Monday, August 2, 2010

just put my Sklansky bucks in my account - I'll spend them later

The aggressive player's game plan is to keep chipping away at small pots. Blind stealing, isolation raising, light three betting - all designed to put pressure on opponents and win small pots. If the opponents fight back, or if they get a hand now and then, then the aggressive player will lose many medium sized pots. After all, blind stealing, isolation raising and light three-betting are called thusly because the player employing them is putting money into the pot with a weak hand, or more specifically a weak range of hands. When players fight back with real hands, these real hands usually represent a stronger range than the weak-ass range that the aggressive player has.

If all the aggressive player did was win small pots and lose medium ones, then his gameplan would probably not end up being profitable (unless there were many more small pots won than medium pots lost). The final piece of the puzzle is what's done in the big pots. If the good aggressive player can keep applying pressure, pressure, pressure - the goal is for the decent opponent to take a stand with a weak-ish hand. Say top pair, medium kicker. That's when the pot needs to get big, and the aggressive player shows up with his set. Or his flopped straight. Or his huge 18 out combo draw that gets there.

The gameplan is sound, you just have to have your big pot hands hold up. In the long term, they will. In the short term, however...

Tonight my aggressive image was working well. I was winning my little pots and losing my medium ones, and my win rate was hovering a bit below the positive. Then I got my overpair in vs. top pair.... and got 5-outed. Later I got my aces in vs. queens - and got 2 outed.

Play was good, Sklansky bucks were positive, but actual result was bad. That's was poker players tell each other not to be results-oriented. Get your money in good and keep playing. Look at the long term.

Not easy to do - we use the money to keep score, and the most natural time to do this is at the end of a session. Were we up or down?

These are the wrong questions to ask, unfortunately, certainly in the short term.

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