Friday, December 21, 2007

(1) $5K HEADS UP CHALLENGE

I don't post much about my online game, but I do play regularly. I used to make a nice tidy sum on Party Poker pre-US ban playing 6-handed $1/2 and $2/4 ring games. In fact, I found it such a doddle that I could just dip in and out at pretty much any time without any real need to pay attention, make notes on my opponents or study my game in Poker Tracker.

However, post-ban has been a different story, and the lack of numbers on Party have really affected my income dramatically. I can still make money, but not as much. Less players mean table selection is harder and almost every table has one or two tough players, many of whom will have made notes on me. With my work in journalism taking up so much time, I am unable to dedicate enough of my life to conquering these games and making the profit that I was before.

With this in mind, I recently turned my attention to heads-up poker to see if I can turn a bigger profit. They always says it costs to learn, and the same applies here because I reckon I've dropped a few thousand learning a few painful, but hopefully fruitful lessons. In that sense, I reckon I'm learning fast and can now make a profit playing $2/4. I tried all sorts of levels from $0.50/1 to $5/10 (including losing a $5k pot!) and even one disastorous attempt at $10/20, but concluded that $2/4 was the most profitable and attracted the most fish.

I won't go into depth about my views of heads up strategy or my own personal approach, but I believe I am now better equipped to start turning a nice profit. Naturally, variance is a big factor in heads up, but I reckon I'm heading in the right direction and every time I take a big hit, it's usually a combination of bad beats/coolers AND poor play/decision making. I'm gradually learning how to eliminate the latter.

Considering I received that stonking tax bill the other day, I thought I'd test myself and see if I could turn $1k into $5k, that $5k being enough to pay the liabilty for January 31st. I have lots of Xmas shopping to do this week and the Bahamas EPT to work at the start of January, so it's going not going to be easy, especially if the luck doesn't fall my way in the big pots. I've already got going on this, and did reach the dizzy heights of $3,600, but that was before yesterday's deathdrop.

As I do this, I shall post some quick snappy entries in here. I normally pen a chunkier entry every week or so, so this will hopefully make for a slightly different read. I risk becoming a less famous/popular, low roller version of Ed 'BlueScouse' Hollis, but it could be fun for a week or two so let's give it a crack.

Anyhow, after losing $2.3k last night, I won circa $650 back today. I didn't play particularly well, but good enough to be satisfied with my performance. After the bad beats and coolers of yesterday, it was nice to win a coinflip, although how two half-decent players got it in pre-flop with A-K and 9-9 I'm not sure.

I played a very unpredictable player for ages, and he was making some truly bizarre plays. One saw him push all-in on a 3h-3d-8d Flop with Deuces for $318 - there was only $48 in the pot! I duly called with 4s-3s and took it down. Later on, when I thought I had him in the shit, I Flopped trips with A-5 on a Ks-5c-5d Flop. I bet out, he raised and I called. I bet less than half the pot on the 4d Turn putting him on a middling pocket pair and hoping to keep him in. He called. River was a 3d, I pushed all-in for $295 into a $200 pot hoping to make it look like a desperate bluff, but he instacalled with 9d-8d. Ouch.

The funniest hand of the day was a fortunate one for me. I was on the button with Q-J after some pre-flop action. We both checked the 9s-8c-3c Flop, before I check-raised him on the 7h Turn hoping he would fold. He smooth called and then shoved in on the Th River with Pocket Jacks. Of course, I called and took down a nice pot.

I didn't like the way he played it, but it probably wasn't the best of times to say so as the subsequent chat shows:

Villain: luckyDONKEY
Villain: PEOPLE
Villain: LIKE U
Villain: SHOULD
Villain: DIE BY AIDS
Villain: U FUCKKKING
Villain: ASSSSSHOLE
Villain: ASSSFUVKKKKKRT
Villain: LUVKY WANKKKER
Villain: FICK DICH
Villain: DU BLĂ–DES ARSCHGESICHT
Villain: DUMMMER WICHSER
Villain: VOLLIDIOT
Villain: URE SUCH AN IDIO T
Hero: last few hands for me i think
Villain: FUCKKKK YOu
Villain: U ASSSSHOLE
Hero: ?
Villain: OPFFFF
Villain: hit and run
Villain: GO AWAY
Villain: U SUCKKKER
Hero: i have to have my dinner shortly
Hero: i think it's steak

I wasn't really planning on leaving, and steak wasn't initially on the menu, but I wanted him to think he didn't have long to try and get his money back and shove in the rest of his dosh on a marginal hand. He did ship it in, but had a flush draw against my top set. I filled up on the Turn and he scarpered.

Hope this entry was interesting. Let me know if it was and I'll carry on doing them, although probably with few hand desriptions as I don't like telling people how I play hands.

biggest pot won: $809.80
biggest pot lost: $789.60
time at the table: 3hrs 33mins

blonde poker account = $1,920.16
$3,079.74 to go before the tax man goes away.

4 Comments:

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Enjoy the steak....

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Fun stuff (esp. the steak line). Best I've ever come up with there is just to type "hang on i can play worse."

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

Hey, Pauly. Hope all is well. Still read the blog, top stuff as always and one of the best around.

Lol, shamus, wish I'd said that now. There were a few others I had in the bag, but didn't want to piss him off too much just in case he was... er, I don't know, Hannibal Lecter or something.

 
At 4:54 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Like the blog and love the comment and reasoning behind it.

 

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