Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nothing Exciting to Report

I apologize for the lack of updates recently but I haven’t had a lot of free time and there hasn’t been anything real interesting that was worth writing about. In fact, if some of my friends didn’t complain so much I probably wouldn’t be posting this now. So, John and Tim, this post is dedicated to you, and if it sucks because I don’t have much to say, it’s your fault.

I’m still running insanely well in $1/2 ring games. Its funny. I had been wanting to move up to that level for a while, but I was not doing well at the lower level so I couldn’t justify a move. The only reason I tried moving up is because I only had about $92 left in my PokerRoom account, and I was playing horrible in tournaments there, so I decided I would give $1/2 a shot. I fully expected to play like crap and lose half my stack before going on complete tilt and blowing the rest, thus wiping out my PokerRoom bankroll, and leaving me with one less site to worry about.

It’s less than a month later and I have now have $400 in that account. I did finally have a losing session on Sunday, but it was only a few bucks and I was still way up for the weekend. So, what’s the difference between playing $1/2 and $0.50/1, other than the fact that I probably don’t have a big enough sample size to draw any real conclusions? I don’t know. Let’s see what PokerTracker has to say.

My V$IP for $1/2 is 23.46 compared with 24.83 at $0.50/$1, so I’m playing a few less hands. I wish I had an easy way to tell which hands in particular, if any I am laying off of, but I’m not really sure. I think I’m laying off baby and medium aces more and also medium connectors, but I’m haven’t verified that. It could just be that my cards aren’t as good so I’ve played fewer hands.

I’m playing significantly less out of the small blind. 52% vs 59%. I think this was one of my biggest leaks. I would limp with just about anything out of the small blind, and more often than not I was just throwing away another bet. I’m still probably playing a little more often than I should, but I am avoiding complete garbage hands.

My “Won $ when saw the flop percent” is at 42.60 compared with 29 at the lower level. I have to admit, I don’t really know where I should reasonably expect this number to be, but an 11% difference is pretty significant. I think 40% is pretty good, but maybe not. There are generally less players in each hand at the higher level, and they don’t tend to chase as much, which means I’m not taking as many bad beats, which means I’m winning more often than at the lower level. Or my hand selection has just been better. Or both.

“Went to show down percent” and “Won $ at showdown percent” are 31% and 74% at $1/$2 vs 29% and 49% at $0.50/$1. That’s pretty significant. If I’m winning ¾ times that I’m making it to the showdown then I have to think I’m doing a pretty good job of judging my hand vs my opponents. Or I’m just hitting my hand more often than I should. Or my opponents are just dumber and they are chasing me to the river with their bottom pair/no kicker.

And the most important stat: +20BB/100 hands at $1/2 vs -1.8BB/100 hands at $0.50/$1.
You see? Winning is much more profitable than losing. That must be what I was doing wrong before.

As far as plays that I have been making, one of things that I am aware that I have been doing differently is playing suited aces more often. I don’t know if this is a +EV move in the long run, but it’s been working pretty well for me. If I can limp with a suited ace, more often than not I will, and if I flop two more cards to my flush then I’ll stick around for a bet on the turn, and maybe the river. If not I can get out cheap. It’s been paying off lately.

Another thing I’ve been able to do is limit the amount of chips I lose when I don’t win a hand. I think one of my problems before is that I would keep throwing chips at losing situations and usually end up just making matters worse. Looking back over my results for the last month I generally only have one or two hands per session where I lost more than 2 BB in the hand. I’ll have a number of hands where I lose one bet and get out on the flop but usually if I put in more than one or two bets, I have been doing it with the better hand, and winning.


In unrelated notes, I’ve been listening to Phil Gordon’s podcasts from the WSOP. They are pretty entertaining, and make it easy to slack at work without being obvious about it. For all anyone else knows, I’m just listening to music.


Last I saw Greg "Fossilman" Raymer was in the chip lead of the 2005 WSOP Main Event. Are you kidding me? I never would have expected that. From what I recall of last year’s world series Raymer seemed to get involved in way too many coin flip situations, and end up on the lucky side of the results. I expected that style to result in him busting out relatively early this time around, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe that’s why he’s winning millions of dollars playing poker tournaments with thousand dollar entry fees, and I’m struggling to finish in the middle of the pack of $5 online tournaments.


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