Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

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

Made 3rd Place on 4% of My Dealt Hands

Just finished another pleasant Sit-N-Go on Poker Stars. I only made 3rd place, but achieved that by only playing 4% of my dealt hands, and that was including the blinds, it was a good experience for me, as lately I’ve probably been playing too many vulnerable hands as the blinds increase, because I’m worried that I need to take a pot. Goes to show that with loose aggressive players knocking each other out, you can afford to wait for a real hand, even when the blinds are stepping up and then punish them.

Here’s the key hands :

UTG, I found AKs and raised to 6xBB pre-flop, more then I would usually, because the table had show itself to call down with a wide range of hands, and I wanted to avoid any suited junk calling to hit two pair, etc. Its folded around to a loose player, who I had seen call a 5xBB raise with 45s, and then the short stack on the button, re-raises all-in for just a little more. We both call.

On the flop, I couldn’t risk having the loose player hang around to spike a pair, so I moved all-in, if he had the Q, I could still get lucky and win, the loose player folds, and its a race between me and the button who shows JJ.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996862

Having only played the one hand so far, I opened with a raise with AJs, hoping the player in the BB, who seemed to play with his ego, rather then his cards would give it up. My hand was strong enough for him to call, but I didn’t want to face a re-raise from him.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996900

The action was now 3 handed, and I found 99 in the small blind. I needed to raise, and a limp, re-raise was pointless because it would only invite a call from the BB, a standard raise would also attract company, so I moved all-in.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996910

This was my final hand, where I held J9 and with an M of less them 4 I moved all-in. I could have folded here, but knew as soon as my stack drops bellow $1k, this guy will call me with just about anything if I push, so felt it was now or never and moved all-in. I felt good about the hand, being only a 6:5 dog, but missed my outs this time and finished in 3rd place.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996845

Surprisingly, besides the occasional free flop from the BB, those where the only hands I played the entire match.

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment