Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Back to Limit

I've drifted back to limit holdem recently, despite most of my occasional poker profits coming from no-limit. I started on limit and never really got ahead in it - PokerTracker shows me a couple hundred bucks in the red for my limit games before I discovered no-limit games on Party and how you can sometimes clean up when you hold the stone cold nuts and some idiot (or idiots) makes a play that leaves you scratching your head and checking your cards again to make sure that your ace-high flush really is the best possible hand, so why is this guy pushing all-in with what turns out to be a pair of nines?

But I'll be back in Vegas again soon and probably playing limit, so figured I should try to come to grips with it and figure out what I'm doing wrong. I reread Winning Low Limit Holdem, and have started playing again trying to follow its starting hands religiously and as much of Lee Jones' other advice as best I can remember it. I've also reviewed the Poker Tracker Guide and started reviewing my play after recent sessions, trying to see where I am making my mistakes. I've found flaws and bad plays all over the place - I'm really in pretty awful shape. But I'm working on it and much more aware of the problems than before, so I should be in better shape after a couple more weeks of practice, review, and self-appraisal. My last several limit sessions have each ended with a small but reasonable profit, which is encouraging. But it is still far too early to declare that I have beaten the game.

I was going to start rereading Small Stakes Holdem again, too, but decided I had better stick with the simpler WLLH for now until I feel totally comfortable with it and showing some gains that are more than just normal variance. SSH really aims at showing you how to push every little advantage to squeeze out extra profits, but I think right now it will just confuse me and work against me. I'll come back to it later once I feel that I have shown that I have grasped WLLH.

In the small blind with A2o, UTG limps and the others in front all fold -- is it reasonable to call the half-bet to try to see a flop? PokerTracker says I did that once last night, but I don't remember it happening. I guess I figured it was worth a half-bet to try for a wheel draw or A-2 two pair, but looking at it afterwards it seems like a bad play. With only two other players, I'm not likely to get odds to pursue a straight draw, and UTG may well have an Ace with a higher kicker. Oh well, at least I am actually bothering to check my logs for plays like this and try to think them out later.

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