Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Moving Day

This will be the last post I’ll be writing here at WordPress.com, all future blog posts will be at the new site location :

http://www.luckystraights.com/

Thanks for stopping by xxx

February 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Recently, Poker

Firstly, I just want to apologize for not posting very frequently recently. Don’t really know why I haven’t, the blog is usually my first port of call, probably down to the amount of heads-up games I’ve been playing recently. There usually isn’t much to write about with them.

Anyways, recently in poker, I have been doing okay, and feeling good about my play, and perhaps more importantly I’ve started to have some fun, especially on Full Tilt. I completed my first sit ‘n go’s on Full Tilt just before the weekend, busting out early in the first, and then finishing 4th out of 18 immediately after. I didn’t mind failing to cash in the first one, I just needed to adjust to the new structure, but I was terribly disappointed about my premature bust-out in 4th. I had more chips then anyone else, and lost it all within around 4 hands.

We did get in a 4 handed home tournament after that though for some loose change, and we even implemented some re-buy’s, though after 3 each it was getting out of hand lol. I made 2nd, with a huge mountain to climb and pushed all-in with middle pair, chip leader woke up with a flopped two pair to send me out and take the win, but I had fun.

Since then, I’ve been focussed back on the heads-up matches, trying to earn points for my bonus on Poker Stars as fast as possible, whilst still earning a small profit, and I’m also using them on Full Tilt to try and build a modest bankroll from the $15 a friend transfered for me. Since doing them for so long, I feel like I’ve lost a bit of patience with the regular sit ‘n go’s at the moment, but as long as I’m doing well in the heads-up games, I’m not too worried about it.

Today, I’ve been stuck on Full Tilt, with 4 heads-up matches completed so far, 3 of which where against the same opponent, whilst I wait for Poker Stars to restart there servers so I can get some games done there, and earn some points for my bonus.

February 12, 2008 Posted by | Home Poker, Sit-N-Go's 2, Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving up in limits!

I’ve been pondering when to make this move after earn my bonus, and had previously settled on building my bankroll up a little more in the 1c/2c cash games, before moving up in limits, but after only two regular games on Poker Stars, since I stopped playing them awhile back, I’ve realized just what a bunch of total dick heads play the $1 games and I’m now moving up to the $5 games as soon as I earn my bonus.

It would be nice for me to have earned the move up via profits from cashes and wins, but I’m past caring, my bonus will pad out my bankroll enough that I can start to play the $5 games, and I’ve put up with far too much shit, so I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore, I’m moving up.

There is always a tipping point in these decisions, and mine is no different, it is having a jerk call your pre-flop raise with Q2, then not drop it when he hits, who then goes all-in when he spikes two pair on the river to bust you. Yeah I know, only TPTK, I could have gotten away from this, it felt like the idiot made two pair, etc… but none of that changes my decision or my views on the total pricks that frequent games.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2061699

February 7, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Poker Review

I haven’t been playing much at all recently for two reasons. Firstly my eyes are shot to shit, so even if I do sit in a quick heads-up game, I’m often too distracted to play well, and I’m sick of loosing money just to pick up points for my bonus. I have played a few recently though, picking up 6 wins in a row from the heads-up sit ‘n go’s, before loosing two games earlier today.

I’ve been on a bit of a high today though, most importantly I’ve picked up a new concoction of medication, which I’m hoping will have my eyes back to normal in a week or two and I’ve also been helping a good friend with his own Sit ‘n Go play on Full Tilt, which included me taking over his $10, 18 player match before the bubble when he had to take an urgent phone call and making 2nd for a nice $44 profit!

I also had a fun time, giving the loose aggressive style a try on two friends in a 3 way home tournament, busted one within 4 hands, and after he re-bought I busted both of them within two more hands, I couldn’t ask for more could I really. 🙂

So, haven’t played much, but I have been watching and reading quite a lot of poker recently, and with my eyes hopefully on the mend I am very excited about getting back to playing some regular Sit ‘n Go’s. I’ve asked my friend to sit alongside me when I start them up again, as a boost to my confidence, as I haven’t played a regular game for ages, and even when I was my confidence hasn’t been great, so hopefully his support and encouragement, will see me rapidly build my bankroll. I seem to be doing just fine mentoring him on Full Tilt, so I should be able to do the same for myself on Poker Stars.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Equity Not EV

I have recently received a copy of Collin Moshman’s Sit ‘n Go Strategy and before finishing the first chapter, I have already improved my Sit ‘n Go play in an area where I have been struggling up until now.

This is in the realization that in the Sit ‘n Go’s, EV (cEV) or chip Expected Value, does not equal equity, your $ value for each play or decision. The clearest example I can give of this is early in a Sit ‘n Go, where I hold AK and I’m tempted to get all of my money in against a one or two opponents.

From a cEV point of view, I’m always happy to get all of my money in pre-flop with AK, unless I’m reasonably confident my opponent is holding the aces or kings. However, realizing that in such a situation my equity actually goes down, because I am likely in a race for all of my chips, with no real increase in equity even if I win, so early in the tournament, I have begun to question my approach to these situations.

Its not only the new text that has brought this into focus however, its a change of venue. I have begun to watch a friend play the $2 Sit ‘n Go’s on Full Tilt Poker, and the general standard of his competition, seems far ahead of what I am used to facing in the $1 Sit ‘n Go’s on Poker Stars. Not to the extent of making them any harder, but certainly to the extent that his opponents are more predictable. For instance in the AK example above, in my regular Sit ‘n Go’s, often I will be re-raised by AQ, or even AJ and on occassions I have been raised all-in by opponents holding pocket 3’s, in the $2 Full Tilt games however, a re-raise is ussually QQ – AA.

I’m still avoding regular sessions at the moment, because of problems with my eyes, only playing the occassional heads-up match to maintain my bonus, but as soon as I am able, I plan to work on building a bankroll from these $2 Sit ‘n Go’s on Full Tilt, and to use them, aided by the Moshman text to improve my tournament and Sit ‘n Go play.

February 5, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Areas of Improvement

Thought I’ll write a post about a few areas where I need to improve. It will serve as a reminder for me, and may stir you into thinking about where you can improve too.

The Big Post Mistake

In the online sit-n-gos’, even the heads-up ones I have been focusing on lately, and especially in home games with my friends, I suffer from something I would call the big pot mistake. This is where, I pick up lots of small pots, and manage to navigate out of trouble easily, until I’m faced with one big decision often involving a big pot, and I invariably screw it up. Its utterly pointless being skilled enough to pick up twenty or so small pots early on, if I then give away 3/4 of my stack to my opponent from making a stupid play or an horrendous call.

The Frustrated Push

The next mistake is often connected with the above, I loose a huge pot, either by making a bad decision or being sucked out on, both live and online, and I have a tendency to try and steel a pot away from my opponent by pushing my chips in on a draw, sometimes even with just an inside straight draw on the turn. Instead I should just concentrate, take my time and play my hand correctly, instead of making a risky move for the rest of my chips, where if I was patient I would have enough chips and time to still do considerable damage.

Passivity

My next mistake, evolves around my style of play in the online sit-n-go’s. I play to survive foremost and then for the win, this is my biggest strength but it is also my biggest weakness. I usually end up being far too passive around 4 or 5 handed, when my stack is around the average. These are the times where I should be pushing the action to try and build my stack to put me in a good position to make the money and to win.

I’ve often argued that I can’t raise with such and such here, because my opponents will always call me down, and that is often the case, but rather then accepting this chicken shit generalization, I should be assessing my table and my opponents, and making the correct moves to build my stack regardless of what my cards are. This is pretty basic stuff, and I’ll have to adapt again at higher buy-in’s or among friends who now this type of strategy, but down with the fish this is what works, so I should be doing it!

The Biggest Mistake of Them All!

Playing  when I am not able to, I do this all the time, and its a large part of why I’m not making money at poker. Besides a short period a couple of weeks a go, I’ve been in pain every day since before Christmas, yet I still keep playing. Its got to the point where I can’t sit still again, yet me being stupid, I keep sitting in games, as I have just done, and invariably I end up loosing.

There’s other distractions too of course, such as hunger, tiredness,  boredom, etc and I usually ignore all of these too, but seldom do I overcome them and do well. Part of this is me trying to get my bonus cleared, and part of it is me just wanting to play, either way i shouldn’t play when I’m not able to concentrate fully on the game at hand.

That’s all for now…

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Home Poker, Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Grind

I’ve come up with a rough outline of a schedule I’ll like to base my play around, for when I clear my bonus. I’ve never had a schedule for my play before, so I’ll appreciate it if anyone could give me some feedback on it please?

I’ve started the day off with the heads-up matches, as they are relatively simple at these levels, and are a quick way to get me settled back into the game. I’ll then sit in a regular tournament, either 9 or 18 handed, to ease me into the longer sessions coming up, I’ll follow this with a 30 minute break.

I will then sit in my first NL cash game sessions, multi-tabling between 2 and 4 1c/2c tables, and I’ll finish the session when I have completed 200 hands, unless a specific situation dictates I should stay longer.

After a break I will then sit in a single 1c/2c table, for another 200 hands, and after another short break I will follow this up with one more. To finish the day I will throw in another 9 or 18 person sit-n-go, or occasionally do a freeroll or larger tournament instead.

I have no ideas on times, as I can find myself starting the day at any time and ending it at any time, but I do want to put some structure into my daily poker play to ensure I’m playing enough to try and earn some money and advance my play. I don’t have any funds on another account yet, so all of the games will be played on Poker Stars.

Here’s the outline :

# $2 Heads-Up sit-n-go
>>> if lost, or if on tilt, take a quick 5 minute break

# $2 Heads-Up sit-n-go
>>> 10 minute break

# 9 or 18 handed, $1 sit-n-go
>>> 30 minute break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 1, multi-tabling 2 – 4 tables, up to 200 hands per table
>>> break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 2, up to 200 hands, single table
>>> break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 3, up to 200 hands, single table
>>> break

# 9 or 18 handed, $1 sit-n-go
>>> or a scheduled tournament or freeroll

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Complacent…

After a full day of doing nothing but $2 Heads-Up sit-n-go’s I’ve found I have become a bit complacent with them, especially when I set myself a fixed target of completing so many to achieve a frequent player point target, as I did today.

In future I’m going to space these out, rather then doing one after another, maybe one during a break between cash game sessions or mix them up with some regular sit-n-go play. At the moment though, my eye is starting to bug me again, so I’m choosing to do these solely until it stops distracting me, as I don’t have the patience to sit in a full length game with it as it is.

The day’s left me at a small deficit, after only cashing in 4 out of 9 of these heads-up matches, which is less then I hoped for, and at least two I probably gave away in frustration. I did however reach my frequent player point target for the day. I now have only 150 more to earn to complete my bonus.

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my poker recently, not so much how I play, though I’ve thought of that as well, but more what I play, what I seem to be good at and how to advance. Despite my frequent periods of self-doubt and low self-confidence, I know I’ve got some talents at poker, sometimes I just feel great about how I play, but (theres always a but lol), I also feel I have some gapping holes in my overall abilities One could easily be that I often have to fight the pressure, where I shouldn’t really be pressured at all, another one could be that I can sometimes play too passively, where I should be picking up pots with aggression.

Most though, evolve around my lack of fundamental concepts, such as math and probability based plays, as well as EV and expectation. These are the areas that I really want to work, as above anything else they are largely to have the biggest impact on my success, especially at the micro and low stakes levels, where my read based plays are reduced in value, and often worthless.

Now that I’ve out lined the problem, its time to outline the solution. Its Sklanksy. I’ve got a copy of his NL Hold ’em Theory and Practice book, co authored by Ed Miller, which I intend to slowly work through day by day until I have these fundamentals bolted down. I’m also looking to pick up a copy of Sklansky’s Theory of Poker as soon as I can afford it.

As for the games, today I have been playing $2 heads-up sit-n-go’s exclusively, because they are very quick, usually lasting under ten minutes each, and a few of these have put me out of my comfort zone, which is good experience for me, and being on the “cash bubble” so many times, may actually help me get around my sometimes passive play on the bubble in the regular sit-n-go’s.

My main aim at the moment is to earn my deposit bonus on Poker Stars as quickly as I can, so I commit fully to the 1c/2c cash games for awhile without having to worry about picking up frequent player points for my bonus.

February 1, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment