Thursday, November 17, 2005


Adjustments.  Poker is all about adjustments.  

So far, I suck at adjustments.

Donked off two SnGs at FullTilt yesterday for a tidy little $55.  The level of play seems to be significantly higher at FTP when compared to the play at PokerStars, Party, or Pacific.  More stop-and-go’s, more check-raises, more value betting.  Less limping, less random pushing, less early bustouts.  Players were better, and I didn’t adjust.

So I lost.

Dugglebogey is right.  There are a lot more table captains at FTP, though they tend to be the weaker players, which is interesting.  It’s like they read one or two poker books, watched “Play like the Pros” once or twice, got emails from John D’Agostino and Annie Duke, and suddenly they’re freakin’ Vince Van Patten.  

So, to recap the basic strategies of the online players:

Party : Any two cards should see the flop, any ace or bottom pair should go to the river, middle pair is worth a raise, top pair is worth an all-in, betting 400 into a pot with 75 chips = Power Poker, pocket aces should never lose.

PokerStars : Any sooted cards, small pockets, or face cards should see the flop, all backdoor flush draws should be played aggressively, the cognoscenti know that it’s called RiverStars because it’s fixed so that draws always hit, calling with no pair is a good idea because you need to see what the other guy had, pocket aces should never lose.

FullTilt : Always raise on the button because you have position, top pair should always raise, trips should always check-raise, draws should push all-in to try and win right there, any small pocket pair should push preflop to get the ragged faces out, show every bluff because Jesus said so, pocket aces should never lose.

It’s tough to shift gears up the food chain.  I’ve been fattening up at PokerStars and I have no doubt that I can (essentially) drop down to Party with little or no effort (and even less thought).  Moving to the tighter pools of FTP requires more concentration and focus.  The main problem there is that with only 10,000 players at any one time (usually less), finding lousy players at FTP is more difficult that at the crowded cesspools of PokerStars (40K) and Party (60K).


At 5:21 AM, Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Excellent analysis of the differences between PP, PS and FTP.

One thing I dislike about the SNGs at FTP are how long they take...1.5 hours if you win it. They are the only SNGs I know of with a 5 minute break built in.


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