Monday, July 19, 2010

64 But I Need More

Wow I am on a miserable run lately on the online poker front. My live poker game is as good as it's ever been -- I've mentioned before here that I remember not all that long ago the first time I ever played one of those daily holdem tournaments in a casino, I was so nervous, I got bounced early on a race I didn't need to take on at the time, and I distinctly remember thinking at that time how I would be lucky to ever even make the top 20% of any live casino tournament in my life. Fast forward five years or so, and I've won some solid coin in live events in Vegas, and more than that, I've won three different daily casino tournaments while just goofing around so far this year. But online, the past week or so has been absolutely brutal.

It's happened to me before. More times than I can count, really. In fact, truth be told, this downswing isn't even close to as bad as the worst it's ever been. But for the past few weeks, I just can't win anything I play. I've barely touched the mtt's over the past couple of months -- not sure why, although I do seem to recall having a similar period after returning from Las Vegas last summer, so maybe I burn out a little playing so much poker over four days that I literally see pocket pairs and flop-turn-river whenever I blink my eyes, I don't know. But I've been mostly playing turbo sitngos lately, and damn the variance on those things is just sick. Especially when you play a lot of turbo heads-up.

Oh, and a lot of super turbos.

I can't help it sometimes. I realized a long time ago that online turbo tournaments are a style that I can play realllly well, and to this day it is clear whenever I play turbo events that at least half the people at the table -- be it sitngo or mtt -- honestly do not understand the kind of adjustment that needs to be made in order to have long-term success at this pace. Sitting around and waiting for a big pocket pair might work in this one instance if you get lucky, and sure it might make you some money for a week or two while you run good and get just the right situations just when you need them, but over time it's a far losing strategy in turbo tournaments, and quite simply you should not be playing turbo if that is the plan going in. Anyways, these guys might get lucky against me in a given event or three of course, but in general I am at a major skill advantage whenever I'm playing in a turbo tournament structure online.

Narrow that down to heads-up turbo sitngos, and the skill advantage is even more obvious. Now granted, in heads-up play, it is also concurrently harder to take advantage of that skill differential because the play can be so automatic throughout, but at the same time it is just painfully easy to see the deficiencies in the games of most heads-up players at the stakes I tend to play. It's just them and me, and no one else to focus on or to complicate the analysis and make it harder to make moves, etc. And amazingly, if you take it a step further and play the super turbo heads-up sitngos, it is sad how much almost every single person dumb enough to be playing in these rake machines is truly totally out of it when it comes to strategy for these things.

If you play turbo heads-up sitngos at anything above micro stakes, I'm sure you've noticed the autobots who automatically min-raise every single time they act first before the flop. From start to finish, without deviation, every single time. And never a real raise, always just a min-raise. It's such an exploitable strategy, and once I've noted them, I'll usually just kick it back up 4x their raise on a reraise with air right there, they will invariably fold, and then I will instantly show them my trash. These auto-minraisers are such clowns, I will steal their minraise 7, sometimes 8 or more times in one turbo sitngo that lasts 7 minutes. It's unbelievable the free chips that are available over the long run from these people who think they've figured out the way to beat the games. It's so awesome, really. But the best part of all is, even in the super turbo heads-up sitngos, there are idiots who still are out there min-raising every single pre-flop when they act first. Minimum raising, when starting with ten big blinds and with 3-minute blind rounds. How can you not love that?

So yes, as I'm sure the snarkers out there are thinking, why am I on here writing about this instead of playing those super turbo min-raising idiots right now this very second? The answer of course is that I've been playing the super turbo heads up sngs for hours a day over the past several weeks, and yet I don't have anything good to show for it. Lately the variance has just been on the ugly side over and over and over again. Yes I'm getting in ahead with the same consistency as always, but when you're playing in super-turbo land, getting allin pre with A7s vs K9s is not just commonplace -- it's around the best you can really realistically hope for if you're the A7s guy. That's why the variance is so sick in these things. Cuz you're really coming out there and just trying to get it allin preflop with a 60-70% advantage and hope you get your worth out of that situation over the long run. But 59-41 or 63-37 is just not all that favored to be able to avoid getting beat with some actual regularity when you actually play it out, something I've always known but which is so easy to forget until you go through one of those rough patches that mathematically have to happen if you play this game enough times over a long enough period of time.

Over the long run, I've performed fairly well in the turbo and super turbo sitngos that I have played. But lately, 64 percenters and even a few 80 percenters have just not been holding up their end of the bargain. And it's been probably the most annoying few weeks of poker that I've experienced in a year or more.

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Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Dude - you had a great couple of weeks where you ran WAY hot and took down big profits. Although the maths don't like to agree, poker is a game of streaks. You run good, then you run bad... rinse & repeat. For a good player, the run goods are better than the run bads, which is how you make a profit. Although you said you're playing SnGs, I'm pretty sure that dry spells can be terribly long in tournaments - moreso than in cash games, where at least I can pick up a session or two win in between a downswing.

Hang in there.

9:06 PM  

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