Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Controlled aggression

Now that I'm playing at the high roller tables again, I realize my playing philosophy at the "low roller" tables had a serious flaw -- namely, I played too many marginal hands because the price seemed so cheap. That's a good way to lose all your stack. With the minimum bet now $200 instead of $10, I'll correctly (and gladly) fold a lot more than I'd gotten accustomed to.

I see now that the size of the minimum bet should have no bearing at all on whether one is willing to play a hand. Rags are rags are rags (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein). I also see that some of my rules of thumb need to be adjusted for the "big boy" tables. For one, I should never allow myself to lose my whole starting stack, as I was willing to do at the cheaper tables. New rule: if your stack dips below half its starting amount, quit then and there. No ifs, ands, or buts. No sense playing in "poker death spiral" territory.

Tonight I only played two hands. The first I folded before the flop. The second one, I was dealt a pair of clubs, flopped two more, and got the last one on the river. Sweet! Here's my second new rule, which also refutes an earlier one: bet the pot when you're confident you have the best hand. I actually started putting this new rule into effect a couple of sessions ago.

Being ultra willing to fold, while also being ultra willing to bet the max, according to the cards and the situation -- that all adds up to a killer strategy. Controlled aggression, baby!

delta: $18,600
balance: $321,126

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