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Still On Target

I played a few sessions over the weekend. I ended up sticking with $0.50/$1 limit hold'em instead of $25 NLHE. There's something about these limit games that has me hooked. I think it's that combination of great games, great opponents, and the sheer amount of learning going on every time I sit down to play. Good results or poor, as long as I continue to see improvement in my game, I'm pretty happy.

Despite focusing a little more on limit hold'em over the past couple months, I'm still not happy with my overall game. Of course, I've only played 4,000 hands of $0.50/$1 6-max LHE in my lifetime. I'm doing my best to keep my expectations grounded in reality. I'm not sure what good players expect in terms of win rates at $0.50/$1. I'd think that 4 BB/100 would be entirely reasonable - even when factoring in the outrageous effects of rake at these limits.

I've heard that short-handed $5/$10 is where the rake stops being a huge money-sink. I have the roll to play at these stakes. But what I pay in rake at $0.50/$1 would be dwarfed by my losses to the other players at $5/$10. So I continue to play the micro-stakes games and work on playing as well as I can.

I still make a large number of fundamental mistakes, both pre-flop and on the later streets. I'm very tight pre-flop which definitely hurts my overall win-rate. I'm just not comfortable playing hands out of position. No-limit hold'em has taught me to fold most of my hands in the blinds. This thinking, while quite sound when your entire stack is at stake in a hand, is not entirely correct in 6-max LHE. Even when I factor in the crazy rake, I still fold too many hands that have a positive expectation. I'll keep an eye on this problem in the coming months and see if things work themselves out as I get more comfortable with the nuances of 6-max LHE.

I'm hoping to play about 4,000 more hands of $0.50/$1 this month. This would double the total number of hands that I've played at these stakes. If I can limit the number of river bluff-raises and tilt-induced, out-of-position 3-bets (both tactics being proven money-losers) that I inject into my sessions, I may be able to finally put $0.50/$1 behind me for a while.

It'd be really nice to build up a bit of momentum heading back to the $1/$2 games. I believe that my game has come along quite nicely since my last -200 BB day at $1/$2. I know where I went wrong and I've learned to identify tilt in my game a little more quickly. I think the next time I find myself losing too much money in any particular session of $1/$2 6-max LHE, I'll quit all my tables and jump onto a few $1 NLHE tables to work off some steam.

I'll be back at Stars tonight trying to piece together some solid decisions and earn enough FPPs to order my set of Copag cards from the VIP store.

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