Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Leaving, On a Jet Plane

So the wife and I are leaving for a quick mini-vacation to California (staying in the Oakland/SF/Monterey area) tomorrow, returning on Monday. I'm actually looking forward to a bit of a break from the virtual grind and hope to sneak in a little live play when no one is looking.

Just the simple act of sending out resumes has greatly improved my mindset. It's odd, as I almost don't even care about whether I get even responses at this stage. I planned to grind it out here for another year or so anyway, so if something cool comes along, 'tis just gravy.

I got fairly deep into a Bodog WSOP main event satellite last night, busting out 15th or so. They're running $250 + $20 satellites every night in May, with one seat to the main event guaranteed. They usually only get 40-45 entries, so there's a decent overlay and the players in general aren't anywhere near the level you'd expect. I won a seat in the satellite via a $30 qualifier, which I imagine is the way a lot of the people get into the main event satellite. I'm liking Bodog a lot these days, especially the guaranteed tournaments they run every night, all of which have pretty decent overlays. They're also still running an unlimited 20% signup/reload bonus, and you can work it off via SnGs and MTTs, as well as ring games.

I've been running pretty well, in general. Well enough that part of me questions this whole quasi job search in general. I'm 95% it's the right thing to do, as far as continuing to work a 9-5 job of some sort, but there's that 5% of niggling doubt, of feeling that I just need to make the leap, play poker, and see what happens. It's not so much that I doubt my ability to make an equivalent salary, as I'm pretty sure I can swing that. It's more an unwillingness to give up what's a pretty nice gig at the moment, as far as socking away a lot of money, playing poker 30-40 hours a month, and not ever having to really sweat the money I sit down at the table with.

That said, it's hard to get real enthused about getting up at 6:30 in the morning and coming to work, when you get completely and utterly smacked in the face by the deck at 15/30 the night before, and pay your mortgage for the next six months.

It's interesting, the play you see at different levels. I think Mourn touched on this recently, as far as people recommending that you just skip 5/10 (and even 10/20), and just move to 15/30. I can't say I'd necessarily recommend that, but 5/10 is definitely an odd limit, as far as the general quality of play usually being higher and tighter than at both 3/6 and 15/30.

It seems counter-intuitive at first, but not as much when you think about it. 5/10 is pretty much the first level at which a good win rate gets you close to a reasonable living wage (assuming you're single, no major debt, etc), so you're going to encounter some relatively serious players there, data mining, the whole nine yards. For many of them, they've fought and scratched and clawed to get the bankroll to allow them to comfortably sit in that game, and they're pretty damn protective of it.

While you'd assume that 15/30 would be all that, plus more, more often than not it isn't. The key, methinks, is not overlooking the fact that some people simply like to gambool, and will buy into the biggest limits a site offers, regardless of their skill, simply because that allows them to gambool the most. And I'm not just talking about the bored yacht-owning crazies that sit down and don't mind blowing through 5K, I'm also including the people who are taking occasional shots at bigger games and playing scared. (And, to be fair, that includes myself, to some extent, as I can't claim to be a guru of the higher limits, based on my few paltry months of experience in those environs.)

Long story short, yeah, it's weird. General skill level and difficulty of consistently beating a certain limit doesn't increase correspondingly as the limit increases. Does that mean you should just skip the tougher middle steps? Not necessarily. Just don't necessarily make the seemingly logical assumption that struggling with 5/10 means you'll struggle harder with 10/20 or 15/30.

1 comment:

Mourn said...

Good advice on the limits.

Check out the Bay 101 while you're in NoCal. The players are horrible and you'll see a lot of gamboolers there doing crazy shit like playing blind every other hand or just trying to be the limit version of Gus Hansen. You have to loosen up your starting requirements a tad and do a lot of value betting and playing draws, but the money is there to be taken. Don't bluff too much, you'll get called down with A-high a lot.