Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Focus on improvement

I've decided to make a focused and concentrated effort on improving my game.

In terms of online play, this will involve decreasing my multitabling and spending table time at higher limits than I have generally been playing. For now, this means my primary game will be 2-tabling $10/$20 6 max. When conditions are right (well rested, prime time), I will take shots at 2-tabling $15/$30 6 max.

Playing fewer tables has been quite fun so far with the ability now to actually pay attention to player tendencies instead of relying so heavily on just 3 PT statistics. It is easier to choose situations where inducing a bluff is more profitable, when to take a free card, when to take a shot at a pot that no one else wants, etc... Multitabling too heavily results in too much playing on autopilot. You often miss out on substantial temporary environmental conditions such as when a player goes on tilt.

The most fun so far has been 4 handed or shorter games. I will certainly be tempted to try strictly headsup games when/if I can get most of the leaks out of my short handed game.

So far (I have been at this for about 5 days to date), the most significant thing I have noticed is that I do have a lot of leaks. Through the first 1500 hands, I'm running at a little less than +1BB/100 and I have been leaking somewhere in the range of 3-4BB/100. (This means I have actually been running well, but stupidly leaving a lot of money on the table) The worst leak is probably calling down after a turn raise from a passive postflop player with a good but not great hand.
Another situation that troubles me is 3 bet/calling the cap on the river when my flopped monster (set, straight, flush) has been devalued by the river. I need to strike a good balance here because I don't want to be too passive on river situations when some runner runner scare cards come in, especially when the river is headsup. Paying attention to player tendencies is important. (An example of this is the player that will always raise/check-raise the turn when he/she picks up a draw.)

Finally, another important aspect of my time allocation will be to invest a reasonable amount of time reading and studying short handed play, reviewing hands in PT, discussing hands, etc.


WillWonka said...

It sounds pretty close to what is on my agenda... I'd be interested in knowing any of the material that you find on short handed play.

d said...

Thus far I have just been re-reading old material - short handed section in HPFAP, old posts on 2+2 HUSH, Jason Pohl's articles on Poker Pages, some Ed Miller articles, etc. A lot of the advice is contradictory, but at least it provides a catalyst for thinking.
When I last read much of this material, I was not particularly focused on short handed play or not really in a learning mode frame of mind.