Who am I and why do you care? Now that I am where I am what do I do?
by moneedude | Published Aug 01, 2012
The challenge as I see it now
I am not going to change the dynamics I described earlier and really I am not supposed to want to.
As a player this is where and why I can profit from the game overall.
My skill set that needs to be developed and used is:
1. The ability to understand the game as it is designed overall.
2. The ability to adjust that understanding to better or best fit the game as it is being played right now at this moment or during this session.
3. Then make adjustments to my game that will allow me to be more successful and profitable in the current environment.
As a poker player the skills I am not using or have not been using to my best advantage are:
I am not being a disciplined player in the fact that I lack patience and get over involved during sessions thinking that 2 or 3 hours is a long time, when in poker land it is a split second actually. I need to better understand and use the skill of folding as a weapon.
I am not as aggressive as I think I need to be when I do get involved in a hand, especially when I get involved out of position with big cards or in an attempt to take the lead at a table overall. Early position entry requires a no limp policy and if this is the policy then any re-raise from any position is going to require a three or 4 bet and power on the flop or submission no real check calling will exist from this location unless this is a monster hand or draw.
Also I will need to play solid draws and double draws much more aggressively with players in front of me. Be willing to bet and raise from late position with solid drawing hands and get money in while the hand develops and not wait for the development shut out opportunities.
Playing strong positional aware poker also means not only betting when I have a hand to make money on, but also and more frequently betting when THEY do not have a hand to defend and taking money (smaller pots mostly) when they can not defend. So I need to be more aware of situations to make money when I have a hand and also make money when they do not have a hand my cards have to be an optional tool to make money with not the only tool to make money with. In the lower limit game this scenario is not as readily available as I would like but I am aware it is more available than I am currently taking advantage of.
I am supposed to adjust my game to fit better into the game around me. Play looser, play tighter, play slower, play faster. Adjust, change gears continuously. This means hand to hand, session to session, even hour to hour always be willing and ready to adjust to the current situation and conditions as they are now and as they are overall.
This statement is especially true for me when I have taken an aggressive stance in a game and have been aggressively pushing and winning for a while. I have to be more aware of when the table or maybe a player or two have in a sense had enough and are going to stubbornly fight back or at least stubbornly stick around to try and shut me down and get even.
I have to watch for signs of this that come as whispers between players, head shaking, and loose stubborn calling out of spite or frustration. Even comments to the effect of you can not win everything or all you do is raise. In a sense take control of the table but be aware when you may also become a frustration to the table and then others are targeting U more than the game because U have become a focal point in there frustration. Remember they want to have their fun and when you shut it out too long or even shut it down this is bad as well. (balance)
Read your boards, at this point more than your opponents.
After the flop is when you really have your first chance at all to start narrowing down the hand ranges you think you may be up against. It is still a fairly wide open window but you can start the narrowing process here and then really more on the turn.
Watch betting patterns here and the check call syndrome where no one has faith enough in their hand or skill to bet but somehow everyone has gamble enough to call and over call out of position.
Be very willing to pay two small bets here to learn information or change leadership in the hand. Raise more on the flop when in middle or late position for information and value than actual defense. Also this is one way to get cheaper cards and even cheaper show downs when everyone else has mediocre or fragile holdings as the norm is to shut down and check after the raise unless they have an actual hand in their own opinion.
Once you get an idea of what you may be up against then you be able to start to think about who has the what and how to move from here to the end.
After you read the boards and get an idea of what you are or could be up against use ALL of you math, hand odds, pot odds, and implied odds to carry you on after the flop. Opponents are still putting money in and willing to put money in the pot for two more rounds and usually multiple players.
I need to know what edges I have and be willing to invest in them more when they are available.
Gamble and Get Lucky:
Be a little braver I have got to learn to weather the storm better. This is the nature of the low limit as I see it played. Early bets and even most raises to and from your opponents do not have the same meaning as they do when I place them. They are day trading hopping for a big score even on very high risk investments. They are there to have fun waste some time see what happens. I have to hang in a little more be stubborn and do not make the superior lay down as often. I need to make sure sometimes more also.
Have fun find some of the excitement for the game as well. Seeing flops is exciting and fun. Let the deck help you and let luck help you. Do not be afraid to be the lucky guy on a rush sometimes. Just do it in position with odds.
Some general strategy changes and what to expect with them.
One decision that I feel that I needed to make is to loosen up. I believe that just as you can play too loose you can also then play too tight. I believe I have been playing too tight overall, to be as successful and as profitable as I can in the current game style.
Not going crazy and being a maniac or an idiot but adjusting in certain situations that I have been too tight in.
Also, if I think I am a better more skilled player I need to give all my skills more opportunity to be used. I can only do that being in the hand and getting in those situations where skills and knowledge can be of a benefit to me.
I have got to change my emotional involvement in the game as well I have to work very hard on maintaining a neutral emotional level even though I need to show a positive and bubbly outgoing personality at the table during the game.
Be involved in the game even when you may not be involved in the hand. Be social, be interactive with others, be kind of a talker.
This seems to work for me better than being a stone silent rock. It does help my concentration and it is better for my overall image.
People have fun gambling with you encourage them to gamble it is better for you in the long run for them to look forward to you in their groups. You do not really want or need to be feared at a low limit table.
I think this is also better for me emotionally and psychologically as I stay involved in the game at multiple levels.
With this new style I also have to get used to regular fluctuation in my stacks all the time during a session both up and down. I have to be more understanding of the fact that fluctuation has nothing to do with the actual quality of play or decision making in the short term of one session or hand. Fluctuation is a standard part of the game and I need to stick to my plan long enough to make a better evaluation of the effectiveness and then make adjustments or not.
So going forward I will use this as a base.
1.Early is tight as hell still and almost always for a raise coming in with straight forward strength.
1a. if trying to thin the field a bit look at the possible limp three bet as a weapon as you have seen the two bet really only builds the pot so raising early is to build the pot primarily but any thinning will be appreciated not expected.
1b. You also have to be able to raise a medium hand coming in once in a blue moon to make the overall field be able to wobble a bit IF THERE IS ANY ONE PAYING ATTENTION also it is a good way to maintain a bit of an action appearance if you get lucky and can show down a medium hand played strong every now and then.
2. Middle is still basically tight as hell especially against a raise of any kind once three folks have limped this is the first sign to start loosening up a bit on limp calls IT IS NOT A MANDATORY LOOSEN UP POSITION be aware of other opponents and their tendencies to raise or call. Also this is a good spot to raise medium strong and try and buy a little positional improvement as well. If you get callers behind you be very careful after the flop as this is where skills can make or break your stack.
3. Late position is where the FUN begins and you really need to open up and let the cards fall. The more limpers there are the more creative you can be. I can really start testing the hands in your book. This is also where you will see more turn cards. FOLDING IS STILL A MAJOR SKILL AS YOU ARE LOOSER YOU WILL FOLD MORE AFTER THE FLOP OR TURN ESPECIALLY DO NOT FORGET TO FOLD.
So I am going to loosen up to look for a more balanced game overall. I believe I am a better player than average so I should get in there and play.
The deck can not run me over if I am not in the hand. I can not get lucky if I do not try and get lucky. (At the right times only). It is more fun over all to play a bit and let the cards fall where they may but at least I will be trying to control my own destiny a bit more.
I have to try and take some hands the deck is not going to give me enough chance all by itself. Premium hands are too few and far between to allow stable activity this is one of my new theories. I need to take some pots that are up for taking this will allow me to survive the between times and may also allow for some profits I was missing before at the end of a day or week.
Remember I do not always want the “NUTS” to bet. Opponents can get away from the nuts more easily. I want to be on average better than my opponents so they are close enough to HAVE to pay off a lot of times.
It is gambling. Gambling smarter than my opponents is the goal. I can not survive and not gamble.
They will so I won’t list
DISCIPLINE AND PATIENCE
They will play weak ACES I won’t play weak ACES
They play weak suited connectors I won’t play weak suited cnctrs
They will take long draws I won’t take long draws
They will play for pots I will play for chips
They will play out of position I will always be position aware
They will be there to gamble I will be there to play poker (gamble smarter)
They will call, call, call I will usually raise or fold
They will play their cards only I will watch for situations and react to situations
The above is a beginning list. I will keep updating as I pay attention to the activities of the players and the tables I play at.
I understand it is not about winning pots. It is about winning profitable pots.
I understand better why patience is a virtue that will always take me in the right direction.
I understand EGO is worthless in the actions of poker. Pride is but a stick I can beat myself in the head with.
I understand better the need for controlled strict money management at the table BEWARE THE RAKE
I understand that poker is a journey to be taken and the roads up must also be taken back down. Up levels and down levels the journey must continue to its end.
I also understand that I must be true to myself above all else. My style my play my way.
So that is my recipe we will see how it cooks up and what I can make of it.
Enjoy my continued text storms.