Thursday, December 01, 2005

Starting Over

Trying to improve my limit game feels very much like starting completely over. I started with limit and played for a long time and never got to a point where I could turn a profit in the long run - instead I tried no-limit and found I made a lot of money by playing relatively tight and waiting for some idiot to do something stupid for all his chips when I held the nuts. On lower levels on Party Poker this happened a lot, enough to decide that maybe limit was just not my game and no-limit was more my style.

Recently I start to think I missed out on something by not figuring out what I was doing wrong in limit play and correcting it before moving on to no-limit. Even if I can make a profit at NL, I want to keep plugging away at limit until I get a handle on it, and then I can leave it for NL with a clear conscience, if that's what I choose.

So I am playing a lot of limit right now, trying to follow WLLH as closely as I can. I still screw up, but I seem to be doing better. I'm having winning and losing tables, but winning slightly more than I am losing so it feels like progress. Checking PokerTracker afterwards to look for stupid plays that seemed to make sense at the time and try to see the bigger picture.

Plus, there are a lot of helpful souls out there who are all too happy to give valuable play advice when they see you make a questionable decision.

One off of the button with As Jd, I open with a raise. Button and SB fold, BB re-raises. I call.

The flop comes Th 7c 8h, so all I have is an inside straight draw. BB bets, and I call.

The turn is Qc, which gives me another inside straight draw, though now there are two hearts and two clubs out there. BB bets and I call.

The river is 9s, so I make my straight. No flushes out there, so when the BB raises I re-raise. We cap it, and he turns over Ah Jh, so we both have the same straight and chop the pot.

DaStoneKILLA said, "what did u have"

DaStoneKILLA said, "on the flop"

I'm not quite sure what he's asking at this point. Was his attention diverted and he didn't notice that I also had A-J and we split the pot, when he thought he must have had it won? I give him a few seconds to scroll back and check.

DaStoneKILLA said, "frkin cant"

DaStoneKILLA said, " believe the play"

DaStoneKILLA said, "understand english"

I get the feeling he wants me to respond, despite the lack of a question mark to indicate it.

JamesAt15 said, "is that a question?"

DaStoneKILLA said, "its a ? ahole"

Ah, so his question mark key does work. That's a relief.

JamesAt15 said, "well, I had AJ on the flop, same as you"

DaStoneKILLA said, "i had a flush draw"

DaStoneKILLA said, "u had a longshot"

Hmm, he's right! He was betting both a straight and flush draw, and I was calling with just a straight draw with two hearts on the board. And two clubs after the turn, too. So I had considerably fewer outs than I was thinking.

JamesAt15 said, "yep"

DaStoneKILLA said, "we both got there"

DaStoneKILLA said, "where were ur pot odds"
DaStoneKILLA said, ">"

That must be another attempt at a question mark, although he missed it and hit the key next to it. His consideration for my desire for proper punctuation is touching - he doesn't seem to be in the habit of using it and is making a special effort for my benefit. I remind myself that many people don't use computers as much as I do and may have difficulty finding their way around a keyboard.

What's more, my benefactor seems distressed at my blunder. I try to put his concerns at ease. He should look on the bright side - my poor play actually made him money, according to Sklansky!

JamesAt15 said, "why are you asking? you should be happy if I call without proper odds"

DaStoneKILLA said, "u had nothing"

DaStoneKILLA said, "get u nxt time"

Helpful to the end, he reminds me that even though my play didn't lose me money this time around, in the long run this is -EV. I nod and remind myself of the dangers of results-oriented thinking.


Whaaaaa? said...

"DaStoneKILLA". Gotta love the frat boys with their "menacing" handles.

Pop a cap in his azz, dawg!

James said...

His screen image (this is on PokerStars) was a Jaws-like great white shark surfacing out of the water, too. Worth an eyebrow-raise and a wry grin.