Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gambling In My Bathrobe

I saw that I missed the $5,000 Full Tilt freeroll from the fantasy league for placing in the top 500 of the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. tourney. Color me stupid. Free money tossed away, like me sitting at a NLHE live table while two fisting Cap’n Cokes and wondering why no one has yelled PAI GOW in the last 10 minutes.

Did I mention I'm beating the bloggers? Meow.

I couldn’t play anyway because of softball leagues on Monday and Tuesday and getting home between 11pm-midnight doesn’t help. But… I just checked the standings and if I can hold on to my current position in the top 100 there’s a freeroll for a 2007 ME WSOP seat! That’s far better then trying to battle 3000+ in other qualifiers that I have no time for, but I’d make time for this one.

Tonight I’m looking to hit up the virtual felt for the Mookie tourney and maybe slink over to an older site which I’ve found a juicy PLO8 game that is tempting me to dump some more monies into so I’m properly bankrolled there. Sadly the site only has $200 and $400 tables, while the buy-in doesn’t bother me too much (its what I’m bankrolled for), having only 1 ½ buy-ins there doesn’t leave much room for error and could easily cause me to play timidly. Then again, after playing there again for the past two weeks it seems that the skill level has not crested above the Mendoza line.

Or did I get lucky and find a couple of juicy tables?

People talk about table selection and hopping from table to table in search for “the perfect game”. Unfortunately due to time constraints and lack of tracking software (which wouldn’t do me much good since I don’t play enough) I’m forced to pick whatever tables become available. This could mean I’ve been playing on more difficult tables then I need to, and not seeking out easier places to play. But does playing against weak competition all the time improve your game?

Take the G-Vegas and Murderer’s Row home games. They get together a tough crowd of good (except G-Rob) poker players and get to match wits and trade thoughts on their game. Me? My last live tourney was with my uncles and family in which I got yelled at for laying down third pair on a four flush, four straight board in Hold Em’ with four people still in the pot. Mixed games? Nope, all hold em, all the time, even my card-savvy friends won’t touch Omaha or Razz.

Even when I get the rare outing to Canterbury, there’s only one O8 table running with half of the table sporting card club swag from four years ago. Sure, the regulars COULD be bad players but I’m certain they’re not a bunch of fish like you see playing the lower limit LO8 tables on just about any poker site. What I usually end up doing is jumping into a limit hold em’ table which I have an advantage only that I can read the card rankings and generally don’t drool on myself too much.

The question is: Are tougher games more +EV in the long run then a softer game even it means losing presently?

Obviously, if you do nothing but play games that are over your head in terms of competition you’ll go down faster then Tara Reid after a bottle of Cristal in a Vegas dance club. Yes, soft games are the yellow brick on road to the Oz of a greater bankroll. But, what will the wizard behind the curtain tell you once you have a sufficient bankroll and start playing in games that you don’t have a significant edge and have to play against players who *gasp* have read a poker book, read similar forums like 2+2, or once watched Celebrity Poker Showdown!

If you have been playing in tougher games all along, then the only shock you should have is the amount of chips going into the pot. You should be used to being bluffed off pots by a check-raise on a draw happy board. Real pressure on every street is more prevalent rather then being slogged to death by a bunch of passive calling stations who don’t care if they lose five bucks (its all relative of course). Your opponents probably have notes on you as you have made on them, so mixing up your once profitable sit-and-wait game is essential to becoming profitable again.

I’ll leave the debate up to you guys as how you become a better overall player because larger bankroll does not equate to a more skilled player, but a broke player is banished to the play chip games with my kids.

Thanks for dropping by, now if for some reason you haven’t watched the video from the Daily Show about the internets please visit Wicked Chops Poker (after viewing the eye candy and WSOP updates of course) or Bill Rini also has it up. I’ve watched it at least twice day and it has made me a more frequent viewer of Jon Stewart’s show as well as less confident about the Senate vote on the online gambling bill.

Tubes?!?!?! Bathrobes?!?!?!? These people decide on laws being passed? Oy.

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