The last card is the only one that really matters...
Fractured play v Consistent play
THE $2 CHALLENGE
I would love to tell you the tags to riches story, like Chris Moneymaker who turned just $23s into a couple of million, to say that I managed to double my money, then triple it to $12s and by good fortune continue to build it up from this amount, but unfortunately this isn’t what happened. I found it strangely difficult to play my usual game for several reasons, and the first one I’d like to begin with is the issue of why being low stacked can mean that a vital number of tools usually available to me were immediately stripped away, which made matters difficult. These were;
- Primarily, time. My play wasn’t fluent and I didn’t manage to build a momentum up due to the fractured short and bitty sessions I played while taking on this challenge. After an attempted final bluff, slightly frustrated, it was too late! (Hand described at the end).
- the in-ability to bluff, the lack of confidence to take calculated risk (I was unable to take any risks as I only had one shot every time to win money in a pot, so I was forced to play extremely tight, thereby turning me into a weak-tight and predictable player) the ‘threat’ that a big stack imposes from future raises for opponents to be wary of you and the general frustration of having to wait around by only playing only one table.
- Every time I raised a flop, players usually folded. This is a usual thing.
- My greatest overall concern about playing this challenge was that it was quite literally degrading my game. I think the problem was that the longer I remained playing at this level, the worse my game got. Plus I got de-motivated with the small pots I was eventually winning. In order to play at your peak you’ve got to play at the higher levels.
- The main problem was that I wasn’t able to dedicate enough session time to this challenge and that meant shorter sessions. This meant momentum was lost and also I felt I lost my way with some of my strategy (time to hit the books again!)
- All in all, the players at the lowest possible level you can play in some cases weren’t too bad, but they were all clearly beginners. This made it doubly difficult as when you raised pre flop, you got a lot of callers (as to see the flop it was very cheap anyway) and so a lot of times I was doing this and was unable to get players off their hands if rags came when I was holding a hand like QJ suited or AK.
- I tried calling with pocket pairs and raising with strong suited big cards but nothing worked - I received no joy. Whenever I did hit these weak tight players would quickly fold, leaving only a small pot won. It was surprisingly tough! As if my hands were shackled...
THE LAST CARD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS...
And in the end...it didn’t come for me. I lost but I’ll take some lessons away from the experience!
I made my final move with A ♠️ J ♠️ from late position by raising big before the flop. The flop game 654 and I bet. The one cold caller called again. I bet the turn - a King - and he called again. The river was 10 and foolishly with me nearly all in anyway I checked and he checked it down too to win the pot with 67 suited. A typical play. I think I should have gone all in here and tried to bluff him out of it. There was a strong possibility he would have called, but if he hadn’t, the $2 challenge would have continued!
“It didn’t work this time but I can always try again!” “I still think it is a great challenge.”
The great thing is, is that I can always try it again. Will I though or will I return to more familiar waters at the higher stakes? I think my next challenge will be a more serious one by investing with a big bankroll of around $600-$700’s and trying my hand at either 0.5c/0.10c tables or the 0.15/0.25c tables. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from the $2 challenge that without a proper bankroll you are handcuffing yourself and restricting possibilities in your game. These may seem like small edges, but it is the small edges that make all the difference in poker at the end of the day. As they say, the only card that really matters is the last card you turn over...
- Next up: a football match betting review on Sunday morning for the big one Liverpool versus Man United (and why cringingly Man U are trying to make a big deal out of it) ♥️ What to do with QQ when an over card hits the flop
Thanks for reading everyone; you’re the best!