Jack of all trades, master of none?
Formulating a winning mentality
In this blog post I will be talking a little about how to play pocket jacks, but before that let’s look at this idea of momentum. Just like when I played football regularly, winning creates momentum and becomes a habit. When you are used to losing a lot, bad luck follows you like a cloud of flies, but when you get on a winning run on the go, it also often comes hand in hand with Lady Luck I find. What do you think?
Before this happens, however, you’ve got to earn it and put in the work. (Talking to myself here.) The long hours of grinding, the sometimes more cautious play, the consideration about opponents playing styles and tendencies. Patience. Then success comes.
When you go through this, and you manage to increase the level of bankroll considerably enough, you’ll find you can go to the next level and you’ll find both confidence and momentum gets increased and making decisions, key in poker, becomes much easier against opponents you found tough to handle before.
Unfortunately my bankroll took a little hit yesterday, when I should really be about £40 up overall with my poker winnings. I’m now down to around 60% from £300 to £180 after I chucked £100 on Borussia Mönchengladbach to best Schalke (4-1 win), Ajax to beat Emmem 2.5+ goals which they did by winning 5-0, Sevilla to beat bottom of the table and they succeeded 1-0 and finally Everton to win against Leeds. The boys in blue from Merseyside fell to a classy Leeds 1-0 who were better than I realized, although just like Liverpool earlier in the day, the team on the other side of merseyside also had two goals disallowed for offside. I hate VAR!
Anyway, on my part, it was really stupid to bet so much in the football and I’ve forced myself to drop down a level. I also played too many variety of games including pot limit Omaha short handed. I can also play this game and I usually enjoy it, but it’s a distraction away from what should be my one and only goal; building up a bankroll at micro stakes levels. So the next week or so will be more difficult than it should be. It will be a bit like when you’re on a smooth path on your journey only for you to take a wrong turn and end up ten miles back where you started 3 hours (or more!) before. I have no choice now to sit it out and grind it out until the rivers of momentum, confidence and luck gather again....
A random topic discussion
Strange occurrence in live play poker... number 1 - ACCIDENTAL COLLUSION
‘You’re playing in a small stakes tournament and you called a small all-in shove from a short stack player. Another player with a big stack that’s sitting behind you decided to cold call. You check the flop, big stack check behind you. Since you’re close to the bubble you say to the player behind you that that you should both check the hand down and see the showdown (in order to maximize the chance of eliminating the player that’s already all in). This is a big no no. While this line of play happens very often, and it’s usually correct if you explicitly communicate an agreement about checking a hand down (not that I ever do this as no one is my friend on the poker table!) it will be considered COLLUSION and penalized accordingly so beware!’
Pokerstars general player tendency observations
Players tend to call bets on the flop a lot, but then when you feel it is in the correct moment, if you make a continuation bet on the turn, whether you have something or not, they will often fold. Sometimes they do call to the river and sometimes it’s worth betting again. They may have missed a draw and you can take the pot whether you have a made hand or not by bluffing/semi-bluffing!
“What makes a bluff successful? You have to know how to pick your spots. There are six general matter you have to consider when bluffing: your opponents, your image, the betting history of your hand, your position, the strength of your hand, and the size of your bet.” (Ashley Adam’s article on pokerology.com)
Ten ten challenge returns with a bang!
Yesterday the tens seemed to return, ironically after a dry spell while taking on this challenge in which I hardly seemed to pick up the pocket tens, and this time I won big against two other opponents! Unfortunately later on the session, I got into the horrible situation where I went all in with pocket kings (before the flop) facing aces. However, I didn’t give up and quickly made up my lost $10 buy in by winning the $10 back on two tables before retiring for the night.
Poker quiz - Jacks. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none?’
You are on the button with J hearts J diamonds. Two players limp, and someone in middle position raises. The player on your right cold-calls. What should you do?
Answer: Reraise. Many people play pocket jacks (and tens) timidly. They fear an unfavorable flop, such as one or two over cards and no Jack. Since these bad flops occur relatively frequently, they conclude that they are better off waiting until they know the flop is favorable before they gamble. They are wrong. Pocket jacks are a premium holding, and they usually win far more often than their fair share against four loose opponents. While unfavorable flops come relatively often, so do favorable flops. You will flop three undercards about a third of the time and a set an additional twelve percent of the time. Those times that you flop a set, your pot equity will be over seventy percent (against four players). Sets come infrequently, but when they do come, they are extremely profitable. (I definitely agree with this.)
Sklansky Small Stakes hold’em, my book of the year! P259
This book can be downloaded online via pdf
Thanks for reading all.