Have been playing on the $1.00/$2.00 limit tables almost exclusively here in the new year (only sitting at a $0.50/$1.00 table when waiting for a seat at the higher stakes table). Am consciously trying to choose full ring (10-player) games, although I’ll almost always sit down at a 6-max whenever there isn’t a seat open at a full ring game. Been playing mostly on Bodog from which I cannot import hand histories into Poker Tracker (not unless I pick up that DogWatch program, which I’m not sure I want to do). Poker Source Online should be sending me some books soon now that I have cleared the requirements -- if I followed those sign-up directions correctly, that is.
Even with Poker Tracker, I always additionally manually record into my little black book info about every session I play (the site, game/limit, hands played, time played, win/loss). Looking at these first twelve days of the new year -- lemme get out my calculator, here -- I’ve played almost 600 hands on 6-max tables & about three times that on full ring tables (nearly 1,800). I’ve earned about the same on each, actually -- a little over 30 big bets (or $60) at 6-max and almost the same amount at full ring. That’s a heady 5 BB/100 hands on 6-max, and about 1.67 BB/100 hands on full ring. A meaningless sample size, I know. Still, a good start for the year, I think. Bodog be good so far. (More on that later.)
Most of my sessions have been brief -- less than a 100 hands. Had a couple of marathons in there where I got stuck and battled back (or didn’t). But for the most part I’ve been playing hit-and-run, usually booking small wins. I’m also almost always playing just one table. Occasionally I’ll open up a second one if at a very slow full-ring game, but I’ve tried mainly to stick to the formula that’s proven most successful for me -- brief, single-table sessions where I’m able to concentrate on every decision I make.
I still make mistakes, of course. Having a hard time playing middle or low pairs out of position, particularly when heads-up against a preflop raiser. Have also gotten involved in a few expensive chases when essentially drawing dead. Barry Tanenbaum talks about how he’ll get up from a table once he’s made two clear mistakes in his play. If I were to get up at that point, my sessions probably wouldn’t last a half-hour.
Have become fairly well acclimated to playing the larger pots, I think. I’ve lost some big ones (by my short-stacked standards), and won a few, too. A couple of days ago I won a pot that exceeded $50 and realized afterwards that it was probably the largest pot I’d ever taken down. A semi-curious hand, actually . . . here’s how it went:
I’d been at this 6-max table for a short while and wasn’t running too well -- couple of folks had made their draws against me, I’d failed to make mine, etc. Was down about $25 or so for that particular session when I picked up in the big blind. Always nice to get cowboys, but awkward sometimes in the BB where you’re last to act preflop. My losing image (deserved or not) didn’t help either.
Jambon raised from UTG, and Pamplemousse immediately reraised. I fastened my seatbelt. It folded to Fromage in the small blind who called the three bets. I contemplated capping, but decided just to call as well. Correct or no? I couldn’t see what capping would accomplish here other than to give the table a pretty clear idea of my holding. Four players in. $11.50 in the pot (Bodog had already taken fifty cents for the rake at this point).
The flop was . Fromage checked and I bet out. The subsequent action was intriguing: Jambon raised, Pamplemousse three-bet, and Fromage called the three bets. I figured both Jambon and Pamplemousse to hold overpairs, and Fromage probably to be drawing, perhaps with two diamonds or maybe even with just an ace. I went ahead and capped it this time, and all three stayed in.
The turn was the . I liked that card and so put out my $2.00 bet. This time Jambon just called and Pamplemousse raised. Fromage again called. Could well be up against aces, I thought -- or did Pamplemousse turn a set? -- so I just called (as did Jambon). The pot had ballooned to $43.00 (Bodog had taken a dollar).
The river was the . No flushes. Probably no straights, either, unless somebody had weirdly waded in with ace-deuce. We checked it around to Pamplemousse who bet out again. Predictably -- we were all getting better than 22-to-1 now -- all three of us called. Pamplemousse showed . Yes! Fromage showed . Sweet! I show my kings. And Jambon mucks his . The cowboys had survived.
The hand doesn’t demonstrate much more than my good fortune, really. Fromage (with big slick) was probably the only player who made obvious mistakes, but even so, he was still drawing live on the river. I would have certainly slowed down with queens there if I were Pamplemousse, but I wouldn’t have folded, that’s for sure. Kind of the perfect storm for me -- everyone had a reason to stay to the end, but no one had more than just a few outs to beat me. In the end, I only had to put in $13 to win the $51 pot.
As I mentioned, Bodog has worked out pretty well for me thus far. While I dislike not having hand histories to enter into my database, I’m starting to think it might not be such a bad thing to play on a site where it is a bit more difficult for players to track your play. I was surfing around looking for information about alternative methods of dealing with Bodog hand histories when I stumbled onto this recent thread on the Flop Turn River forums. Someone in there suggests that not being Poker Tracker-friendly makes Bodog a more attractive site on which to play. Someone else cites how the games on Pacific Poker became more difficult as soon as they started making it easier to enter your data from there into PT. (The fact that Bodog limits folks to three tables at a time may also have something to do with the overall quality of player one tends to encounter.)
An interesting theory, I thought. Whaddya think . . . anything to it? Or just more applesauce?
Labels: *on the street