Like the Jefferson’s…I’m moving on up (and reading books and lecturing on the perils of playing 10-8 offsuit)!

Over he last 2 weeks I’ve been hitting the online short-handed SnG’s pretty hard.  I’ve taken my starting bankroll from the beginning of the 2 week period and multiplied it 4X.  My preferred game is now the $22 and $33 6-handed Turbo’s (I started off at the $2 and $5 tables).  I’ve also gotten somewhat decent at managing 2 games at a time with the occasional 3 at a time session when I’m feeling particularly alert.   During longer sessions I’ve been able to squeeze a profit of $150+- a day.   Sometimes more…sometimes less.

In addition to a growing bankroll, I’ve taken some withdrawls, am generally making better decisions – erring on the side of aggressive at times, but with generally good results.  I’m seeking out new poker literature to incorporate into my game and am pleased with the results.  The more I read though, the more I feel like there’s still a LOT to learn – but I’m hungry and am willing to do the work!

On that note, a book that arrived the other day from Amazon called, “Elements of Poker” by Tommy Angelo has become a favorite although I’m only 50 pages in.  Like my other favorite, “Professional No Limit Hold ‘Em – V1” which I found unique because of it’s focus on risk management and committment threshold, I find “Elements of Poker” to be unique because it leads off with the importance of quitting.  Quitting helps you tilt less.  Quitting better than your opponents gives you an edge.  Quitting better than your opponents is key to avoiding burn-out, etc.  Tommy hasn’t gotten into anything regarding hand reading, starting hand charts, betting strategies, or anything like that within the first 50 pages.  To borrow from Stephen R Covey, this book could have easily been called the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Poker Players”.  I look forward to devouring the rest of this book over the weekend.

As for live play.  An interesting hand transpired last night where I raised 4X BB from position (on the limper) in order to isolate.  I held a modest ATo, but one I consider to be a monster vs my opponent (a loose-aggressive limper in early position) .  Flop came 8-10-X  (6 or something).   He checked, I bet, he raised all-in.  This guy is notorious for chasing draws.  I had top-top against this guy which ordinarily might be pretty good.  But he’s also notorious for playing any 2 cards (AT, KT, QT, JT, T9 are all in his range – even from out of position).   I reasoned that we might actually have the same hand or that I had him out-kicked and called.  He showed 2 pair.  8’s an 10’s.  I was hurting.  By the river, the board had paired again, we both had 2-pair, but my A kicker played and he was out.  He was stunned.  Other people said I sucked out, etc.  While technically that’s true – I did suck out – I’d actually argue that this player had no business playing 10-8 offsuit out of position against a solid player – particularly after a 4X pre-flop raise.   He consistently plays hands like that hoping to get lucky – and I hate to break it to you folks and sound like an asshole, but hoping to get lucky (so early in a tourney anyway) is just not good poker.  Pre-flop play is crucial to keeping yourself out of harm’s way.  If you play weak hands like that against strong opponents you are asking for trouble – period.  I honestly don’t care if I rivered the guy and sent him packing and I really don’t care if his hand had held up and he’d sent me packing.  No matter how you slice it, if you play to “get lucky” you really are asking for huge swings in your results.   10-8 offsuit is just not a hand you want to play when 1)  out of position, 2) up against a solid opponent, and 3) faced with a large pre-flop raise from said solid opponent.  I’m sorry to be so harsh – but the ONLY thing 10-8 offsuit has going for it is the possibility of a lucky flop.   And what are the odds of that?  Don’t play that complete and utter shit hand when those 3 pre-flop factors all point to an obvious fold.  You’ll last longer and have more consistent results.  Choose to play those hands and you’ll continue to be either the first one out, or the overall winner on your “lucky” nights…but you won’t be consistent.  As for me, I’d rather play well and make proper decisions than get lucky.  I end up in the money more often, am feared by more opponents, I’m not notorious for chasing draws, and I don’t have people snickering behind my back because I don’t get to the showdown with a rubbish hand.  But that’s just me.

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