Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gear Switcher

Raoul Duke: There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

Had two sports bets on last night, a big one and a small one. The small one came home, while the big one was pipped on the post. Oh well, what can you do?

Had a very weird tournament last night – I doubled up on the third hand and then never saw a showdown until there was 3 tables left. I was around the same amount of chips for the entire tournament from there until I lost the eventual all-in to 22. Such is life I guess. At least I finally hit a set with my pocket pair, which hasn't happened in so long. Well, it hasn't happened when I could take advantage of it at least.

I have been feeling very philosophical of late pertaining to my poker exploits. The results of late have not been kind, that has been made abundantly clear, and the culprit is the perennial man in the glass. I have been taking more time to consider the options of each hand and why opponents make the plays they do and why I make the plays I do (and how are they perceived?) Hopefully this will evolve into a turning point in my game – I certainly hope so because the good old bank roll can not sustain much more punishment the way things are going.

I have adopted a different approach to tournament play of late, and I seem to be hitting a hurdle in it. I have been reducing my starting hands a lot, and then playing them very hard. Normally my seen flop percentage would be around 25-30%, and now it is below 17% to give an illustration of how things are going. I am also trying not to look at flops after I fold, because I don't want to start thinking that the T8o in the small blind to a raise was a good idea when it flopped TT8. It seems to be working ok, except for hurdle I mentioned.

I can get down to the money positions on a regular basis, but then I am in a very short stack situation as the cards inevitably run cold and I am not seeing a flop for 3 or 4 orbits at a time, and then when a decent hand does come along, I'm looking at stealing the blinds.

The obvious answer is that I need to switch gears somewhere before we get down to the money, it's just when that I am having the problem with. I did notice a lot of player raising on my big blind and when I called, they basically gave up on the flop. Obviously my hard earned rock image was put to good use, but I needed to take better advantage of the situation. When there was a raise and a call in front of me, I decided not to gamble and folded my rags. I think when it gets closer to the business end of the tournament I needed to open up the starting hands slightly.

Having said that, on every occasion when I thought about doing that with hands I normally wouldn't, such as QJs or KQo, the results would have been catastrophic to my tournament life. There has to be more a calculated approach to making a move later in these tournaments, based more on position I think and using the image I have tried to create.

I say I have been philosophical, mainly because there hasn't been a good win in over a month, and even then it was disappointing. I am finding that even when I am going good, I have a few really unlucky hands that stop me from going great. But when I am going bad, there is no light at the end of the tunnel at all. I guess more concentration is needed to better understand where I am headed.

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