Sunday, November 07, 2004

Playing Poker for a living 11/07/04

Well... It has been an interesting few weeks. As you may know, I recently won a large sum in the Paradise 100K. I had a run of 4 out of 6 final tables in MTTs and made over $22K in 3 days. Never in my life did I expect such a showing in such a short time.

Since then it has been up and down. I was consistently winning over $300 per day at the $100 NL tables. Then, in one day I gave $500 of it back. It seemed like if my opponents had one out they would hit it. A horrible run. At the end of one day, my wife offered to trade jobs. I read up on human rights violations with regards to prostitution in Thailand, and she played poker. It lasted 20 minutes and she made $60 at the NL table I placed her at. That sparked a nice run where I made about $800 in two days (including today) at the NL tables.

I am finding that I lose aggression over time at the NL ring games. I have been varying my play to be sure that I bring it back. For instance, I would play for a few hours without ever just calling. I would either raise, reraise, or fold on any street. This turned out to be a profitable way to play poker, as I got a lot of remarkable folds. It also tightened me up considerably. If I was not comfortable raising with AJ in MP, I would fold it. In this way, I played only raising hands and a few bluffing hands. I do not, however, think this is an optimum way to play. I think there is a great deal of value in NL to the limping hands in LP; suited connectors, baby pairs, and suited aces.

Another adjustment I have made, especially in NL ring games, is to be very caqreful playing one pair after the flop. Top pair is not as strong as I once thought, depending on your opponent. My pokertracker stats tell me that I have a big negative when I have one pair, so I play it a little more cautiously. Most big pots I lose are with TPTK vs. a set. More folding is in order.

I played the PPM semi finals on Friday. I had terrible cards throughout the tournament and finished in the top 200. I never managed to get my stack to double the starting chips, so I am amazed I made it that far. I did not see AA or KK the entire tournament, 253 hands. In fact, I kept track, and I did not see AA for 670 hands (including the tournamnet), and when I finally did get it I lost $80 to a turned set of queens all in preflop in a NL ring game. I can do without AA, thanks! One interesting thing about this is that I saw AA once in the Paradise 100K, and took the blinds. Never having a hand that you have trouble folding helps a great deal.

Overall, I am up more than $31K in the 11 weeks I have been playing as a pro. This is a great number to hit, but there were a few big tourney wins that mask a lot of tourney losses. A portion of that money has also been split with team Selachian, with whom I still chop some tournaments that we play together.

Overall, It has been an excellent 2 weeks since my last update. I have over 2K hands on many opponents at the $100 NL games, and am very comfortable there. Another $3K added to my PTY bankroll and I may move up to the $200 NL games.


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