Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tortoise vs Hare

Just above the sink in my kitchen there is an old blackboard hanging next to an equally dated noticeboard, and it is on this quaint medium that I and other members of the house occasionally scrawl a goal or more likely a reminder. Last night I daubed 'Get to 20k' in my awkward left-handed scrawl onto the otherwise empty slate. With a current hourly rate of just under $30, and over 7k needed, my brain tells me it will take…. quite a while. A very long while actually. About 240 hours worth. Now, this is clearly not a viable timeframe if I want to get this goal done for xmas, so I'm proposing playing a lot better and learning lots more about the game to facilitate this.

Here's my plan:

Re-read "Theory of Poker", "The Art of Bluffing", "Professional Poker" and "NLHE Theory and Practice" answering all the quiz questions and practicing the concepts at regular intervals while I work through each book. Thinking constantly about the game is essential, but most people won't improve if their thoughts are not guided by a professional.

Make more notes on each player throughout every game, as you can't just see one bad play and label someone with Cracker/Chaser/Terrible. This mistake is easy to make and can prove costly, plus I'd hate to be judged on the strength of some of my less-than-clever plays! This is a necessary discipline that should be a habit of any serious player.

Stop playing K small suited. I have been playing about with Kx suited a lot recently and the only time it's ok to limp with it is if x is 7 or higher and you are on the button. If you are in a very aggressive game do not bother even limping, as otherwise you're throwing away a marginal easily-dominated hand preflop far too often for limping prove profitable. Just remember it's like playing a Ax suited where x is 6 or lower.

Raise more tentative bets from SB on the flop. Most often people in the SB or BB will hit the unraised flop but worry about their kicker so bet out to find where they stand. With position you can usually raise and win the pot instantly or on the turn with a ½ pot continuation bet. Of course, once in a while they will pair their kicker or similar but this move is easily successful enough to remain profitable when you have to fold after getting reraised (and you have nothing).

All of that said, I played well over the weekend, and am almost back at the 13k hurdle. Let's see how my game progresses….

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