Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Warning! Poker Content

Post #500 on this blog

For some reason I am back to playing cash games at FullTilt. It’s been a couple of years. I played for a while after the UIGEA, but eventually the games felt and were measurably tougher IMO. I switched over to beginner S&Gs at Bodog (still easy to crush), and the occasional blogger or other MTTs mainly on FullTilt. Realizing that it would be a long time before I would be playing cash at FullTilt, I removed most of my funds. I also tend to transfer funds to friends out of the FT account. This steady drain of funds can easily outweigh the meager blogger and MTT winnings I get at FullTilt. Lately, I have not even been playing MTTs and S&Gs. It’s too much of an open ended time commitment. I like the idea of playing as long or short as you would like to, and online cash games are the only way to go for that. When I found out they were doing a $100 no deposit bonus, I figured it was time to get my feet wet again over at FullTilt. The last time I played cash I was 4 tabling $1/$2 NL. Looking at just over four hundo in the FT account, that level would not be possible. I like to have 10x the buy-in for multi-tabling. So I started off at .25/.50, and then started mixing in some .50/1.

I switched to the new lobby from the software upgrade, and sorted for low stakes NL cash by percentage seeing the flop, and then added filters for 8+ players and $7 min. average pot (to filter out the lowest “Low’ stakes). To my surprise, an amazing number of tables were meeting my table selection criteria. When I have wanted to dabble in the past, it seemed like it was way too hard to get on multiple tables that met my basic criteria. Now, with what appears to be increased traffic on FullTilt, and the advanced sorting and filtering it was easy to find juicy tables. After about 500 hands mixing up the stakes and moving the roll closer to $500, I decided to just commit to .50/1, even though I was under rolled. I play a very low variance playing style, and that allows me to play under rolled to some extent. With the $100 bonus clearing quickly while 4 tabling .50/1, I should be able to offset running bad, and if I started running good, I might get quickly to a safe bankroll.

After committing to 4 tabling .50/1, I was able to play about 1000 more hands, and ran my bankroll up to $675 (about $250 up total), while clearing about $40 in bonus funds. I am feeling pretty good about my game, and it feels like most of the cash game rust is already gone. I have not been stacked or even gotten very low on any table yet. I also seem to have a pretty steady positive accumulation that makes me a winner in nearly every session. I like to play against short stacks, and it seems like there are way more people playing with 1/5th of a full stack lately. I even had the pleasure of holding court at a .50/1 table where I had a full stack and the rest of the table had $30 or less for over an hour. I can’t really remember that ever happening before. For some reason I tend to beat up on shorties. I think it is my squeaky tight preflop, hyper aggressive post flop play. I am so tight preflop, that when I do play, I am often good enough to call down a shorties preflop push. Post flop, because of my aggression and their lack of stack, I am putting them to the test a bunch for their whole stack. If I raise preflop, and then fire $5 on the flop, the shorty is forced to commit right there. So my $5 bet is almost leveraged like a $20 all-in. I had grinded up nicely before the gift hand below.

I pick up AA UTG and limp it. This was my first UTG limp with rockets in a cash game in forever. A late position player with $100 behind raised it to $5.50, and the button with $130 called. I reraised it to $15 to try to kill the set mining odds, and get it down to one player. The initial raiser folded, and the button called. The flop was T high rainbow. I continuation bet $25 into about a $35 pot. I was reraised to $50. I figured based on the preflop action, the only hand I needed to worry about here was TT. Hands like JJ, QQ, KK, and ATs were much more likely and could have been bet the same way. I decided to just jam right there, and was gift called pretty quickly with AKo. A blank on the turn, and the $260+ pot was mine. Not sure what this guy is thinking there, but I will take his money.

I have another $60 in bonus to clear, and will probably knock that out this week. If I can get the roll north of $1K, I may start moving back up to $1/$2, and posting about poker more often.

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