Monday, February 20, 2006

Not Sure What's Been Happening...

So. Holiday weekend. After the past few weeks with minimal time for poker, I'm thinking I've got time to get several games in. And I do. Unfortunately, I miss the money in EVERY FUCKING ONE! Like 8 or more. The bankroll is on life support, and this is my first real bout of poker depression. It's just frustrating.

I seem to be suffering from diametrically opposed problems. First, my early style of play (which at least tended to get me to the money or at least the bubble) was too tight to let me get far enough as my stack would dwindle in the increasing blinds. Now, Steal The Blinds, Boobie Lover and others have been sharing a variety of SNG strategies, recently, with the focus (foci?) being on opening up the calling range of hands later in the tourneys and betting the proper amount to either generate or eliminate action in a pot. I still have a lot of work to do in both of those areas. I'm calling hands that I normally wouldn't call, and either betting not enough to keep suckouts out of a pot or betting too much that I become Pot Committed (sorry, Change) and can't get away from a hand that hasn't come together without losing so much of my stack as to be crippled. It's very frustrating. I did have one hand in my last tourney that I was proud of, though. I was actually playing pretty solidly in an 18 player SNG, and we were about a 3rd of the way thru. I get JJ in the pocket, and am called by A6o. Flop comes 5AJ. A6, whom I've got covered not quite 2 to 1 pushes all in. He gave no action preflop, outside of calling a min-raise, so I didn't put him on AA and called his ass. His aces against my set, and the river brings the case jack. Can we say, "dems quads, beeches"? Unfortunately, that was the only really great hand I had.

I won most of the hands that I should have. Unfortunately, I wasn't winning the hands that I wasn't supposed to. I know what you're thinking...duh! The crime isn't that I wasn't getting the love (although I'm not above giving somebody a bad beat) on the flop, it was that I was stupidly calling things that I had no right to, or not getting away from hands that I should have. I wasn't as card dead as I'd been in a previous SNG, but I wasn't getting any kind of help from the deck. Ok. Advice has been open up the calling range later in the SNGs. Fine. An example. KJs. Certainly not a top ten hand, but a reasonably strong hand. Blinds are 100/200. Someone min-raises, and I call that. No big deal. Flop comes Axx in diamonds. So we have the big overcard and zero help on my flush. That's the kind of stuff I've been running into. J9h in the BB. Min raise and I call. Flop comes down zero hearts. So I tighten up my calling range again.
AQc. Very strong hand, and I bet it accordingly preflop. Of course I get a caller. Flop comes down 2 hearts and a spade, K77. Again, zero help, villain bets and I fold. Another good hand is TT. Flop comes AA9. Bets are flying and I fold.

I'm not sure what to do. I guess for the time being I just tighten up and play only the absolutely premium hands and try to rebuild the bankroll. Oh well. At least it was an extended weekend. Have a good week all.


Klopzi said...

If your bankroll's getting low, you may have to turn to ring games to build it back up for a bit. Don't be afraid to put SNGs on the back burner for a while.

Many people will tell you that SNGs are lower variance than ring game play. This is true: you'll lose and win far less by playing SNGs than you would in ring games (assuming you're playing at comparable buy-in levels).

Unfortunately, variance is a long term concept. I've gone as many as 15 SNGs without placing then come back to win 2 or 3 in a row.

Don't give up hope. Poker's all about the long run. Just make sure you've got the bankroll to give yourself a chance to catch an upswing.

drewspop said...

Man, you sound depressed. Gotta love poker. Think happy thoughts...think happy thoughts...

Seriously though, the bad stretches happen to everyone. I have them more than most (mostly because I suck) but keep coming back for another kick in the junk.

I know the feeling when you even drop down to the lowest stakes SNGs you can, and still feel like you are getting outplayed or outdraw. It does happen.

I would say keep trying to stick to the various guides you have been reading (I have been reading them too) and pick out the best strategy for you. I have found that I like the one where you basically let all the donkeys bust each other out and play nothing but top 10 hands until down to 5 players. Then kick it into gear. I thought I was following it (and still crapping out) but then realized, I was leaking chips on some non-top 10 hands earlier than I should have.

Sorry for the ramble but cheer up dude. It will come around for you.

iamhoff said...

Yeah, it's depressing but I don't hate poker. I love it! Man that sucks! Seriously, I just need to take a deep breath and get back to the basics that were allowing me to at least cash. I'll probably try some low to micro ring games and see what I can do. Fortunately, all of my poker bankroll (online and B/M) are accessible thru the same offshore accounts (cool. I sound like some sort of drug dealer or money launderer!), so my B/M winnings can help replenish things. As it sits, I'm still in the black completely, so I'm still playing on other people's money. I just have to get my groove back and stop donking off chips on stupid calls. We'll see how things go this week. I may take most of the week off to get my head screwed on right. We'll see...

Thanks for the good vibes.

huma said...

An example. KJs. Certainly not a top ten hand, but a reasonably strong hand. Blinds are 100/200. Someone min-raises, and I call that. No big deal. Flop comes Axx in diamonds. So we have the big overcard and zero help on my flush

Ok, at 100/200 what I do here is check the flop, and fold to any bet. If opponents checks the turn, I first consult Pokeroffice to see what type of player they are, and if they are passive postflop, I bet big. This almost always works out for me.

A swing of 8 losses isn't abnormal for these crappy SNG's. If you can afford a few buyins, why don't you try the turbo $3+0.40 10player SNGs at Stars. I'm having fairly consistant success with these lately (as in, 50-60% ITM) playing 2 tables at a time.