Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Movie Ticket Escape Hatch

I guess I forgot to write about hands from last Sunday's session. Well I'll summarize it here:

  • I found some creative ways to lose with big hands (notably losing with 55 vs JJ on a K65 6 6 board). Yeah, that one tilted me a bit.
  • I ran into some trouble value-betting the river out of position when I should have been check-calling (i.e. if I get raised I should have folded). Read: getting to fancy... For example: I have Kd7d in the SB, flop comes Kc9c6c, I check (should have lead at the pot and folded to resistance), checks around. On the turn, I checked again, BB bets, I call. River is another K, and I lead out, get raised by the BB, and I call and lose. It was a path that lost me the max with minimal knowledge of my opponents hand.
Ok, that's out of the way.

With some time, I'm realizing that I'm making my major decisions about my opponent's range early in the hand and taken paths that tend to disguise the hand. Like the AA hand at the last game, if I had bet the turn, not even necessarily a big bet, that would have forced my opponent to raise me on the turn or raise me on the river. Check-calling doesn't tell me if I'm ahead or behind, making the river decision for a TON of chips harder.

I need to play less fancily in unknown situations and bet if I'm willing to call a bet.

One strength of my game is that I'm able to fold big hands if I'm given sufficient information to get away from the hand; so I need to start playing hands in a way to give me that opportunity.

So, tonight, I'm playing $1/2 NLHE. These are my goals:
  1. Play more hands in position with more raises, less out of position.
  2. Don't be afraid to bet out of position if I'm able to fold to a raise. Or, alternatively, don't play my big but non-nut hands in a passive way that makes me call a lot of bets with little information. Along with that though...
  3. Don't overvalue top pair! Think through my reads, and make the fold if I need to.
  4. Use the movie ticket escape hatch. More on that in a second.

Another realization I came to was that I've never failed to lose my third buy-in. Ok, maybe once, but I don't have an accurate record of it. Usually, once I've lost $200+, I just haven't won anything back. So, my max buy-in is $200 (maybe $250 if I need a partial reload to avoid short stack play). If I lose two buy-ins quickly, I'll just go to a movie. $10 for a movie ticket is a lot cheaper than another $100 buy-in. And I'll enjoy the movie more :)

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