Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's Missing?

First off, if you are not reading Scurvy, stop now and go over there. Great stuff, as usual, over there. Apparently, another site is doing the Pittsburgh Steeler guarantee bet; albeit only $100 this time. Read about it here. He also wrote a great post about Poker Blogging which was outstanding. So True.

As usual, I have been puttering away at the 3/6 SH games. Do you ever get that feeling that something is wrong and you just can't put your finger on it. That is how I feel right now with my poker game. Playing Limit poker, especially low limit poker, is pretty much ABC poker with a touch of selective aggression for short handed play. I still believe there isn't much difference between 3/6 and 10/20; but it is what it is. Anyway, I am playing along. Yea, sure, I try a few things here and a few things there; but I've got my style and I'm sticking to it. While, I am always looking to improve, Scurvy was spot on when he said that I/we don't necessarily seek out strategy like I once did. But still, something has gone astray. I still love the game; but with this recent downswing over the last year, it makes you wonder.

First, let's look at some overall stats. Stats are what they are and never tell the whole picture.

09/11/06 358 hands 31.84 VPIP 15.36 PFR 1.30 AG 39.83 WtSD 39.83 WSD 63.83 W$SD +121.03

09/12/06 311 hand 36.33 VPIP 19.61 PFR 1.78 AG 40.98 WtSD 29.51 W$SD 58.33 -122

More or less same old stuff.

I've recently been getting into a feature on Poker Tracker that I never used before. It is the graphs. Here is a graph from Day 1 . As you can see,
I was down right from the get go and made a nice comeback at the end; but still up until that point, I was still winning over 60% of my showdowns. What is the "thing" that I'm missing that is causing the downswings. Yes, in the short term it could just be the draws not hitting or any other form of variance. I have another idea, which I will mention a little bit later.

Day 2's graph isn't much different. Again you see that I was down right away and then more or less straight lined the rest of the session. Something has to be causing these early downward shifts. Is it as straight forward as variance. For sure, short term results are meaningless; but as this trend has lasted a year, there is something to it.

Day 3 (last night) was days that you like to see; but are very few and far between. This session only lasted about 100 hands VPIP 32 PFR 19 TAF 5.55 wsf 47 wsd 29 w$sd 69... +203 . I did exactly what you are not supposed to do. I quit while I was ahead. Did I do anything different here to get ahead early. Nope. So, yes, variance does apply to short term results.

OK, moving forward. Let's look at a hand from Day 1. This came right at the end of the session. I would be very interested in your thoughts.

The table had moved down to just 3 players. Two of us sat at with $180 and another was extremely shortstacked. Both of these guys were pretty hyper aggressive. I'm on the button with As2d. Easy raise here 3 handed as I am pretty much raising any ace. SB 3 bets it here and BB (shortstack) calls the 2 the 2 bets. I'm certainly not folding; but choose to see a flop. Does anybody cap it here? Flop comes 7sKs4s leaving me with nut flush draw. SB leads out here and is raised by BB. What here? I'm getting 6-1 to call or should I be raising. I decide to call and SB re-raises and BB just calls so of course I call. Qs on turn and that is all she wrote. I win with the nut, SB had 2nd nut and SB had top pair with a middle spade. Any thoughts here? I wonder if I would have played this differently at the beginning of a session?

So now back to my original question. What's missing. Other than Online Poker being rigged, what am I missing that will bring me to the next level. At least for now, I am going to more deeply into my Blind Play. Of course, Blind Play is so important in short handed action. The more I read, the more I get confused. Some people will say that you should always just call from BB when somebody steals. I think Matt Matros might have written something about this. While other say that you should take control and re-raise. I think Matt Hilger wrote about this. What should your ranges of blind defense be? What should your ranges of blind stealing be? How should be adjusting to the amount of players and type of players. Too many times lately, I have been just calling with what I will say are just calling hands. I then miss the flop and fold to continuation bet.

What is a calling hand? Good question? Maybe a broadway card with some sort of 1,2 or 3 gap connector. Maybe just a suited hand with a broadway card. A small pair? A middle pair.

This will be my mission and hope to find something out soon; because whatever I'm missing, it has made poker more of a grind than an enjoyable experience.


Well, tonight starts the new season of Survivor. This is one of the shows that I agree to watch with Mrs Wonka. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them. She really looks forward to the new shows. I've never been a real big regular/network TV kind of guy; but I do enjoy some shows and definitely spending the time with her. The Wire on HBO just started again and I am really looking forward to that series. We'll see how it goes.

Speaking of Mrs Wonka, we had our first "date" night that we have had in a long, long time. Talk about weird. We went to a restaurant and didn't have to worry about high chairs, crayons, crackers, balloons, etc.... It was almost too peaceful. We enjoyed it and we also saw the movie Invincible. We both enjoyed it. Nothing too original but a good story none the less. Doesn't really compare to Rocky or Rudy in my book; but good nonetheless. Wow, what is the deal with movie ticket prices. Our first movie in almost 3 years probably.. a little different.

While I'm on the subject of prices. What is the deal with gas prices. I just don't get it. OK, summer is over; but come on.. over $1 a gallon difference. Oh to be an Exxon exec.

I've rambled long enough...


mookie99 said...

Thanks for making it out to The Mookie last night.

Michael said...

Hi, Will.

On your hand where you flopped the nut flush draw, the only reason to three-bet the flop would be if you felt that you could get a free card on the turn.

In a 3-way pot you are 2-to-1 against making your flush draw by the river. If you believe that even if your 2 opponents would stay in with your flop 3-bet, you are getting 2-to-1 for every bet you get in on the flop. That makes jamming your draw neutral and you are not getting any true value for 3-betting. I'd only do it if a free card is a possibility.

I have also been working on the blind defense thing, too. Against chronic stealers, I'm taking a flop with any hand that can either flop a good top pair (Ace-Ten) or a good draw. Against these aggressive players, I often check-raise the if I flopped top pair or a draw. Their continuation bet means nothing and I send them a message back that I caught part of the flop. They either give up or just call. It's very effective when you flop a draw and hit it on the turn or river and you'll often get multiple bets if they end up with something like top pair or an overpair.

cc said...

Survivor questions:

>> How long will they keep the tribes? I'm guessing they'll have to combine to two fairly quickly, as well as nuke more than one person soon.
>> Will those two do the dirty deed next week, and will they show it?
>> Will the African American tribe be able to make fire with flint?
>> What in the world is the job of the hippie girl who let the chickens go? And isn't that automatic dismissal?

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