Friday, October 28, 2005

I Think I Get It

Something snapped into place recently and I am experiencing some cool things at the poker tables. For whatever reason (probably has something to do with several poker books, thousand and thousands of hands, daily poker blog reading, and general experience) I am starting to be able to put my opponent on a hand and trust my instincts that have developed.

I have been playing mostly low limit ($10) HU matches lately so this is where it has manifested itself. My hunch is that this is the easiest time to get a read on an opponent because you only have one to concentrate on and you get the opportunity to see some hands shown down. Hopefully, this will continue to the ring and tournament games.

Here is the example that semi-clarified this for me. Two nights ago I was playing a $10 HU against Jersey Cutie on UB. I had Ax in the SB and raised 1 BB. JC called and I made a continuation bet on the Q high flop. The board was diverse. JC called. River was no help and I checked curious to see what JC would do. I had employed a check raise on her previously so this was not an obvious sign of weakness. She checked. She was not the check raising type. The river was another blank and I checked it to her. She made a big bet, probably less than half of the pot. For some reason, I knew she had missed her hand or draw and that A high might take this pot. I was confident that she did not even have a low pair. I decided to trust my instinct (and my chip lead that would cushion a bad decision) and I flat called. I was right!! I did not win the pot because I was outkicked, but I was right! I had an instinct, trusted it, and it was on target. I was more excited about "knowing" than losing the couple hundred chips. I went on to win in a good match. JC was better than the average opponent at the $10 level, but still not that good.

It happened again a few times last night. I got to play one quick HU SNG and I made some good value bets and confident river bet calls. This was pretty cool and boosted my HU game confidence even more. DNasty just wrote about his expectation to cash in ~150 player tournaments. I expect to cash in HU matches. HUC2 notwithstanding, I sit down expecting to win in the HU SNGs. It is harder work at the higher levels, but I am working my bankroll back up so I can take a crack at the $50 and $100 matches consistently. I want to have the roll to sustain 10 losses in a row (possible, but not likely) before I play those again.

Not much else to post about. I am growing the bankroll again, almost to the half way mark of my previous high (and spectacular crash and burn) and I finished reading Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. It was a pretty good little read, I plan to read it again before I do anymore serious NL tournament play.

I am very happy that I had that little "Eureka" moment and confirmed it by having it a second night in a row. I think I will try and work on my hand guessing/recognition skills next. This will be a little tougher in HU play because there are many more common starting hands, (almost any 2 cards will seem to do!) but I think hand recognition and prediction will be an important part of building my game.

My favorite new HighOnPoker end quote can be found here. You keep me laughing Jordan.

1 comment:

HighOnPoker said...

Hey Steel. Can you give a review of Gordon's book? Is it all strategy? Anything unique? Readable?

And as for that quote, my post was short, so I figured a long one would work. I had been intending to use that line for a while. I have known the quote by heart for years. As it turns out, the quote was extremely poker-adaptable. I'm glad you enjoyed it.