Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Time to Win Me A Table

I'm back from my 'vacation' and the $1/2 NL game is running tonight. Actually, it needs a better name than that... I think I'll call it the 'Backwoods game' from now on.

A few things not in my favor tonight, namely that it'll be a full table (10+ players). And some of the more aggressive (read: better, or hard to play against) are playing. As I mentioned in my last few posts, I think I've been getting destroyed when I play decent players at a full table, because the game isn't as passive as I can't play as many hands... or can I?

In my small-ball post, I mentioned that I need to play more hands, but raise less when I'll likely be out of position. The days I've done well, I've raised very few hands, and they were all in position. The primary reason is to control the pot -- if I can't get my stack in on the flop with one bet (pretty much all the time), I'm better off keeping the pot small. Along with that, I can't call off my stack with top pair -- that's been a major leak.

So, tonight, I won't be raising as much or as large. I can raise a wide-range in position though, but not out of position. And if I am out of position, I should still raise reasonably small ($6-$7) to let me get away from hands on the flop.

As a corollary to this, I need to only limp with hands that I can stand a raise with. And I'm not talking about a weenie, sub-pot raise, I mean a pot raise. If I'm going to limp 55 in EP, I've got to call raises 90% of the time. In general, I need to be more willing to mix it up by calling raises with solid hands, and stay out of sticky spots with marginal hands.

Finally, I've got to avoid the temptation to tighten up (or loosen way up on getting involved in big pots with a single pair) when/if I get in a hole. I think that's a major leak too.

So, my goals for tonight:

  1. Play more hands in position, less out of position.
  2. Don't limp a hand I can't call a sizable raise with.
  3. Raise more in position but rarely out of position (slow-play big pairs in EP if I haven't been raising anything).
  4. Don't overvalue top pair! Think through my reads, and make the fold if I need to.
  5. Play my game no matter how much I've lost. That said, limit myself to $200 if I go past 10 pm, and $300 if I manage to lose my case before 10 pm.

Oh, and as for the title of the post.

There's a local dealer closing out a line of poker tables for $150 on Craigslist, so if I can win a couple of buy-ins tonight, I'm seriously going to consider getting one. Logistically, it might be a problem (it'll be hard to fit the table in my van), but I've wanted a table for home games for quite a while.

Hell, I might get a table even if I don't win tonight, but it'll be easier to rationalize it if I do win :)

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