Saturday, November 27, 2004

Poker, Turkey, and Football

Hopefuly that title should say it all. If any/all of those things don't bring glee to your cold, darkened heart, then there's something wrong with you.

Not a whole lot to report from the poker coal mines. I've managed to uneventfully grind through two reload bonuses at Party (if you have a Party account, check the cashier and your bonus account, as Party also gave out some account-specific November reload bonuses in addition to the general RELOADNOV bonus), the Paradise reload, plus a reload at Aspinalls. Nothing very remarkable from all those hands, for the most part. Decent cards, minor fluctuations in bankroll, cashed out of all three with healthy profits.

One leak I have noticed over the weekend is betting for information from early position with marginal hands (usually when playing from the blinds after limping in). Let's say you limp from the BB with K8o with 3 other players in a full ring $2/4 game, and the flop comes K 10 4, rainbow. Perfect spot to bet for information, as you'd rather find out on the flop if someone else has a K with a good/decent kicker (or anything else raise-worthy). So you bet and get one caller, one raiser, and a fold, bringing the action back to you. Cool, now you can just call and go into check-call mode and minimize your losses.

Bzzt, wrong answer. If you're going to bet for information in situations like that, you have to follow through and fold, when the information you get is bad news. I've somehow fallen into the bad habit of betting for information but not following through when I get raised, instead calling and hoping to improve, or that my K8 is somehow good, etc. If you're playing with players capable of raising you in that situation on a bluff/draw, then you shouldn't be betting for information in the first place. If you're going to bet for information from early position with top pair/weak kicker and get raised, you gotta drop 'em. No ifs, ands, or buts. The times that someone successfully puts a move on you with a weaker hand are pretty rare, and more than offset by the turn/river bets you save.

I still can't get over the fishy play at Aspinalls, especially at the NL tables. If you play NL and have some extra bankroll to try new sites with, you have to give
Aspinalls a whirl. You always get a certain amount of suckouts with well-heeled maniacs who will push with bottom pair, but simple, solid ABC poker has paid off for me there in a big way.

Aside from poker, I've pretty much gotten the poker bonus website I've been working on down. Nothing really earthshattering or unique, just a general guide to poker bonuses, strategy, and an updated, comprehensive guide to all the bonuses out there. Basically more detailed, instructional, and comprehensive than Bonuswhores, with none of the forum jibber-jabber. Links forthcoming when I've worked out all the kinks and the thing is live.

That said, I may ease off the personal bonus chasing for a bit. The day job is becoming increasingly depressing and unsatisfying, and I find myself crunching numbers more and more, trying to find an alternative. I don't think I'd ever want poker to be my sole source of income, but I could definitely handle it being half my income, with affiliate marketing providing the rest. I've got the bankroll repaired enough to sit 5/10 if I consolidate the ten jillion poker accounts I have and that's probably the bare minimum limit game one could sit and eke out any sort of living. I'm giving myself at least another year of the day job, but the sooner I get back into the higher limit swing, the better. It's also just not very interesting or challenging at a certain point, as far as chasing bonuses. Good for building the bankroll, yes, but just not challenging and prone to stagnation.

So we'll see. Easy enough to slide back into the grind, if the situation demands its.

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