Sunday, April 25, 2004

War Pigs

Ooh, that plan is well known. You'll have to do better than that.
-- Merlin - Excaliber

Back when I was in high school, I took a psychology class. Like all classes, this one had a mid-term. We all sat down and were handed our tests. 25 questions, all long form answer questions. No multiple guess. It was about 10 pages worth of test, and we had to get it done in the 45 or so minutes allocated for this class. Seeing the obvious time crunch, we all immediately went to work diligently writing.

After about 40 minutes, I get to the final question of the test, which was also the only question on the final page of the test. It read:

It is not necessary to answer any questions on this test. Simply write your name in the space below and turn the test in. Have a nice break.

Not one of the students who took the test in my class turned in an empty test.

The lesson was simple. Evaluate the work thoroughly before setting to work on it.

Why do I bring up this little tidbit of life history? Well, it has a lot to do with why my losses were so horrific today. And by horrific, I don't necessarily mean I lost a huge amount of money. It was a bad loss, but it wasn't a disaster. By horrific, I mean I complicated matters by attempting to adopt a style of play that I didn't have all the information about.

See, for the last month or so, I've been multi-tabling 50/1. Though I certainly haven't been destroying these games, I've been scratching out a nice little profit. The trouble lies in, the 50/1 games are all about "fit or fold". The problem is, I was slowly starting to fall into a rut of playing my own cards. Do I have a good hand? If yes, I get aggressive. If no, I fold and move on. I'd only take a cursory glance at how many people were still in, and the size of the pot, but it really didn't allow for me to consider pot odds, implied odds, none of it. Playing multiple tables, you can afford to lower your BB/100 because the volume of hands you're playing makes for a decent day's profit, so ultra-tight/aggressive works.

After reading MajorKong's advice, or more reviewed quickly, I decided to try to use this in my game.

Trouble is, that style of play requires a very strong grasp on table texture, odds (pot and implied) and hand reading. This is something I simply can't do when I'm multi-tabling. I went back this evening and reviewed all the information in the thread and came to be re-enlightened about how this advice actually is expected to work.

Again, I'm at work so I don't have PokerTracker in front of me, but basically, I think my losses broke down like this:

$30 from bad beats
$20 from chasing hands I didn't have odds on
$10 from tilt

The bad beats today were pretty legendary. I have pocket Kings twice. Once they lost to a guy who slowplayed aces to the river and managed to survive. Once when a joker with a K9o sucked out a straight on the river. One particularly nasty one was, I had something like 7s9s in the blind with 4 callers. The flop brings TsQs8d, giving me four to the flush and the open ended straight draw. The betting goes nuts and it's 4 people with 3 bets to the turn, which brings the Js, filling my flush. I'm bet into and I raise it up. It comes back to me capped with 3 people in and the pot is now a monster. I'm getting ready to start stacking when the river comes an As. SHIT! I make the crying call and the jamoke across from me turns over his Ks8c for the royal flush.

In my new "fold-fold-fold"/"pound-pound-pound" philosophy (well, okay, not new but revisited) I paid a dear price from these suckouts.

And that's really what today was. It was a brutal day of missed draws, suckouts and a small peppering of bad calls, probably borne of frustration.

It just figures though. I mean, I wasn't expecting to start off in the 1/2 arena setting the place on fire, but I was certainly not expecting to be within $40 of my stoploss in one day, either. I think that's really what popped my breaker.

I think I'm at the point in my poker game where I'm just smart enough to be a danger to my bankroll. I think I know more then I really know, and I think I'm more successful then I am. I've played 17,000 hands of poker and my BB/100 hands is only 1.5 or so. This isn't bad, if I were playing a higher stake where the play is better, but in the 50/1 games, I really should be closer to +2BB/100 hands.

So, the grind will continue until I'm either broke or into a decent level game. It's all I can do.


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