Monday, February 13, 2006

Time management and game selection

Putting in table hours at the correct time and place are crucial factors in maximizing your hourly rate. This is old news, but I'm amazed how often I choose to forget this simple fact.

The past week has been close to my best-ever non-MTT/satellite-related week. It was achieved in a very simple fashion by multitabling Party's $3/$6BBJ, $10/$20LHE, and $50+$5 SNGs during the peak weeknight hours and live $8/$16 and $20/$40 during the early morning weekend hours with players who had been up all night. I did run better than average for most of the sessions, but my gut feeling is that something like 75% of the net winnings came from ludicrous bets/calls/raises in those great games. I wish I had kept some kind of running statistics to keep track. 1-2 extra BBs every few orbits on every table adds up very quickly (so long as you can keep the anti-tilt armor on tight...) I read some complaints on the 2+2 forums that the 3/6BBJ tables have become a rock garden since the kickoff of the Party VIP Acceler8tor program. This just didn't match what I saw during the times I played, although I can certainly believe it for off peak times. I was generally able to keep at least 6 great tables open at any given time.

In the SNG category, I had initially been worried by pokernerd's comments that the Stars $55+5 Stars Turbos are considerably softer than the Party $50+$5. I've run about 100 of these things at Party, and so far I haven't found that to be the case, at least during those very busy prime time hours when those SNGs are kicking off at a crazy rate. (3 or more bustouts in the first level appeared very frequently; contrastingly overly tight players on the bubble; etc..)

My very last SNG session was started way too late (around 12:30am PST), and the contrast was like night and day. Quite a few of my tables had players from the Tournament Leader Board (TLB). Several of the SNGs were running to the 5th level with 9 or more players still alive. A preflop or flop jam in the first three levels much more frequently means AA/KK and set, respectively (compared to say 66/AJo and any-top-pair/any-draw during prime time). Too frequently, the result of these SNGs came down to the result of just one or two coin flips. Why put in the table time under these conditions? Perhaps it will make you a better player, but, at least in the short term, it is not what is best for the bankroll.

It wasn't applicable this week, but had I been available to play online during the late morning/early afternoon timeframe (Pacific time) I would be putting in table hours at sites that have a higher percentage of the player base consisting European players, such as the Cryptos.

During my live play, I made the mistake of moving from an extremely loose passive $8/$16 LHE to a slightly tighter, slightly more aggressive $20/$40 game. I enjoyed the poker aspects of the $20 game (winning a big 5 way pot on the turn with 2nd nut low has got to be one of the best feelings you can experience in a LHE game) and it still was a pretty good game, but the $8/$16 game almost certainly had a better hourly rate. The table banter environment at the $8/$16 game was also more enjoyable. Don't mess with a good thing unless you have very good reasons to do so.

Scheduling your poker time to play during peak times is good for your bankroll, and picking the right table to play at is just as important as knowing how to get away from a losing hand.


I sat out from MTTs this weekend, including that incredible 5500+ player field in the Sunday Stars $200+$15, as I had planned to take my wife out for an early Valentine's dinner last night.

Can you believe the size of that field? I just noticed the $11 double shootouts to the $200+$15. Are these new? Perhaps this contributed to the huge bump in the size of the field this week.

The only MTTs I did get in early in the week were for the Party Cabin fever freeroll. Did anyone follow this? Party made another ridiculous customer service debacle from this thing. The promotion was supposed to run from Sunday - Saturday, but by Thursday they had "run out of cabins". Friday's freeroll remained on with a cash substitute, though cheaply they gave the winners an uncompensated forced "downgrade" to $2300 cash. Saturday's freeroll was outright cancelled. Whining and complaining got some people modest compensation, but still. Just amazing.

The only real work I put into MTTs this week was to start re-reading Harrington on Hold'em part 2. Good stuff, good stuff. Highly recommended.

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