Monday, April 14, 2014

A New Beginning

So it begins again...

I remember thinking about this period in my poker career at one point in time, must have been roughly two years ago. I imagined this time as the point where I would have a bunch of choices about where to take my game in the next short while. This comes as a result that I am finally grinding out my way through the low games, no longer in the micros. The regs that I see sometimes are actually significant winning players, the average losing players are getting closer to LAG rather than LPASS and every once in a while someone who is just crushing the stakes I am playing sits at my table. But the most important revelation is that I need to study and review the key hands of every session to keep the trend going. No longer does the ABC style of poker give me the most significant edge in the long run. I have to open my 3B against min raises more because they don't only mean the villain wants action on his aces. I have to open my late position ATS because those smallish +EV situations are so much more important. I have to play better post flop and extract full value from LAG regs and fish alike.

In short, poker has become much harder, much more exciting, but also a tonne more fun. Watching that BR grow also has it's way of making me smile.

I feel like I am learning the game all over again, and in reality that is not too far from the truth. I have spent the better part of two years researching, studying and deciphering the deepest aspects of ICM and it's application to poker. I still have a hell of a lot of work to do there, and I don't want to let my progress become complacent, but I do feel comfortable enough for me to open up other parts of my game to squeeze out every last bit of ROI that I can. ICM has been and will likely continue to be the strongest part of my game, almost guaranteeing me a slightly better than breakeven poker game at the low stakes, but now I want to learn more. I kind of feel like a kid who finally learned to read and is just opening his first Goosebumps book.

The concept I believe that I will spend most of my time on and give me the most value is basically post flop play. This has a lot of aspects to it, but mostly I am looking forward to being able to open up my late position steals, BB defends and the like knowing that I will outplay my opponents on the flop. Also, being more comfortable with deep stack play in early game situations will be another benefit.

This will likely be accomplished by spending more time on those types of hands as they come along and less on the ICM heavy situations that I have somewhat mastered already, but I have some other ideas. Basically I will take a look at giving cash games a try, mostly as a training ground for me to develop those concepts. I mean, it can't hurt really. My ABI is already more than a full buy in at 1c/2c, so as long as it takes me over 15 minutes to lose it I consider that cheap education. I already have tons of experience in MTTSNGs and MTT tournies, but post flop play doesn't take place too much at the micro turbos. Those seem to be more of a 3b/4b/ft3b game of value chicken to me rather than a place to practice basic concepts.

Aside from the practice, the real game plan consists of $2.25 and $5.00 games on Tilt for the grind. I have also started to play a mix of the $1.00 - 180 man hypers on Stars and $0.50 / $1.00 hyper 6max games on Tilt for those shorter sessions where I just want to chill and play some poker.


- moving up stakes
- expanding my theory in cash games
- looking forward to it

BR ~ $580

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