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ketchup143

/Feb/2012

growing your poker muscle

By: ketchup143 @ 14:43 (EST) / 462 / Comment ( 0 )

Hey all, I'm back! Been an extraordinarily long time since I last put anything on here.  I finally returned to the poker tables on december 30th, but really haven't had much of an opportunity to play until last week.  i've finally started making a short term profit playing 5nl and 5pl omaha. It really took awhile to get myself back into the game after being out so long, and i lost several buyins pushing in with bad cards and letting people boss me around. ive forced myself to really tighten up quite a bit so that im not in a speculative sitation so often. it's definitely not the proper course to play at 5nl. also, i've completed eliminated my few "foolings around" at 10nl and even higher occasionally b/c im not ready for that level of competition (nor is my bankroll). i just had to be honest with myself and stay disciplined, and that's part of developing one's sense of the game of poker. u have to define how far u are willing to go with ur game. at the whim of the moment, u can't decide to play a game that is going to be more difficult than u can profitably play. i use to be one of those who would feel like i was just taking a chance at big money, that eventually i would hit it big and then have plenty of money to spare for higher limit games. however, i realized that even making a modest profit at lower limits until u reach a point where ur bankroll is capable of moving up is the right course of action. ive elimiated all tournaments from my play as well because of the volatility. i was tired of getting maybe 5 hands to play and losing 3 of them, busting out short of the money. cash games give me more of an opportunity to use every penny i got to constantly gain more, instead of having to risk a set amount of money up front with the hopes of getting it back being a lot less than at a cash table, where u decide how much u put in to each pot.

i think the level of skill in cash games progresses much faster through the levels than tournaments. the skill difference between 3 dollar and 10 dollar buyin tourneys isn't nearly as great as the level of difference in play between 5nl and 25nl. this is why i sought to try and make a few big scores playing tournaments, but actually, this reason alone should be enough to keep u away from them. see, in a small cash game, u can continually collect from the losing players without as much risk as a freezeout tournament--and u will get to play against the same bad players for a much longer time period. it seems sort of boring at first, but it definitely strengthens ur ability to play overall because of how many opportunities u'll be getting to play flops and so forth. winning cash game players who strictly play cahs games have a better chance at succeeding in tournaments than strict tournament players have of succeeding in cash games imo. cash games are a purer form of poker. for me to start having some winning sessions, i had to sit down and just focus as intently as i could at making all the best decisions. i think playing tournaments for a long period without any cash game success blinds u to how fast u are developing as a player. playing AND LOSING at cash games forces u to reevaluate where u are and where u want to be. there aren't nearly as many situations in tournaments where u can contemplate how good a play u made was, since tournaments require u to make decisions based on two factors that don't exist in cash games--elevating blinds and the cash bubble. therefore, u may blame a bad decision on the fact that something outside of ur control made u do it. while there is some room for contemplation in tournaments, playing well in cash games gives u greater insight into ur own mechanics without having to worry about tourney structure.

so the next time u sit down at a poker table, remember to think about ur goals and be aware of ur own play in a given context. don't play over ur head, and as always, don't let others' bad decisions influence ur strategy. u may not be as good a player today as u hope to be one day, but being completely aware of where ur at gives u the insight needed to begin improving. it's takes a good understanding of the fundamentals, a little inspiration, a little more experience, and a strong poker muscle to help u navigate the ups and downs of every playing style for maximum success

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