Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Missives From A Pretend Professional Poker Player - Part 2. Game Selection

Now I'm playing more regularly again, I decided to take a more critical view of where I play my poker.

Initially I started six-tabling the Full Tilt deep-stack tables. Because, well, that's where I played already so why not keep it going?

This was my leisure game of choice because as well as being potentially lucrative, especially during the happy hours, it's also a lot of fun. I think my A-game is quite unconventional and works best with lots of fairly deep opponents - no swarms of short-stacking Germans and Scandies to contend with.

They also had a bonus offer running which I worked off with ease. A first on Full Tilt!

However my rakeback on Full Tilt is 'only' 27% (the standard it seems), so once the bonus was cleared I started re-appraising my options. I decided to work through a few different sites in turn, and started looking for options that were rakeback friendly, possibly had bonuses running, and had sufficient volume to support multi-tabling.

There are several candidates out there, but the one I settled on initially was my old Eurobet account - which I opened back in the golden days when it was still a Party Poker skin.

This has 30% rakeback, but also allows loyalty points to be converted to cash bonuses. Additionally, the rakeback provider offers a rake-race each month that has relatively few entrants, meaning I could pretty much guarantee myself a small bonus on top.

Effectively then, my money is simultaneously working four ways - poker winnings, rakeback, bonus, and rake-race. That sounded suitably professional to me.

The other habit I've changed is I now pay more attention to my notes and gradings.

I've always been quite good at taking notes on players, and I've always been quite aware of HUD statistics. However when playing for fun I've never really bothered utilising them to choose which tables to play on.

If I found myself seated at a table when several players has notes indicating they were decent I saw it as a challenge rather than a threat. Now I see it as a possible inhibitor to win-rate. Thus it's much more common for me to sit down, scope the table, and exit.

Or, if the table is short-handed and I'm auto seated at a less than optimum location, I'll exit and return at a better position.

This is especially important on the Eurobet tables, as players tend to play with shorter stacks, which means a more conventional approach is needed, as there are very few hands it's profitable to get three-bet with when playing out-of-position.

I learned this lesson the expensive way, as I initially failed to adapt to the switch from Full Tilt deep-stacks. I've now posted a sequence of 11 winning sessions from the last 12 I've played, so it seems to have sunk in now.

The plan at the moment is to see out the month on Eurobet, then look for another site for next month.

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