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Limit Eye for the No Limit Guy

Hey, girlfriend! I was just watching Logo when I thought I'd bring some advice to all you testosterone fueled men out there. Ok, um, enough of that.

I was lying in bed last night trying to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, but inevitably failing due to the many thoughts swirling around my head. I was down $140 or so on the night, due to a loss of $150+ at PLO8 on Royal Vegas. I was failing to hit anything, and when I tried to defend my strong hands, like top set or (actually this part is just plain stupid) top two pair, I would get called by players with draws, and they hit, hit hit. The error was on my part, mostly because two pair isn't worth defending. But I entered a 180 person SNG at Stars ($20+2) and a 2/4 Limit table at Royal Vegas in order to turn things around.

The 180 didn't go well. I was not playing my best (two-tabling is a handicap for me), and eventually got all-in with AKc v. KK. By that point, the $76 that I brought to the 2/4 Limit table had dwindled to $32 or so, after my turned straight lost to a higher rivered straight by a guy betting the whole way with Ace-high, 9 kicker. That and a couple of other discouraging hands really had me in the doldrums. I told SLB that it was my last orbit when I ended up winning a hand at the 2/4, and then another, and then got AA and won a huge pot. Five hands later, I was dealt AA again and got great value. Rejuvenated, I took some of my reclaimed profit and waited for the Mookie to start. I didn't play too well either there, but I did take an early lead, dropped due to a tough hand, and then lost it all to Smokkee who had a strong stack of over 3k at the time, compared to my 1500. I held 96o in the SB when it folded to me. I popped it from 100 to 300 and Smokkee asked if I wanted to go bust this hand. I didn't respond. He called. The flop was Ah9x6h, so I was in great shape. Smokkee asked if I hit the flop and then told me to push all-in. Frankly, his banter and the pretty flop told me I was ahead. Instead of pushing 1200 into the 600 pot, I decided to bet 600. This would keep hopefully induce an all-in re-raise from an Ace, and possibly even an all-in bluff, since my pot bet looked weak, given my stack. Smokkee obliged and re-raised me all-in. I called, and he showed 9h7h, for middle pair, flush draw...and then turned the 7.


So, I was lying in bed stewing over all of this, when I thought back about a conversation I had with SLB while I was playing Limit and was losing and frustrated. SLB remarked, "Limit sucks." It's a statement that I agree with, generally, but my response at that moment was, "Limit is poker, and I am a poker player." I know, it is a bit pious, but what I meant was that to me, it is important to master all of the games.

Upon more bed-induced thoughts, I determined that many a no limit player would benefit from spending some time in the limit trenches. How, do you ask? That's just what I was getting to. Since I love lists (as do we all), I will list the three things a No Limit player can learn from playing Limit Hold'em.

1. Hand Selection- In No Limit Hold'em, you can make that QdTd into a winner if you have position, balls, and a table that knows how to fold. Even with all of those things, you might be screwed in a Limit game. Above anything, Limit hold'em reinforces that hand selection is a key element of the game, and tighter hand selection is generally right.

2. One Long Session- In No Limit Hold'em, it's easy to get wrapped up in short term results. In Limit Hold'em, I've found that even though I am down to $32, I can still work it back up over $100 when the cards hit. It's all about the fact that those cards WILL hit. You will get dealt Aces eventually, so you want to be there to get paid off. It might not even be the exact session you are in, but it will occur. If you are still in the game (i.e., not broke), then you can capitalize and make back those hours of losses with a handful of well played hands.

3. Reading Players by Type- In any poker game, reading your players is useful. In Limit, it is simplified, because you see more showdowns and the decision making throughout a hand is generally limited. You don't have to read what an all-in means. All you need to know is that when you re-raise player X on the flop and he re-raises you back, he has it; if he calls, he's drawing or has middle pair; and if he folds, he's bluffing. Reading players becomes much simpler and its easier to take advantage of this information.

If you are a NL player and despise Limit, then skip it. No one is going to force you. But it isn't just NLHE poker that I love. It's the gamesmanship of poker, and that includes playing games like PLO8, Limit, Stud, and even Razz. I just like games, and that's all poker is, in its many forms.

That's it for me today. I hope you all have a lovely evening. I'll be at a VPP Freeroll at Mansion Poker along with an Online Poker Tour freeroll at Mansion as well. Maybe I'll pull my patented "all-in on every hand until I'm busted or a dominating stack" technique. If so, look out freerollers. Until then, make mine poker.

posted by Jordan @ 12:57 PM,


At 2:37 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I may be a profitable PLO8 player, but I'm an overall loser at LO8.

They are two very different games, I still hope to become a better limit player before busting.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I was actually playing Limit Hold'em, and, oddly, Limit Omaha doesn't really appeal to me. That said, when I have played it, usually in a tournament when I failed to read carefully, I do fairly well. Omaha is a very mathematical game, and limit makes math easier.

Maybe I should add:

4. Calculating Pot Odds.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Pseudo_Doctor said...

You know jordan you seem to know the exact things on how to play limit poker profitably and it surprises me that your not crushing the limit games. I started at limit as well until i got bored of them. Also i find it surprising that you have trouble two tabling limit games. Seems like you know exactly what to do and have the necessary facets to do it but are just missing a little something....keep working im sure you will get there

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Raveen, I'm addressing most of your comments in a post, but as to the multi-tabling, it isn't usually a problem, but it is when I'm playing different types of games. If it were two or more games of limit, it would be easy. Unfortunatley, it was a game of limit and a tournament with a significant cash prize. For significant prize tournaments, I find it worth the time and trouble to pay attention so I can tailor my play to individual players and gather reads. That's all I meant.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for playing last night man...

I'm trying to pick up on other games like limit, RAZZ, Omaha, etc. to become a more rounded player as well. Also I find it refreshing to switch to a different game after getting your teeth kicked in at a NL table.


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