Yawn-line Poker....

I know, I know!

You're all 'real' Poker players and reading a strategy or advice post from me is well, kind of like taking sobriety lessons from me too!

Maybe this is coming out more for my own good however, rather than anything else. Maybe if I write it all out, some of the good bits will stick in the mush between my own ears. Who knows?

There's just no sense making a play or creating misdirection, when the players you are up against just don't get that level of play. The facts are the players in the lower limit MTT's, just won't let go of top pair no matter what the size of their kicker is. There's also the fact that at least half of the table is probably going to see the flop, (or 4th. & 5th. street) no matter what the pre-flop action has gone down like.

I've sat back and wondered how, "that guy could make that call?" far too many times lately, so I started actually breaking down the hands a little more. The answer kept jumping out at me in each and every one. They don't know that I'm trying to deceive them! They just know that they have what they think, is a good hand. My betting pattern means nothing. In most cases for me at least, this also translates well in that what my board happens to show in STUD or RAZZ, also happens to mean nothing. So in reality betting without the nuts, is just a waste of time on-line.

It took me awhile I know but then again, I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed! Unless you know and have a great read on your opponent from tons and tons of history against them, trying to transfer your live play strategies to on-line Poker MTT's is almost never going to work out.

Case in point -

While playing pretty solidly in one of the rapid HORSE games, I managed to run myself down to the final table. With a healthy stack for the format and a "known" player to my left, I ran out a board that looked brilliant for the straight and flush. I had squadoosh in reality, but I figured making a play at the pot by firing three shells on 5th., 6th., and 7th. street, would be good enough to get the guy to lay down what I thought had to be two pair. My read was right on the money, but he went in with that two pair and took down the pot. At first I went through my usual how can he call there routine. Then I realized that I want him to call there, EVERY SINGLE TIME! My strategy just needed to change to getting him to make those calls, when I'm way ahead!

So as if a light switch clicked on in my head, the next time I got him into the pot that's just what I did.

I started with rolled up 7's and despite knowing that a King had been folded, I re-raised his opening raise. As expected, my opponent made the call. When the cards came down on 4th. street and he continued on with his betting despite only showing four to a flush, I saw no reason to run. His King on the 5th. card was like magic to me, as I had just hit my one outer. Knowing that quad's was not an option for him, I bet the hell out of the pot on each remaining street.

Normally I'd get all tricky and shit, hoping to get more chips in the pot at the end. But I realized that no matter what I did in this spot, this guy was going to pay me off. He had a 'hand' in his mind. There was just no way he was going to let it go.

So with that in my mind the rest of the way, I sat back and jammed the nuts when I thought I had them. For the most part, this was the right way to go. I jammed my boats at apparent flushes and won. I jammed the hell out of a steel wheel with nothing but low cards showing in O/8, and scooped a pot against two pair and a 2 ~ 6 low. Funny enough the only place this strategy didn't work at all was LHE. When a shorty jammed against my pre-flop raise with pocket Kings, naturally his 9 and J of spades ran themselves into a straight on the flop and then improved to a flush by the river.

I took this event down with my new "only jam the nuts" mentality, and then another and another. I actually played seven of these games with a record of four wins, a second and two thirds to show for it. Good results for me, but something was missing. Does anyone know what I mean by I felt a bit robotic while I was playing? Winning is supposed to be fun, no? I was winning no doubt, but the results totally lacked any form of satisfaction from out playing my opponents. Now in truth, they also lacked the smash the mouse against the wall from another idiot sucking out on me misery situations as well. But at least even that is some kind of emotion from the game!

I guess what I'm trying to ask myself is, do I want to continue to dabble in yawn-line Poker? Why do I play it and what am I trying to get out of it in the end?

If it's for the win and that's all that matters, I'd better grab a book to read while I'm playing and settle in for a loooooong Winter of boring success yawn-line. If it's for the distraction and fun of playing a game of Poker to entertain myself, with the joy and misery that can be on-line Poker, I'd best stop getting too pissed off at the suckouts and bad beats that are going to come.

I guess I'd better face the facts huh, I have a lot of thinking to do!
Thoughts anyone?

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


BWoP said...

Sometimes winning poker is really boring. I've found that at the lower levels ($1/$2 NLHE live), there's no reason to get tricky. You're going to get more out of v-betting the shit out of people than trying to make moves. It can be very boring, but very profitable.

KenP said...

You've found an exceptional scheme -- especially when you're flopping quads... :)

The flaw is that limit tournaments have their own little life. All too quickly they reach a point of no return in the ratio of stacks to blinds. When you get a day where the quads aren't showing up with regularity, playing the nuts well is slightly harder.

Your right though that level two thinking is seldom in the mix and that calls for a conservative approach as much as possible. Sadly, that isn't always possible. I continue to work on that problem with mixed results.

I've actually been playing some NLH sitNgoes on FT and finding the play better than I remember. Where there was one or two to watch out for, there are now three and even four. Hopefully, that's a temporary anomaly .

BLAARGH! said...

You just need to move up limits. The fun and excitement (at least for me) comes from learning new tricks and watching those tricks work or not work. When you move up, you get better competition and you learn more.

And you also have something to fall back on when you get kicked in the nuggets by folks that actually know how to play horse...

There's something to be said for grinding out a bankroll as well though.... :)