Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Truth about Bad Beats

- You're not special. They happen to everyone and unless you've to lost something like quads over quads it's really very standard.
- They're not interesting. If anything it shows a lack of understanding of the math, variance and overall poor mental approach. Most who tell bad beat stories are looking for validation which also shows a lack of self belief.
- If you're playing well you will generally get your money in good and will take more bad beats than most.
- It's proof the poker 'machine' is functioning perfectly. The poker what? It's that perfect balance between the good players making a tidy profit and the poor players winning sufficiently to keep plugging away. It's the fools gold they receive when they completely misplay a hand but stack someone that made good decisions on every street. It's the necessary evil that means average poker players earn a much better living than excellent chess players.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stakes and Bankroll Management

My thoughts on picking the right stakes.

Play at a level where getting stacked will sting just a little. Otherwise, you're effectively playing a video game.

But never play at a level where getting stacked hurts. Apart from it affecting your decision making there's also the lingering pain that continues away from the table into your personal life.

As for bankroll management, I've come to the conclusion that for the most part it's a complete waste of time. Unless you're a professional or unless you absolutely cannot under any circumstances reload, you should play the level you can achieve the best hourly rate. If you need to reload, big deal?

I see a lot of people deposit $20 then grind the penny stakes for months trying to build a bankroll? Why? To brag to friends that you built a paltry 20 bucks into a monster bankroll? I should know, I did the same... then looking bank realized what a waste of time it is. In hindsight, the process I'd follow would be:
- play a little 5NL to get used to the game and interface
- make a decent deposit (to get the deposit bonus) then grind 25NL
- build my BR then move to 50, 100NL etc.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Table Ratings

I didn't use this site a great deal as it was previously for 100NL and above, but now they include micro stakes. It's become an invaluable tool for me and during any dead time I'm usually 'researching' players at my table. Two particular types of players which have always caused me headaches are:

a) The 'any 2' preflop types that play a standard game post flop. They're looking for two pair or better and often lure the TAG's into over-playing one pair. They're usually to the far right of the preflop graph but bang on average for post flop.
b) The TAG's who happily stack off with top pair or an over-pair despite the board. Conversely, they're typically on the far left preflop but way to the right on the flop once they hit.

Identifying these types at the beginning of a session has helped immensely. Despite some awful coolers the last little while i'm still profiting and feel much better at the tables now.

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