After reading a Russ G. post claiming that Hold ‘Em is the worst game for a pro to play, since it requires the least skill to play, I decided to try my hand at stud. Russ seems like a horrible person, but he is a microcosm of RGP– if you sort through enough of his crap, eventually you’ll find something interesting. I just finished Yardley’s book, which advocates super-tight play, and discusses all the old school forms of poker (no Hold Em). He gives a few simple rules for starting hands, and I figured I’d give it a shot. I’ve played some $1-2 stud, and it does seem that less suckouts happen here, since there are no community cards. You also have to pay attention to other players up cards, giving someone with memory an advantage.
Of course, all the $1-2 tables were full, so I had to bump up to $3-6.
I started out pretty well, and was quickly up $50. The pots in stud can get pretty big relative to hold em, since there are 5 rounds of betting. But after I missed my share of 4-straights and 4-flushes, I ended up cashing out down $80. Much to learn. What’s worse, I discovered that PokerTracker doesn’t handle stud games! Oh well.
In Hold ‘Em news, I finally got back to winning last night. $160 in 35 minutes on 2 tables! Felt good. I think I earned most of it too.
–$92 win when my pocket tens held up to a board of Jh 3s 2s 5h As. I bet them the whole way, and was able to chase a couple players out, and managed to checkraise on the turn a guy with pocket 8s. Finally I made a good read on someone.
–$54 with QQ
–$57 when my pocket sevens flopped a set
Nothing too exciting. But I finally was able to make some decent calls with my non-top pair hands, and that made the difference in the short session. The wife came home, so I cut the session off, pocketing 16 BB.
It had been a while since I’d played any SNG, so I thought I was due for a $30 NL tourney. I’ve done pretty well at these, and really liked them when I was learning. But the EV here is so low– it’s not too hard to get 3rd, but for 1 hour of play and a $30 win, the return is pretty weak. I checked pokertracker, and it had me at a ridiculous win rate:
10 $30 tourneys, with a net amount of $347 (3 firsts, 2 2nds, and a 3rd). There is a bias here, since I didn’t request hand histories for a bunch of the losses I’ve taken, and it doesn’t include all the $6 SNGs I played when I was getting started. I’d say I’m probably about even overall… I play very tight until the blinds go up to 50/100, when I start making moves and trying to pick up chips.
The tourney started out in the usual fashion, with 4 or 5 limit limpers playing every pot when the blinds are low. After mucking for a while, I picked up 75o in the BB, and called 15 after 3 players limped in. I’ll take the implied odds… Beautiful flop– 7 7 9 with 2 diamonds. I bet out 250 (too much? but I’m afraid of the flush) and get one caller. The turn is… a 7!!! I pee in my pants and check it, hoping that the river is another diamond… and it is!!! All-in time… and he calls! He shows the ATd, and my quads draw oohs and ahhs from the peanut gallery. A lesson in implied odds.
Anyway, that gave me a lot of chips to work with, and I waited it out while the fireworks went off around me. Actually the table was pretty tight, and it ended up being one of the longest SNGs I’d ever played. I made some steals, and survived to make the final 3, with the chip count like this:
seat 2: 3200
seat 8: 1320
Seat 8 was very tight, and I was able to steal liberally from him, but I didn’t have much of a read on the other guy. On the SB I got A9o, and figure I could steal seat 8s BB (button folded) with an all-in. But he calls, and says “Watch out now”, and his pocket rockets hold up. Ok, he got me, but I still like this play. So I’m down to 2160, but I like my chances. Then comes this hand:
I’m in the BB (which is 400 at this point), seat 2 is on the button. Seat 2 calls, which confuses me, because he seems to be tight and more or less solid, so I question the limp. Seat 8 calls from SB, and I see AJs on my BB. I figure my hand has got to be best, and I have a chance to pick up 800 chips. I think for a second and go all-in, and the board does not help… I know I’m beat, and to rub salt in the wound, Seat 8 turns over… AA! Bullets, twice in 3 hands. Ouch.
Anyway, I think I played this hand poorly. I should have taken the Hellmuth approach… I knew I could outplay the other 2 players, so all-in bets should be used sparingly. The tight player limp should have rang the warning bells, and I should have waited it out a few hands, even though the blinds were up to 400. Some of you readers would have played this better than me… advice???
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