For a change I thought I might talk about actual poker playing, as opposed to the usual GOM rants and ravings. August has been an interesting month. I started late, owing to my hols and got off to a reasonable start. Then, just a week or so ago, I was kicking around Stars looking at the WCOOP schedule, when I saw a new tab. “Other Games”. One click later I was looking at HORSE cash games. I guess the ESPN WSOP stuff was good for something after all. We all want to be Chip Reese now. Pretty soon I was on a 100BB rush in the 10-20 game and I started seeing a new, brighter future as a HORSE specialist. Now this fantasy didn’t quite run into busting down the Big Game in a couple of years, but I hate to admit that I actually was enjoying poker again. Not just enjoying the winning, but the actual game itself. And I could play it seemingly for hours at an end. In one day I did 10 hours, 7.5 in one session. And this was playing multiple tables as well. To put this into perspective, I probably haven’t done a big bet session over 4 hours in two years. It almost felt therapeutic.
Perhaps too much so, as I quickly hit a 170BB downswing and I had to stop visualising the delivery of the Porsche from the Stars VIP scheme. It struck me that I probably wasn’t that good after all. On a closer look, the problem seemed to be, paradoxically, in the HO’ element of HORSE (this is putting aside a pretty bad run of luck in Razz, which is truly a game to create the manically depressed.) The HORSE games are 8 handed but then often ran short. More than this, the H and the O were nearly *always* short, as people sat out to avoid paying the blinds. Now Faithful Readers will know of my issues with short handed Omaha. But I also kinda feel the same about short handed limit holdem too. Whereas I have a vague clue how to play 4 or 5 handed limit holdem – as opposed to the Omaha equivalent – I just don’t like it. Too much play “feels” like being a fish. In fact the levels of aggression are so pumped up and calling to the river very thin is so common it was hard to tell chump from champ. Time and again I would button raise, continuation bet against the BB caller and he would take a card off with just one overcard and no other draw. Whether this is right or not, I don’t really know. It may very well be the right play. I just don’t like playing poker like that.
In the end I think it comes down to the blinds. When the game becomes a fundamental scramble for that blind money, I’m just not as effective. It turns me into an alternating tight passive – insane aggro fish. Back to NL.
FWIW, my second article is up on the Cardplayer site here – probably a bit more similar in tone to the stuff here. And with a pretty picture too.