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Options For Improving My Heads-Up Game

One of the major problems I see myself having with heads-up poker is the lack of proper feedback concerning my play. Heads-up poker is so read and feel dependent at times that it can be hard to analyze hands in a vacuum. It's very difficult to discuss any hands played heads-up with friends who don't play heads-up poker. So what can I do about this problem?

One option is to look at coaching. Of course, this is ridiculous given the stakes that I play and my limited playing time. Do I think there's long-term value in spending a couple grand on coaching to improve my heads-up game? A most-emphatic "Yes". But that doesn't change the fact that my long-term is still miles away from where I sit right now and won't be coming any time soon. If I was playing $200 HUNL, I might consider a bit of coaching to help plug up some leaks in my game.

Another option is to download more videos from PokerSavvy and Deuces Cracked. There's only one problem: I've downloaded pretty much all they have in terms of HUNL. Specifically, I've downloaded all of these sites' one-table heads-up no-limit lessons that can be put on my Zune and watched during my morning and afternoon commute. Watching anything other than single-table videos is a pointless endeavour on my Zune's tiny LCD screen.

A third option is to purchase a cheap, portable, and extremely rugged laptop that has great battery life. I could upgrade from my Zune to something a little more substantial. This laptop would be used solely for downloading and watching videos. I'd be willing to spend $300 - $600 on just such a device if I truly felt that it would help me improve my game by expanding the number of videos that I could watch on the fly.

Another option to consider is to begin recording my own heads-up poker sessions. With or without commentary, I think there is a lot of benefit to going over my previous night's sessions. It's very hard to adequately analyze your game on-the-fly. And it's extremely difficult to spot flaws in your own game or your opponent's game during the heat of battle. The good thing about this last option is the price: it's free (or at least cheap depending on the software I use to record my sessions).

Another minor benefit of said recordings is that I could put certain sessions online for viewing by my readers. I wouldn't call these videos educational since I'm unable to compete with even the worst of instructors at any of the premium poker training sites. For example, I would never use the terms "polarizing my three-betting range", "hand ranges", "combinatorial mathematics", or "pot odds" for fear of misapplying the terms and looking like a real jackass. Does anyone out there still enjoy watching sweat session videos? I still like watching them myself but only when the Hero happens to have a really good session or a really bad session; I can promise only the latter , I'm afraid.

I'll spend some time exploring these different options. I just want to become a better heads-up player and I'm willing to do a little leg-work to make that happen...before I inevitably tilt and go on hiatus again.

Have a good one!



By the way, when I said that my U.S. readers were lucky bastards for getting yesterday off work, I was not trying to diminish the meaning of Memorial Day. Up here in Canada, we too take great care to honour the sacrifices that our war veterans made to keep the True North strong and free. But we also like sleeping in late followed by BBQ and booze with family and friends.

2 comments:

joxum said...

I always analyze my heads up sessions, either on the spot (take a break), or afterwards, in the appropriate software.

Can't recommend it enough, especially for heads up, which can be so darn swingy.

And I'd love to see some videos. win or lose, doesn't matter one bit, it's about making decisions and why you made them.

/j.

Klopzi said...

Joxum -

I'm all for analyzing my sessions. Although I'll admit that I tend to over-analyze my losing sessions and simply glance over my winning sessions. I'm lazy that way.

As for videos, I'll see what I can do. I've got the software all set up and ready to go.