Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ever been stuck for a period of time while playing cash poker games? It can start to get to you after a while if you let it. Go up a little, come back down. Go down a little, come back up. Rinse and Repeat. Rinse and Repeat.

The worst part; all of the sudden that monthly bonus check stops coming, because you never want a cash out cause you to drop a level.

My bankroll has essentially been stuck in the mud for about a month and half, so it's time to start thinking about a plan for getting unstuck.

I'm aware that I'm stuck right now because I recently moved up a level and am facing a little tougher competition. Each time you move up, there's a normal adjustment period as you get used to the regular players, and they get used to you. That's why I'm a big advocate of not moving up until I have 42 buy-ins for the level. If I lose the first two, I'll drop down and work to build them back. I'll do that as many times as it takes to get my roots in.

Now I've already established roots at this level, so there's no need to drop down. But, it can be a consideration if you find yourself starting to get frustrated and just wanting to post a nice solid win. It's obviously a far better option than tilting off a bunch of money to stronger players while whining like a starving kitten.

There are many ways to get unstuck; switching games, playing a couple tournaments (ugh), even taking a break for a week or so, but my favorite unsticking technique is to switch to the Heads Up cash tables and play some one on one. I find this keeps me focused, sharpens my game, and allows me to understand the thinking of some of the better players at that level. Usually, only the strongest players have the sac for prolonged HU play and you can learn quickly from them.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you grind through the months and years. Getting stuck doesn't mean you're a bad player. Bad player's bankrolls get crushed when things aren't going well. Getting stuck means you're a good solid player. Keep track of your emotional pulse and make logical adjustments accordingly.


Friday, July 31, 2009


Just a quick note on playing on paydays.

If you are playing poker today, the last workday of the month and also a Friday, you may notice that your normal games are playing at a frenetic pace that can be a little disconcerting.


Because everyone just got paid!

If you are playing anywhere up to probably the 1/2 level you are going to notice new faces, strange plays, stupid calls, stupid bluffs, more pre-flop raising and especially re-raising. Just all around crazy gonzo games.

You have to adjust.

Normally, when I'm at your table you're going to know it. My style of constant raising pre-flop can really get under player's skins, if they don't know how to counter-act.

Today, I started out playing my normal style but noticed that I was getting played back at constantly and that my raises were doing nothing to thin the field. I saw some of the dumbest plays I've seen in ages, then I remembered..It's PAYDAY! Even for people that collect disability or Social Security.

Everyone has money! And they are SPEWING!

Get to the tables, tighten up a bit and enjoy. You're going to get sucked out a little more but today is a great day to play poker! Have fun. Don't tilt. Then remember to keep track of your calendar and adjust accordingly.

Good Luck And Don't Suck


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Small Ball Pot Limit Omaha

I hate variance.
Always have.
And that's why I grind.
Look, I'm a cash game player and to me there is no reason to be flipping coins or even ending up all in pre-flop as a 60/40 favorite. Leave that shit to the tournament guys that don't have clue what they're doing after the flop.
Let me see a flop in position and by the time the turn comes I'm going to have a good idea where I am in the hand and how to proceed.
So, I take the small ball approach to PLO.
Flat call raises in position, even with monsters. Limp in early with hands that stand up to lot of callers. Suited aces and such. I want other people in the hand with suited cards that are worse than my suited aces. Because unless I completely bludgeon them they are probably going to stay with me to the river with crap like Q-J-T or even 9 high flushes.
I like to get into hands cheaply with hands that can make straights, especially if my highest card is suited. I love hands like JT86, T976. I do stay away from straight draws where my highest card is a 5, but I love a low straight draw like 8764. So many times people have something like a suited ace with low cards or are trying to flop a low set with a hand like A433 and I whack them when something like A35x flops.
But, if you really want to lower your variance, wait to see if the turn card pairs the board before putting in the big money. This will mean that you are getting your money with a much higher advantage as there is only one more card to come. Effectively cutting their chance of winning in half.
More later.