Tuesday, August 25, 2009
This really has been the theme for the year, a big chunk of my earnings comes from heads up and short-handed play. I'm sure I've said this many times but it's worth repeating: heads up and short-handed is where all the money is at in limit hold-em. If you game select well and play well, win rates of 5 BB/100 or more are attainable. Contrast this to 6-handed play where win rates max out around 1.5 BB/100.
On the VPP front, I'm now at 699K which puts me about 50K ahead of pace. I haven't been playing a whole ton of hands lately. I've been relaxing a bit more and playing a lot of pool which has helped with my mental state. We're heading out to the US Open Tennis tournament in Flushing NY on September 3rd for about 8 days. I love tennis but have never seen a live match so I'm really looking forward to it. I should have some good pictures to post when we get back. I plan on playing a good deal of poker while I'm there but the gap will likely narrow. I'd like to stay at least a couple weeks ahead of pace just in case something unexpected comes up.
Here's what August looks like so far:
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I find that when I respect my opponents, I play my best poker. By respecting them, I try to understand how they are playing, what they’re thinking, and what strategies they’re using. I do this as an impartial, nonjudgmental observer. As a result, I’m able to specifically understand what all of my opponents are trying to accomplish at the poker table.
I find that when I disrespect my opponents, I play suboptimal poker against whomever I’m disrespecting. For example, I see someone open limp on the button and I lose respect for their game. I’ll give them a green dot, make an “open limps button” note, and mentally file them away as a “fish”. I pay little or no attention to them after this, they’re not worthy of it.
When I’m respecting the same opponent who open limps the button, I watch them carefully and realize that they’re only open-limping with suited connectors and JT, QJ type hands. I also notice that they bet every flop that is checked to them after open-limping. I’m able to leverage this information and capitalize by raising a lot of their flop bets particularly on ace and king high boards.
Another example of an opponent I might disrespect is someone who is checking behind lots of flops after being the pre-flop raiser. Again I might make a note, give them a green dot, label them a fish, and pay little attention to them. When respecting this opponent, I notice they are only checking behind hands they intend to see a showdown with. With this additional information, I can bet the turn for value with my made hands and check down my bad hands whenever they check behind.
Respecting opponents doesn’t only apply to bad players. It applies to every player regardless of playing ability. By respecting them: I’m keeping an open mind, refraining from labeling them, and trying to specifically understand their strategies by paying close attention to them. In doing so, I’m able to develop very specific counter-strategies that allow me to maximize my edge over them.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
It's times like these I always try to look at the big picture. And even though the last 70,000 hands have felt like an eternity they look very normal when put back into context of the year. For my mental well being, this is what I'm trying to focus my mind on.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Here is what the month looked like. In big bet terms it actually wasn't terrible as I ended up about 300 but unfortunately big bets don't count for anything.