Swings and Roundabouts

Well we’re off and running with the micro-stakes challenge. Check out my progress by selecting Back to the Future: The Micro-stakes Mission in the side bar.

After grinding all week with my free time I have made around a 36% increase to my roll.

Amusingly though in an attempt to blow off some steam after playing ‘proper’ bankroll management all week, I sat down on Saturday for a good old fashioned spin-up rampage on Eurobet’s PLO tables.

Having just recently finished reading Rolf Slotboom’s Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha I was intrigued by his short-stack approach to the game, which I decided to try out as part of my spin-up.

The tactic involves sitting in for to a game with the minimum buy-in (yes, I’ve joined the irritating hit-and-run short-stackers society), preferably with a strong aggressive player to your left (yes, you want them to have position on you).

Patience is the key here, you are waiting for a fairly decent hand like double-suited Aces or Kings where all four cards work well together.
Double-suited run-down hands are also good here.

You usually want to just call knowing the aggressive player will usually raise and get called in a couple of spots so you can re-raise all-in. Obviously you need to mix this up with some Button raises and re-raises when you have the goods as well so you don’t become too predictable.

Hopefully the obliging LAG should re-raise giving you some protection and taking the hand heads-up so you are getting around 3-1 on your money while being around a 60/40 favourite in the hand.

Obviously this is not an exact science and the key to success is picking your spots carefully. Occasionally you’ll be against two other players in the pot and while your win percentage may drop here you are still getting a pretty good return on your money for taking a favourable gamble.

The trick is not to get too greedy, as soon as you have doubled up and have enough to buy in for the minimum for the next level you leave the table and jump up stakes.

You can experiment with this strategy a little if you find a level you are comfortable playing at and I did just that at the $1/$1 tables running my $20 into around $160 in about half an hour before I hit-and-ran to buy into the $2/$2 game for $40.

The best part about this approach is the fact you are risking a little to win a lot in a short space of time, while still using some semblance of bankroll management: While you are effectively playing higher than your roll allows you should still only be risking around 5% of your total net worth.

The best way to ensure success is to give yourself a total you are happy reaching and then calling it quits and banking the money.

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

I pulled the plug after working my way up to the $5/$5 level where I had a quick double-up and finished $390 in profit for around three and a half hours work.

So effectively I managed to spin $10 into $400 – not bad work if you can get it. Kind of the anti-thesis to my micro-stakes approach, but then I had to play a game where I was free of the stringent constraints I had been playing under all week. I think that it’s important to mix it up online to stop you from going stir crazy, burning out and driving yourself insane grinding it out at the lower levels.

Going Live

While I have been enjoying moderate success online this month, my live game on the other hand has been a disaster.

While I enjoyed a fairly sizable win at Bristol’s £1/£2 ROE (round of each Pot-Limit Texas and Pot-Limit Omaha) I have had several back to back losing sessions where my sets have been outdrawn by gutshots, or people have just plain been refusing to fold for all their chips when the draw card fails to materialise on the turn, calling off and then pinging the river… Sick.

I’m enjoying (not sure if this is quite the right word…) my first losing month since January and only my third ever losing month since I’ve been keeping records. Unfortunately it’s also my biggest losing month to date as well. Not so good.

I’m off to Leeds on Friday to cover and play in the Coral British Masters Poker Tour so I can only pray for a reversal in fortune and an end to my losing live streak. Time will tell.

It’s odd, whenever I win online I seem to break even or lose live and when I am winning live my online game suffers. I will have to work to fix this strange correlation between cyber-space and bricks-and-mortar. Fingers crossed…

Being as I seem to be running ok on the old intermaweb I will also be attempting to satellite in to the Coral Tour £500+50 main event via the freerolls, $5 re-buy and $10 freeze-out. I’ll keep you posted.

As I will be working and gambling with reckless abandon on Friday and over the weekend I probably won’t be posting until next Monday where I will also be updating my micro-stakes challenge results as well.

Until that day folks…

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