Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heads Up

So while I've been setting up computers and transferring files, I find myself with a pile of free time sitting at my desk in the home office. I can't really watch a movie or anything, because I only have so much processing power, and most of that is being used to move gig after gig of music and movies from one place to another. So every night I find myself firing up Full Tilt for a little pokery goodness.

And for a change, it actually has been good. I've been focusing on the Heads-Up SNGs, of the $10 variety, and have been pretty successful so far. I think I've run my $100 into about $170 so far, so I'm winning more than I'm losing. I don't track each SNG anymore, and frankly barely keep up with my progress in online poker, because most of the time I just don't care. But there have been some observations that I've made that I thought I'd share here. Please note that this is not a statistically relevant sample size, nor is there any real research put into this - it's just what I've seen. If you want well-written, thoroughly researched writing, check out Shamus. 'Cause it ain't gonna happen here.

1) The majority of the players at this level seem timid. I raise my button probably 90% of the time, regardless of what I'm holding. I want to put more money in the pot when I have position, and less when I don't. So I raise less when I'm out of position, and almost every hand on the button. My opponents don't seem interested in raising that often with the button, and not terribly interested in defending their big blinds, so I'm picking up a ton of orphaned big blinds.

2) There seems to be a lot of desire to get money in behind at this level. I value small pairs very highly at this level, as it's infrequent that both players actually hit a flop. I have seen several instances where an opponent will call me down on every street with no pair, and have picked up a few pots when my opponent got all their money in on a small flush draw with no pair. I tend to play pretty hard in these due to the passive nature of my opponents, but I'm also waiting until I pick up a pair at least to go to way. The number of people willing to go to war with nothing but a naked draw is pretty impressive.

3) It's easy to play these things one at a time, but I can't multi-table heads-up. I do much better when I can pick up betting patterns on my opponent, and I can't do that with multiple tables going. I'm pretty sure there's a simple mathematical formula that would make these profitable with less focus, but that's not what I'm interested in. I'm just killing a little time and trying to pad my roll a little.

1 comment:

HighOnPoker said...

An added benefit of HU poker is that you are forced to learn your opponents' style of play, since its just you and him. That's probably why guys like you and I, who find that usually we play half-assed because we don't care, can be more profitable at HU poker. We have no choice but to care and pay attention in HU games.