Monday, September 13, 2004

Small Stakes Holdem

I have been reading the book Small Stakes Holdem. It seems to be a good book. I will not know until I try to apply some of the concepts in the book to my play. Here are some initial thoughts though.

The first chapter tries to get you to buy into the long term idea. It spouts huge e=mc2 type formula’s to get you on its side. Obviously this is Slansky inspired and I would suggest skipping this altogether if you buy into the long term idea already. It bored the hell out of me. If I was a math genius like Bad Blood (See Stat King) I would probably have liked it.

The pre-flop suggestions were both more aggressive and tighter than what I usually play. This tells me a few things. First off I am probably too loose. I know this already. It is in part why I sometimes take huge swings. I am also not aggressive enough with certain hands. I am going to try playing tighter as the book says. It also tells me that you can play relatively crappy hands and still win at Small Stakes Holdem. I would assume as you transcend the levels the “small mistakes” you make will come back to bite you in the ass more and more.

I read some of the post-flop play portion. This is where it says I am playing as wrong as can be. Here is one quick example. I would never have played this in the manor described:

Dealt Qh7h in late position.

The Flop comes Ks 7d 2h.

A single bet comes around to you. Multiple people are in the pot. You call. What two mistakes have you made?

I would probably choose to fold. However the books says the two mistakes are the obvious one of playing a crappy hand pre-flop, and not RAISING! The rational around this is that you have so many outs that do not help other people’s hands that it makes sense. You can possibly win by getting a Q (3 outs), a 7 (2 outs) and a backdoor flush (10 outs). When you run the computer generate calculations I guess this pays off in the long run. I have not gotten to the part where you play the turn so I cannot comment on the next stage of play. I can see how bumping the pot up when people are hanging on could be of value. The whole concept of playing that aggressively is so far from my game that it seems crazy. However I am willing to give it a shot.

The thing I have taken out of the book so far is it is the very little mistakes that you make 100 times a session that kill you long term. I.E. Playing K9o and things like that. The book suggests very restrictive calling hands when you are off suite, and more liberal ones when you are suited. I will keep you posted on my success using these concepts. The books says you make most of your money post-flop and so I need to finish those sections first in order to apply these concepts.

The weekend was a losing one and I have dropped down below $700 again. I am not too concerned about this right now. I could have stopped on Sunday being just over $700 but kept playing. One table really set me off. Two people would play any two cards and the amount of times they made there hands really got me going. I know this is not the way to play and I should have just left. It gets really bad when your KK capped pre-flop gets cracked by 10-4. I actually would have lost the hand to AA, but the fact that 10-4s was in the pot and won with two pair on the river really set me off. Oh well. Something else to work on.

On the FFL front I am behind my competition with Monday Nights game being my only chance to win this week. I have the QB for Carolina tonight and in our league the QB’s have been scoring anywhere between 17-40 points. So if Jakey has a good night with no interceptions I will be in the money. If not then I start the season with a loss. It is only week one and I am making roster changes already. I must win!


Blogger Sloejack said...

A couple of things to keep in mind are that the formula in the beginning of the book is just trying to get you to think in terms of positive or negative EV on the bets you make. And frankly, that's the premise of the whole book. If you're making more positive EV plays than negative ones, you're 'Win Big With Expert Play.' The other thing to note is that it is tough to identify all of the outs you have when determining what the best play to make is. With my own play style, I'm not sure I would have made the right call with the Q7s example either, in late position, if it went with one small bet, I would probably have limped and seen if I improved on the turn.

11:28 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I totally buy into the whole +EV over time thing. Probably why hammering it into my thick skull bores me. I agree that someone who does not accept these concepts might like the first chapter, it just did not do much for me.

11:46 AM


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