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A Change Afoot

I'm changing up my poker strategy. It needs to be done. I have said in the past that when I am doing poorly, a change in game usually helps my game. I guess it adds novelty to the game, gets my attention level up, and forces me to try new things. I need this, because my bankroll hemmoraging must stop.

As the first step, I will admit the error of my ways. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but I do know that I have been making good reads in my head, but calling down anyway. At least twice yesterday I predicted my opponent's hand but still paid him/her out. On one hand, I held AA at a very loose limit table. Three out of the five other players call my pre-flop raise and my post-flop bet. The flop was low rags. One player re-raises after the turn. I knew he hit two pair, but I continued to call him down.

Not much later, I held QQ on a 9 high flop. Everyone was calling me down and after the turn, someone reraised. I typed to SirFWALgman and Veneno that someone had a set. This was clear after the re-raise was called by most players still in the hand. And yet, I called them down, losing to pocket 9s (for a set on the flop). Now, this is directed at everyone generally but also Veneno specifically. After I made my grumbling prediction, Veneno said, "Well, you have to call though." The truth is, I didn't have to call. I had to fold. Because limit (as my mantra goes) is about saving individual bets by folding and getting individual bets by value betting or re-raising. Those two examples would've saved me a bundle when taken cumulatively, not to mention the benefit to my table image and mental well-being.

So, I know I have a problem. How am I going to fix it? I'm taking a page out of SteelerJosh's book and focusing on Heads-Up SNGs. This will prepare me for HUC2 (see the last post). It will also protect my bankroll somewhat (instead of playing 2/4 limit, it'll be $5 or 10 heads-up). Most importantly, it will make me fine-tune my reads and focus.

So, HU for me. Hopefully HU for you too in the HUC2. We still need participants!

posted by Jordan @ 11:42 AM,


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I hear ya and feel the pain. Seems that many of us are seeing a downturn lately. I'm recovering from a 33% hit to my bankroll. Ouch. Swings happen but they shouldn't to us right? Lol.

I just picked up a great book from Phil Gordon - Little Green Book. You might want to pick that up - very easy read and lots of good tips.

Don't know what to tell you on the big pocket pairs. Its near impossible to fold those even when you know they have a set. I lost big to pocket Jacks two times last night. I ended up folding 1 of those luckily on the river.

Some people like to play hands like 99 to QQ very aggressively. They end up overbetting pre-flop (usually when out of position) and was typically called by someone with an Ace and sure enough over cards come out and they are nailed.

Murphy's Law of poker says "When you hold a pair of Jacks or Queens, you will see Kings and Aces on board every time. The only time they don't show up, someone else made a set."

May be best to try to see a cheaper flop and just bet those Jacks like any other raising hand. May save you a bit later on.

Just remember, don't fall in love with a big pair, you'll be blinded to the truth of someone elses raise.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Good points, Chip. But I was playing limit, where strategy changes a little. If I hold a high pair, no matter if it is 99-AA, I raise preflop. In all situations, I want to build the pot and get rid of competition. It makes little to no sense to just check or call pre-flop in limit UNLESS you have a very loose table and all players will call anyway, leaving you facing 5 or more competitors with your 99. Even if you have that situation, if you hold KK or AA, you have to raise because you will still be going in there with the best of it (although with many players in the pot it is not as "best of it" as you'd like).

Ah, it's nice getting back to poker strategy.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

That was a very good read, and impressed the hell out of me. If your reads are always that strong then yeah, you have to fold. If they only had 2 pair, then at least you had some out with the board pairing or something.

I am starting to think that most of the game is about controlling your opponents perceptions of you. Saving those extra bets are a stong move though.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're talking about the internet here -- giving your opponents too much credit will lose you money.

Mainly in limit, you almost always have to call in some situations, even if you're pretty sure you're beat. Say you only have to call 1/8th the pot but you're 80% sure you're beat -- it's still mathematically correct to call.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Look, I have to get this out. I had this hand read. I knew someone had the set and I should've laid it down. No 80% here. Pure 100% read. No pot odds matter. When you have that sort of information and you don't use it, you are hurting yourself. Maybe I shouldn't say "you", but rather "I". I should've folded. Ug! I am not giving the Internet players too much credit. I am giving my abilities too little credit.


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