Saturday, January 03, 2004


Progress has been, well... Not progress.

So it must be Congress... *rimshot*

Anyway, apologies for not updating any yesterday. Fear not, I will still remain the most active poker blogger out there (hint to my fellow blog brothers... WRITE MORE!).

Yesterday was another case of collecting trash cards and having decent starting hands fall apart post-flop. I had burned up about $15 but managed to scratch in a little pot near the end to finish down $10. Considering the crap I was getting dealt, -$10 isn't all that bad.

While at work yesterday, I was thumbing through the 2+2 forums and ran into this post. Of particular note was:

You know those guys that play "fearless" poker and seem to win? When the pot is big, it is time to play fearless. Throw in that extra bet or raise. If you crash and burn, so be it. That is winning poker, though. If you don't have the stomach for it, take up tiddle-e-winks.

Interesting advice, and from a well respected 2+2er, I'd be remiss to not give it due course in evaluating my own play.

I do feel though that, if taken at face value, the advice given is rather self-destructive. I think what our esteemed colleague is trying to say is, once you commit to the line of thinking that you've got the best of it, it is generally a -EV move to fold on the river with a huge pot, even if you're relatively sure you're beat.

To shamelessly steal an Iggyism:

2+2 > RGP

Interesting also that this post comes on the heels of discussion from Cardsspeak regarding Morton's Theorum and an email exchange between Iggy and Izmet Fekali about post-flop action. Head on over the Iggy's house of Blog for that exchange.

I decided to try some of those suggestions in my session this morning. Basically, I played my usual pre-flop tight hand selection, but if I connected on the flop, I would ram and jam like a maniac.

My normal method of play, I would typically play "fit or fold", and I would be conservative on draws and only start raising once I was assured the nuts. Here's why that's dangerous. Most anyone in the low limit games will feel obligated to chase anything for one bet. This is why there are so many suckouts at this level. If I make it easy for someone with a gutshot draw to stay in the pot, he's going to do it without question. If I make him pay 2 BB or more for that next card, well, he still might pay it, but more times then not he's paying me. More then likely, though, those guys who are holding marginal hands will release them to such pressure.

Anyway, I played around with this approach. First thing I noticed was, man there's a ton of variance with this tactic. You're pumping a lot of money in there. Now, of course, you only need to win one or two of these to make it worth your while, and if you hit a nice run of cards, you can see where this will be a huge night for you.

Anyway, results were as follows.. I played 2 hours on one table. I swung from -$15 at one point to a finish of +$15, so not so bad, especially since that $15 profit was realized pretty much on one hand, and, admittedly, it wasn't a very good day in cards. I suppose the bottom line is this, you gotta put the money out there to rake the money in, and since your job is to make lousy players pay to be lousy, ramming and jamming them when they're holding crap like middle pair or trying to fill the gutshot is definately a very +EV move. The only possible negative would be that, if you get caught out a couple of times in a row, you're hurt bad.

In any event, two hours yielded a 7BB/hr earn rate, so I can't complain about that.. I've about recovered from the -$50 debacle of a few days ago.


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