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From Ace Rag to Riches

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It has been a good 2 years since I blogged (and I think then it was also a "I am back" type blog)

 

 

I was quite active in the PSO community back a few years ago and since I have dipped my toe back in the water with Poker recently, thought it was worth popping up another blog to share my experiences.

 

After a few deposits and a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, I am committed to getting back to a good flow and play some poker. I have to admit that the opportunity to "Spin and Go" and do the Super KO's was very appealing but in the end resulted in a leak since not only was I playing this outside variance (playing with a $20 roll and throwing money into the $1 / $3 games) but I was chasing losses. I would lose a spin and go, getting sucked out on my AA hand with a 4 flush runner/runner and knee-jerk rushing into a bigger game to recoup my losses.

 

The problem with this type of chasing losses game isn't that it doesn't work, it's that it doesn't work all the time. I actually had a scenario where I worked down to 25c, through a series of S&G and KO games I managed to turn this into $15 but this is the exception, not the rule and playing like this is a massive leak that I need to stick a red flashing light to my computer desktop to avoid doing again and part of blogging this is that by putting it out there into the world, perhaps it will shame me a little into playing better.

 

It reminded me of a scene in a film where a guy went to his local park and there was a fair running with all sorts of side-shows. One of them was the throw 3 hoops over the bottle, win a teddy bear.

 

The trick to the game was that it cost $5 to play, you can keep either start again for $5 or double your stake and keep your streak. The added twist to the trick was that if you choose the double-up method and win all 3 hoops over the bottles, you get to keep all your buy-ins and pickup the teddy bear as well.

So at first this seems quite harmless. Your stake goes from $5, $10, $20 and keeps climbing until before this guy in the film knew it, he had $160 or so on the line. At this point his wife was crying at him to stop since he was spending their rent and in this particular film, $160 to this pair was a lot of money.

The film turned a good ending to the story and the guy cashed out and won his teddy bear. All that for a teddy bear eh?

 

The point of that story and of how I have been playing is you chase losses by wagering exponentially higher stake than you start out when you chase the rabbit down the hole to wonderland and sometimes you come out of it as a winner, but regardless you are always a loser because you either lose and your out or you win and you don't correct this bad behaviour and will repeat it until eventually you will lose because your play is not based on skill, its based on luck.

 

Leading on from this, there are two types of play in Poker.

Strategic and Tactical

 

Strategic is the how-you-play poker. This is bankroll management, what games to choose, when to play in the day etc

Tactical is the how-you-play hands. This is the elements considering position, hand selection, agression.

Both are related in more ways than I had thought and one of them is knowing when to stop

 

In strategic poker play, knowing when to stop is having stop-loss in place and when you feel like the next-game is going to be a titled one, to stop yourself buying in and take a break/sleep on it

In tactical poker play, knowing when to fold is the same. Reading your opponents so you know that the 4-bet from the “only bets when he has it” player is a fold rather than feeding them your chips and hating yourself for it

 

A good fold is better than a good win any day. It's easy to win chips when playing right, its a lot harder to fold and everyone knows (or should know) that you lose a lot more of your buy-in on putting the money in with the 2nd best hand than you ever do from suck-outs.

 

Going forward, I have a plan to keep me on the straight and narrow.

I am going to keep a blog, here of my progress. Stops me from playing outside variance and also exposed my play to riddicule if I over-play my hands (likely all I can show is the bust-hand but that itself will tell a lot of it shows poor play).

 

I recognize that tilting is a big part of how my play leaks. I recognize I am not the best, I am still improving and I will only get better if I have enough buy ins to keep playing.

Current leaks I am trying to address are :

-Playing gambling games
-Chasing losses
-Playing too late in the night when tired
-Calling re-raises light
-Calling all-ins light
-Trying to knock people out

 

If i can address these issues, I feel I will show profit with my next buy-in, because I have commited that if I don't improve, it will be my last for awhile.

Stay tuned!

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