Sunday, September 28, 2008


Running good? How about running second best?

Sure as shit, as soon as I say anything, I have a disastrous session. AQ vs AK, 2 pair with an open straight draw against a set. Initial reads on opponents proven situationally (maybe not a word) wrong. Semi-bluffs called, aggression disregarded by calling stations.

I lost two buy-ins on two separate tables, almost simultaneously. As a consequence, I’m a little bit gun shy, yet more importantly, I am reassessing my insistence on playing 25NL. Although, as I stated yesterday, I can afford to re-supply my account, I don’t see why I should, and the cold, hard truth is that there is the potential for the variance to eat me alive. I’m going to drop down. Happy, Cardgrrl?

Contrast this performance with that of my nicks at Poker Academy. Both bankrolls for ubu roi and bastin are at all-time highs. Even lowly little EarlyCuyler (of “Squidbillies” fame) has managed to double his roll in the last week with a smattering of hands played.

Now, some may consider that playing for fake money is not the same, that people are more ready to donk off PAX, while they would be more cautious with real money. Or, since PA is a learning tool, there are high numbers of beginners, or people playing in rooms beyond their skill level and learning the hard way not to. Easy money. That may be so. Yet, Cardgrrl also maintains that the same types of players are in abundance at Stars as well.

I am not of the same mind. I believe the ratio of good online cash players to poor players is higher than at PA, therefore making for a more difficult game. I pay close attention to betting patterns, bet sizes and position, assuming that the players I am up against do as well. And those that don’t, well, they’re easy to spot. Cardgrrl has told me that she finds this approach to be over-the-top, and all that is needed is to play ABC poker. I wonder.

Maybe there is an inverse downside to fancy play. Let me try to explain.

What normally constitutes fancy play? 56s looking to cooler; slow-playing Aces or a set, betting on the come…those sorts of things that can come back and bite one in the ass. Well, maybe I am over-analyzing the play of my opponents, getting fancy in my own mind, and that is leading me astray.

This is nascent idea, mind you, and may be off the mark. Like so many other things about my game, I’m going to have to think on it and get back to you.

BTW, Cardgrrl's post today is tangentially poignant.


Forrest Gump said...

Typically I find maybe 2 donks at a table looking to give their chips away, but sometimes only 1 that I'm fishing for. The rest is usually players with some small holes in their game, like overplaying pairs or bad positional play, and typically 2 or 3 grinders which these days i recognize quickly.

It is a very different beast to PA but you're constantly reviewing your game and I have confidence you'll find your groove very soon.


bastinptc said...

I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Cardgrrl said...

I am crushed that you would ever think me happy about something that causes you distress.


I am always rooting for you, bro.

Forrest Gump said...

Here's a little tip, maybe it might help. This game is about making good decisions right? Ask yourself, how can you simplify things and cut down on the tough decisions? With experience you can play smallball and see alot of flops ala Gavin Smith. But for a Gump like me, I'm always trying to keep it all as simple as possible.

Examples might be trying to play every pot in position, or always limping and set mining with pairs, or dropping connectors from your game etc etc.


Dave Jenkins said...

When I read your post it reads as if you're put out that you're semi bluffs are being called.

Maybe on PA you have an expectation of 'respect' that you just won't get at Poker Stars etc. Too much PA me thinks!