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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Bloggery With Intent To Chronicle Poker – Machine Gun

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Everyone has a story to tell, especially poker players.  All stories are not bad beats and all do not have happy endings - but in reality, when you follow poker as your given path, there is no ending, it’s one long game.

It has been awhile since I resorted to playing micro limit poker. I'm not sure if I have the patience to play it for too long so my goal is to work my way through this limit as quickly as possible. I have a simple bankroll management rule that has always worked well for me. For tournaments, I don't ever buy in for more than 2% of my bankroll - that means with my measly $100, the biggest buy in tournament I can play is $2. This really means I can only play $1 tournaments since all the $2 tournaments have that pesky .10 or .20 entry fee. Playing a $1 tournament for 5 hours to win $2 doesn't sound appealing to me, so I decided that I'd do something I don't do much of... play cash games.

It's not that I don't like playing cash games. I do. It's that tournament poker appeals more to me. I like the high return on investment if I do well. I like the strategic considerations that tournament poker requires. Cash games for the last three or four years have been a grind to me. I can't put my finger on why that is the case. Maybe it is because in tournament poker action is forced with antes and increasing blinds while in cash games they are usually fixed. Regardless, with only $100, a cash game was the best alternative for me. My rule for cash games is 10 buy-ins or in this case $10 table max. Woo Hoo, I'm a big spenda!

The game of choice for the day was $.02/.05 6 handed Pot Limit Omaha at PokerStars. I prefer Pot Limit Omaha to Holdem mainly because everyone and their brother knows how to play Holdem but PLO is still full of terribad players. I was pretty sure I would have a significant edge over players at the $.02/.05 level. I opened up three tables for the table max of $10. I didn't have a lot of time to play, which is definitely one of the advantages that cash games hold over tournaments. If I sign up for a tournament, I can be stuck playing for hours. In a cash game, I quit when I want. OK, maybe cash games aren't that bad after all. My goal for the session was a simple one - make $10. Hopefully, it wouldn't take me that long and I could avoid a streak of bad luck, which is definitely possible in PLO.

There isn't a lot of strategy at this level for me. I limp into about 2 out of 3 pots and call any raise. I'll fold to a second raise unless I have a monster. Yea, I limp in with hands like A-A-K-Q double suited. About the only time I'll put in a raise is if there has been a lot of action and I can get most of my stack in pre-flop thus committing myself to putting it all in on the flop. There's not much I fold at these limits as the implied value is pretty high and I believe that PLO is a flop game. You need to see flops to win pots. That mantra makes me sound like a calling station. Good times.

The session went well and was over in under 45 minutes. I flopped a set of kings against a guy who obviously had aces on a K-8-2 all spade board. Unfortunately for me, he had the nut flush. Fortunately for me, the board paired on the river. This, of course, led to the inevitable whining about what a terrible player I was because I had jammed with top set. Like I'm going to ever fold there. That put me up about $6. The rest came as result of a charitable gift from a player who obviously had better things to do with his time. The board was 4-J-3-5-2 rainbow. I have 6-7 for the nut straight. The action is bet of .15 and a call to me. I make a medium sized raise to .60. Player to my immediate left who had bet the turn, pots it to $3.52. The other two players fold. I figure we are probably splitting the pot, but I raise enough to set him all in -- an additional $1.55. He calls with A-K-9-6 or ace high. The only thing I can figure is he thought he was playing PLO8, but even that would have been a terrible play. Oh well, thanks buddy. That was it for the night for me as that put me up $10.90.

One of the difficult things for me playing online is I am easily distracted. I'll watch TV, eat dinner, surf the web, and have four tables open at the same time and the web surfing and TV often take precedence. A table will pop up and I'll make decisions based on what the probability a player has a particular hand rather than what my observation of their play is. This is probably why my tournament results online have only been marginal - I'm a little above break even (10% return on investment) over the last five years online. Live is a completely different story as I make it deep often and my return on investment is well over 100%. It is one of the reasons I moved to Vegas, so I could play live more, but I procrastinated starting to play and the recent downturn financially for me means it's not feasible for me to fork out $200-$500 a pop for a tournament. I could play about 10 tournaments if I did that, and while the odds are that I would do well in at least one of them, I also am realistic enough to know that it is very easy to go 10 (or 20 or 30) tournaments without cashing and that's not the kind of swing I can afford to take. So here I am, playing $.02/$.05 PLO and happy to call it a night after winning 10 bucks. Yay me!
I was watching the So You Think You Could Dance finale while playing tonight (I told you I'm easily distracted) and was glad that Russell won as he was my favorite dancer of the season. Yes, I'm admitting that I watch So You Think You  Could Dance. I also watch American Idol and Glee, so there! The song of the day was played on the show tonight and it's by one of my favorite groups.

Song of the day: Machine Gun by Portishead

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