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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

I've found my new favorite online tournament. It's the $22 HU Tournament on PokerStars, and last night I defeated three players to win around $37 for my troubles. But even better, TripJax took 2nd place and won over $500. Nice job, Trip!

Its been an interesting week for me. I've now cashed in a Razz MTT, HU MTT, HORSE SNG, and I think some sorta NLHE MTT, although for the life of me, I'm blanking now. Its been a while since I've played such a wide variety of games, but I've repeatedly found that playing a little bit of this and a little bit of that keeps the game much more interesting.

But let's talk a little more about this HU MTT, because after playing it last night, I can confidently say that it was one of the most fun tournaments I've ever played.

Early last night, I perused the Full Tilt tournament listings, but was dismayed by the usual slate. I was considering entering the $26 Omaha Hi Deep Stack tournament, but I hate Omaha Hi, and I didn't have any tokens. Notably, if I had a token, I may've played, even though I hate Omaha Hi. That's because I consider myself a Poker Player, and any form of Poker will do. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You can pretty much put "poker" on the end of anything, and I'd be game. Omaha Hi Poker? Okay. 2-7 Triple Draw Poker? I'll try it out. Anal Rape Poker? Start dealing and teach me as we go...

Still, I wasn't excited about any of FT's tournaments, so I fired up Stars, where I recently did a $100 fund swap with IHO regular, Alceste. As I looked through their copious list of tournaments, wittling them down by type (i.e., Cash, instead of Satellites) and the amount of people playing. It was almost 9pm, and I didn't feel like playing a 1000 person tournament. In fact, 200 or less was the goal. One tournament showed 45 players at the time (eventually 160+), and when I looked at the type of tournament (which, oddly enough, was the last thing on my check list), I saw it was a HU tournament. That sounded fun. After all, I'd know pretty quickly if I was busted or not from the game, and it was a nice change of pace. I love HU play, mostly because its just you and your opponent, with little else to focus on. So, I signed up and changed my status on Yahoo Messenger (highonpokr, no E) to "9:15 $22 HU MTT on Stars". I figured I could drum up some interest from other bloggers and make it a bit more interesting. I also sent out some specific invites to people I was chatting with, and soon, TripJax, Fluxer, Soxlover and I were signed up and chatting.

In the first round, I was put up against a player named IBetIWin. He lost that bet. As soon as the window had popped up, I turned on Area 33 on Sirius Radio and enbiggened the Stars window to fill the whole screen. My goal was to have no distractions, even though I occasionally switched back to that chat room to update my compadres. Soxlover and TripJax both got byes for the first round, but Fluxer and I shamed our competition with our natural aggression and clever HU play.

After that, we had to wait for the rest of the first round to complete. This took at least 20 minutes longer than my match, during which I lightly chatted and watched some television. Normally, such a wait would kill my poker buzz. However, I was in a weird half-mood to play, so this allowed me time to relax with the knowledge that there was going to be another match popping up practically at random.

Eventually, the first round ended and we all go into our second matches. Trip and Sox were done relatively quickly, both winning, and then Fluxer lost and make a quick exit from the chat. By then, Mr. Goss, a reader, had joined us and was sharing in the chat. I finished my match, and we had all made it to the proverbial bubble, 64 players left, 32 spots paid.

While we waited 30 minutes for the lollygaggers to finish their Round 2 matches, Sox suggested a deal where we'd split our winnings three-ways. The deal would be nullified if we got HU against each other. Ultimately, though, Trip and I turned down the offer. For me, it was my confidence in my own skills coupled with the disappointment I would have if I won the tourney for $1000 and had to give away $666.

Ironically, Sox was the next player to go, once we started Round 3. Meanwhile, I was struggling, down to 700 at my worst (from a starting stack of 1500). This didn't actually bother me much, as I have extensive HU experience online and knew what to do. In this case, I simply used my inverse theory of aggression (also located here) and tightened up. I was able to double up to 1300 at one point, and from there, I amped up the aggression until my opponent was choking on his own failure.

ITM, I felt good, and went about watching some more TV while I awaited my next round. I wish I had more details, and I may revisit this later, but ultimately, I lost that round. Still, I had money in my pocket and it felt good to money in a random MTT. It was already fairly late, so I shut down the comp and wished TripJax the best.

Variety is a key to my poker experience. When I read or hear about an otherwise good player doing poorly, I also try to advise them to change up their game. If they are used to NLHE, try some Omaha. If they like LHE, try NLHE. Whatever is your usual thing, change it up. Its so easy to fall into auto-mode, where you act without thinking because you've played your game of choice so much. This might work for some people, but for most of us, its met with "bad luck" which is really just apathetic, thoughtless play that prevents effectiveness. By switching your game, you force yourself to think about your actions.

To a different extent, I change up my game pretty much daily. It keeps things interesting. Hence, Razz earlier this week and HU last night. For anyone looking to re-invigorate their game, changing their type of poker is highly recommended.

Oh, and while we are talking about HU poker, I also HIGHLY recommend you join the Heads Up Challenge 5.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:20 PM,


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Wlokos said...

I don't know how somebody could just play one game of poker all the time - I get very bored if I just play one game too much. Lately, I've been switching up the type of poker with every game I enter - though 2-7 Triple Draw is emerging as the most common choice right now.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger KajaPoker said...

You have now inspired me to hit up the HU tables on FTP. I won my first two.

BTW your feed is still really messed up. Sometimes I get 25 posts a day show up as new.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Great point. "Variety is the spice of the life," and I believe variety in poker is important. In fact, I've just started to venture into the realm of RAZZ myself, and (ba da ba ba ba...) I'm lovin' it.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Kaja, I reverted back to my old feed. Let me know if the problem continues.

Cayne, I'm glad you are spreading it out a bit. When we all learned NLHE, the fun was in the exploration and the learning process. The same thing happens when you begin to venture out to different games. You might not be the best at first, but if you enjoy a challenge, it can be a lot of fun.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger ckbluffer said...

Hey. It's C from SoxLover's game on Sunday. Nice chatting w/you on the PATH train. See you in blogland.


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