Sunday, March 19, 2006

What do you do when you have a desire to blog, but nothing really to blog about? You post anyway. (At least, I do).

Empress Casino Joliet:

I've been there twice so far, to the tune of about 12 hours of play in their 4-tabled poker "room." I discovered last Sunday that in fact they do NOT give any comps for playing poker. No time rating, no nothing. Sucky.

The players I've seen so far absolutely suck. The $5/10 game feels like a Vegas $1/2 game, and I'm not kidding. It's your usual variety of suckage - players play too many starting hands, hold on to them for too long, and call call call constantly. I've seen LAG's here and there, but they tend to bust out rather quickly. Randy had told me that a friend of his frequented the Empress 5/10 game and found it to be the fishiest thing he'd ever seen. I thought he might be exaggerating, but he is not. Very fishy. The oddity is, the fish are all regulars! Everybody knows everybody else's names, including the dealers. Very non-Trump-ian.

I've managed to avoid the un-luck factor so far. Cumulatively for my 2 trips, my win rate is 1.7 BB/hour or 5.62 BB/100 hands. (I'm counting 30 hands per hour, though haven't measured that yet. Will adjust if I ever get around to counting my hands. I always get bored and forget to keep counting).

I like playing at Empress because it is SO close to home (18 minutes or so away). I don't mind the 11-handed tables. I try to think of it as one more free hand per orbit. The games are so loose/passive anyway that all pots are multiway to the flop with at least 5 or 6 players - quite often 8 or 9. I have yet to hear a dealer say "10 players in" - but it's coming, I'm sure.

My goal is to get up to 10/20 AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Empress only runs one table of 10/20 (and 2 tables of 5/10, and one NL table - $400 max, I think). In a perfect world, I wouldn't consider trying 10/20 until I had at least 200BB in my bankroll (and even that isn't really "properly" bankrolled for that limit - though I think you can get away with a lower bankroll live than online). The Princess and I talked a bit last week though about taking a shot at the next level: moving up to test the waters when you may not be quite bankrolled for the move. I also read a strategy on 2+2 about moving up in limits by osmosis. Move up and play 20% of your games at the higher level. If it's going well, make 40% of your sessions at the higher level, then 60%, etc, until you have moved up completely.

I have this thought in my mind that if I can get my bankroll to $2,000 by the end of spring break, I will take One shot at 10/20 and see how it goes. Spring break starts now, and I have one week off. I'd like to make it out to play cards 5 times in the week. I go back to work next Monday. I'd have to win about $1,000 (essentially doubling my bankroll in a week), which is a lofty goal, to say the least. It would basically require no significant losses, and at least one massively lucky session. (I figure, a 2BB/hour win rate is the most I hope for on a normal day. My normal session is 5 hours. That's $100/day, or $500 for the week if I can play 5 days).

I may be in la la land, but it's good to have goals. I don't think this goal is especially far-fetched. It is ambitious, but I like a good challenge.

My main focus will have to be to save bets in my donkey moments. Check-calling top pair Aces with Jack kicker to the river against a tight player who you just know has you beat is NOT a good idea. That's $25 or more I could have kept in my grubby little hands. I had a few of those instances last session. Must plug them.

I've noticed in looking over my PT stats that my preflop aggression is much higher online than it is in the B&M cardroom. Post-flop I think I play the same in either venue, but for some reason I hesitate to raise preflop in those positional situations. Online, if I'm in mid-late to late position, holding a hand I intend to play, and it is folded to me, I open-raise most of the time. I don't do that in the cardroom. Online, I'll also raise preflop some of my more favorite drawing hands, to get the money in the pot early in case I hit a nice draw. I don't do that in the cardroom. I need to work on that. Granted, I'm playing at lower limits online ($1/2 - mainly because I'd rather invest my bankroll in B&M play than online play), but my game should really be the same.

I was wondering last night: does playing poker on my Blackberry against the artificial intelligence players whom I've already memorized ruin my poker game? I'll limp with anything on the Blackberry :) I'll also bet with anything, though, which I have trouble doing in a "real" game (ie. I need the cards to win), so that's got to be good practice, right?

Moving on... I hope to get out to Empress tonight, if I can wean myself off of the kleenex box I've been tied to since last Tuesday. I've got a cold that has been kicking my ass, and I'm rarely sick for more than a couple days. I'm optimistic though that today is the first day of my journey back to health, so we'll see. I have a family function to attend this afternoon, and that will be my big test.

In other news... Russ Fox inspired me to try out pot-limit omaha last night. I only played for 20 minutes or so, but managed to more than double my buy-in of $25. :) Nice! It was definitely intriguing.

I was thinking, while playing omaha, that it is very good practice for certain elements of holdem, such as board texture analysis and consideration of draws and redraws. For example - with so many cards in your hand, it becomes more of an exercise to consider what redraws you have, but also to consider that if a card improves your hand, how does it affect the hands your opponents may be playing? They, too, have more cards in THEIR hands, and therefore more draws and redraws and backdoor opportunities.

I like omaha. Not the split-pot games - just straight up omaha hi. I think I will be playing some more of it.

In fact, maybe I'll go do that right now... I've got about 2 hours to kill before I must go wash the grime of the Sickness off of my war-torn body and make myself presentable. It will be SO impossible not to hold my baby neice today, but I don't want to get her sick. :( Woe is me! Wanna go see her? Morgan's Photo Gallery

*huge grin*

Happy Sunday, everybody. If I don't make it out to Empress, I'll likely play in tonight's WSOP blogger tourney. Go see Iggy if you need details.

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  1. Tony said...

    PLO also helps you unleash your inner LAG. I play $50 PLO on FTP and Stars, and I'm a squeaky-tight LHE player. My PLO VP$IP is around 60%...

    Continued good fortune at Empress!

    PS--No, by the way, I'm not insulted that you don't link to my pathetic little blog *sniff* *sniff* LET'S GO FLYERS!
    Shelly said...
    Thanks, Tony - I linked ya up :)

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