Monday, July 07, 2008

Poker Good, Schedule Bad

I've increased my win rate each month this year (it was negative in Jan and Feb), and my past two months were both record highs for me. Surprisingly, I now much prefer the limit games (both holdem and stud hi-lo) to the no-limit games, but it's interesting to alternate between the two. It really highlights the differences between the two games, and I also find that I can sometimes use certain ideas that are central to limit when I play no-limit, and vice-versa. For example, I like to value bet on the river a lot in limit when I'm in position. If my opponents had had a decent hand, they would probably have bet, but they're still likely to call with their weaker hands because in limit the bets are so small compared to the pot. In no-limit, I think I had become too timid on the river, fearing a check-raise, but I've found that check-raises on the river have become exceedingly rare in the no-limit games I play in. Having gotten into the habit of betting the river in limit, I have recently been finding some river value bets in no-limit with hands that I would previously have just checked.

Eric, one of the players I'm rather friendly with at the Bike, recently played a 16-hour session at 400-800 limit with Jerry Buss and two or three others, and supposedly he won $140K, which is a phenomenal sum. He's only 22 and usually plays 40-80, but I think that's only because it's usually the biggest limit game going at the Bike. Last week, I was talking with him about his big win, and he suggested to me that I don't give myself enough credit and should try playing higher stakes more often. I mentioned in my last post that I was already considering doing this, so it was nice to get a vote of confidence. Still, a player coming off a $140K win at 400-800 might be a little biased when it comes to the advisability of taking shots at higher limits. The 40-80 game actually only goes during the day Mon-Fri, and I'm never working those hours anymore.

I'm still working the 9pm-5am shift. I've done it for four weeks now, and every weekend I've felt sort of jet-lagged, having to get up 4-5 hours earlier than I do during the week. This past weekend I failed to get more than two or three hours of sleep before I needed to leave for work, so I just called in sick both days. Since this is a terrible strategy for dealing with the problem long-term, I think I'm going to ask my supervisor to give me the weekends off if he still won't let me move back to my old 1pm-9pm shift.