Tuesday, September 14, 2004

In the Zone...

Looking in the mirror
Online poker players live their lives in dog years, I'm convinced. We either progress or go broke in very short cycles. I think for most of us in the poker writing community, the idea is to "grow up" quickly through diligent play, reading, and self-examination. HDouble has written a bit about this, I believe.

I don't know how long I'd say I've been playing online. I've had an account on Paradise since 2001, I believe. I branched out into Party Poker for the first time last fall after a long hiatus, and have been playing more than 100 hands a week since February or thereabouts. I'm a cautious guy, particularly with money, and I think this has helped foster a steady growth in the past 8 months. Evidence: I've only recently started playing consistently above .50/1 or $10NL and $5 SNGs. These were my bread and butter until at least mid-summer, and by the end I was absolutely destroying all three.

Well, those days have been over for about a month now, and barring a significant financial setback (either via poker or otherwise), I don't see myself playing any of the aforementioned games again. I like the decision-making environment of shorthanded play, and thus my current home is 1/2 short. Some may disagree with this, but I'm of the mind that 5-max is a different game from 6-max, particularly when one player is either missing or sitting out. So my money is holed up at Paradise for the time being, since they're the only ones that I know of that offer 5-max. Hell, if someone had 1/2 4-max, I'd play that instead if the games were ok.

I don't really play much cash NL right now, but I'm sure I'll return to it at some point. The NL MTT's, however, are something I'll continue to do for the sake of variety. I suppose when Party (or affiliates) offer me a reload I'll cruise over there to play 6-max and some multi-table 1/2. Having a poker bankroll to whore is so key...

As for HOW I play the 1/2 5-max, I can only summarize by saying "aggressive as hell." And I don't really tilt very much anymore online, something I owe to 4-tabling .50/1 for hours and hours prior to Vegas. Whatever the case, my approach been working. I've yet to see enough hands to really know for sure if its quality play or just good cards that are fueling this drive, but I'm not far off from a solid base to analyze. While I'm a bit leery of being results based in the short run, I do have to admit that the +30BB I racked up tonight over less than 300 hands helps my mindset a little, too.

So what's the damn point?
Well, nothing really, other than I thought I sensed something tonight that reminded me of one of the first poker posts I ever read. For those that read "The Cards Speak," you'll immediately notice how much things change, and how complex the journey is even for those that think they've mastered it. I'm feeling now much like Hank was when he wrote this, though much less eloquent of course. Without further adue, I offer you the following: "He's Heating Up!".

Other stuff
You must go and read Iggy's recent post about playing poker in Aruba against wealthy drunks and Hurricane Ivan. The picture he paints is something that really should become a lasting part of poker writing lore.

And for those with $1200 lying around, you have to respect Helixx's assessment of the 2/4 on Pacific. I don't have an account on there, but if I find myself with a few spare bucks lying around I just might give it a go.

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