

So please don't think I'm telling bad beat stories to try to vent or something, I'm simply trying to improve my situation by providing some examples, and asking if there is anything I could have done in these cases.

When the betting structure is 15/30 and we have 1000 in chips, it's hard to maneuver well. Only 33x the BB, and only getting about 10 hands in per level is tough.

1) So I am dealt two live aces in Stud. The player on my right is dealt two live queens. We are both split. He completes, I raise. I bet this hand the whole way, catching my kicker, a jack, right on fourth. He never improves his queens. I catch his queen on fifth. He sighs, but still won't give up. He turns to me and says, "I need to catch the case queen to beat you. I know you have aces and jacks, and that if I catch two pair I won't win, but I just can't lay down the queens."

He catches the case queen on seventh. I'm out not long after.

2) I am dealt a three straight flush in Stud. A player with jacks completes. Four of us see fourth. I catch another small diamond on fourth. Jacks bets, I raise, the other two fold. My diamonds were completely live until fourth, where two fell, one of them on the high side of my straight flush draw, the six.

On fifth I make a wheel. I still have my flush draw, but the guy with the jacks has caught another diamond.

I check-raise him because by catching the ace I am now high. He calls.

On sixth he calls.

On seventh he raises. He never improved his jacks, until he caught four runnning diamonds, although I also had four, and two other diamonds were dead on other boards.

I'm out not long after.

3) In an Omaha 8 tourney, I am dealt AA24 with a suited ace. I make it three bets before the flop virtually putting me all-in. The BB calls two cold with 99JK. He makes his set, turns a FH and I'm out.
These are the things that baffle and confuse me. Why were they in with this stuff, and why did some of them chase all the way til the river? Yeah, some of it is simply no other choice. They know we have no chips and have to chip up early, so they just "go for it" no matter how dead they are drawing.

I could provide literally dozens more of these examples, jkinetic (and all of you poor readers who have to wade through this), but I'm sure you well know California play by now, lol.

I just can't force myself to push, push, push as an underdog like they do. I can't wake up and smell the coffee, so to speak, I suppose.

And this is why I cried out for help. Now, can I actually change, or get someone to coach me through this miserable crossroads of mine... that is the real question!"