Sunday, June 11, 2006
The Poker Gnome made a good point in his comment to yesterday's post. Playing poker with a cold probably isn't the smartest thing to do. I don't think the cold affected my play really, but I sure was miserable.
Resorts is a nice place to play at. I forgot how nice it is to have automatic card shufflers and professional poker dealers. Not that the dealers at Empress aren't professional dealers, but they do not specialize in poker; they're dealers from other table games cross-trained to deal poker, and since they don't do it day in and day out on a full time basis, the average skill level (as compared to Resorts) is glaringly low. It's not their fault, of course. That's just how Empress does things. I must say, though, that after playing for months at Empress, the hands were coming at me so fast at Resorts that I almost felt rushed!
Felicia has recently posted about looking at the weaknesses in our own poker games. I was thinking last night that one of my biggest leaks is paying off hands when I know I am beat. In loose donkey limit games, sometimes this just has to be done, but I'm talking more about paying off a hand when I think I'm beat on the turn or even the flop - not those hands where you think you just got rivered and have one bet to pay off to see it.
Case in point: I was in a hand last night with a very tight and predictable older woman. I flopped top pair, good kicker (KQ in my hand, K on board, no preflop raise). The flop had 2 clubs, and I had none. I bet out, and the tight player called. The turn brought a third club. I bet out, and she raised me. I knew with certainty that I was beat; this woman almost NEVER raised, and when she did, she held the nuts. I'd seen her raise twice that night; once was when she hit a Broadway straight, and again when she flopped a set. She didn't slow-play, either. Very predictable that way. I was beat.
So, what did I do? I called her raise, and check-called the river, just to see it.
Why? I didn't need the information. There are occasions where it can be beneficial later to pay someone off to see their hand - to pay for information. I didn't need the info. I was beat. She had the flush. Of course she did! The nut flush, even.
I think this leak is probably aggravated by the fact that sometimes I rush my plays, making gut-reaction-decisions instead of thinking them through. That's not the whole solution though, because I know there are times when I'm consciously deciding to pay people off when I shouldn't. It's that "need to know." I need to find a way to squelch it.
I saw a lot of flops last night. I had a ridiculous number of small pocket pairs, but wasn't hitting flops. It was one of those nights where my 20BB was felted pretty quickly, and my 10BB rebuy enabled me to get myself back up to 20BB. In the end, I lost 10BB - $96. Had I not felt so crappy, I probably could have ground my way back to even, but after 4 hours I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, especially knowing I still had an hour drive home ahead of me.
The games at Resorts are different than Empress. My instinct would be to say that the play is "better," but that is not the right word. Play preflop is equally loose, compared to Empress. Six or more people see every flop (at a 10 handed table). However, there are fewer calling stations post-flop. Monsters don't get paid off multi-way. The pots are much smaller. More players at Resorts are capable of folding marginal hands. Play is also generally more aggressive, which tends to thin the fields. The average cost to see a flop is likely higher at Resorts; players are much more willing to raise.
I haven't yet decided if I like the games there or not. On one hand, you more often are told where you are in a hand by the more aggressive players. (Listening is a whole nother story!) On the other hand, it does cost more to see flops, and if your cards aren't hitting, that's a ding to the stack. Also, with the starting hand selection criteria being so loose (generally any suited ace or face card, any pair, any connected cards - suited or not, and any face card with a kicker higher than 6), it's hard to know what you're up against, as opposed to a solid game, where you can more easily deduce what your opponents' holdings are.
I think the players at Empress are more fishy, on average, than Resorts. Empress is a much more loose-passive game.
I'm thinking I might head to Empress this evening. Yes, I still have a cold, but am feeling much better today than I was yesterday. The Day-Quil is actually working today, whereas it really wasn't yesterday. I slept like a rock for 10 hours last night, too, which helped. We'll see.
I played a $20 SnG on Full Tilt this afternoon. Finished 2nd. I made a great battle heads-up, but couldn't seal the deal and got beat fair and square. I have a great desire to play ring games online, but over time, I am just not profitable at them. I'm break-even at best. At the low limits, I just think that there are SO many bad players that it is nearly impossible to outrun their luck. I've had this experience as high as 3/6. I prefer live play so much to online play that I can't bring myself to invest any significant portion of my bankroll online. However, I have a good success rate with tourneys and SnG's online. So, I've decided that I will only play SnG's and tourneys online, and keep my ring games in the casinos. Sometimes though the urge is overwhelming. Ahhh well. I'm going to try to stick to this decision, anyway.
That's all my news... I'm off to decide whether to head to Empress...