Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Truckin' and Actual Poker Content

I hope you all will take the time to check out this month's special "L.A. Story" issue of Truckin'. A slew of L.A. bloggers contributed pieces this month, including Joe Speaker, Shane Nickerson, Facty, and yours truly. I dug into my Hollywood archives and shared one of the odder experiecnes I had as a young, green D-assistant when Charlie sent me to pry a script out of the laptop of a coked-out, AWOL writer. The resulting story is Paging Dominic Leare.

I've been stepping up the poker this week, spending more of my time grinding the ye olde trusty limit hold'em games. My time has been evenly split between 3-6 and 5-10, the decision usually based on the quality of fish sitting in. No-limit tournaments are still my best game (I think), but if I'm gonna make some consistent money, and at this juncture I need to, I have to become a better limit player. It's funny, it all used to be reversed until I won that blasted WSOP seat on Full Tilt last year and turned my attention to NL. Limit was so mind-numbingly boring to me after I smoked the tournament crack pipe.

But here I am, back on the bandwagon. I'm still a bit rusty and working out the kinks, but I'm getting there. I'm remembering why it's so hard to push people off hands and why it's such a terrible idea to bluff. I've totally re-learned how to play overcards. And I'm a much stronger blind defender. But if there are two things I can tell you about my limit hold'em play now vs. a year ago it's (1) I was missing the fearlessness I needed for the game before because I was playing too scared with an inadequate bankroll and (2) I'm trusting my reads and calling down fewer hands when I know I'm beat, unless it's some ginormous pot and I have sufficient equity to do so. Folding makes you money.

Yesterday I played maybe a thousand hands of LHE and walked away with 200 bucks or so. It should have been a lot more, maybe even 500 or so. But there were suckouts. Brutal ones that made my hair curl. Half a dozen or more where I was 8-1 or better going to the river. There will always be suckouts. But I was OK with them because I played the hands correctly. Had I won the hands and not maximized my equity, I'd have been more disappointed in myself.

The more you play, the less it hurts.

I'm still playing tournaments, of course. Just fewer of them. I hit up two of the $16 WSOP double shootouts on Stars yesterday evening. In the first one, I got down to heads-up in the first round, turning a straight to lose to runner runner FH for 12th of 89. In the second one I made it to three-handed on the first table. Picked up AA vs. AK to have the board come a straight. That's the hand that shoulda done it for me. Down to 15BB I re-raised a perpetual button raiser's button raise all in with AT suited and he had AK. Bounced in 17th of 73. I also used my two hard-earned peep tokens for a couple of shots at the $17K Guaranteed. Monday night's ended for me in the first hour when kings ran into aces. My demise came tonight about 50-something from the money at the end of hour two. I got an opponent all-in dominated twice and lost both times when their inferior kickers hit the flop. Boooooooo. My money went in good and I can't be unhappy with that. It certainly takes the sting out a little. Though tonight's domination double smackdown did send me on mini-tilt.

But I can't stay there for long. I'm going to Vegas.


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C.L. Russo said...

(2) I'm trusting my reads and calling down fewer hands when I know I'm beat, unless it's some ginormous pot and I have sufficient equity to do so. Folding makes you money.

At what point is a pot too big to let go? My rule has been anything 10bb's or bigger.

I play the lowest limits though-I've found it's generally profitable to stay in these hands for one bet because alot of players will bet and call with nothing and what logic would say is a pretty weak hand stands up.