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Things Change

I have more to say on the "playing poker professionally" subject matter that I introduced in yesterday's post. But I'd like to discuss the poker that I played last night. A friend of mine recently signed up at Full Tilt via RakeTheRake. Though he's enjoying Full Tilt's amazing first-time deposit bonus and RakeTheRake's excellent rakeback deals, he's had a string of bad luck at the tables. It seems that the $100 NLHE tables are giving my friend a little pause for concern. I thought I'd return to my old stomping grounds last night to see if I could fare any better.

After putting in about 500 hands on the Tilt last night (and losing a buy-in), I did notice a slight change in the games. I don't think the games are necessarily harder to beat but many of my opponents seemed to be playing a higher-variance game. I attribute this emerging style of play to online poker training videos. Many of the players seem to be making the types of moves that you might see in a video; however, they are misapplying video concepts.

For example, I noticed that I was getting called by players in position quite often whenever I raised from UTG or UTG+1. I'd raise from UTG with a hand like KQs and get called by the button holding a hand like A4o. And then we'd see the flop. I couldn't get over how many times I got floated or raised on the flop when betting out of position. And the check-raises were coming fast and furious. Even the "TAG" players were playing a funny game with very loose calls with ace-high and calling off stacks with any pair, any draw.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that $100 NLHE has turned into a more aggressive version of the $25 NLHE games. For anyone thinking that games are getting harder, I'd have to disagree - at least when it comes to low stakes NLHE. I will concede that the games now have much higher variance with more and more players willing to make loose pre-flop calls and peel on any number of flops. But it only takes one or two big pots to pick up a solid winning session.

I'm going to spend the rest of this month focusing on $100 NLHE and $50 PLO. Although I'd like to play $200 NLHE, the bus strike is keeping me too tired and too busy to read as much as I'd like. My game's a little rusty right now and I'd like to sharpen my teeth on the lower-stakes games for now.

I'm hoping to put in about 7,000 hands of poker (4,000 PLO and 3,000 NLHE) this month. I only played about 2,500 hands last month which throws me off pace to hit 70,000 hands this year. I'll also need to find the time to watch the countless DeucesCracked and PokerSavvy videos that I have stored on my hard drive. If I can get through all the books that I've ordered recently and sit through all of these videos, I should be playing the $100 PLO, $400 NLHE, and $100 HUNL games by the end of the year.

Of course, I may also go no hiatus and give up poker for the tenth time in the past four years...

Have a good one!


kurokitty said...

Full Tilt's NL$1/2 game plays just like the NL.50/1 game.

Klopzi said...

I guess I shouldn't be too worried about giving the $200 games a try.

naif said...

Nice blog. Your content about playing poker professionally is very interesting. And Thank you for sharing your experience.