Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wanted to get some of my poker philosophy onto this blog, not because I want to spread my gospel across the Internet, nor do I care if it helps (or hurts) anyone's else's poker play, but simply WRITING it out forces me to acknowledge that I DO have a poker philosophy/strategy. And by documenting it, I hope to increase my resolve to play according to it.

I'm feeling pretty confident in my PartyPoker SNG playing odds right now, whether NLHE or Omaha. If I stick to my personal rules, I'm cashing on a fairly regular basis. For Omaha-8, it's necessary for me to establish firm rules for myself to keep me from chasing hands at lousy pot odds. In fact, I don't even see flops without:

Ax of a suit, A2, A3, 32, [all three of these with one other card < 8], a pair higher than 8's, three to a straight (ie. 678, QJT) preferably with an extra connector or pair (ie, 6778 or 678T), or three face cards. And if these hands don't improve on the flop to at least a nut flush draw, a four-card nut low, a nut straight draw, two pair, or trips, I'm outta there like J-Lo after the wedding vows. Top pair is the only hand that I leave up to position and table feel.

PartyPoker is filled with enough chasers that you can play these hands with OUTSTANDING pot odds. Remember, you're only paying to see two out of every ten hands (at least initially), so you'll have plenty of free looks while you're waiting for the formulaic starting hand. Once you get it, build the pot slowly, and don't allow any free cards to go by. Since you know you have the odds on your side, you want to pot as big as possible, so make sure that SOMEONE bets after the flop. That's where notes come in handy. You should KNOW who insists on betting even when they have nothing, and let them lead the lemmings off the cliff. You'll just call quietly for the most part, perhaps raising if two low scare cards come up on the flop. For example, let's say you have KK87 and the flop comes up K32. Raising here is ideal because most of the chasers will figure you for A4, drawing for the nuts. If the board either pairs or comes up with two big cards like QT or J9, you almost definitely have the entire pot.

Of course, you'll also lose to the most spectacular suck-out runner-runner hands you've ever seen, but I'll take a nut flush or straight against the odds of drawing to a runner-runner full boat all day, every day.


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