Friday, December 05, 2003

Two Steps forward, Then Fall on My Ass

To all those poker players that started in the low limit arena and worked up a bankroll, my hat is off to you. I can't seem to figure out how to get back on the mark here...

Actually, I do have some ideas, but they're probably either wrong or incomplete... The fact of the matter is, I'm still a rookie, and I KNOW I'm making rookie mistakes. I just for the life of me can't figure out what mistakes I'm making while I'm in the game. Things that I can sit back and analyze outside of the game turn into mush in my mind when faced with the situation. Part of the problem I'm sure is that the 50/1 game is so unpredictable... But then again, I have no other point of reference, so for all I know, the 5/10 game or the 15/30 games are just as unpredictable.

More introspection later in this post. Now onto the brutal facts of the day.

The morning started with a small gain. I picked up about $5 in 40 minutes at one table, before it started thinning out and I left with my winning. I peeked into another table, but it was completely devoid of any action at all, so I split down a $.50 blind. I took a little break, watched some West Wing, munched a bagel, and got back to it.

Sat down at two tables and immediately started collecting rags, ending down collectively about $6. More West Wing and the leftover pork chop from last night, make a few phone calls and I'm back to it, energized to be over the $50 mark. Spent the next hour and a half working up a few pots and then getting bad-beaten out of them, finally ending up down about $3. "Screw it", I say to myself.. Time to head to a $6 Sit and Go.

Now, HDouble had a suggestion about these, and I reviewed my past couple of tourneys that are in my shareware version of PokerTracker, and decided that I was going to simply log in and hide until a few people are knocked out...

The first hand, I'm in the BB and I get dealt Big Slick offsuit.


Okay, I can't very well not play this. So, I check it, and it misses on the flop, so I fold it. The next hand was nuts. I don't remember anything about it, except 4 people went all-in. Of course, like any good cage match, only one walks out, and it was the guy across the table from me. T3000 in chips, and 3 people are gone... And hand 3 hasn't even been dealt yet. Mountain-Of-Chip boy then proceeds to bully everyone around the table, basically forcing them to an all-in decision everytime they try to bet a hand. I'm still hiding in the corner, but I can't seem to get any cards... We're finally down to 5 guys, and I'm second to last chip stack with around T550. Blinds are up to 50/100 and I know that I gotta make a move soon. I also know that any attempt to call a pot will basically mean I'm all-in. Mountain Boy would see to that. I get KJh under the gun and figure since it's really the only other playable hand I've seen, it's go time. I bet 250 to try to run out everyone buy Mountainboy. That fails miserably, and I get 3 callers including Mountainboy. Flop, of course, completely misses me, but it's nice enough to put up an Ace. I'm down to T300 and bet 150, and Mountainboy, as predicted, makes it T750 to go; the amount of the biggest stack still in the hand. I'm committed at this point and shove all in, figuring if I didn't I'd get blinded away. Of course, I get eliminated. I don't remember by what. I don't remember by who, though it wasn't Mountainboy. I just know that, again, I'm finishing out of the money. I have never had this little luck with these sit and goes, but, lo and behold, I fly off and handle, log onto two 50/1 tables with the intention of burning my bankroll and moving onto solitaire.

...And the magic started anew...

I sat down at one table with a $25 dollar buyin and the other with $22, since, you know, my bankroll was back under $50. So, immediately upon bellying up to the table I dropped $25 on, the deck hits me in the head. I rip off two nice pots and am up about $10. The other table was pretty flat at first. I finally managed to come up with a nice flopped straight, and had a lot of takers to go with me. The board is a bunch of rainbow rags, none of them over a 6. I had the 2-6 straight. The river came a 4 to put a pair of 4's on the board and this otherwise passive guy who called me to the river starts to bet out. I call, fearing the boat, and the guy to my left raises. Now I'm caught in a raise war on the river, and I'm sitting on a straight... It goes to 3 bets and finally Mr. Passive turns over...

Quad 4's.

Typical. The table fell apart after that. I'd get two pair, someone would river a set. I'd have a set, and someone would draw a straight. Flushes fell to boats. I was getting smacked around big time, and finally ran away from the table with only $9 left.

Meanwhile, my other table had cooled off again. Nothing would fit on the flop and to make things worse, there were a couple of guys on the table who made it their personal duty to pre-flop raise everything they saw. I've discovered that I despise people that pre-flop raise everything. I know I should be able to make a mint off these jamokes, but it's hard to swallow two small bets every time I want to see a flop. Eventually, I get a couple of good hands, but they get beat out, and I'm down to my original $25. Total bankroll at this point is right around $35 bucks. The ship is certainly taking on water at this point. After another 20 minutes of floundering around with crap cards, the table literally clears off... There are, suddenly, 5 of us, and the deck hits me square in the head again. I come out swinging and take down about 4 pots, including a real nice one, and suddenly I'm up to over $52. About that time the wife arrives and I abandon the table to go shopping. So all in all, I started the day at about $59, and ended up at $61. Not bad for being a ruin a few hours before, but again, I can't seem to make any real progress here.

It's gotta be something I'm doing. Or not doing. I think my problem lies in post-flop play more then pre-flop hand selection, though the latter certainly could use some guidance in regards to the low limit games I'm in. I feel like I'm too tight right now and I'm missing out on some good opportunities, but I'm still a little light on the bankroll to accept the variance involved in playing things like middle suited connectors or things like that, and I don't want to start bleeding chips pre-flop on low percentage hands. I do think I'm pretty good and figuring out when I'm beat and when to dump a hand, and I have no problems getting rid of a pair of pocket Kings if they appear to be losing. Pocket aces are another story, and as of today, I'm 2 for 7 on the week winning with Pocket Aces. They are sucking my will to live. I really think that, on an ultra loose table, pocket Aces are WAAAAAAY overrated.

Really, I need to find some direction. A Jedi Master. Of course, that would require fundage, which, as you know, I am lacking sufficient amounts of at the moment.

Oh, I'm playing the .25/.50 tables at UltimateBet too. The initial $25 investment is up to $36 now, so that's coming along nicely. The lower limit is certainly doing a lot for my confidence there, as I know if I follow a hand along, it won't kill me. I think once I get my bankroll over $100 on Party I'll feel a little more comfortable at the tables.

Off to the land of sleep. I get to go to work tomorrow at 4:00am. I hate morning shift.


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