Sunday, August 2, 2009

The changes I made to my game

First of all, the stuff I'm gonna say could all be a fluke. Maybe I was just running really good for about a 50k hands stretch so all these may not mean anything. But I feel like these changes I made are good for my game. They don't all just happen overnight. It's just stuff that I've been learning but somehow never really got them integrated to my game for whatever reason. I'll post the stats and graphs from my last 60k hands (hands played in July) and the hands I played in April. There's some significant differences in a lot of areas.

First of all, my stats:
1. Last 60k hands:
2. April:
First of all I'm playing looser now. I went from a 12/10 to a 16/13. I think one main reason I'm able to do that is because I play less tables now. I'm able to pay attention to more hands while before that I missed a lot of isolation chances and obvious spots where I can just raise and cbet and take down the pot against the right opponents. I play 14-16 tables on stars now. And everyday I spend 1 or 2 hours playing just 6 tables on ftp. I really try not to miss any spots. It's like my daily lab time for me to do experiments. I see things that could work and I just do it. If I think this guy can't take heat I'll 3 barrel him. I'll 3bet. I'll 4bet bluff. I'll resteal. I'll check raise turn with draws. I'll bluff shove river. I'll try everything. All that experiments give me an idea how often those plays work even though it's only small sample. How many times you cbet the flop with 89o in position on a 662 board and get raised by the bb and just give up? If the guy's fold to 3bet is 50 or lower, fuck him, I'm 3betting. They don't work all the time but what the fuck, gotta try it to see if it works right?

My 3bet is a lot higher. I'm just picking my spots better I think. There's a bunch of regulars at Stars that just don't fold to 3bet much even when they're stealing. I don't 3bet those guys light from the blinds much although more if I'm in position. I pick those guys who steals a lot and fold to 3bet 65% or more. I also 3bet more in position now. My fold to 3bet is a higher which is understandable. I'm stealing more so I need to fold more hands from steal position. No point playing a bloated pot with bad holdings. I call sometimes with marginal cards but it's with a plan to take it away post flop against the right opponents.

I cbet more now. It's just overall profitable cbetting the right flops against most players. I'm in position most of the time and it's just hard to play against aggression and against someone who has initiative in the hand. My fold to cbet is lower now. I float more and try different things more often lately.

My steal % went up nicely. I steal with any 2 sometimes on the right tables. Some of these guys just give up too easily. Fold to steal in both sb and bb went down. Against people who steal a lot I call with some hands that I used to just give up on and try to play poker post flop. W$WSF is higher as well. I'm sure that's the result of me not giving up as much nowadays.

The result of all these changes? A little higher winrate. Could have been a lot higher if not for those 2 shitty days.

The graphs next.
1. July:
2. April:
The redline is a little bit more in control unlike before. God I hate the last 10k of July every time I look at that graph.

However, even with all the changes my winrate is still not much higher than the one I had in April. I was playing 24 tables and making more money hourly with that style than the one I have now. Do I think the newer style is better for my long term growth as a poker player? Definitely. Do I need to get too excited about the differences in my game? Definitely not. I opened up my game quite a bit but it also means that I'll run into marginal situations a bit more compared to before. How I handle those situations is gonna be the most critical part of my game from now on. I won't say if the changes are good or not, even though deep down inside I'd say they are good, until at least couple of months from now. Who knows, it's a game of ever changing strategies. Can't always stay at one place and never move forward. We'll see and wish me luck.

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