Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bonuses & Stuff

So in looking over my stats, I realize that I am a terrible online cash game player. This is not news, but it is somewhat baffling, since I play at Party and Stars, which should be the biggest of fishponds. Note - Stars less so. Really. So over the weekend I spent some serious (like 15 hours) time in front of the monitor trying to work on leaks and figure out why I suck so bad.

First realization - I suck at poker. No really, not like G-Rob saying he sucks, then taking all your money, I suck. At least I suck at online poker. And most of it comes from a lack of discipline. I'm at that point that most people get to after about a year of serious play, where I know most of the hands that I'm going to play, and pretty much how I'm going to play them, so a lot of the excitement of figuring that shit out is gone. I push the edges, I punish the draws, all that.

At the limits I can afford right now, you can only punish a draw so much. And that has led me to realize that if I'm going to bother continuing with online poker, I need to spend some time really caring about bankroll management and build my roll into something that will allow me to move up in limits.

Now I have a decent job, and pick up enough side work as a designer to fund my poker habit, so I haven't cared too much about bankroll management before now. Well, the wife's job expires next week, so I need to pay a little more attention. Pretty much, the couple hundred bucks I've got online now is all that goes online for quite a while, so I need to maximize the effectiveness of it all and actually win some freaking money online, instead of counting on my home game stuff to fund my online horrible play.

So that led me with great interest to Emprie's 50% reload bonus last weekend. I dumped my $200 in, looking at the 500 raked hands I'd need to play to get my $100 with a little trepidation. I've never paid attention to the rake at my limits before, because it's usually so small as to be not noticeable. Then I noticed that a lot of hands at the limit tables went unraked. That was doing me no good, since I wasn't winning much there, I needed to be able to clear my bonus quickly to get my cash off this site. Especially with the Party de-skinning that happened the day after I made my deposit. Joy.

So I grab a seat at the 6-handed $25 NL table, and proceed to nut peddle. And I quickly realized that, for me, the action at the 6-handed tables moves a little too fast for me to comfortably work off my bonuses. It's not that the play is any better, really, it's just that the blinds really move around quickly, so with the reduced number of players on Empire this weekend, it became pretty unappealing. So I jumped into a full $25 NL table. Not bad, moved pretty quickly, but I found myself becoming bored really quickly, as there still were only 2-3 hands per orbit that were even worth my blinds. So I added a Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo table, and promptly got my nuts kicked in.

But I really like Omaha, and I'm kinda stupid anyway, so I went back for more. Reload, foot to junk, repeat. Then I look at the board and realize that I'm getting killed on the low draws and the quarters. So I jump to Omaha Hi, and meet with some more reasonable success. So I manage, 2-tabling Omaha and Hold Em, to clear my bonus within a couple of days and run into the night with a net $55 profit from the bonus. Which essentially means that I didn't win a damn thing, but I got my bonus, and that covered the $45 I lost while playing off my bonus. Still pretty good, all things considered.

The thing I learned from that experience, is how to really nut peddle in Omaha. If you've got the nuts, push. Hard. If you've got the nuts with no redraws and more cards coming, push less hard. If you're drawing to the nuts in a couple of different directions, call. Depending on the odds, but usually call. If there's a pair on the board and you don't have a boat, you don't have the nuts. So fold. It's safer to believe that the maniac across the table has the nuts and save your cash than to pay him off just to see if you're right.

This is not good Omaha strategy for general play. I don't have a good Omaha strategy for general play, but this is a decent way to play while you're working off a bonus, because at that point, I was looking at my bonus as what was paying me off, and anything i could win above breaking even for the session was gravy. Because if I'm 2-tabling (I know, I only play 2 at a time, but remember, I suck at poker) even full tables of Omahaha, I should be able to get in 50 hands/hour, which will work off a 500 hand bonus in 10 hours, for a $10/hr. rate of pay.

So that's my experiences this weekend working off my bonuses, I welcome other ideas/contributions from folks with more experience. This will have to become a more serious part of my play if I'm to keep playing online, since my freewheeling redeposits are coming screeching to a halt.

And does anybody know a good roofer or plumber in Charlotte? I need some work done on the house in a big way.

1 comment:

G-Rob said...

Contrarty to popular belief, I do suck at poker. I'm a very lucky man.

Luck is a gift.