Cooking with Gas

Monday, March 10, 2008 13:40 | Filled in poker

I actually had a really good day Sunday for the first time in a while.  I was down about $1,000 on the month going into Sunday and I’m now up about the same on Monday.  That makes Sunday about a $2,000 day, which is a very good day indeed.

I’ve been mixing it up a bit, playing some MTTs and some limit cash games and some NL cash games.  My lovely wife has been toiling away at the low buy-in WSOP sats, trying to win some W$ for me to use to win a seat in the Main Event or to buy in to one of the smaller events.   I was thinking about playing the $650 Main Event sat, but didn’t really want to invest that much.  I saw an $80 sat to the Million that was called the “Last Chance” or something similar.  It was a turbo, which was fine with me.  It paid more than a third of the field and featured people who apparently had not the slightest clue of sat strategy.  I won $215 T$ and Suited had collected more than $100 W$, so I used them to buy into the $650.  I had Victor Ramdin at my table, who was quite active throughout the early stages.  I lost a couple of key big pots in marginal situations where I was unwilling to go broke with dubious holdings.  An example was when I raised with JJ from middle position and got three callers.  The flop was Q75 with two hearts.  I made a continuation bet and the big blind check-raised pretty big.  I didn’t want to shove in that spot and I felt like a call really committed me to the pot, so I folded.  Maybe that is a routine play now that I think about it, but it felt really bad at the time.  I drifted down to about $2,500 from the 5k starting stack and wound up shoving from the SB near the second break with A9 over a Button raise.  He called with a weak King and flopped the King to knock me out.  The average stack was nearly 8k by that point, so even doubling to 5k would still have left me pretty short.

After that, I settled in to grind some limit ring games.  The biggest game running full ring was 10/20.  I started up a new table because the wait lists were deep and soon enough had three tables running.  I went on a massive heater at the new 10/20 table and was up $500 by the time it filled up.  The games were mostly full of faces I didn’t recognize, perhaps because I was playing lower than usual or perhaps because they were playing higher than usual.  One of the regulars at the higher tables starting talking up the 15/30 game that he was hoping to get started, so I agreed to help get that game going.  He wasn’t willing to play short, but eventually the game took off with some unknowns playing me three handed, and I smacked them around a bit as well.  I wound up cashing out ahead on all four tables by at least $500 per table and I think up about $1,000 at one of them.  I know that even after my loss at the tourney I was up 2k on the day.

After some ugly variance at short-handed tables last month, it was fun to crush a couple of them Sunday.  There really are very few feelings in poker as much fun as steamrolling a two or three person table.  It seemed like I was either able to bluff people out of pots when I had air and they would take their shots when I had strong hands. Even when they had monsters, I somehow happened to have the sort of hand where I checked behind on the turn and saved myself money.  At least three people sat in at the new 15/30 table with small buy-ins and spewed them over the table before standing up.

JaneG asked an interesting question in the comments to my last post.  Jane is one of my favorite posters at ITH who has done a lot of interesting work with the PokerTracker DB and writing custom SQL to analyze stats.  We’ve had some extremely helpful discussions in the past.  This time, she read about my focus on a particular LAG regular in the Stars game who I have been focusing on lately.  She wanted to know if aggressively targeting him and three betting him mercilessly was -EV in the long run.  I assume that her hypothesis is that while my approach may maximize my earn from him in the short term by taking the biggest edge from his mistakes right now, I am losing money in the long run because he will be forced to adjust and improve his game in the future.  The initial problem that I have with the hypothesis is two-fold:  1) I’m not certain that he will effectively improve his game in response to my aggressive counter-measures.  It may drive him to be even more aggressive in an attempt to prevent me from running him over.  If this is his approach, I believe that it will only increase my edge over him.  2)  If he does tighten up, he may have to retool his play post-flop and this could also increase my edge.  In general, I think you have to take any edge that you can find and let the future sort itself out.  I will call down a bit light in order to build an image that discourages people from bluffing me later in the session, but mostly I try to concentrate on what is the most +EV right now.

I ‘m not sure exactly where I stand on VPPs, but I know I’m ahead of pace.  I think I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 this month.

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2 Comments to Cooking with Gas

  1. janeg says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    lol…so you’ll basically have him coming or going :) In your last post I got the impression he was adjusting his play against you and might, in fact, improve his game because of it. But then, I was assuming he would work on trying to figure out what you were doing; which of course, he might not do. And you’re right, if he tries to adjust by being more aggressive you will probably win more and if he tries to adjust by tightening up, you will steal more :)

    You have no idea how much I wish I could understand the game the way you do. Go get’em Sharkie :)

  2. Nsidestrate says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I seem much smarter on my blog than I do at the tables, I assure you.

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