Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Running In Place

Exercise: The Poor Man's Plastic SurgeryStill running, everyone. (Thanks a bunch for all them good vibes on my post announcing such last week.) Still sticking with two miles a day, pursuing that same circle from my house to that corner and back. Finally got a decent pair of running shoes, so as to save my knees and ankles.

Still playing small stakes limit hold’em, too. And having fun.

Mentioned last week I’d moved from pot-limit Omaha back over to LHE where I had gotten off to a decent start during the first couple of weeks of the new year. Have held steady over the last seven days or so, just picking up a couple more berries while putting in a goodly number of hands. My win rate has fallen a bit as a result, but I’m still enjoying the relative tranquility of LHE.

Am also reading up, again, on LHE. In addition to revisiting certain faves like Small Stakes Hold’em by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth and Advanced Limit Hold’em Strategy by Barry Tanenbaum, I’ve also spent some time lately rooting around over in the limit forums on Two Plus Two to see what I could find.

I’ve been playing mostly six-handed LHE, and so was keen to read more about short-handed play. Someone just a day or two ago posed a question on 2+2 about preflop hand selection in the 6-max. games, and a response pointed to another thread that linked back to a collection of older SSHE threads (from ’04 and ’05). Some great stuff in there comparing short-handed to full ring, blind play, how to interpret various PokerTracker stats, and more.

Of course, as was pretty much always the case over at the PLO tables, the bulk of my profits seem to come sliding my way from the stacks of the lousy players (of which there are enough, to be sure). Nothing new there, I know -- such is the case in just about any poker game.

My sense in PLO was frequently that the especially bad player usually had very little chance of lucking into a winning session. It would happen, of course, but the odds were usually stacked against such a player. The post-flop nature of the game meant better players generally knew how to steer clear of marginal situations before they became costly, while the less tutored folks pushing their A-A-x-x or K-K-x-x or not-so-hot draws generally couldn’t avoid getting crushed.

I remember somewhere along the way having that “revelation” (or, more modestly, “vague insight”) that a bad PLO player had much less hope of getting lucky -- and getting paid off for getting lucky -- than did a bad LHE player, mainly because the bad LHE player’s losses came in smaller increments and thus didn’t knock him or her out of action as rapidly. And then he’d nail that friggin’ five-outer against you, win eight-and-a-half big bets, and get to lose ’em all over again.

I suppose that observation is holding up as I continue with LHE, although I probably haven’t played enough hands this month to be able to generalize much about anything, really.

Speaking of bad players, one factor PLO has in common with LHE is the way both games occasionally attract the no-limit hold’em player who doesn’t seem to be able to adjust to the different game. Such a player distinguishes him or herself in PLO by overvaluing those big pairs or failing to appreciate that one usually cannot drive others out preflop. In LHE, these players again sometimes misapply aggression, or fail to notice that river bluffs tend not to work, or demonstrate in other ways their no-limit prejudices.

Anyhow, like I say, still enjoying myself and that’s the most important bottom line, I think. Am starting to get the urge to throw in the occasional session of PLO, but might just ride out the month without doing so if only to establish some sort of baseline for what I can do LHE-wise.

Meanwhile, two miles seems just about right for me, running-wise. Did three miles that one time, but am realizing I haven’t any strong ambitions to do that again. Not soon, anyhow. My conservative tendencies manifest themselves once again.

Thus concludes this little update from “on the street.”

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Anonymous Alex said...

I've always played limit on Stars but have started playing more this month for whatever reason and have had good success overall. Mainly play 2-4 and I've been a little surprised at the amount of raise and take it that goes on. You still get a fair number of maniacs who will play anything to the river which takes some adjustment but an overall tight-aggressive strategy generally gives good results. I'll often fold a semi-big Ace pre-flop if there is a raise in front. My biggest leak, and I'm probably not alone, is calling down when you 'know' you are beat because its only 1 more bet. Often times my opponent is giving me all the information needed to make the correct decision, but I still fail to make that lay down. Need to remind myself to take an extra 5 seconds to think about it before hitting the call button.

1/21/2009 12:31 PM  

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