Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Next Chapter

It's been a while since I've written about what I'm doing in the ring game arena, and much has changed.

The last time I wrote about the ring games I had just moved to the 5/10 limit level. I spent most of September trying to find my bearings but after 6,107 hands I was running down 1.78BB/100. This amount is roughly equal to the rake that's been paid during that time period. I was playing even with the players but losing the rake to the house. Nothing some study and concentration couldn't overcome but usual...I had to dip into the bankroll. This left me with too little left to withstand any losses necessary to overcome the learning curve.

Moving back to 3/6 really wasn't all that appealing to me so I needed a new direction. I had always talked about making Omaha the next game I would delve heavily into. The money though, it seemed, was all at the no limit tables. Now I was a die hard limit player. The only no limit I played was in tournaments. Having had some success in these I figured no limit would be an easy transition.

At first it was. I started out playing the $100NL tables and met with early success. As has always been the case in my past poker experience...early success...translates into horrid downswings. I began by going on a nice run and finishing up seven buy ins my first week. During the course of the next two I would go on to lose fifteen.

Faced with an ever dwindling bankroll I dropped to the $50 tables. Here is where I have begun to find my way. A large problem I had for a few days after moving down was that I wasn't thinking in correct terms when it came to bets. In limit poker everything translates into small and big bets. In no limit you deal with the big blind preflop and the pot size post flop. Without being able to translate my wagers into these limit type finite bet numbers the actual dollar amounts were my only concern. I found it to easy to put money into the middle when the entire pot size was going to end up being smaller than an amount I was putting in preflop just weeks earlier. No limit has also put a new meaning to the words bad beat for me. Technically the donkeys chasing aren't any different, it's just that now I can lose an entire buy-in when one happens. When they happen in uncharacteristic succession it really puts a damper on the whole poker experience.

Finally, last night, I took a look at where my game is heading. The results I'm witnessing are very similar to the progression I went through as a starting limit player. My preflop numbers are now indicative of much tighter play than I had as a limit player. I'm also much more aggressive post flop. This aggression is both a blessing and a curse. I feel that if I am going to become successful at no limit I'm going to have to gain further control of that aspect of my game. I'm able to easily win the small pots but I'm losing to many big ones. Since there are so many more calling stations playing than I'm used to I have a hard time gauging the strength of my hand in relation to others. This then leads to a tendency of overplaying my holdings.

I have some work to do and I'm looking forward to the learning process. Hopefully it won't be a long process since I've gone through it before.

What does all this mean? Well I should have a reason to blog more now. It's almost like starting over and I'm going to have to spend more time looking at everything in Poker Tracker. This lends itself to needing a way to get everything to sink in...that's where the blog comes in. It used to be my way of expressing what I was trying to get into my thick skull. No reason why it can't be again.

In unrelated drivel - I'm sure everyone is up in arms over the PokerShare fiasco. As I liked to play my tournaments almost exclusively at UltimateBet by way of PokerShare, I no longer have my tournament bankroll. They say a check is on the way but that could take forever. In the mean time if anyone is looking to bankroll a moderately successful tournament player drop me a note.