Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 9: The Simple System

9:30p.m., October 10th, 2011

I’m not intimidated anymore. My complete wipeout lasttime taught me a valuable lesson: leave when I'm on tilt. That's it. After today, I'm basically exactly even after 4 nights playing. 2 all-in hands, one after day 1, and one after day 5, was the difference between being +5000 and -100, like I am now.

I walked in tonight planning to be less tricky and more solid. No more bluffing; no more playing loose I was content to be totally predictable, try not to steal the blinds (no point in a cash game), limp in in position to wait for a big hand, and double up when I have the nuts. Not exciting, I know, but after last time, it's time to return to the basics.

This is how I ended after my first 20 minutes up 2000 pesos. I had pocket 4s I limped in the pot with in late position; a 4 came on the flop. He bet 275; I doubled it. On the turn, I bet ½ pot, and he called. On the river I put him all-in. Too easy. None of the other hands were very exciting. One guy came in with 2000, went up to 6000 in a matter of 10 minutes, and then went broke 10 minutes later. Gotta love the visitors. When I left the casino, after a solid 6 hour set, broken up with some work (brought my computer), I was up 1,500. Nothing special to report. Conservative play is a little too methodical.

These points formed my game-plan tonight. None of these points have been disproven yet, so I might stick with them as my "fundamental theorems" and tweak around them. Note: this is for cash games.

  • People usually bet what they have. I saw one bluff in 3 hours.
  • If you have a small hand that’s not going to improve (high reverse implied odds), you want the pot to be small. If you have a big hand, you want the pot to be big. It’s too risky bluffing to make a top-pair into a huge hand, even if you think the other people are on nothing/draws.
  • If you’re in early or late position and don’t hit on the flop, c-bet half the pot and then get out if someone calls you. If you win 1/3rd of these hands, you’re still coming out on top.
  • When you have the best hand: (1) and you think the others have nothing, bet small to encourage action; (2) If you think that they think they have the best hand, bet strongly.
  • If a good player checks in early position, they usually have either nothing or the nuts. There’s hardly ever in-between.
  • Only bluff if you think the other players with you are playing weakly.

Not a long post, but one of the most important. I feel like this is one of the inflection points to my game: I'm getting the hang of a basic system that I can use to stick around for a long time.

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