Monday, February 13, 2006

Getting Better

Well, faithful readers, it's been six days since my last post, so surely I have lots to report?

Think again.

Not been a huge amount of time for poker this week, though in my short time at the tables I have managed to stem the flow and keep the bankroll on an even keel.

Really I should be ahead, but I've made the mistake of betting several decent but non-nut hands into people holding the second or third nuts who don't raise, but don't fold either. Very frustrating.

The other problem I've had this week is that while I'm perfectly capable of the occasional donkey moves, sometimes I just play too well.

Yes I did just write that, and I kept a straight face while I did.

Don't believe me? Well, let me offer up an example...

PLO8 game - I'm on the button and limp into a family pot with A3xx single suited.

Not a monster, but the right flop would give me scoop possibilities, and I'm in position.

The flop is 2xx - all low cards, giving me the nut low. But it's also a flush board, and not in my suit.

By the time the action reaches me it's gone - bet, raise, re-raise. This is pot limit remember!

I fold, exactly as Ray Zee or Bobby Baldwin (in SS2) would tell me to. With action like that, my vulnerable low is definitely getting quartered. I must be up against a made nut low, and the nut flush.

Or must I? Imagine my reaction when after heavy action, showdown is between two moderate flushes for high. The lesser of whom gets out of jail with a very rough low for half the pot.

Disaster! That would have been a very juicy pot. I did have a nagging urge to call, but clearly it would be the wrong move, even although in this particular case it would have been rewarded handsomely.

But there's the predicament for someone such as myself who is slowly building up their bankroll. The games I play in are populated by a lot of bad players, and sometimes bad play can be rewarded.

Which can lead to bad habits, and a failure to improve my own game.

It's times like this, we need to grit our teeth, and focus on the *fact* that better performance will lead to improved results. In the long term!

That's where my motivation lies. Sure I want to make money, but more than that, I want to become a better player.

On Poker 425 this week there was an excellent interview with Paul 'Action Jack' Jackson, in which he discussed his heads up duel with Phil Ivey in the Monte Carlo Millions.

The depth of thinking was incredible, and Jackson himself admitted that just playing Ivey had given a new level to his game. The relish and awe permeated his every word.

They went for a drink after the tourney and had a chat about how the key hands had played out. Imagine that!

To get to that level is an unlikely dream, but it wouldn't be a worthwhile dream if it were easily achievable.

Poker 425 is legitimately available on Bit Torrent and can be downloaded here. It's well worth viewing!

(EDIT: The interview starts at 35 minutes into the programme)

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