Thursday, February 28, 2008

A change of tack

A few weeks ago I switched to playing poker at Tower Gaming (a member of OnGame, another chain of linked poker rooms). I was attracted by the twin 100% signup bonuses that appeared to cash out quickly.

When I started playing, I found that the going was pretty slow. One reason is that you only earn points when you contribute money to a pot, the other was that you only earn points for pots over $2. This latter only became an issue because I blew my stack down to $20 (twice) and had to limp back at low limits.

I switched strategy when I got back to around $40, and started playing short stacked at NL and PL tables (mostly holdem, a little Omaha). The initial aim was to find tables with small blinds (.10/.15 or .15/.25) but large average pots (say over $8) , buyin for the minimum and then to play loose for one bet preflop and tight otherwise - I expected this might be a slightly negative e.v (expected value) strategy, but positive when the bonus is factored in.

The strategy made a big improvement in earning points towards cashing out my bonus, but surprisingly also turned out to be remarkably profitable. I found myself not playing as tightly as I planned (bluffing, semibluffing when prudent) , but turning a better profit on average than when I was playing limit. I am now on track to cash out a $93 bonus soon, and have a very healthy stack.

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