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01/03/2006: "stick with me baby, i’m the guy that you came in with"

one night a man had a dream. he dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord Poker.

across the sky flashed hands from his tournament. for each hand he noticed two sets of percentages in the sand: one chosen by him (PFR%), and the other chosen by the Lord Poker (VP$IP).

when the last hand of his tournament flashed before him, he looked back at the percentages in the sand.

he noticed that many times along the path of his tournament there was only one set of percentages.

he also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his tournament, like when his wired aces got snapped off by the lowly 7-2 off.

this really bothered him and he questioned the Lord Poker about it:

"Lord Poker, you said that once i decided to follow you and decided to heed your advice about starting hand selection, position and M ratios, you'd walk with me all the way. but i have noticed that during the most troublesome hands in my tournament there is only one set of percentages. i don't understand why when i needed you most you would leave me."

the Lord Poker replied:

"my son, my precious child, i love you and i would never leave you. during your hands of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of percentages, it was then that I told you to raise all-in."


yesterday a played a little $2/$4 NLHE six-handed. i have found that i am really liking six-handed play, but i am also learning that the swings can be brutal; yesterday saw me down almost $1K. no shiet, chet, no shiet.

so why do i keep playing? i think, but can't prove yet, that playing shorthand is forcing me to play better poker. how? (a) it sometimes has the effect of tightening up my hand selection: this keeps me honest and limits my play to hands that i am willing to open with a raise. A-6 suited in EP? i might have tried to limp that in my previous life, but in shorthanded play, i just don't consider it. sure, i could flop the nut flush, but i just as easily could have top-pair/shiet-kicker issues, or worse, flop top-pair/middle pair while my opponent has TPTK. ouch! (b) besides tightening me up, it is making me aggressive - targeted aggression: i am more willing to see fourth and fifth streets with dangerous cards on the board, b/c the likelihood that the flop hit my opponent hard is less. (c) i am seeing more hands, but don't have to multi-table: this is a key point - the advantage of online play is seeing more hands, even being able to two or three table games where you can really ratchet up the number of hands per hour. but with that volume comes less of an ability to monitor your opponents, see their betting styles, see who is on tilt and who is steal pots. in short-handed play, it feels like playing two tables at once, but with only 5 opponents! i feel this is a big plus.

anyway, yeah, after making $1800 last week in short-handed play, i lost a little over half yesterday. talk about getting kicked in the junk.

today? today i earned almost all of it back! in 3 hours. of really good play.

there's always tomorrow. ;-)

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