John Vorhaus has a great little primer on how to play the shorhanded tables. I don’t completely agree with everything he recommends, but I’ve already been doing the majority of it and it really does work.
One of the greatest things about playing online poker is that there are plenty of ATMs to go around. Every once in awhile they’ll take your money, but if you keep swiping your cards they’ll give you money.
I played a few hours on UB again today and added another 50 BB to the bankroll. I’m loving the $2/4 6-max tables! The aggresive strategy that I’ve been reading about and studying is paying off big time. If I get any type of hand pre-flop, I’m raising and continuing that aggression through the hand. I’ve never took down so many pots on the flop and turn. Once I showdown some big hands, I’m getting respect (for the most part) at the tables. If I’m heads up in a hand and flop middle pair, I come out firing. The same if I pick up a good draw. With only one other person in the pot, every hand has a lot more value. Shorthanded play is exciting if you know how to play it.
I’m still making mistakes more than I’d like to, but it’s amazing how far my game has come in the last few days. At the beginning of the week I was making horrible calls and bluffs at record speed, but now I’m picking my spots and scoring big wins to go along with the steals. One of the things I still need to work on is my re-raise bluffing. I’m doing it more than I should be. I’m not doing it often, but when I do, it’s not working.
Note to self: Stop re-raise bluffing. If you’ve shown aggression pre-flop/flop and a decent player comes over the top, there is a very good chance I’m beat.
What irks me about these past couple of days is I now realize how many bets I had been giving away for two months. Why didn’t I do something sooner? There’s a lesson for you. If you’re losing for a long period of time, take a step back. Variance can be a bitch for long streaks, but there might be a good chance that your play has taken a dive off the deep end. If only I had plugged the holes in my game a month or so ago, I’d be well on the way to my original goal. At least I’m well on my way to reaching the new goal I had set two weeks ago. Who knows though…if I can keep it going like the past 3 days, I might even reach the original. Unlikely, but not impossible.
This morning I woke up and jumped out of bed. I ran over to check the calendar on the wall. Sure enough, today is January 30th. I forgot to call my sister on her 23rd birthday! FUCK! It was still before 10 a.m. and I knew she wouldn’t be awake yet because she had told me about plans to go to the bar. I finally called her at around 12:30 and of course she gave me the shit. Good thing she was just giving me a hard time and said it was no big deal. Phew! I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t care about birthdays anymore. We get older every day of the year, not just one.
So in Heather’s honor, I’m baking brownies right now. When we used to live together, she used to bake and cook for me, so I figured I’d celebrate her birthday on my own. Or maybe that’s just an excuse so that I don’t feel all weird about baking. Either way…they are going to be good!
Help me give a big warm welcome back to my poker game. I had lost it for almost two months and yesterday I finally found it. I’m back in the ring!
I’ve written before that it’s been a struggle over the past two months. If it wasn’t for deposit bonuses, I would have been done quite a bit. When I last posted about my game, I was in the process of taking some time off. It was well worth it. I didn’t play online at all for a period of 10 days and was able to some reading and think about my game. TOP and ITH are both great books if you haven’t read them.
Party Poker was again offering a great redeposit bonus and it came just in time for my return to the ring. I was disappointed though to actually lose money while working off the required 1400 raked hands for my maximum bonus. Not only did I lose money, but I even ended up behind after figuring in the bonus! So much for taking time off to refine my game and get back to winning!
I was making the same mistakes that had been costing me dearly for the previous two months. I knew what I was doing wrong and just couldn’t stop. As soon as I’d click the button to bet or call, I knew I had made the wrong choice. Always calling check-raisers on the turn is not a profitable situation to be in at the low limits that I play (usually $2/4). You can pick off a bluff once in awhile, but not too many people have the balls to pull a check-raise bluff at these levels. I was calling and then calling another bet on the river. That’s 2 BB each and every time in a losing situation. Not good for the bankroll!
Another mistake I had been making was bluffing way too much. I’d say that of my bluffs and semi-bluffs, I was doing it about 90-95% too much! You can’t win money making this many mistakes and I surely wan’t winning. Bluffs simply are not very profitable at the low limits. There are too many fish that will call you down with bottom or middle pair that it doesn’t pay to bluff them. Simply let them pay you off when you do have a hand. It’s really not that difficult.
While clearing the bonus I think I was down about $350 (or only $150 if you incorporate the bonus I received). Something had to change. I thought about completely moving back down to $1/2 until I could fix my game. I thought about withdrawing $1000 from my bankroll to make sure I wouldn’t blow it. I thought about starting fresh from the lowest limit that Party Poker offered.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t been on a regular blogging schedule here on MtDewVirus. I didn’t feel all that great a few days this week and ended up taking 1.5 sick days. That doesn’t really have anything to do with my lack of blogging though. I’m not quite sure what it is. I keep asking my self what is and isn’t “blogworthy.”
I also think I’ve been going through a weird time in my life. To use a poker term…I feel “stuck” in more than one way. What exactly does that mean? Well, I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere right now. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get out of here. I haven’t had the motivation to do much of anything lately. I’m just going through the motions of life at times. I ask myself what I want and I don’t have a concrete answer. I do know that I want something different than this, whatever this is. You’re probably as confused as I am now.
In other news, I’ve had some exciting things going on over at Poker Chip Tricks and the traffic has sky-rocketed since Christmas. I recently took 10 whole days off from poker. I didn’t play online at all during that time. I was struggling with my game and needed a break and to do some reading. I read two books and I’m glad to say that I found my game again.
I also haven’t been playing Xbox. I jumped on the other day and played Halo 2 for the first time in probably two weeks or more. I talked to my brother the other day and he was yelling at me, asking when I was going to play again. Let me tell you, 2 weeks away from playing Halo 2 online and I’m rusty! I was to the point where I was dominating other players at my skill level and when I played the other day I was struggling to stay in the middle of the pack.
That’s all for now…
A little over a month ago, Ammon from ITH offered me a free copy of Matthew Hilger’s book Internet Texas Hold’em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro in exchange for writing a review on my site. Since I always review the books I read and had wanted the book, I quickly took him up on his offer.
At the time, I had just started reading Theory of Poker (my review), so I didn’t start on ITH until last week when I was taking a break from the poker tables. I finished ITH earlier this week. It was really a quick read, even though its length is comparable to most poker books. I was able to read it so fast because I’m already familiar with most of the concepts discussed from reading TOP and Small Stakes Hold’em. That’s not to say that the book is all repeat information though.
ITH is a great book and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to start playing poker online. Yes, I’d even recommend it before SSH in this case. What sets ITH apart is that the book concentrates on the differences between online and live play. Hilger gives you solid advice on how to beat the online game.
The book is broken down into chapters and the order was great. The jump from one topic to the next flows smoothly and would allow a beginner to easily follow along. Perhaps the best part of the book is the examples and how they are used to supplement the text. At the end of each chapter there are 15-20 real examples taken from online hand histories. The situation is laid out in plain English and then a question is proposed. Should you call? Is raising a better play? Right after each question, Hilger lays out what he believes is the correct play for each situation. Another thing that sets the examples apart from the other books I’ve read is that the author doesn’t use large card images to show you the hand and situation. He simple explains it in text form. This helps to cut down on a lot of space and flipping back and forth between pages.
ITH is not only a great book for the beginning poker player, but it can be a great resource for anyone’s online game. I’ve been struggling with my game over the past two months and the book helped to reinforce some of the concepts and strategies that I had forgot. There are other books I like better, but since the book does so well at what it’s meant for I have to give it an A.
I’ve been wanting an XM Radio for some time now and after seeing this little gadget at the car show, I decided to pick one up today from Best Buy. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play around with it, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a great unit. The highlight for me is the fact that it’s so portable and comes with everything I need to use it at home, on the road, or anywhere else.
I received a call from my buddy Jeff on Friday night asking if I’d be interested in a couple of Pistons tickets for Saturday night’s game. Jeff’s friend is a season ticket holder and couldn’t get rid of his seats for the game against the Bulls. I had plans to head down to Detroit on Sunday morning for the North American International Auto Show with Mo anyways, so we bought the tickets. I called my friend Lindsay and lined up a place to crash for the night.
Tiger Woods is back! He may not be in the form he once was, but his game is coming around quite nicely. Everyone remembers him for his bombing drives, but the flat blade is the club that usually wins tournaments as Tiger proved this past weekend.