Thursday, October 26, 2006

Make the bad luck work for you

So you've had kind of a shitty week of poker, and you sit down Wednesday night ready to have some fun.
And the plan of fun quickly turns to shit, as bad luck, rather than chips, come your way yet again.
And you tell the person currently reading this blog (hi!) that this will not be a blog of bad beat stories. Trust me. I'm basically even for the week despite the blahness of it, and I've had a couple good weeks prior to this one, so No Bitching Allowed.
But you get NO action on your good cards in The Mookie. You raise with K,A four times and nothing. And you get QQ and nothing. Now I know I can be downlike rock-like at times, but I probably raised at least once an orbit. You might think that someone might want to look me up, no?

So, of course, I'm on life support, with about 1K in chips, and my M is 5, so I get 9,9 and shove. And someone with A,K calls me. A good call, in my mind. When the eager-beaver overacheiver gets not only one but two Ks on the flop, I'm done in 34th (?) place, and I lose yet a coin flip with a pocket pair against two overcards for the second week in a row.
I am not pissed at all, given that I enter The Mookie because it's fun to play with good players and have little to no expectation of winning on a regular basis. When the field is stacked, as they say, things simply have to go your way to make the final table.

So I then enter two token races, Turbo races, mind you, and I place 7th and 8th in both. Six places pay. I had chips in both and got blinded off essentially both times.

Now I know I have a serious hole in my game in that I don't like to steal too often. I prefer to wait for the cards and play them well. And the problem comes when you are second in chips in the goddam turbo tournament and the other short stacks refuse to cooperate and win their coin flips. You eventually just get eaten away by the blinds. And the blinds are so high you might as well go all-in rather than raise 3xs, given that you'll be left on life support if you lose.
Sorry, I don't want to put my hard-earned chips on the line with 10 high. And 10 high, or something less than that, was what I was seeing in these late rounds.

NOTHING makes you question your game more than bubble finishes. I'm too weak. I'm too predictable. I'm too patient. Patience, of course, is a good trait in many tournaments.
But basically I'm through with the Turbo token races. Yes, they pay better, but I think I might try the $6 slower races, as they pay less but are more suited to my style.

Then I entered a HORSE SnG for the first time evah and got sucked out on five times. Twice in Omaha, which don't really count, and twice in 7-card stud, the final blow coming when the dude called my two pair of As and Js with nothing and needing two spades with four cards to come. He got them both, the last on the cruel 7th Street. I win that and I probably cash.

So now I'm frustrated, but I saw something in Razz. I had never played Razz before but knew enough about it from reading all y' all. The game struck me as easy and fun.
So with a little coaching from Slb and Felicia's advice to never bring in unless you have three cards with 7 or under (I modified it to 8 or under), I dove into a $1/2 limit razz game to end the night.

I started down $8 but hung in there and played tight. And then I won a $25 pot with 2,3,4,6,7. Who-hoo! I was about $20 most of the night after winning another big pot when a guy called me with Q high (?). I did lose a couple of tough ones, including the last pot when a Q on 7th Street screwed me, but it worked out well and I won $12 for the session.
Plus the rake helped me with my bonus.

So the moral of the story is, if you're getting shitty luck, play Razz, where you will be transported to an alternate universe, where bad luck is good, Hair Metal is still popular, and Britney Spears never got pregnant and is still appearing on TV half-naked.


SirFWALGMan said...

yeah thats gonna work.. freaking razz is the ultimate tild game in the universe.. you should watch Howard Lederer play razz and you will understand..

slb159 said...

Fun playing the Razz table with ya'. Yeah, at our levels, you can include a 3-low 8 in your cards to stay in the hand since people repeatedly play any TWO low cards and brick most of the time on later streets.

chipper said...

If you need a boost in your aggression, try playing the Turbo SNG's. It forces you to play a bit more aggressively and steal more often to stay ahead of the blinds. They are my favorite type of SNG to play.

I've also been playing a lot of HORSE, Razz and Omaha Hi/Lo lately. It's easy to get tired of NL Holdem and having a new game is refreshing. I've had the most luck at Omaha Hi/Lo lately. Playing HORSE forces you to apply your poker knowledge across many games. It can only help but improve your game overall.

Just remember, you may only have a 10 high - but THEY don't know that. Play it like you have a high pair and use the board to your advantage. Your tight image is something you can use later on when you steal. Just don't make it look obvious.