Saturday, April 01, 2006

TOE Madness

Unfortunately, I haven't been working on a post. I caught wind that the 40/80 TOE game had moved from Bellagio to Wynn, and that Wynn was only collecting time every hour ($7/hr vs. $7/half hour at Bellagio; plus getting paid $1.50/hr just to play).

Being that I can never pass up a "bargain," (no matter how much it COSTS me), I had to head on up.

I'd heard mixed reviews. Some claimed it was a live game, some claimed it was tough. I figured if it was too tough I'd just sit in the 10/20 Omaha 8.

I railbirded for about 15 minutes, and saw that the eight seat was holding his Omaha hand straight up to his face, and "arranging" his cards in sequential order. For me, that was enough to sit. They were only playing five handed, so I made six.

I stayed about even. I'd quickly lose $500 or so, then win a huge 1k pot. Up and down, up and down. There was another live player in the game, a talkative European who simply played every hand. He and I sparred back and forth, but I almost always had the better hand, so he was mostly trying to catch up and outdraw me. I made more money off of him than anyone else. He had about 3k when I sat down, was down to about $200 when he left. The game got tough, so I sat out. I put my name on the Omaha list, although I was 10th or so.

At that point I was up about $100. The game filled back up with some loose players, and I decided to sit in again, while waiting for my Omaha seat. Big mistake, of course, because suddenly the variance went through the roof, and I didn't have the energy or concentration to see it through.

I got outdrawn on two big Stud HL hands, and was down about $750 when I left.

Oddly enough, I lost tons of money in Stud HL, my "best game," and won almost all of my TDL and O8 hands, lol.

I was catching perfect cards in TDL. I three bet when we were shorthanded with 87654. I got action. I drew to a seven and caught the perfect deuce. I had many hands like that. I was running well.

In one O8 hand I was dealt A35K. Flop came 24T, turn queen, river jack. Huge pot, since my opponent also had A35x. When he called out my hand on the river, I was shocked. He was a good player, good read. Although the holding isn't that tough to figure out, in the heat of things, lots of players get distracted. I certainly do. I wasn't nearly as good at putting him on a hand, in other words!

It seems like taking shots every once in a while is a weakness of mine. I start running really well, making some scratch, feeling good, and I decide that I need to take advantage of a soft, middle limit game. I is dumb, lol.

After moving to the O8 game, I was down about $250 early, then made it all back and then some, but didn't take advantage of my winning hands, due to being exhausted and bored. I misread the board a couple of times, and saw lows when there were no lows, etc. I think I gave all of my mental energy to the 40/80 game, and gave all of my physical energy to the drive up to Vegas (it was a tough drive, with lots of stop & go traffic around the Dam).

Oh, well. I think I overestimated how strong I was. I thought I could hang, but I just don't have the fortitude to concentrate in a live cardroom for a long time anymore. Maybe it will come back, maybe it won't. I'm hoping once I'm one year out of chemo, I'll feel normal again.

Have a great weekend,

Felicia :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Limit Omaha 8 Post

Here is a discussion from Two Plus Two that I entered recently. Perhaps it will hold you over until I can type up a real post.
I'm going to say something that a lot of 2+2er's would disagree with, and I, myself, would disagree with this strategy pre-2004. I'm not saying that this is a viable long-term strategy, or that it will work in every game, every limit, online or live, etc.

I have found over the past two years that the limit O8 games online (and live, to a certain extent), have gotten softer and softer. Percentage of players seeing the flop is up considerably. I have no problem these days finding a game with 60% or more seeing every flop. I don't have a problem finding pot sizes that are above 10 big bets every hand, and sometimes a lot more.

So more and more often, I have found myself doing something that lowers my variance considerably, yet also lowers my win amount.

I don't usually stay long at a table online. I tend to hit-n-run a lot more than I ever did. Usually games that are so juicy that the percentage seeing the flop is above 60% and the pot size is 10-25 big bets doesn't stay good for very long. I try to take advantage of it while it's hot. I keep the lobby in the corner of my monitor so that I can watch it all the time.

In addition to hit and runs, here is another adjustment to my play which might be more controversial to many 2+2er's.

If the game is super passive, and I can limp into many pots, I will. But post-flop, I tend to play much, much tighter than anyone else. I will check-call the stone cold nuts if I feel I am getting chopped up. Sometimes I am quartered (or worse, ugh), sometimes I get half, other times I am lucky and get 3/4th or scoop, but with those nutty, loose games, I just never know, so I go into passive check-call mode, hoping for many overcalls so that I come out ahead.

I also rarely bet draws, unless they are monsters. I rarely raise pre-flop either. It has to be a huge hand, and in LP to build a pot or to buy the button.

Now, this is the main reason I play this way. I CAN. That is it, no magic secret. I can play this way, cut my variance to practically nil, and yet take a profit every day. Sure, I don't maximize my winning sessions. I know that. I'm not cashing out 100 big bets every day after one session of 1000 hands. My wins are small, I don't play that much, I wait for good games rather than jumping into a so-so game. I miss bets here and there when I should have played more aggressively.

But the thing is, the games are SO good. They are just so juicy that I don't have to maximize every, single hand I'm in by pumping the pot constantly. By betting and raising and re-raising. I just don't have to. I don't have to push small edges. And this is because the games are so good. Sure, I know that I could have made one more big bet here, one more raise with a vulnerable nut hand, one less fold with a shaky non-nut hand that could go nut. I'm not stupid, I know that I'm playing very tight/passive.

If the games were tough, I would push these small edges. I would ride the variance wave. But I don't have to. I can sit and play a no-variance game and make a small profit. I can do this for just one reason: there will be another big, juicy, awesome pot for me right around the next bend. I don't HAVE to win THIS pot, because in the next ten minutes, I will win a bigger one, a better one, with a huge nut-nut hand.

I don't need to take chances, with todays crazy games. I can just sit back in the weeds, slowly taking in my smaller wins.

When games get tougher, obviously I'll adjust. In pot-limit, I can't play this way. In a live time game, I can't play this way. But these online limit games? Yeah, I'll take smaller profit with no-variance every day.

Felicia :)