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Hunting the Big Game

I made my return appearance to the Blogger Big Game, gathering together my cajones by buying in directly for $75. The results, 12th out of 23rd or so, but I'm not disheartened in the least. The Big Game has done more for my poker game than anything since the Limit Challenge, which brought me from a two-digit bankroll to a solid three.

I started my poker day yesterday winning a 18 person turbo tournament for a Tier I ($24+2) token. I had already bought into DADI X with another $24+2 Token, so the goal was to turn the new Token into a $69+6 Tier II token. I got my chance much later, but sadly lost to a situation I just don't presently recall. No harm though, as I resolved to skip the Big Game (and big price tag). I was dead set on that plan until I made $37 playing 3/6 Speed LHE, a new favorite of mine. The joy of Speed LHE is that there is even less time to think. This makes it easier to establish a pace to the detriment of my competition. After taking the $37, I felt like playing some LO8, and immediately jumped into a 5/10 LO8 table. Do you see a trend here? Yes, higher limits.

Here is the deal. I have worked my way up from $20, made $1200 last year, and am up over $2000 this year. My online bankroll, however, does not show this, due to intermittent withdrawals, the most recent seeing about a grand leave the online world for more mundane real world bills. Consequently, while I moved up in stakes from .25/.50 LHE to 2/4 LHE (using limit as an example, for you all know by now that I play a little bit of everything), I still stalled at 2/4. I recently started playing 3/6 with some success, and I've inched into that realm. But the Blogger Big Game lit a fire in me. It said, shit Jordan, you can do this. The only thing holding you back is yourself.

So, I got out of my way. Inspired by recent postings of Hoyazo, I took a crack at 8/16 Razz. After all, Razz is a relatively simple game, I had more knowledege and/or skills than most of the players at 2/4, and Hoy said that the 8/16 game was not much better. Now, $16 is the big bet in these games, but a $16 SNG would be normal for me. In other word, I was suddenly betting in one click of a button, in one minutae of a freakin' lowball cash game the very amount I would be willing to spend in a 45-60 minute tournament. It was ridiculous, to say the least, and I initially figured that I would play tight and be fine. What I saw, however, was that some of the players at the table were just in love with making board-based bluffs. I could just sit back with my old strategy, but then I'd be leaving money on the table. So I played. And in one hand in particular, I called down with a K and J showing on my board, only to catch my opponent packing a pocket knife to a gun fight. He bet all the way with two pair, expecting me to run and hide. Total take for that run: $180.

Now, this was a few days before. I feel like I have greater competence in some of these 'fringe' games than I do in Hold'em, merely because Hold'em is so popular. So, I decided to play 5/10 LO8 last night and said to myself that if I could cover $80 profit for the day, I'd be willing to spend $75 of it on the Big Game. And sure enough, I succeeded, taking about $50 off of the 5/10 LO8 table as though it was nothing.

One thing I have realized is that moving up in stakes is a lot easier when you are playing limit. Even though I might have the same amount of money on the table, I can still see it as one small bet or one big bet in Limit games. Raising from $16 to $32 does not feel like $32. It feels like 2BB. Take me to a .50/1 table and ask me to raise from $16 to $32 and I'll do it, but I'll be nervous.

So, the Big Game has really openned up new doors for me, as has Hoyazo's recent posts and my Limit focus. I wish more bloggers were open to Limit games, but this is a NL world.

Meanwhile, I'm earning my FullTilt reload bonus (probably about 3/10 of it released), and when that is done, I'll be heading back to Doyle's Room. I hate thier software and players, as they are essentially the same as Golden Palace, where I first played poker, but they have Badugi, and I'm liking Badugi.

On the HUC4 front, we have some new additions, including Gracie. We need 4 more competitors for a 16-person bracket, so if you are interested, it's first come first serve. Click on the HUC4 link to see the full details and player roster.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:01 AM,


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and I seem very very similar in the style of play department, as well as the way we think about limits and such. When you explained the BB vs NL Bet mentality, I'm right with you.

This post hits close to home as I'm also currently exploring my limits w/NL and Limit games and having some success. Mine is driven by the fact that I have a set period of time to clear a bonus, and the games I would be playing would never get the job done. I'm just waiting for the variance to hit, and hope that I don't get caught playing "up" when the bottom drops out on me.

Nice job moving up, but just be careful not to get caught up when you get hit with the variance brick. Great post.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

The 5/10 LO8 is beatable, but there's less fish up those streams and definitely more aggression.

But... aggression is also noted more often as you do gain fold equity moving up in stakes.


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