Thursday, March 18, 2004

Back In The Saddle Again

With a new perspective on Poker and what it means to me, I decided it was time for your Intrepid Card Player to head back to the tables.

The beginning wasn't pretty. The cheese-fest continued and I dropped about $15.25 in an hour at one .50/1 table. No point in even breaking it down. It was a whole bunch of crap like T6o beating QQ and other such fun... blah blah blah...

Since yesterday was a day off, I got the rare opportunity to play some evening Party Poker. 36,000 people on tonight, so I figure I'll just play one table of 1/2 and see how it goes. It went. -$15.50 worth of went. Weee. So, my triumphant return saw me roll up and smoke another $30 and change on the ring tables. At this point I was seriously considering taking the rest of the money out and forgetting about poker. My confidence was totally and thoroughly shot. No matter what I did I lost. Raise to thin the field? Nope. Ram and Jam? Nope. Hands that were winners at the turn turned into losers at the River. I started to think perhaps there's more I could be doing with my remaining $300 then piss it away in frustration like this.

Then I decided, what the heck, and jumped into a 1/2 6 Player Max game.

And the magic started.

I don't know if it's because there's less likelihood of getting cheesed due to less people in the hand, or if it was just a psychological thing where it was a short handed game so I played looser and more aggressive, but the chips, for the first time in 2 weeks, started sliding my way. An hour and a half later, I walked away +$27 in the green, for a run of almost $60.

It's a huge confidence booster to know that I can still at least win in this damn game! I can't believe I didn't look into these short handed games earlier. Tables chock full 'o' people grossly overplaying their hands. The play is still "bad" but not atrocious like you'd see on the full ring 1/2 tables. At least people were calling with face cards! Other nice things are, you can better follow the play of your opponents. There's only 5 of them, so it's pretty easy to get them figured out and adjust your play to match. Game play is also faster. You have to win more pots to stay ahead of the blinds, and the pots aren't as big, but I'll take a bunch of small pots to cut the variance down.

PokerTracker isn't working right all of the sudden. I have the latest patch, but it didn't load any of my 6 Max games. I've confirmed that they exist in the hand histories, and PT didn't throw any errors about hands it didn't like, so I have to assume they're somewhere in the database, and the Preferences tab now has a 1/2 6 Max category in it, but no hands. I'll have to get a hold of the guys at PT and find out what's up with that.


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