Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Back in the Saddle?

Having not flung any chips about since Thursday, I was determined to play some cards last night. Since coming back from Vegas I have been trying to sort out where I am going with my Poker game, and what I am trying to achieve. Unfortunately I have been drawing some blanks.
At this stage of my development I really believe I am a much stronger tournament NLHE player than I am a cash game NLHE player. I have been finding more and more that I am not playing NLHE ring games unless I am working off a bonus. Of course it's OK to be a better tournament player than a cash player... but do I want to work on my cash game? Or just concentrate on tournaments?

Of course we are just talking about NLHE here. I don't regard my LHE game as strong at all, but I haven't really exercised it recently. For quite a while if I haven't been playing NLHE, I've been playing some other variant of poker.

Back towards the end of last year (when I still really didn't know what I was doing, unlike know, when I am just mildly unsure) I started playing PLO when I was getting my ass kicked on Full Tilt. I enjoyed playing that for a while, until Waffles posted about O8. I got into that for a while, playing PLO8 quite a bit... and then I discovered 180 SnGs on Stars so it was NLHE all the time.

Lately, as everyone is aware, I've been hitting the Triple Draw tables with some force. I have been enjoying that, but I am at the stage now where I think I really need to evaluate and decide how best to progress. I've gotten to where I am through some initial reading, and then using my card (non)sense. I still feel I need to really think about this game some more - properly reading the section in Super System II is probably a good start. Maybe I'm a little shy at the moment after having a run of horrific sessions, though I do believe that it was just one of those periods that you have with such a swingy game. You know, people being dealt pat wheels while you make the second best hand possible on your first draw (I am still proud of myself for losing the minimum); people catching two cards on the third draw while you brick three times in a row... It's the nature of the beast.

Last night, after bubbling in peep sex and then flaming out in the second hour of a 180 SnG (not due to bad play, just losing a 65/35 followed by a 70/30... it happens) I even decided to play Razz. Razz!

As a last resort, and while heavily under the influence, I played a low buy-in HORSE SnG. It was actually the first non-blogger HORSE I have played, the two blogger tournies and then at the MGM a couple of weeks ago being the only times I have ridden high in the saddle. The thing is, I quite like HORSE, and I seem to do well in it. I feel that for the most part, particularly against people who are not so used to playing the different games, my overall card sense and knowledge of the games puts me in good stead. Being able to sense weakness in a Razz or S8 hand and push people off their weak cards helps as well.

You've probably worked out by now that I won the HORSE SnG. I sure hope I didn't jinx myself in my future equine adventures.

I know a lot of bloggers like to play non-Hold'em games to just avoid burnout with the Poker variant that dominates the gambling landscape. I'm just not sure whether my flirting with other games is caused by such burnout, or if it just reflects a general disenchantment with my HE game in general... or maybe I am just continuing my development as an overall card player and my interest learning other games is just a reflection of that.

This is all a long-winded way of saying: I am not sure where I am going with my game. The big decision right now is probably: Am I going to take my poker game seriously, or is it all just for fun? If I decide to take it seriously then I really need to look at my game, set some goals, record my progress, and go for it. If I decide that I am just having fun, that this is just a hobby and if I make some money then great... well, then I can just continue to faff about like I have been lately.

The catch being, of course, that being the Master Procrastinator that I am, it's very easy just to put off making a decision. Which means I continue to faff about by default. And I'm not sure I'm enjoying that right now.

Feel free to chime in with your two cents worth in the comments. Hell, if you think I'm an introspective whiny douchebag, feel free to say it as well. You know you want to.


  • I want notices when you're playing PLO8 in the future.

    Vegas needs a college fund :D

    Nice win playing HORSE last night!

    By Blogger Drizztdj, at 10:43 AM  

  • I am not sure where I am going with my game. The big decision right now is probably: Am I going to take my poker game seriously, or is it all just for fun?

    Ditto. I spent a few dys on the bike thinking these very same questions. Still wrestling with it, but think I have a better idea of direction I'm going (besides down).

    And we all love you, irregardless of you being a introspective whiny doucebag *grin.

    By Blogger katitude, at 4:56 PM  

  • Hmm..introspective whiny doucebag moments are important in life. And in Poker.

    IMHO, you seem to be flailing a bit - going from novelty to novelty without deciding if you want to work on your OVERALL poker game, or settle down and marry one or two of your favourite games (hmm..that analogy didn't work, but we'll assume you live in Utah for the purpose of this comment).

    So yes, it is decision time - I vote for working on your game as a whole. It's a rare beast who has the card sense across games that you do.

    By Blogger Jules, at 6:24 PM  

  • I'm very bored with poker right now, so I'm just not playing (much). Not what some would call "improvement," but similar breaks have proved beneficial in the past.

    I know "stasis is death," but sometimes feeling like you have to drive ever forward is pressure, a white noise that affects learning. Sometimes it's better just to "be still."

    Questioning your game, your motivations, your goals...that's important stuff. It'll come to you.

    By Blogger Joe Speaker, at 5:53 PM  

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