Thursday, February 18, 2010

More On Poker and Luck

I've finally gotten round to dipping my toes in the world of Rush Poker. Initially, with some success, but latterly I seem to have ended up with scalded feet.

It all started so well. On my way back from a training course in England, I finally managed to get my wifi connection to the T-Mobile hot spot on the Virgin Train working.

Which meant that as I whizzed northwards at 125mph or so, I was able to fire up Full Tilt on my little Samsung netbook. Since the screen on this is tiny, and I'm generally used to playing six tables simultaneously, Rush Poker seemed the ideal compromise. One table, but many more hands per hour.

My initial impressions were that it's great fun, but I am not convinced that it will supersede multi-tabling regular games as my preferred mode of play.

This feeling should be qualified against yesterday's experiment, where I worked my way up to four-tabling Rush Poker, by which time I seemed to be averaging over 1200 hands per hour! Absolutely incredible.

I did play, by my standards, very tight (11%/8%) but the results were execrable. I finished the day, after three hours play, a whopping eight buy-ins down.

Which leads me to luck. Looking over the results, I was able to attribute one buy-in to bad play on my part (3-bet from the blinds with AK, c-bet a whiffed flop and got a bit carried away on a K turn versus oppo with KQ who flopped top pair and turned two pair).

However the overall loss was primarily a combination of cooler situations (set-under-set, QQ v AA on a low flop, flush vs top set who fills up on the river, bottom set vs top-two who fills up on turn, etc.), and some teeth grindingly neanderthal play (cold calling a 4-bet pre with 97s, floating the flop with nothing and back-dooring a straight on a flushing board, etc.)

Encouragingly, I didn't even stack-off in most of these situations. But taken together, they all added up to a hefty loss!

Which, to me, seems like a hellish run of luck. However, fortune WAS smiling on me in one way.

As I was experimenting, I was playing lower than normal. A mix of $25 and $50 buy-in, instead of $100 and $200.

So, whereas I could easily have been looking at a loss in excess of $1000, the actual damage was more like $300.

Not ideal, but well within the tolerance of my bankroll - and even $25 buy-in games generate some rakeback when you are getting through 1200 hands per hour!

11 comments:

Paul67 said...

Div, poker novice here, how many hands per hour would be your norm?

Div said...

Paul, there are lots of variables. i.e. short handed (5 or 6 players) or full ring (9 or 10 players), site software (some sites are quicker than others), game type, etc.

Generally I play full-ring No Limit Hold Em, and usually I average over 70 hands per hour per table, and as I six table, that means about 440 hands per hour - so getting ~1200 per hour four tabling Rush Poker is a huge leap.

If you are starting to play, make sure you sign up for rakeback (effectively a cashback scheme) in advance. Once you have registered with most poker sites, it's too late to apply for rakeback - you need to do it in advance.

My affiliate link is:
http://www.raketherake.com/?refer=RTR04083

(Might be a good affiliate scheme for your website!)

Paul67 said...

Div, when I read "1200" hands/hr I thought it was an exaggerations, like, 'I've done this a million times today'.

440 hands/hr is 7 hands/minute, or around 8 seconds per hand. Over an hour this is a huge focus.

There is no way, no way on earth, I would embark on a poker career when there are guys out there who can assess and made decisions on the game that quickly!

Div said...

Hah! The real pros would consider me a total lightweight. There are lots of people kicking around who routinely play 20 tables or more.

Have a look at someone like:
http://www.clarkatroid.com/

I don't see this as a career. I'm strictly an enthusiastic amateur. I'm just taking it a bit more seriously while I wait for the IT contract market to pick up a bit.

Don't forget of those 7 hands per minute (or 20 in Rush), the decision in almost 9 out of 10 is simply to fold pre-flop. Another reasonable amount quickly end on the flop.

It's only a small percentage that actually get into more complex decision making processes.

Rakeback Power said...

Rush poker is aptly named and very addictive. I think it takes alot of skill out of poker. I guess it's fun if you only have 30 minutes and wait to play a bit before something. Have fun.

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Learn Poker said...

Rush poker, especially if taken simultaneously (in your case, 4 tables), can be quite engaging. Several people can barely handle the pressure of three games on their screens.

More and more poker players online transcend "normal" and develop unbelievable focus and versatility to do several hands at a single time.

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