Thursday, March 31, 2005

KK in first hand of WSOP

Comment on the KK in the first hand of the WSOP discussion. I originally thought this was an easy fold. But after thinking about it for 3 weeks, I now know I would call this bet. Here is my logic:

  1. This is not a SnG or a reasonably sized field where you can expect positive EV on a long range of hands. In order for that to be true, you have to be better than the rest of the field. I don’t think that would apply to me at the WSOP.
  2. I can not avoid volatility in a large field tournament. In a reasonably sized field, I always try to avoid all coin flips as the caller. With a field this large, however, you are going to have to play and win these volatile hands.
  3. Who would go all-in that early unless they were trying to establish dominance? I think everyone would be talking about that call and you can add to the mystic by yelling out afterwards, “You think that was crazy, try stealing my blinds”.

Of course, if he has AA and you call, everyone will call you an idiot for calling this. But would you rather be out on day 3 and still not cash? Is that really better for your ego? I mean, that chick from MAXIM magazine cashed. Do we all believe she is a good player or that she is a good folder?

SnG strategy

I am a SnG specialist. “Specialist”: noun. “One who can not figure out ring games. See denial.”

Soooooo, Here is how to win Sit N Gos… The idea is avoiding marginal confrontations, multi-way hands, and coin flips until there are 3 people left. You must do this at all costs. It is NOT important to build a chip stack like in a regular tournament, since no one can get that far ahead until there are 3 or 4 players left. Instead, work on only playing hands where you are going to take down the pot (especially big ones, so play pocket pairs for sets and suited aces pre-flop). Play big hands and if 3 or less see the flop, bet out if it’s checked to you (this is your aggression spot until the money). A flush is usually the slow-played hand exclusively, watch for this. But, a lesser flush will never lie down so crush them for everything.

Also of note is that players become unnecessarily concerned about the blinds. They rarely have an impact on YOUR decisions, try to ignore them. Allow others to panic and over play a middle or top pair. Being a pretty good SnG player, I humbly disagree that heading into the final 3 with a big chip stack offers HUGE benefits vs. the risk of this being the goal. Now granted, there are some games where it seems nobody will die and the blinds are now very high, but I have found that to be the exception and not the rule.

NOTE: In a SnG, players establish patterns more consistently than in cash games or tournaments. Watch those patterns so you know when you can push them out, especially when you are down to the final 3. You can OFTEN win as the chip dog by coming back and taking all the chips based on what you learned about them as they got to this point. They will rarely change gears when they get to the final 3 and you are the chip dog. Use this to your advantage.

Blog moving here...

I have been keeping a blog recently to track my progress in becoming a competent and winning poker player. After 15 months, I finally think I reached the "competent" stage. I am going to spend tomorrow attempting to set up this page, post legacy content, and get everything up and running.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Poker Tracker usage

I went to poker tracker to investiagte and look for leaks. My biggest mistake? Calling for 1/2 a bet from the SB, hitting a pair, and losing lots of money. Knowledge is power.

Also, it was VERY interesting to note that 90% of all my lost $$ (not lost hands) is when I only have one pair. So why is that? Mostly calling an all-in bet with top pair thinking the other player is on the come. In actuality, I am usually beat by a set or an over pair. This is a lay-down I am adding to my play. I am ALWAYS going to lay down TP to an all-in (assuming close sized stacks, me not desperate, etc) and see if my winng $$ and % goes up over the next few weeks. I bet it does.

My goodness is PokerStars indeed deserving of the nickname "RiverStars". Once again, no twice again, I lost on a river card on a big pot to an all-in hand who was a big dog.