Semi-amateur poker

Past couple of months…

Posted in No Limit Hold 'Em by insigniared on September 3, 2009

Apologies for not writing a new post in a while…

July – with my bankroll I dabbled in a lot of different areas; cash games, SnGs mostly, MTTs etc. This was mainly a warm up month for me…

August – I played almost every day and managed to reach the bronze frequent player level. This was the first time I’ve ever played poker “full time” and I was introduced to a lot of new things; chiefly variance and how much it sucks. I never realised how often suck outs actually happen as I’ve never played at such a high volume before. I’m slowly getting better at tilt control as I realise that suck outs happen and there is little you can do to stop them but get your money in good all the time.

At the beginning of the month I played mostly 9 man $1.25 tournaments but did very poorly with them so I eventually stopped playing them in favour of 6 man turbo’s.

My 9 man stats for August:

Tournaments: 130
Amount won: $132.82
Net won: -$29.68
ROI: -18.26
ITM: 36.15
1st place: 13
2nd place: 16
3rd place: 18

As you can see, I’m pretty bad heads up. I think I’m too overly aggressive. As I played more over August I think my whole game did generally improve as I multi-tabled a session of 9 man SnGs on the 28th and did quite well to recover a little.

About half way through the month I decided I’d put my “over-aggression” to good use and play 6 man turbo’s and I was actually $15+ in profit until I multi-tabled too many and blew it. My stats for 6 man turbo’s are the following:

Tournaments: 291
Amount won: $356.40
Net won: -$7.35
ROI: -2.02
ITM: 40.21
1st place: 65
2nd place: 52
3rd place: 43

I think my main problem aside from the playing too many tables error was that my bubble play was inadequate. Far too often I would raise with junk to steal the blinds and get pot committed. Also, I think my aggressive play actually contributed to the massive variance swings that are common with turbo SnGs.

So, in September, to combat the variance, I began playing normal 6 man non-turbo SnGs with 6 minute blind levels. Although my sample size isn’t so big yet, I’m seeing a difference:

Tournaments: 28
Amount won: $50.08
Net won: $15.08
ROI: 43.09
ITM: 64.29
1st place: 7
2nd place: 11
3rd place: 3

Couple of points: I suck at heads up obviously although I did think I was pretty good. I think my heads up opponents generally have a difficult time folding bottom pair et al but it’s my fault for pushing so hard. Second point, I haven’t bubbled nearly as much; my approach has been to stay tight and maintain my stack at all times and only make the occasional steal with an optimal hand. I think this strategy is working out great to be honest. Although, I am naive in assuming anything just yet; 28 SnGs is not nearly enough to get a good idea of how I’m doing.

One more quick point before I move onto my cash game summary:

I played a few $1 to $3 MTTs with fields ranging from 500 to 9,000 people. I had a really rough beat about a week ago at the hands of a Dutch LAG. I won’t go into details but he did river a flush and I finished three from the money with an above average stack when I was just ahead in the hand (something like 55%)… It hurt a lot. Poker can be so cruel. Oh, another thing that I’ve been introduced to since I increased my volume is runner-runner straights and flushes. They hurt so much that it almost makes me cry. Maybe not cry, but close…

My cash game play has greatly increased in the past month or so. I’ve learned some valuable lessons: never play bad hands just to get heads up with a mega fish. I was playing 0.05/0.10 cent cash one night and I saw this incredible fish play every single hand and wouldn’t fold bottom pair. It was hilarious! The sad thing is I ended up shipping him $10 trying to push him off of hands and raising just to get him heads up. Most likely he is busto now and his money has been fed to the sharks… Sad times for me.

The 0.01/0.02 cash games are full of fish but the massive variance makes it incredibly unappealing. I think I’m up about $6 after about 13k hands which is terrible. I used to buy in for the full $2 (which is technically correct to give you best chances for maneuvering) but I usually hit a downswing and loose it all… and that hurts if I have $2 on each of my 9 tables. Lately I’ve been short stacking it at the minimum buy-in of $0.40 and open-shoving with a pair. It’s an experiment that has so far worked.

I’ve also played some higher stakes game and am pleased to have posted $75 profit from that. Although, I have been naughty and have been barely bankrolled for those stakes. Fish still exist up there which I guess is great for the regs. I’ve always wondered how higher stakes cash game players even make money with NLHE being so “easy” to become adept at.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have any questions, concerns, or criticism’s please feel free to comment!

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