Saturday, February 25, 2006

A fairly typical nights play

Any player worth his salt knows Fri and Sat nights will be your biggest earners.

After hardly playing last weekend, and having plans for tomorrow night (saturday) I knew I had to put some hours in tonight.

I employed Strategy 1 all night, for about 6hrs in total. For about 4 of these hours I was playing 3 tables at once. For the last 2 hours I played just one table and did a little other surfing. I was clearing a bonus at all times.

I was happy with how I played, I must've played 800-900 hands and I think I only played 4-5 of them badly. I played good tight aggressive poker. I tried hard to get as many reads as possible throught my first 4hrs. Focusing on my opponents whenever I had a chance! My EV in bonus for this play was approx US$90, by squeezing out 1 big bet (BB) per hour (0.25BB/hr/table) I'd expect to profit $18/hr. If I'd have multi-tabled the last 2 hours this would've jumped to $20/hr.

Sadly, playing well doesn't necessarily always mean a winning session. But IMO losing as little as possible when the unlucky streaks inevitably descend on you is key to becoming a profitable player.

In my first 2hrs I was +$43, 3-tabling RitzClub @ 5BGP/hr/table.
The $1/$2 full-ring limit tables were stupidly tight as always, but the US$45 in bonuses for 2hrs work are definitely worth it. You need to adapt your game at these ultra-tight tables. I think after 2hrs at one table my flop % was just 3%! I'd had horrible cards and virtually no opportunities to attmept to steal. When I did have a chance I would inevitably pick up the blinds. Some good hands at the other tables helped. I wish there were more than just 5hrs/month in bonuses at Ritz ;-)

I then opened up and sat at a $2/$4 limit for their 200hands for 25GBP monthly deal. The deal used to be the same as Ritz but they changed the terms and conditions this month. Bottom line $1/$2 is no longer worth much in EV (maybe US$2/hr/table). At $2/$4 one table ahould be worth around $8/hr in bonuses. 1bb/hr in winnings on top to make it $12/hr would be nice. I had two tables open at the same time, both $1/$2, one 6Max and one 10Max. These were bringing in $10/hr in bonuses between them.

All went well, I was up on all 3 tables. I'd concentrated hard and had decent reads on about 1/3 of my opponents after 45mins or so. I at least had all the clowns noted, and I had some idea of most of who the Tight-Aggressives (TAGs) were. If in doubt assume 'TAG' is the way I play it.

The $2/$4 had one loose-aggressive (LAG) who had paid my AKs off 4BBs a few hands before. I was dealt KK in middle position. Our LAG limps in UTG and I raise, everyone folds including the blinds, and our LAG re-raises. I cap, he's in......Great!! Heads-Up with a LAG and I have KK.

The flop comes with no A, and no real draws. LAG bets, I re-raise,he 3 bets.......and something in my gut tells me I shouldnt be making it 4.....but of course my commonsense tells me I have to. I do.

The turn is a nothing card and he comes out betting again. This time I listen to my gut and just call him down. I suspect most good players would say 1 more raise here, maybe some would say cap all rounds. My LAG had played some pretty weak hands overaggressively tonight a couple of times already.

The river is again nothing, no A, no flush, no paired board. I think the board is Q high. I call his river bet.

He showsdown AA and I'm out 6BBs ($24).

I'm betting long-term I should play this hand way more aggressively after the turn in the future. But for tonight I escaped the hand with minimum loses.

And then the cold streak: QQ busted by 66. AK busted by AT, KK busted by A8s to name but a few. I ended up going on a 1.5hr long 30BB (US$120) downswing. I quit the table -30BB after 2hrs, I'd earned $15 in bonus money from that 1 table.

My $1/$2 play at Bet365 was OK. Nothing spectacular. I played 400 raked hands or so and ended up +5BBs ($10) whilst earning $40 in bonus, so +$50.

All this means I ended up -$18 for my 6hrs work! Hitting a downswing at my highest limit for the night hurt me. I would have been +$42 had I lost 30BBs at $1/$2 not $2/$4. Long term this wont be a problem. I played well and I know if I continue to play well those 30BBs at $2/$4 will come back. Sooner rather than later preferably.

This is a fairly long post, but it pretty much defines Strategy 1: Tight, Aggressive, Multitable play at a variety of sites in order to continuosly clear a good bonus. It's not rocket science, plenty are doing it, and plenty are talking about it.

I'll limit my discussion of it for now. I want to investigate 2 further different strategies. More on these next time.

Until then: be well.