Monday, August 01, 2011

What I learned in the absence of online porker

This might surprise you, but my game has improved since online poker has gone away. A strange thing was happening to my game based on the quantity of hands I could play in an hour. I did not value each hand.

It's a big hard to describe, but it became clear while watching the live WSOP coverage (which, by the way is boring as hell due to the Jamie Gold rule). Hands are won and lost through pattern recognition. If I can identify what your action means, then I should know the correct counteraction. This can be as simple or complex as you like, but there are so many more hands online that you can err on the side of caution, make mistakes, and still have opportunities. Live though, I cant afford to throw away an OPPORTUNITY to win a hand and wait for the next window. When an opponent check-calls the flop, and he check calls the turn, and a 4th spade falls on the river, Ben Lamb is betting out that river with air. More often than not, those check-calls are WEAK and a signal to pressure. But in online action, often we'll not fire that barrel because there is another better spot coming up based on quantity of hands. This is not CORRECT thinking, but a trap I was falling into. I would even justify things by "keeping the pot small" or some other line of reasoning. But in the end, NLHE is a game of position and manipulating opponents into making bad decisions. And if you make those decisions easy, then your opponents errors mean less.


Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Interesting. Thus far in an admittedly very limited sample size, my tournament game is hideously worse without the ability to practice it daily.

It does sound like you were wasting some pots there when you were playing a lot online, so good on you to have identified the leak and be working to rememdy it.

columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

I believe I was leaving many potential pots on the table.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Go back and read Super/System too, which I bet would solve that problem in a hurry. Doyle's whole theory is premised on going after the little pots that nobody else seems to want as much as you.