Thursday, January 22, 2009

Launching into NL

I often catch public transport to work, which takes up to 45 minutes each way. I have read a lot of poker books on this commute, but reading on bouncy buses and crowded trains can be very difficult (not to mention nausea inducing). So the other day I loaded some Stoxpoker videos on my portable Asus Eee netbook and watched/listened to those instead. It turns out to be a really good way to absorb knowledge. You don't even need to see the screen for the "classroom" style videos, since everything is described in the voiceover. So I just clutch my little laptop with my headphones plugged in.

Anyway, so I've spent the last few days of commutes listening to Ed Miller's "Poker Made Simple" series. I found them to be perfectly pitched for someone like me who knows poker pretty well but is not well versed in the finer points of 6max no limit cash. I have to say I had no idea about the importance of position until I saw these videos - yes, I knew that you play tight UTG and loose on the button. But Miller basically advocates an ultra tight style in almost all positions, and then going to town on the button. He covers a lot of good material on how to leverage position by bluffing and value betting strongly.

After about three or four hours of Ed's material, I felt like a pro already and took a shot at no limit tonight with three tables of 20EUR tables on NoIQ. Very micro stuff at this stage. I played about 30-40 minutes and was amazed at how weak the tables were, not in terms of preflop stats exactly but just the way everybody folded to aggression (and showed little aggression themselves). About a million hands went limp, limp, raise (me on the button), fold, fold, call, flop nothing and then fold to my Cbet. Or I 3 bet preflop and took it down post.

I lost one big pot with TPTK (AK) versus a KQ which hit a big draw on the flop and made a straight on the river. I lost a couple more pots (too big probably) with middle pairs (88 and 99) that didn't connect and lost to bigger pairs. I won a humungous pot (50EUR) with a flopped top set jacks turned boat vs trips and a missed TT, and a few others with normal stuff like two pair and TPTK. Profit after 240 hands was only 20EUR or so, so basically down to that one big hand, But I felt like I had a really good handle on the right way to play 6max NL for the first time. I felt like I was really running the tables from the button and cutoff. I could really easily laydown hands when played back at postflop since it happened so rarely that I was very confident of where I sat. Obviously higher stakes are going to be tougher, but I am comfortable enough to give it a shot. I'll do a few more sessions at .10/0.20 and then take a look at 0.25/0.50.

After that, I opened a single table of 1/2 limit and promptly won 35BB in about 60 hands with a huge heater. I was running so hot my stats were something like 67/52 PF, and AF of 7 post (70% aggression), making me look like a complete maniac. In fact, I was just playing my normal 32/23 style and hitting heaps of good cards and following up with heaps of good flops (sets, flushes, straights, two pair, you name it). Oddly my WTSD was only 30%, probably because I was taking out a lot of pots without showdowns.

1 comment:

havin_a_laff said...

I just started NL. The Ed Miller series is very good. Also worth checking out the pokey videos - they are even better for my money.