Monday, June 27, 2005


New Ideas

Back on the tournaments on-line, and something interesting happened while I was playing yesterday. Basically I was knocked out of the two added money events I was playing and I ended up in a $15 tournament that had previously been in the background, with about 1700 chips and antes 25-50. I didn't want to start another one, so I thought, well, there's not much point sitting on my hands and waiting for the blinds go up to 100-200 like I usually do - let's play some hands. I started limping in any time I had a half-playable hand and the pot hadn't been raised in front of me. My opponents were obligingly not raising behind me, and before I knew it I was up to 8000 ! To be fair I flopped a few good situations and made the odd semi-bluff - one in particular I was pleased with, by this time we were at 100-200 and I had about 6000 when I limped with 9c8c. Late position raised, but only 500 more so I took a flop. The flop came A9x with two clubs, and this is the key, I deliberately bet out 600 in the hope that (having observed my opponent previously) he would do exactly what he did - raise to 2000. Then I went all in and he passed, ker-ching !

I dropped back to about 5K through being a bit too full of myself but doubled up, pressed around the bubble and finally finished 12th after a spot of "bad timing" as they say on TV - going all in from the SB only for the BB to find Jacks. Ah, timing, gift of the pros. I only won $60 but it broke an embarrassing streak of 26 online MTT blanks. More to the point it felt good - I'm sure I do play too tight in that zone of 25-50 SBs. It's always worth seeing how much limping you can get away with. Unraised pots can be tricky to play, but don't forget this applies to our opponents too, and hopefully they will make more mistakes than we do.

Meanwhile, just as I am mulling that over, Harrington On Hold-Em 2 arrived this morning, at work in a Fedex package with EXTREMELY URGENT printed on it. Damn right. I need to be one of the first to read this book ! I intend to savour it like a fine meal or cognac rather than guzzle it down, but the first section is already well worth the admission fee. Dan really is the Man !

28/6/05 AM On reading that back, I should point out that I don't often make accidental bets :-). I meant I chose the amount 600 so that I could make the final raise to give him the problem. And needless to say I did end up guzzling most of HOH2, it is awesome, and I hope too many people don't take the short-stack section on board in particular. As I had hoped, it [the short-stacked section] is very much in line with my own thoughts (yes I know but it is).

Probably the most useful thing that I got out of the Gray/Parkinson/Gardiner book was thinking one hand ahead rather than one bet ahead. So, if I have, say 15 big blinds left, and I have a raising hand, I am now thinking about not just the next bet, but also how to ensure that I have enough ammo for a sufficiently scary all-in bet the next hand if I have to drop out of this hand.

In other words, I aim never to be "pot-committed". If you find yourself pot-committed, then you've done something wrong with your earlier bets.

I'd like to say that I'm looking forward to reading Harrington 2, but I'll be honest and admit that I haven't finished Harrington 1. And the major reason for that is, yes, if I'm going to accumulate bundles of cake, I'm going to have to focus on limit cash. Tourneys remain a fun diversion for the moment. Haven't played a tournament for two weeks now. Not missing them.

"It's always worth seeing how much limping you can get away with"

Abso-fucking-lutely. The limp is a hugely underrated weapon. Although you rightly point out that 'unraised pots are tricky', if you play nothing but raised pots you're going to go skint very quickly. Limping works on so many levels I haven't even got time to go into it. Limp on, Macduff!
'In other words, I aim never to be "pot-committed".'

Can't agree with this. Such a committment would imply that you'd never go 'all-in' since that's as pot-committed as you can get!

Though, of course, I know of the errors you speak since I've almost routinely trapped myself this way.


I remember you saying something to that effect in the bar in Luton one time. There must be some reason you keep qualifying for these things :-)

Meanwhile my short stacked game seems to be in order as I just won a 200 runner speed tournament on PIE. $780 ching ching. Either it's in order or I'm a spawny git anyway. I particularly enjoyed knocking two Ace-big hands out with 24. You let your stacks drop too low boys ! Not much limping going on in this one mind you. Not with 50,000-100,000 blinds.
Are you back on the tournnaments for good now? Or are you still experimenting with limit holdem?

Maple Leaf
Mixing and matching a bit. I have no active bonuses at the moment so I'm not playing any limit until some bonuses kick back in next month.

Also throwing in some limit S+Gs and the odd heads up S+G. Variety is the spice of life !

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