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Do I Suck?

What a question: Do I suck? I'm afraid that the answer might be yes. Last night, I was sucked out more than an ice cream cone with a cracked bottom. Playing limit is killing me. These players will stay in with anything. In one hand, the flop was AQ5, and I had AK. I rammed and jammed until some yahoo hit his trip 5 on the river. This was typical for me. But I have to admit, I gave some chips away too, chasing things that were not going to happen. I am currently at a bit shy of $25 on Noble, which is ridiculous. At this rate, I will have to reload my account just to play in the Limit Challenge against DNasty.

This all brings me back to my original question: Do I suck? I placed 4th out of 153 a couple of days ago; in Jan I placed 2nd out of 180 or so; in Feb AND March I placed 1st our of over 180. These stats alone would lead me to believe that I don't suck. But my play on the cash tables has been pretty inconsistent, leading to what I estimate to be more losses than wins. Then I see on TV or read in a blog that player x cleans up online, and I wonder, what the hell is wrong with me?! Why aren't I a winning player online?

I've been thinking about this and a couple of things might alleviate some of my concerns. (1) Maybe I'm just a good tournament player and I should stick to my strengths. MTTs have generally gone well for me in the past. Should I change focus? The problem here is that I usually don't have enough time to dedicate to these long tourneys. (2) I need to close up shop whenever I have a losing table image. Maybe this is why players keep calling me down. When I'm losing left and right, why not call me down. (3) I need to stop chasing, bluffing, and semi-bluffing at low limits. These players just won't fold. So, I am losing a lot of value to my chasing/semi-bluffs. My belief is that if you have a draw, you may as well bet because your opponent may call and you can hit your card OR the opponent might fold right away, in which case you don't need your draw. The second aspect is gone with these low limit players. At least in NL I can force them out. The same is true for a bluff. You can't bluff someone when there is a AKQ on the board if they are willing to call with J high (it just happened!). Things that make you go hmmmm. Finally, (4) NL might just be the way for me. I'm not saying that I always win in NL, but I do feel like I am more in control. I've made this argument before, so I don't want to get repetitive. But, bottom line, NL is more my game of choice.

That said, to become a well-rounded player, I'm sticking to the Limit Challenge and hoping that this dip is just a bit of variance. Hopefully, I've used up all of my bad luck just in time to show DNasty whose the boss...and it ain't Tony Danza.

Before I go, let me show a hand that I won. It still exhibits two things: the ridiculous calls by my opponents on Noble Poker and my ridiculous plays. After all, it is not just my opponents' fault:

I have the Hammer, 27o, in the SB heads up against a player "OneOf" who only has 1.72 left at the .50/1 limit table. I limp in and he checks. The flop is KQ4, so I check. He checks too. The turn is A. Feeling that he won't call a $1 bet with only 1.22 left, I bet. After all, there is no way I can win on a showdown, and worse case scenario, I only lose another 1.22. He calls, and I know I am in trouble. At the very least, he must have a high-card. The river is a 9, and I dutifully check. He checks too, and shows his 56o! The dude was calling me down with 6 high, and I took it down with my 7. I almost didn't understand how I won at first.

Damn fish! I may've won the hand, but it shouldn't have played out like it did.

Have a good day, and a better tomorrow.

posted by Jordan @ 10:16 AM,


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Felicia :) said...

Try to switch your thinking a little bit.

Limit is more about "making" big hands versus "protecting" big hands.

Sure you want your AA to hold up, just like anyone else. You pump the pot, correctly, but you can't be too shocked that it's cracked over half of the time in these no-fold'em games.

Step up your play of suited connectors and other cards that will MAKE a big hand.

This might also be why you've done well in tourneys, which are more about protecting big hands rather than making big hands. You don't usually have the odds to draw in NL, whereas with today's loose limit games, you almost always have the odds to draw.

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Pii said...

I was gonna chime in with a "me too" comment, because my experiences of late are very similar to yours.

Felicia's comment is rather insightful, which probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

I have been doing very well at No-limit tourneys lately, but my confidence has been shaken at the low-limit ring games.

I've not been paying much mind to the distinction that Felicia points out, "making" vs. "protecting" hands.

I'm going to mull that over for a while.

In terms of evaluating your own skill, I don't know if you can make any kind of real assessment when doing battle with unskilled players. BadBlood is going through the same kind of thing right now, and he's getting caught up in his short term results, a habit that I also suffer from.

Try to take the longer view...

At 5:03 PM, Blogger DOMIT said...

Longer view, exactly..

One of the first things that I noticed was your statement: "what I estimate to be more losses than wins". So, in other words, you're not tracking!!

You either need to get StatKing, PokerTracker, or start a spread sheet and track your progress at the different games, duration and limits (I even track the day of week and time).

StatKing doesn't work on my new PC, and I play mostly Draw, and PokerTracker just doesn't do Draw... so I ended up writing my own little stats PHP program that slaps all my data into a DB. You don't have to get that elaborate; like I said, a simple Excel spreadsheet will do, but you NEED to track your play.

For example, I found that in micro limit play, I'm losing at Stud high, but killing the Stud hi/low. So, no more Stud high for me!

Additionally, I've played a TON of O8 (Omaha 8 or better). After over 200 hours, I wasn't even beating the game for more than 1 BB/hr; so I stopped playing that and am concentrating on Draw, since I found that I’m beating Draw for almost 3BB/hr.

Stats, stats, stats. If you were keeping records, you might already know that, say, in NLHE you're beating the game, but in Limit HE your not. But you don't KNOW because you don't keep the stats.

Track your tournament play too. If you find that your ROI (return on investment) is worth it, you might want to stick to them when you have the time. {Being that you do chase, i.e. take chances, this can gather chips, something crucial in tournament play. Personally, I'm a better cash game player than tourney... perhaps you're the other way around.}

Get some stats going, review your play (like the times your chasing…should you have been in there?) and you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions.

Good luck!


At 12:08 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

You guys could make a blogger cry...But seriously, thanks for the support. I've decided to invest in PokerTracker. The one shortcoming is that I use more than one computer, so do I need to buy it twice? Either way, I do need a better way to track my progress and analyze my play.

Felicia, I didn't even know you read my humble blog. Thanks for the good advice. Same to you guys, pii and domit (does that rhyme with vomit intentionally?).

As an update, after posting my bitch n moan post, I took myh last $20 or so dollars to a NLHE room and doubled up really quickly when my KKs held up against god knows what (mucked!). So, I was up to about $40 until I gave back $10+ in two STT SNGs. Good times though. And I earned my first $10 bonus.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the support and good advice.

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Lou Ford said...

I think the fine folks at Poker Tracker allow you to install it on up to two computers.

Felicia's advice couldn't be more accurate. Especially with the uber-fish at 3/6 and 5/10 at Party.


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