Climbed out of the shorthanded hole in a big way yesterday, nearly tripling up on both the tables I popped open for one last session before bed. 'Tis a nice thing, indeed, to flop quads against an auto-capping maniac, especially when a third player gets caught in between.
One sort of interesting thing I've noticed with the shorthanded play is that I'm much more prone to fixate on one player, often to my detriment. It's no less annoying in a full ring game when the same lemur with a VPIP of 78% keeps taking your money, and you notice it just as much, but the opportunity to engage the lemur enemy and get your money back simply doesn't arise that often, given that you're playing a relatively small number of hands. So even if you start steaming in their particular direction you usually have time to settle down and get your head rearranged correctly.
Not so much with shorthanded play, though. Not only do you often not have time to cool off and settle down, but the odds are greater that you'll be involved with that same freaking luckbox that just hit three consecutive gutshots against you to take down huge pots. Since you should correctly be playing more marginal hands, and playing them faster, you're inevitably going to tangle with that doofus much more frequently.
So yeah. I've found myself occasionally tilting in a fairly specific way, making sub-optimal plays in an attempt to "punish" a particular player at the table. While this isn't the worst thing in the world, as far as one side effect being to isolate a weak player and get it heads up, it can create a negative feedback loop. You're simultaneously playing more marginal hands, playing them fast, and often not giving your opponent credit for when they really have a hand. Plus it's hard to play your A game, or even your B game, when you play pissed off.
The more poker I play, the fewer arguments I can find for slowplaying to ever be correct. Let's say you have AA and raise UTG, and only MP and the button call. The flop comes AA5, rainbow. I would wager a decent sum of money that against typical opponents you'll make more money, in the long run, by simply betting out, and continuing to bet out on each street. Either someone tries to make a move on you or look you up or they don't. The aggregate money you make on the relatively rare occasions they do is very likely > the aggregate money you make by occasionally inducing a river bet by checking it down.
I got Stewart Reuben's How Good is Your PLO? as an early Christmas gift, and the verdict so far is: not good at all. I sort of like the quiz format and self-deprecating writing style, although it's annoying that the pagination breaks it up in awkward ways at times. My biggest downfall with PLO is correctly manipulating pot size on the flop/turn, and I manage to mangle almost all the decisions in the book as far as jamming early in hands. I suck.
I managed to discover a pretty embarassing sum of money in a sportsbook account last night, that I somehow managed to mark the account as zeroed out in my spreadsheet, when, in fact, it was pretty far from zeroed out. This prompted me to go through all 172,192 of my online poker and casino accounts, leading to me rustle up an extra $200 or so in funds that I had no clue were lying about in the world. So if you're a degenerate like me, it might be worth your while to run a quick check of all your accounts.
On a related note, I'm also in the process of putting together a spreadsheet with all of my account info and logins, as far as Neteller and online sites. The plan is to compile it, print a hard copy, and then delete the original file, as it's obviously not the best idea to have all that info lying around together in a virtual world. The whole morbid point is to give the hard copy to my wife to secure somewhere safe, so that if an anvil dropped on my head tomorrow, she'd be able to identify and get to all the funds I have squirreled away in assorted places online. Call me crazy, but I can only imagine how difficult it'd be dealing with Party customer support, trying to convince them to transfer funds in her poor, deceased anvil-struck husband's account to her checking account, despite the fact that she doesn't even know my screenname, etc.
And just to cover the paranoid bases, I've been in the process of deleting all account-related stuff from my Web-based email accounts, just so that on the off chance that someone who gained access to my email account wouldn't be able to do any further damage, as far as logging on to financial or online gambling sites. Email accounts can get hacked and it's obviously not the best idea in the world to leave bread crumb trails to accounts where you have money, even if it'd be relatively hard for the average hacker to recognize and follow through on the opportunity to empty out your online poker accounts.
If you do use Web-based email for such things, at least be sure not to use the same password for your personal email when you sign up at gambling sites online. Maybe it's the evil schemer in me but if I wanted to cause some people some serious financial pain in highly illegal ways I'd bribe some schlep working customer service at online gambling sites to pass along all the customer email addresses and passwords that they used when signing up, as I'd bet that a fairly large number of them use the same password for their personal email account, and use their personal email account as a repository for all sorts of other passwords and logins, and so on and so forth.