Wednesday, November 02, 2005

All coins have 2 sides

I played winning poker last night, but it was a tale of two SnGs last night. Let me say this first, I was not playing poker at the level I wanted to play at...

I have recently upgraded my training level to intermediate. That means that I am looking for non-card patterns and moves that will make me a more winning player. For example, when a player has mid pair and he is bet into, he is forced to make a grey area decision. Amateurs will often make a weak tight fold with mid-pair and give up the pot if the other player raises his play and shows strength. You will find yourself on both sides of this coin. Sometimes you have to mid-pair and are trying to hide it, sometimes you suspect you're against mid-pair and have to decide if you can take the pot away. Mrs. columbo is pretty good at the latter, but you have to except that a winning move is one that works 2 out of 3 times. That 3rd time is painful. The suckouts don't bother me, I still consider making the right read a victory now.

I am trying to get out of the mode of trying so hard to WIN and instead work on the Greg Raymer school of "making good decisions". Here is my checklist:

1. Wait for level 3 (you can't read players in the first 2 levels IMHO)
2. Watch plays and what they will play and from what position. I am currently working on a memory system for this. More on that later this week.
3. Watch which players will make moves and which players will REACT to moves.
4. now watch for opportunities (in addition to playing solid poker).

Now the bad news...
Last night, I played a SnG (NLHE) where I was the mid-pair holding player on numerous occasions. One particular player always would move in on me after I made my play. I pulled the rip-cord each time. The problem is this: If I was right the first two times, it still gives him confidence to run the same move the third time. And since no one called him down, I don't have a read. When there were 3 left and this happened again, I called him down only to see TPTK.

But I did not evaluate holdings last night like an intermediate player. Instead I was in simple-solid mode. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Simple-Solid mode wins money. But I have aspirations of intermediate play, which entails putting players on cards based on betting, cards shown, and tendancies. I did not do that well.

BUT, enough self flagellation. Now the good news...
I played a PL Omaha H/L SnG last night and played what might have been a perfect game. And considering how hard I am on myself, I actually deserve an accolade here. I mean, I played a perfect game. I had about 30-40 decisions to make and I got everyone of them right. Everynoe. (Yes, I took first). It's hard not to like Omaha when you make the most money from it. Short-handed Omaha H/L has been a challenge for me (thus the desire to play it), but I find that it is easier to evaluate where you stand in Omaha than it is in Hold em. In a rare instance, I even scooped a pot with 2-pair, making a great read on my opponent. I'll have to play another one and get my ass handed to me so I can come back down to earth.

Metric for last evening: ROI 97% (return on investment aka won money as a percentage of invested money). WD% (winning decisione %) UNKNOWN (see below)

I am starting (as of right now I guess) to track two things in every session, ROI and decision%. How many decisions did I have to make, and how many were right. And I am not talking about simple solid decisions where I am in the SB and I have to make a call on odds. That is a MECHANICAL choice. I am talking about TACTICAL choices where I have to make a choice based on a read. I begin with my next session. Let's see how it goes.

No comments: