Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Boy oh boy. Now I remember why I stopped playing online. It's like a cartoon snowball rolling down a hill. It starts off all innocuous, but by the time the poker snow ball starts gaining momentum, it's suddenly a boulder of snow, complete with cartoon skier sticking out.
I've never hid the fact that I'm not perfect, and my sometimes unhealthy love of poker is just one of my many charming faults. Since I started to get back into the online game, I've been playing regularly every night. At least I have enough self-control to choose my spots, preferring to play two or three SNGs of varying sizes and games rather than the uber long late night MTTs or the open-ended cash games. In fact, I wonder at times why I don't play more cash games online. I think it was something to do with my meager online bankroll and my steadfast refusal to play any game where the big blind is some number located to the right of the decimal point.
It got to the point last night that I considered contacting my Canadian connection (not sure if he/she wants to be outed) to hook me up with some more casheesh in exchange for PayPal money. I was down to probably my last SNG buy-in at PokerStars.
I had already lost a Double-or-Nothing tournament. That one was miserable. In these D-o-N games, it's 10-handed NLHE or PLO (in this case, NLHE), and once it is down to 5 players, each player gets double their buy-in. I've been dabbling with them mostly because they are the perfect game for my fractured concentration.
I came across a one-two-three punch that saw me go out on the bubble in 6th. First, I was mutli-tabling the D-o-N and another SNG at Stars, along with an online game of Chess at ChessHere.com. (If anyone wants to play some chess, hit me up with a comment or challenge me to a correspondence game on Chesshere, where my screenname is HighOnPoker). Much like online poker, I've been binging on online chess lately, both correspondence games and "live" games (i..e, games where two players are playing online at the same time with time limits).
So, here I am, playing three disparate games (the other SNG was not NLHE). And lo and behold, I look back at the NLHE D-o-N game to learn that I had accidentally timed out and automatically folded. This happens from time to time. I let my mouse cross over my avatar and suddenly my folded cards revealed themselves: AA. FUCK! To make matters worse, a player acting before me had already pushed all-in. Easy money and I let it slip through my fingers. There was one late position caller and the two players showed underpairs, I think QQ for the preflop pusher and 55 for the caller. The flop had a Queen and for a minute, I thought that the good graces of the Poker Gods stepped in to make me miss the hand, but the turn was an Ace, and by the river, my top set would've been good.
I'll admit that at the time, I wasn't bothered too much. Que sera and all that jazz. A little while later, though, I held 55 in the BB. It folded to the SB who limped. He was pretty shortstacked and we were on the bubble so I pushed, content in knowing that even if I lost, I still wouldn't be the shortstack. He called and showed 47s...and then turned his flush. FUCK #2!
In my last hand of the SNG (in fact, everyone's last hand), I ended up pushing all-in with A8s. I got called by the next shortest stack, who had me covered by barely 200, enough that if I won, he'd likely be out in a matter of two or so hands when the blinds came around. Even the BB, who had a decent stack, chose to fold to my meager push, leaving me heads up. My opponent showed T8o, obviously choosing to call to hopefully knock me out. He then flopped his 3-outter Ten and took down the pot, knocking me out.
I analyzed the game and realized that my only error was the AA hand, and that was caused due to my inattentiveness. I'd love to say lesson learned, but we all know better.
Oh, and that other SNG was a 2-table, 6-handed (i.e., 12 players total) 8-game Mixed. These things are awesome and are the #1 reason I'm glad I returned to PokerStars. The beauty of the game is that you start with a little-known game (2-7 Triple Draw) where you can immediately spot the donks, then enter the HORSE games, where the donks are even more defined when they start chasing in the limit hold'em round, and then continues on with NLHE and PLO, two games where the donkeys, now on short stacks, pretty much just fall on their swords.
By the time we were on the bubble with four players left, I was in decent shape, probably 2nd in chips, with one relative shortstack out of the four of us. If you are a good strategist, there is a lot of opportunity to exploit the structure. For instance, down to four, I started to just run over my competition in the NLHE and PLO rounds. I had realized by then that some people were not adjusting their play for the NL and PL games; even more importantly, it was the best place to pick up big pots with the NL and PL structures. And once your opponents realize you are going for the jugular in the NL/PL rounds, they start to fear you and will fold all too readily. I was raising preflop with Q2s on the button with absolute impunity. It was a delight!
So, there it is. These online games are just too much fucking fun and are way too accessible. I still can't pay attention for shit. But at least I'm winning often enough to keep from going broke online. I suppose that's something.
Until next time, make mine poker!
posted by Jordan @ 2:43 PM,
- At 9:45 PM, cmitch said...
It is a strange coincidence. I'm there Nov 19-23. We should definitely meet up for a few beers!! Email me at email@example.com
- At 1:00 PM, Littleacornman said...
Why not try playing 4-6 sngs at once? You need volume to make anything from sngs and you'd certainly have to pay attention!
- At 3:27 PM, HighOnPoker said...
I love gamblers' logic. If you are not playing well, just play more!
Acorn, you are probably right in your assessment, if not for the fact that I would end up playing 6 SNGs while still watching TV, surfing the net and playing chess online.