Poker Road Warrior: Variance for a Strong Shark Player
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Friday, February 10, 2006

Variance for a Strong Shark Player

This question was posted on our Shark Forum. To see the whole thread go here click here ya leak

GUMBY wrote:
I consider myself a good limit player and a good NL tourney player. I usually don't commit myself to the time it takes to play in tourneys so I've been playing mostly 3/6 limit. Now I've built my bankroll up and it has begun to take a hit. I'm not playing bad, so I think, but I've been getting murdered by luck, bad players, and missing draws. Is this normal? Does everybody take swings like this once in a while? I'm still doing fine, but it seems like if this continues I'll bleed my roll dry.


Variance is the nasty bitch you are talkin bout Gumbeee. I got 2 months of it when I started playing full time. My 36% to hit flush draws ran at 20%. Pocket pairs hit trips 1 in ten instead of 1 in 7 on flop and AKo can't win. Open ender? Ya right. Got to the point where I knew it couldnt hit.

Are you starting to play cautious since you know they are going to riv ya or you won't hit a draw? Tightening up a lil is okay but are you playing "back on yer heals" a little? You have to play aggressive and plan to win every session.

Try one or two of these:

Drop down a level (or 2). Playing for less $$ will help you stay aggressive.

Switch sites. A change of venue might be good.

I know you have a nice rakeback deal with me. Try to move to a site with a better "deal". That will cover some bad sessions and keep your head "in the game". Email me for a great new site with instant rakeback.

Analyze your game. 2 of my leaks when I struggled were taking AKo or AKs to far (its a drawing hand) and not being aggressive with hands that were not great but most likely ahead (playin scared I call it). Like middle pairs or top pr weak kicker. Pokertracker helps here.

You need to constantly value bet the riv. Don't be afraid of being beat. Many donks will fold after missing draws. "Chase over".

Here is a HUGE one. Don't plant yerself in a seat and refuse to move. Change seats, tables, sites. Yer gettin cold decked, or are playing with a table of pros that are 6 tablin. Find a new chair. You need a RUSH, find a chair that starts dealin ya what you deserve. Raisin never moves! She can have the coldest seat ever and just will not change tables. It works, move yer ass.

There are a ton of very good players sitting at 2/4 or 3/6, 6-12 tablin and making a very good living at these lower limits. With bonus, rake and profit you can make big $$. You don't need to play these guys. Can you identify them in Pokertracker? Let me know if you need help. After playing 80-150 hands you should tag the killers. Know how many good players are at your table. As you move up table selection becomes more important. Plenty of ATM's, find them. (check out the animal above, this guy plays sit n gos 12 to 16 at a time, and makes about 150-200K per year).

$3/6 might sound like "low limit poker" but at 3 times the hands of live you are playing for the same stakes as 10/20 live, times how many tables? If you play short like me, even more hands and more variance.

Also, the players in an online 3/6 game are much better then live 6/12. (maybe 10/20 in some rooms). I think 4/8 live is similar to 1/2 at a donk Poker site. UB 1/2 short players would kill 4/8 live players, IMO.

You are playing many good players now at 3/6 and 5/10. You must improve, track their play (and yours) and battle thru adversity.

I'll add more to this later cause I know how it stings to watch your BR take a beating. I have the added BR problem of having to pay bills with mine (every month). Its frustrating that I have not been able to take shots at bigger games or watch my BR get fat on a good month. The mortgage (11 more years!) top ramen/peanut butter (teens), and alpo (Cody) is more important. Plus, I like not having a real job.

Me bud Connjure has the same problem. Paying bills each month in a high variance "job" is not easy. But we are tough, work on our game and will make it. I don't think you need this money to pay bills (not sure), but if you have a follow up question on any of this fire away.

Let me know how you do this week. Maybe I can sit in for a session. We can IM if ya want while you play.

I sent you a Shark logo hat for the good post buddee...


Thursday Night Live play recap. $110 buyin, 120 entered, $3500 for first. Not much of a story here. The 20 min blind structures force you to play fast.

We had the "pre-overbet" table. All ins with blinds at 50/100. 10X the BB raises. New players scared of their hands (usually AK or AQ but who knows, they are newbs). I saw my first flop about 30 min in with AKo when seat 5 (young lady) raised 3X BB to 300. I was in seat 10 and raised to 600 to isolate her. The limpers folded and she said to me "How much ya got left?". I immediately thought to self, this grrr has watched too many Hellmuth TV tables. You have seen them. He acts like he is gonna put his opponent all in then weakly just calls. Hes trying to gain info I guess but it just makes him look weak, IMO. Everyone has seen this move many times, they never answer him and he always calls.

This question is particurly funny since I only have 1600 left and its only about 6 chips. Can ya count, Phil? I say nuttin to this TV pro wannabe grrrrrl and 2 other players do the obvious and count my massive stackage. She has me covered by about 500 and just calls (pot is 1500). Floppage 2 8 A w/2 diamonds. I don't have a diamond but I like the flop and push my 1600 in quickly.

She goes in the tank for about 2 min. and finally pushes. AQ with only 1 diamond. Shes a 4-1 doggie which is what i'm lookin for. She says "I thought you had that". uhhh, ok. Her 17% to win brings the Queen on the turn and i'm done. nh gg.

If you are considering playing tourneys this kind of fun stuff can happen for months (especially in fast structured events). You can make the correct decision and be feeling good and get kicked in the toof. I review my play and try to improve. Usually I am pleased with my play. I can lay AQo down there. She can't. On to the next one.

Off to live 4/8 and 12 hours later +160 for a net of $50 for a 13 hr shift. Yuk. I was up $400 at one point and horrific riv beats just kept arriving. It was a night to forget and many bad players lined their pockets. I got a lil tilty after several horrible players were rewarded with a complimentary 2 outer. Enough on that.

Thats 6 str8 winning sessions live (the smallest win last night in the 6 weeks)and i'm ready for bigger games but they never seem to get rolling here. I may start going south (long drive to Muckleshoot Casino) to play higher. I could play higher here on the weekends but thats family time. I'm getting tired of playing the 4/8 chaser game. It seems brainless, even though I can beat it easily most nights.

I hate to drive but I think its time for a change of scenery and a bigger live game.



At 12:43 PM, Blogger GUMBY said...

Thanks for posting it here also. I see that you have troubles winning big against bad play/players. I guess $110 isn't a lot to some players.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Poker Road Warrior said...

I may pick on the huge number of bad players at times but i'm really trying to report the truth (as I see it). I admit that I have a ton to learn (especially live) and many of the beats I have been taking lately could be avoidable if I was building a bigger stack early.

I have goals to be playing the $500 to 1000 buyins (with good structures!) when we move to Vegas in 16 months. So these 100 buyins are a good start to get where I need to be.

Many of the $100 buyin players are people that a $100 entry is not a big outlay. Many more are players that are WPT TV nuts. You see the huge overbets often. Thats what they see on TV (they don't correlate the blinds/stacks size). Some seem so proud when their big pair get the blinds with a 10X BB rayz.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Poker Dreamer said...

Gumby, is that you 16 tabling?! That's f'in crazy, my head spins like the exorcist playin 4+ tables and don't think I could manage even w/another monitor.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger GUMBY said...

Nope. I have 1 screen, 1 computer. I'm buying a laptop in about a week with my pokah winnings. I usually 3 table at Absolute, sometimes 4 if the games are there and donkified. My blog, I talk about good bonuses and my play so far. Still learning like the rest of 'em.


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