Monday, 25 February 2008

Changing my game and not breaking even

I think I've finally stopped my 40k hand breakeven/downswing streak (about 35k was breakeven, and the last 5k was a cliffedge). I dropped back down to 10nl for a bit to regain some confidence and work on changing some parts of my game that I was not happy with.

I've been playing a bit of everything lately, and while I wouldn't recommend that everyone do this - you should generally pick a game you like and stick to it - I think it's helped me find holes in my game in other games that I play. I've pretty much played everything from 2nl-25nl full ring, 2nl-10nl 6max and a bit of 6max 5nl Omaha H/L, which I have basically never played before.

The main two things I've done is to really work on my agression and open up my game in late position. I was finding myself in a lot of tough spots during my breakeven stretch and I think it was because I was not agressive enough. Playing agressively - 3betting, cbetting, reraising flops, etc - make hands really easy to play, especially against the plethora of weak-tight players at the micros.

I also find my new style also helps me put players in one of 2 groups:

1. The weak-tight player that is easy to push off hands and is not stacking off without 2pair or better most of the time, so bet until they give you a reason to stop betting. Agression factor of 1 and he's betting... he's got at least top pair and I get away cheap.

2. The wannabe LAG who stacks off with most top pairs and some second pairs and a lot of draws and bluffs a lot. Sit back and value bet them to death/let them hang themselves. Playing LAG requires excellent hand reading skills, and the players at this level do not have them.

Monday, 11 February 2008

US Presidential Race

This being a poker blog and all, I won't usually venture outside the realm of the game, but I think this is important:

Being a Canadian, I find the way American's choose their president to be somewhat better than our way of choosing a prime minister. And whomever American's pick for their president actually has an effect on my life due to our countries being linked so closely economically and politically. I like the fact that American's get to vote directly for whom they want to have as president, but I am a little troubled by the role that the media plays in all of this. I watch and read a lot of mainstream news and I took a lot of socio-political/history classes when I was working towards my degree.

From the start of this race for party nominations, the media has consistently told their audience who the "top tier" candidates are and many out there have accepted these as the only viable candidates. In effect, the media is choosing who you get to choose as your president.

I am not going to hide who I feel is the best, and I feel only real choice in this race; unfortunately I cannot vote. I have been watching and reading about Ron Paul's campaign and platform and it is the only one that makes sense to me.

That being said, the media and the Republican party seem to be absolutely terrified of having Ron Paul as president. The media has basically censored him out when they are not asking him irrelevant questions. I have read articles and watched news stories regarding the Republican nomination where he is not even mentioned and it is now being written as if it is a 2 man race.

Take for instance the first 2 debates. Online polls from the host news sites showed that he won both debates. Then there was the FOX debate which he was excluded from even though his support was higher than Guiliani, who was in the debate.

And the sealer for me that the Republican party is actively working to make sure he is not the nominee among other things was Romney's withdrawl from the campaign being in 2nd place and still very viable according to the media, effectively squashing the chances for a brokered convention in which Paul might actually have a shot. Who does that? This speaks volumes about the morality and integrity of the party as a whole. As Ron Paul said, "The party has lost its way."

Because of this media blackout and work being done to censor Paul, many are still out there saying Ron Who? without even getting a chance to hear what his platform is nevermind think about voting for him in a primary.

IMO he is the only candidate that would fit the role of a president that could get American policy, foreign and domestic, back on track as he is the only one who has shown by his voting record and his platform that he will actually uphold the oath of office, that being to defend the Constitution.

I encourage everyone who is still asking Ron Who? to check out his campaign site and find out what his platform is

Friday, 8 February 2008

Running aweful <-- Understatement

I haven't posted in a while. I've been having a pretty sick breakeven stretch of 45k hands, which has turned into a downswing in the last 5k. I don't know what's going on. Going over my hand histories, in pots that are 40BB+ I am making the correct decision 65% of the time, yet I am just running horribly awefully bad.

My sessions pretty much are me taking down some pots on the flop with top pair type hands and I slowly build up a nice stack of about 150BB. Then I get involved in a big pot where I'm usually around a 75% favorite with a set or an overpair vs. a draw or overpair and BAM I'm down to 50BB. Sets are only holding out just under 60% of the time and my overpairs are getting cracked all over the place. I feel like they can see the rest of the community cards before they're out, lol.

Checked out my stats from January and compared them to the last 2.5 weeks that this has been going on and I can't find the difference. The only thing is my agression has gone up from 2.0 to 2.5 and that's about it, which is actually a good thing. I reread Theory of Poker at the start of this breakeven stretch and maybe I'm trying stuff that was in the book that is not working out.

I think I just need to take a break. I cashed out so I won't play anymore until I feel a little more confident again. On the bright side I ran my KK into AA 2 times and lost with KK to JJ today - all in preflop on all 3 - within a span of 150 hands and I did not tilt.