Bad blogger - playing poker, but not documenting my tilt.
I went on a bad streak until about 2 weeks ago. I had my ups, but my downs dominated.
Hoping to become succesful, I thought critically about my play. Here are my observations:
- I play better in SNGs than at ring games. When playing a SNG, I understand the value of patience. I have learned to fold good hands when I suspect better hands. I have a better understanding of bad beats (and certainly have had plenty both ways).
- So I had to rethink my ring game strategy. As I read and observe, patience and discipline are the keys. Wait for the good cards. Be willing to lose a string of hands while waiting for good starting cards and a good flop.
- Do not marry my cards. If I have AQ and the flop does not fit, fold in the face of aggressive betting. AQ does not always win. AA does not always win. Fold good cards in the right situation.
- Recognize when I am at a table of superior players, and either study them to learn, or get the hell out of there.
- When upset, drop down in stakes. I have even dropped down to nickle/dime for some periods to work off my tilt.
I have tried 4 different sites over the past 3 months - Party Poker (Iggy's favorite - Party Poker & Empire Poker Blog), UB, Paradise Poker, and recently Pokerstars. I bought into Pokerstars because the RGP crowd sang its praises.
Iggy takes about the fish on Party Poker all the time. However, the site just does not do it for me. I hate their SNGs (starting with only 800 chips makes them much more of a crap shoot than a poker tourney). I have not found the fishes yet - but then maybe I am the swimmer.
I like UB, for several reasons that I have mentioned in the past. However, I believe it is 4th in play.
Paradise Poker is very good for tournaments and SNGs. I do like their ring games better than Party Poker.
2 weeks ago I bought in to Pokerstars. I love their games. First, they are the only site with 2 table SNGs. And they start with 1500 chips. I believe that my patient style gets rewarded in this format. I wait for good cards - and eventually they come. Starting with 1500 chips decreases my sense of urgency. I can resist the desire to make something happen.
This reminds me of playing basketball. The best players wait for the game to "come to them". You are rarely successful forcing shots in basketball. Likewise, I am rarely successful if I try to play weak cards.
I have found plenty of fish at Pokerstars (at least at the 0.50/1 and 1/2 6 max tables). I salivate whenever I join a table where several players see almost every preflop bet. Currently I am building a nice bankroll playing those games and ...
I love .10/.25 Omaha 8/b - pot limit. What a great game! I start with $10 each time and just have patience. In these games, I always remember that Omaha is a game of nuts (either high or especially hi/lo). Wait and the nuts will be served. Then use my betting skill to reel in the fishies.
Now maybe I am just in the midst of a rush, but things are looking up. I have found a site that I really love. I will play the others in the future.
I think the key is finding a poker home where you are comfortable. Party is that site for Iggy, but it is not for me.
Let me once again praise the 2 table SNGs. Pokerstars has the best sign up procedure for SNGs. They give you the most chips. They feel more like tournaments.
Since I love the tournament challenge this single feature jumps Pokerstars to the top of my list. But if you are a bonus whore, they ain't got none!