Monday, December 12, 2005

Poker Doldrums

Not much to update. I am still struggling. I have found some good play at Poker Stars and I am still figuring out all the types of games they offer. They seem to have some interesting Sit N Go formats… from 180 people mini tournaments to 4 person SNG shootouts. I have tried two SNGs there. The first one was a 45 person SNG that I played well in. I thought I was going to money, maybe even win… but I went out 10th. 7 spots payed. Oops.

I also played in the 4 person shootout and took a bad beat exit in the first stage. 0 for 2 in the tournaments there, but not discouraged.

I only loaded $50 on the site and lost just over half of that in my 2 tournament tries. I am sad to admit that I lost the other half on limit hold ‘em. I would prefer to chalk this up to variance as my stats in PokerTracker are the best they have ever been. My VP$IP was around 15 (just under I think) and the other stats (aggression and showdown) looked great also. At one point, my Showdown win % was above 80. It has since come back down, but is still over 50. I was really trying to nut peddle and play position hard. I think the biggest problem I had was not getting the nuts to peddle (I went 73 hands before I had a pocket pair) and I played AK too aggressively. I had it 5 times and only won with it once. I don’t think I was getting too many cards. Down to my last 10, I fired up a NL table and got rid of it. Not my intention, but definitely the result. Should I embrace my inner fish?

To recap on my previous post about questioning myself and my game, I am a net loser for the year. I am a better player, but a losing player. This bothers and perplexes me as it seems paradoxical. Am I good fish? If I have improved, why am I now losing? If I was a loose aggressive luck box before, why am I not a tight aggressive luck box now? You know those times where there is a ridiculously hot seat in a ring game or single table SNG? The seat is playing just about any 2 and winning every race? You get KK and try to push them out the hand. They call and the flop comes with a straight draw possibility. You groan, know you are ahead, and jam hoping that they will fold or risk most of their stack on a gut shot. They call and river the magic bullet. We (blogger community) see it all the time and sometimes even get that seat. Not me, not lately. I am playing the game to the best of my instincts and knowledge, and still coming up short: battling with players that are playing way too many hands, yet are winning more showdowns than they lose. I guess that is what makes this game great; you can win with pure luck.

I have learned to accept this and tell myself, “In the long run, they will lose all of their money playing that way. Stay tight and keep working on your reads”. I have even seen empirical proof of this. Players I have tagged as fish on UB at the higher levels (2/4, 3/6) are invariably logged in playing at the play money tables within a week or two. I feel a small sense of satisfaction that their evil suckout strategy ways have caught up with them, but I am just a losing session or two away from joining them. Who is laughing now?

I have loaded two minimum transactions onto Party Poker and Poker Stars in the last three weeks. As of Thursday, I have nothing to show for them. The Party $55 buy in I dedicated to $10 SNGs. I placed second in one, lost the rest. The Poker Stars $50 buy in I decided to see what I could do in low limit (.50/1) HE and see what SNG’s they had. I liked the taste I had there and think that I may load some more money on there and dedicate it to low buy in SNGs and tourneys. Overall, I am feeling kind of turned off by poker. When I get free time and I am faced with the choice of poker/SOCOM3/going to the gym, lately, SOCOM 3 has been winning. I just feel like I have “more control” in that silly game and I do not have control on the virtual felt (at least not lately). Not self control, but control over my fate in general. I think a high finish in a MTT would be a great shot for the bankroll and the poker state of mind. I think I will be taking some cracks at these games. Jordan, Dnasty, Chipper, DoubleAs... most of the other blogs I read have all had at least one of these wins. GCox, do you have any big MTT finishes? I don't, but I plan to keep on trying.

On second thought, perhaps I would be best served by choosing the gym! We shall see about that…


chipper said...

I believe it was Cardplayer Magazine who just recently nominated Ace-King as the most overrated hand of the year. Looks great pre-flop and you can scare off a lot of players with it, but typically a pair is going to call your big preflop bet. When you miss the flop you tend to get a lot of pushback from those players with a pair in their hand.

If anything, if you're playing A-K from a later position, either play aggressive if checked to - or - use your opportunity to get a free card and see the turn cheap.

Hardest part about Ace-King is letting go. It's not easy.

GaryC said...

I have won a few MTT's, but only one of any significance. Check out my archives back to my 2nd post ever. $920 on a $10 entry. Luckbox I was, though.

I'm in about the same spot as you are right now, just keep plugging away. I'm headed to strictly SNG's for a while.


WillWonka said...

For what it is worth, I am also negative for the year with my disastrous play from August on.

Just keep plugging away and doing what you feel comfortable with.

I have recently dropped down in limits to get that "enjoyment" level back. It has definitely helped.

SirFWALGMan said...

It is so hard to make $50 into something.. some people have a knack.. however, I think you have to run it up to $200 before you have enough of a working roll to really start climbing. Before that I think it tends to be 50/50..

HighOnPoker said...

I remember someone turning $50 into a nice bundle using the Limit Challenge. I believe that person was you.

Sorry about the bad run. Socom is probably a better option. At least there, impatience and tilt won't cost you money. When you are ready to get back to poker, it'll be there for you. Maybe we can arrange some SNGs, so it'll be fun again.

HighOnPoker said...

Hey, let's get the band back together for an ole fashioned SNG. I want to do it next Wed at 9PM at Pokerstars. Interested?

GaryC said...

Have a great New Year, buddy. I hope to get to playing together more often in the coming year. Too much fun to forget about it.