Saturday, March 26, 2005

Well, I finished that paper I had to write today. There goes 5 hours of my life I'll never get back! Let's just look at it as time well spent for the raise I'll get when I'm finally finished with this darned degree in August.

After taking care of a few other things on my list of things to do, I sat down to some Full Tilt action. That was about 4 hours ago. The decent success I've had at the SnG's could not prepare me for the massacre I was about to endure. Three $10 SnG's, three 7th place finishes. I just ran into monsters in every corner. My big blind KJ-flopped-trip-kings was beat by KQ. I got crushed out of another with boat-over-boat. And the third was my K high flush whooped by the A high flush.

After that mess, I had some cleaning up to do! I was able to recoup all of my losses, plus five bucks at the $.50/1.00 limit tables, and got $6 closer to my next bonus release. At least I'm up. $270, woohoo!

There's one guy I've seen on FTP almost every time I play. I must have 20 hours or so logged with this guy. He plays only oober-premium hands, and his blinds. Literally. Of all of his shown-down hands I have recorded, they read: AA, AKs, KK, KK, KK, and KQs (but that one was in the blinds). One would think that "tight is right" would at least be slightly profitable, but he's always hovering around his buy-in amount. I've never seen him more than ten bucks up, or ten bucks down. Granted, he's not losing money, but can he really ever turn any sort of noticeable profit at these low limit tables? I mean, his bonus sure can't be clearing fast enough to make it worth it.

That had me thinking about adapting playstyles. You really do have to be able to adapt your playstyle to the environment you're in, and in order to do that, you have to actually be able to change how you play!

Using myself as an example: my first couple thousand hands on Party Poker have me logged as a tight-aggressive, but on the almost-too-tight side of the spectrum at under 20% of all hands played voluntarily. Then one day, I decided to sit down at a loose table, and open up my starting hand requirements a little bit. I found myself playing in the upper 20% range VP$IP... and I was winning. I forced myself to call down or re-raise players that I had pegged as weak, and discovered that many were going to the river with less than premium hands, and - I was winning. It's very hard for me to call bets or re-raise a bet when I'm holding a drawing hand or a second pair, because all of the early books I read etched into my conscience that I should always be looking for ways to save bets and lay down those hands. But, at these loosy-goosy tables, second pair often takes the pot, and that extra bet or re-raise often chases away the weak-passive players and the pot slides your way without a showdown. It's been a challenge for me to loosen up my play a bit, but certain table conditions warrant it.

Just like certain table conditions warrant tight play. I stick to my tight-aggressive self in tournaments and sit-n-go's. Maybe that's why I don't fare well when playing a SnG at the same time as a low limit ring game; my brain can't play semi-loose and tight at the same time!

Ahh well. Time to do a little reading then hit the hay. I've actually got 2 books in progress right now - Dan Harrington's book, and Sklansky & Malmuth's "Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players." I should just stick to one, but since Harrington's is strictly NL-tourney based, and I'm playing more limit poker right now, I've sort of hopped over to Sklansky's. Both good reads so far though.

Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates it!


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