Thursday, February 19, 2009

limit practice

In preparation for my Mountaineer overnight tomorrow, I've been playing low fixed limit ring games on Full Tilt. In the past 3 days I've played 172 hands, with moderate success.

In night one, I won 11.49 playing .10/.20 against some god awful players.
In nights two and three, I lost a couple bucks each night, playing .10/.25. I made one or two mistakes each night, but overall played solid poker (I think).

All the tables tonight seemed to be decent players. Everyone had similar HUD stats - nobody was too loose, and preflop raise % varied a bit from very low (like 3% up to 13% or so). In small sample sizes, this could simply be the cards the players were getting. But, unlike the first night, there were no 72/0 type players. Is .10/.25 a big enough step up to get rid of the horrible players? I doubt it, but more information is needed. Perhaps I just need to look at selecting the correct table a bit closer.

One thing about fixed limit that I find difficult is putting players on a hand, or in fact, even trying to do so. Decent players take shots at the pot almost 100% of the time whether they hit the flop or not, and all sorts of players (good and bad) will call this tiny bet with bottom pair, two overcards, gutshot+one overcard, pair+backdoor flush draw, etc. It's quite difficult to decipher what a bet or call means, because it can mean anything.

In no-limit, I often use the bet size as a clue to what the player is doing. If a player bets 3x preflop over and over, then suddenly bets 2x - there is usually some reason for this. Maybe his chip stack is too low and he doesn't want to put too much of his stack in. Maybe he's got a big hand and he's looking for action, or maybe he has a medium hand (like 88) that he doesn't want to get too involved with.

All this information goes out the window in fixed-limit. I've still got my HUD helping tell me how many pots everyone is in, but betting patterns get very muddled to me in limit. Maybe this will improve when playing live.

We'll find out tomorrow.

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