Sunday, April 10, 2005

100 Bullets

YTD: +$42537.25

The Party games are still very, very good. This was obviously going to be the case. You were never going to go from 2 games of 5-10 all across the Net to 4-6 games just on one site and fill them just with good players. Even the good players have interesting leaks in their games and the bad players, well the bad players are truly some of the worst I have played with.

Since I last posted I won 5k then lost it in a fairly amazing sequence. The tail end of the upswing was a bit disappointing - rating my game I felt I had started to play poorly and should have won much more. The next day my bad play continued and I threw off 5k in a bad day's session. Was this the end of the swing...far from it, just the beginning.

I hit the game the next day determined to play better and within 10 minutes I was up 3k, job done you might think. Now I am not one to "leave some sugar on the table" and I ploughed on, ending up 5k down. Yes a 8k swing. Play resumed again in the evening and once again I was just under 3k up, only to finish the day up 500 bucks. So what happened?

Well, a few hands I played badly, one in particular for a 6k+ pot which was especially bad, taking my obvious set of aces (I had check raised preflop) against an obvious top straight on the flop, battering in 2800 as a serious dog.

However, close analysis showed that I had been involved in 17k on pots where I was allin as a favourite. Now that is not a typo, $17000. 17 dimes. It turned out I was 400 to 1 to lose all of them, which I duly did. In fact I was only 20 to 1 to win them ALL. So it would have been considerably easier to be up 17k in just one day.

I find these statistics quite warming. I think its key to review your play in PLO and ensure you have been focused on decisions and not winning pots. It's stats like this that stave off tilt. And in such loose games you should fully expect such fierce swings. One hand in particular springs to mind. I called a bet on the flop in a raised pot with the nut flush draw, hoping to pick up another caller, which I did. (The flop had an ace on it, hence the caution.) The caller had a four high flush draw, a small pair and a small middle pin straight draw. The turn brought the only card that could get us both involved. A flush card that also hit his small pair. I bet the pot, leaving a little left over, and the river brought a pair up, giving him the pot. This parlay, the only one in which I can lose any money at all, was 164 to 1. Then to add insult to injury, he had top set against my middle set and bust me again in a 4k pot, with money he only had from that unfeasible hand.

In a very real sense, long may it continue. Just with different outcomes :)

9 comments:

Poker Gamer said...

Hi

I really like your site. I'm new to the poker blog scene but not new to poker. :) I'm essentially playing for a living right now ($15-30) and this year my goal is to meet a great deal of poker players to make new friends and learn from them. I'm trying to create a little community and learn more about the different players who blog. I'd love to get more traffic on my site. If you like my site, would you mind linking to it? Also, I hope you don't mind but I linked to yours so I can read it frequently.

Travis

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

I agree that the party games are still very good. One thing that's helped me in dealing with swings is to play lots of different games (even the wierd ones like chinese poker and razz). I tend to get bored and start playing badly when i've played one type of game for too long. It's really helped as all games have different levels of variance. Playing all of them is similar to diversifying against high risk stocks with bonds. It's definetely been a plus for me. I'm not saying you should try and play all the games but adding a few different ones probably wouldn't hurt.

I've been gathering standard deviations from all the games and even though they aren't significant yet it appears as though PLO is even swingier than limit hold'em in terms of big bets. It makes me wonder why it isn't more popluar in casinos and online because theoretically it means bad players will win more often.

Later,
LA_Price

Anonymous said...

Hi LA,

(Big Dave D here)

I guess the reason I don't mix up games is that only other game I can play online which I can win at has a very different mentality - Limit Holdem. I tend to find that unless I am very very focussed then my PLO play hurts my limit holdem game.

Yes the variance in PLO is one of the biggest you can get in any game. And it is more popular, at least in Europe where it is really the only regular cash game played, although I guess the poker explosion may be changing this. I have known poor players last years in PLO, simply becuase the very vast wins they may sometimes have gives them the illusion that they actually know what they are doing.

gl

dd

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I've noticed the change in mentality as well. Sometimes I end up doing something stupid while adjusting but I'm getting better at handling it.

If you don't mind my asking what is your standard deviation for various levels of PLO(if you keep track)? I only have stats on .5/1 up to 3/6 but i'd be interested in the level of fluctuation in the 5/10 game as well.

As a side not I'll be moving back to the UK in a few months(I went to school in Birmingham for a year) after I graduate so I'm sure I'll be playing much more PLO in the coming months.

Later,
LA_Price

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

Thanks for keeping up this blog, it is an excellent read. Do you have any tips for beating the low limit PLO games?

CJ

Big Dave D said...

LA,

Between $1200 and $1600 per hour. I suspect $1200 is nearer as that $1600 includes a lot of bad play from last year.

gl

dd

Big Dave D said...

CJ,

That's a hell of a question. I *won't* answer it the usual way, play tight to start, read some books, blah blah. Rather some meta-game strategy instead.

I guess the most important thing is to have in mind why you play. Lot's of people just play for fun and that's fine, in fact PLO is the ideal "fun" game. If you are playing for money then my advice has always been to miss out the microlimits. This is because they bear little relation to the game you play as you move up. So build a BR some other way and start at 0.5-1.

The second piece of advice is think about the game. Understand why and what you do and analyse the maths of your allin situations. Try and figure out how you might have been able to play situations differently and don't be afraid to play through the streets. It doesnt have to be an allin fest on the flop.

Lastly, understand that there are many different winning styles, find and develop one that suits you and you are happy with. By most people's standard, my style is much too passive preflop, but I like it and it works for me. Don't try and foist a style on yourself that you are uncomfortable with and will force you to make alien decisions.

gl

Dave

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave for the thought out reply, not the usuall one like you mentioned. Would you mind shooting me an email, I have a few more questions if that's alright.

CJ
shrax4(at)yahoo.com

Big Dave D said...

CJ,

I'm not a big responder to private emails...but we do have some great discussions here so feel free to post the questions either here or the post above and "We" can tackle them together :)

gl

dd