Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Have I Found My Game?

As I suggested in today's earlier entry, I thought I might take a stab at the 2/5 game, just to see what it was like.

So at about 11 pm, I moved up in stakes for the first time. I expected to be nervous and tentative, but I found that the elevated stakes actually calmed and focused me. I was pleasantly relaxed, and employed a much more chatty and outgoing table persona than I usual project. For example, there was about a half-an-hour's speculation at the table about my name, with me providing clues and seeing if anyone could guess it. None of the men were successful, but a female floor person (who hadn't seen my player's card) got it in 30 seconds flat.

Unlike the 1/2 table, which ~ more often than not ~ is all about playing your cards and your position and hoping for the best (while expecting massive variance because of the random donkey factor), at 2/5 I was actually able to make reads, make plays, and make money.

There's a lot of ribbing on the forums at 2+2 about people "moving up to where they respect your raises." Of course you want people calling you when you make raises with the best hand. But people played a much better post-flop game at 2/5... and the pre-flop bet sizes were more appropriately proportional to the blinds (3x or 4x rather than 5x or 6x or even more). We did see a couple of monsterpotten, but also the pot sizes mostly didn't get ridiculously bloated.

The signal improvement I made in my game was in folding. I am most proud of a couple hands where I got away from huge hole cards hitting the flop because I knew I was either beaten or about to be beaten. I made two really spectacular laydowns that gave me genuine hope for my game. The money I didn't lose was even more gratifying to me than the money I made.

Now maybe I was just (finally) running better than I usual do. Or maybe the increased stakes had me paying closer attention to the game. Or maybe the full night's sleep was a help. Maybe I just miraculously ran into the softest 2/5 table in AC. It could have been all or none of the above. I may have a horrible experience at 2/5 next time, who knows?

Long story short, I profited. And I really enjoyed the experience. I'll definitely be wading in the big kids' pool more often.

Three people asked me if I was a pro today. (Three!) That's not good. I'll admit I got a little thrill from the question, but that's definitely not something I want people thinking about about when they play with me. I have GOT to resist the temptation to talk about hands after they're over and the desire to share my observations about the table with someone on the spot. It's a leak and I need to plug it, fast.

Labels: ,


Blogger Dave said...

This reads like a turning point. Your game and persona is more suited to a more 'measured' game.


9/21/08 7:19 AM  
Blogger bastinptc said...

Damn straight you need to plug that leak! Chat about anything else but! The child inside should not know how to play poker yet, as they are still reading Goosebumps books.

9/21/08 3:19 PM  
Blogger Andrew Ironwood said...

If I had but a dime fer everytime I bit my (virtual) lip when an online opponent complained "You called me to the river with that?" to keep meself from typing back "You priced me in, you @#$% donk!"...

9/22/08 12:12 AM  
Blogger WSOP Floor Supe said...

You MUST MUST stop that leak NOW! The cardinal rule for a good player looking to take the fishes or other decent players $$$$ is:

Never ever give lessons at the table.

Hand discussion, speculation, observations must always be kept close to the vest unless of course you see a leak that you can take advantage of.

Good luck with the rest of the year. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

2/10/09 11:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home