Sunday, July 02, 2006

Stars On Multitable

I'm liking the new PokerStars client, which is currently in beta testing.

Resizeable windows means I've been getting in a fair number of SNGs. Sets of four on my piddly 17" monitor are probably ergonomically unsound, but perfectly playable.

Four PokerStars tables on 17 inch screen

One small tip if you use PokerTracker. The auto-request of tourney results doesn't work with the beta client, so you need to log-out and log into the normal client before running the request.

Also, make sure your hand histories are saving to the usual folder.

I'd never present myself as the ultimate authority on any poker subject, but I do have a few observations on the Stars low buy-in SNG, of which I've been playing mostly $10 9-handed.

During the week I've been fairly consistent, whereas over the weekend my results are much more variable.

Tonight, for example, I kicked off a set of four in quick succession and within 15 minutes was out of three with two 8th and one 7th finishes - being dispatched by two hands where I was 3/1 favourite and one where I'd already got shortstacked and lost as a 4/6 dog.

Meanwhile, in game 4 I'd already accumulated 10,000 of the 13,500 chips in play, and we were already on the bubble. The other three opponents were quickly finished off.

I'd felt during the week that I was playing really well. Applying pressure to my opponents and taking down lots and lots of small pots to gradually chip up. Stealing and re-stealing wherever possible.

Such was my confidence, I even went so far as to recce a few of the $30 tables. For some reason there didn't seem to be any $20 STT available midweek; though I see there are tonight.

Unfortunately the players were showing up on SharkScope with a fair number of nasty finned icons accompanying their names. Discretion overcame valour, and I stuck to the $10 tables.

Trying my weekday style at the weekend, I got destroyed in the first few games. Suddenly, any pair is gold. Ace high is always worth seeing a turn card, etc.

A rapid revertion to ultra tight play, and entirely unsubtle betting, reaped me a few wins.

Instead of chipping up, it's a matter of hoarding jealously until a big hand arrives, then making a big raise and confidently expecting to get called or re-raised by A3s, A7o, 22, 98s, etc.

Another difference is the midweek games tend to drag on for a lot longer, which actually means the end-game plays like a turbo. With running antes and large blinds, the only sensible move becomes all-in or fold.

It's amazing how many players fail to adapt to this - limping, or calling raises for quarter of their stack, then folding to a bet on the flop.

For what it's worth, my current ROI according to PokerTracker is 21.21% at the $10 level. Of course this is on a very small sample size, and I've no idea if it's good/bad/indifferent.

I'm winning, so it can't be too awful? For a few days SharkScope was showing my form rating as 'hot' which was pleasingly ego stroking.

I think I'll stick to the baby buy-ins for a while yet, but perhaps start to feed in a few of the bigger games at the weekend when the opposition seems to be softer.

It's a combination of game selection, and strategy adaptation. Finding the optimum blend is the challenge for now.

Well, that and maintaining concentration and commitment. My hat goes off to the Tanks and Nerds of the world who can rattle off dozens of these at a time!

Small doses are great fun, but I wouldn't like to do it for a living.

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