Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What is This Limit Poker that You Speak Of?

I've been absolutely swamped the last 2-3 weeks, trying desperately to finish the current house I'm renovating, but I have managed to sneak in a bit of poker play. Amazingly enough, the numbers in my Full Tilt account are actually getting larger, instead of smaller. I mean, what the hell is going on? It must be a sign that end times are truly near.

I have to scrape together a bitof free time here and some over there as far as poker play, so I can't say that I have much of a routine these days. Cash games, satellites, SnGs, MTTs, you name it, I tend to just jump into anything I see that looks decent, when I have time to play. I doubt that such a random-ass, scattershot approach is doing me much good, but I went on a nice mini-tear this weekend, cashing in the $750K, winning two seats into FTOPS events, and going on a nice little run at the LHE tables.

The $750K was about as random as it gets, as I sat down at the computer after a long day on Sunday that started at 6 AM, saw there was 15 minutes to go until the $750K started, and entered two of those dumb-ass $26 100 chips SnGs. Bombed out on the first hand of one of them but managed to win the second for the entry into the $750K.

I chipped up decently the first hour or so, then donked off a quarter of my stack calling a pretty obvious monster on the river with just TPTK. Took a few smaller hits and found myself fairly short-stacked and a really active player to my left. Folds around to me on the button and I raise it up with AJo and Mr. Active re-pops it from the SB, but not too hugely. BB folds and I assume he's re-stealing so I shove, he insta-calls with AKs, and I'm packing up my virtual stuff when a J spikes on the river.

After that it was pretty much a blur, literally, until I went out somewhere in the low 200s for a cash of about $500. I just didn't have any noteworthy hands, only taking down the blinds when I had KK once and AA once, and basically just stole when I had to to keep my head above water. Moved a few places up the payscale when a shove with 85s got called by A9s and I flopped an 8, but other than that there's not much I regret or felt I could have done much differently. I had a decent stack when I went out shoving my JJ and ran into AA in the BB.

Managed to qualify for both FTOPS #5 and #7, both on my first shot in fairly cheap qualifiers (I think both were $26). The satellite for FTOPS #5 was kind of funny, as it only had 11 runners (whee, limit hold'em) and I think I had the chip lead from ten minutes in until the end. Just absolutely run over by the deck, pretty much the whole way through.

I thought I should likely try to knock some rust off the limit game, so I spent a decent number of hours at the $10/20 LHE tables, which was actually pretty fun. It always helps when you book profitable sessions, but I'd forgotten some of the reasons I played so damn much limit poker back in the days of yore. It's impossible to argue that NLHE isn't where it's at these days, as far as maximizing your profits, but I can't but find LHE a lot mroe relaxing, and, in many ways, more thought-provoking. At least at the lower levels I frequent, 90% of NLHE is push-pull, semi-brainless poker, without too much exercising of the noggin'. LHE, though, is a little more nuanced, and at least takes a few active neurons to play decently at.

While playing I dusted off my old PokerTracker stats from the good ol' days, which only resulted in nostalgic tears for ancient times when the Party 15/30 and 20/40 full-ring LHE tables were hopping. That even a relative donk such as my stuff could have pulled as much cash off those tables in their heydey is a testament to just how good the games once were, before NLHE and our lovely guvmint did their best to squash poor full-ring LHE.

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