Thursday, February 24, 2005

Three straight days. Three straight SnGs. Three straight cashes. A first, a second, and a third. Lessee… that’s $100 cash for $33 invested. Hmmm…. Not bad.

Now, I certainly don’t have the resources (financial or technological) for a Nerd-like SnG explosion, but I seem to be back to the type of play that made me a consistent winner last year. Looking back over my hand histories, I was most successful when I played ONE SnG per night and focused all my attention on that game, no matter the stakes. Longer sessions at the computer inevitably led to lower EV due to concentration lapses and family distractions.

Of course, now that Party has roughly eight billion users, it might just be that most of the better players have moved up to the $30/50 SnG levels, leaving only the clueless and the poor in the $10/20 levels where I tend to troll. But money is money, and if I take $50 from RaymerIsMyHero or Greg Raymer himself, the cash still buys the same stuff.

Oh, I’ve also found some really choice ground for those of you that want to do some barrel fishing. Pacific Poker now has low buy-in NL tables ($50/25/10). I had some spare time before dinner last night, but not enough for a SnG, so I popped into one of these H Salt Specials (Fish with chips). I sat down with $10 and waited for the onerous $.05/10 blinds to come around. At least seven limpers came into every hand with NO preflop raising. Lots of minimum bets and minimum raises on the turn and river. It was almost like watching my son play.

The first hand I play is KT in late position with six limpers. Flop is Kxx. Remember, the BB is TEN-FREAKIN-CENTS! Anyway, I float a $.25 bet after it’s checked around. I get two callers. Blank on the turn, everyone checks to me again, and I fire a whopping $1 bet. Everyone folds. I type into chat “Ace high is good?”. Suddenly the table chat comes to life, blinds begin to get raised, bets climb above $1, but the cold-calling continues. So, when I get KK on the button and raise it to $.50, I get five callers. Qxx flop, checked to me, and I bet $2. Two callers now see the bricked turn. I push all-in and get one caller. The board paired one of the undercards on the river, momentarily worrying me, but the $20+ pot (the largest pot since I sat down) gets pushed my way. After just three circuits, I’m up $25 (that’s 250 BB for those of you keeping track) and ready for dinner.

My guess is that many of these people are low-limit players who are testing the NL waters at the minimum buy-ins. Most of them seem to have no concept of pot odds or betting in a NL game. A shrewd player could comb these tables to find a nice loose passive group and hit for a quick score (3x buy-in) to pay for a SnG or a tournament.


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