Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Up A Notch

I mulled it over for about 5 minutes and thought “WTF?” and hopped right into two-tabling the $200NL game on Stars.

Some thoughts:

The play was not discernibly different than the $100 game, which really wasn’t too surprising.  Of course the sample size is idiotically small to make any sort of real judgment, but any time I jump up in stakes my first instinct tells me I’m wandering into a den of sharks.  However, this first testing of the waters didn’t give me any indication that I was.

Two-tabling was perhaps a mistake.  With each jump in limits, player profiling becomes more and more important.  Sure, you can get away with simple ABC stuff and most likely drag in a profit; but the probability of encountering solid players who counter that style successfully increases with the rising limits.  So you do need to be able to mix things up in a deceptive manner.

Being a donkey hurts twice as much.  I had AK in LP and played it very straightforwardly.  A player in the blinds who called my pre-flop raise, led out post flop on an AJx board.  My tactical plan was to raise that lead out such that if he came over the top of my raise, I could lay the hand down to a suspected two-pair or set.  So when I raised and he came over the top……I called.  Donkey move.  A set of Jacks took down the pot and I regretted making the call.  Not because I lost money, but because I played the hand with every intention of getting away from it if my opponent indicated that I was beat.  My opponent told me in the most glaringly obvious way, and I ignored my initial read.  Donkey.

On my other table, I had AA cracked all-in pre-flop.  On Stars, since the hands aren’t flipped right away, I never know what to hope for on the flop in these cases.  When the board was played out and read 9-high, I was confident that my Aces were good against QQ, KK, or even JJ.  Wrong.  Pocket 9’s doubled up then hit-and-ran.

After an hour, I was down, but not out.  I watched House with the Mrs. as per our agreement.  Sadly, I’ve grown to like the show.  “You’re risking a patient’s life!!”

Where was I?  Oh yeah, so after the show was over and everyone was tucked nicely away in bed, I resumed my attack on the $200 game.

But this time, I took it one table at a time.  I paid better attention to the play styles of the various players and was able to bust someone else who couldn’t get away from TPTK when my flopped OESD hit on the turn.

That table soon broke and I wandered to another one, encountering an overly aggressive player who loved to call many a pre-flop raise and then betting ragged flops very forcefully.  I’m not ashamed to say I sucked out on him with a straight vs. his flopped two pair.  What’s funny to me is when aggressive players hit their hand and then bet soft.  They don’t realize that they’ll get paid off based on their table image and this time unfortunately for him, my hand got there.

So after one measly night and two hours of playtime, I took the first step into moving up a level – even without “beating” the $100 game.  The confidence is a minor notch higher thanks to not getting obliterated.  I do know that I could get my ass handed to me at any new level, but I hope to continue to play smart and focused.

Thanks again to all the replies from yesterday.

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