From the Cheap Seats

Monday, September 13

Adapting at Home

Recently, I've been thinking about how to adapt my game to different tables. It usually takes me about 45 minutes or so to adapt which is way too long. This was most evident last night in my home game. We play every Sunday night and, after playing for the week online, it takes me at least 30 minutes to adjust. This leaves me plenty of time to throw away some solid pots that I could easily take down which gets back to some of the ideas I posted earlier about paying attention which I will get to later. In this week's game, I started out the night playing pretty tight. I was throwing away top pair when some aggressive play could easily win me the pot in this game. After going around the table a couple of times, I realized what I was doing and made some adjustments. I loosened up a bit and started taking down some pots that I would have folded to earlier. The adjustments were definitely paying off and I started to settle back in to the game. The rest of the night proved to be a bad one. I ended up down 11 BB. Throughout the game I was trying to remember a few good hands I wanted to post about but in retrospect they aren't very interesting (probably a few too many beers during the Giant - Eagles game). One hand to note, I had 67s in the BB (no raises preflop). The flop came 10s 8s 9h (I had spades). I bet the straight, 1 raise, I call. At this point, I am thinking he has two pair though could easily have JQ. I think I played that last bit wrong, I should have raised it to 3 to see if he had it. Anyway, the turn is a meaningless card. I check, he bets, I call. Same thing on the river. Sure enough he shows JQ for the higher straight. I never hit my flush or straight flush so he takes it down. I really have trouble laying some of these down. I had 9 outs (assuming he didn't have spades), 1 of which would have given me the straight flush. Ultimately, I think my biggest mistake was playing this hand passively. 3 betting the flop probably would have gotten me a free turn based on his earlier play. I have to learn to either lays these down or play them aggressively. Passiveness is not going to get me anywhere.

As I mentioned at the top, I am still having a lot of trouble getting my head in the game. I keep loosing focus and my stack quickly reacts as expected. I really need to get my state of mind to play. Most of the time I am playing online I tend to also have the TV on or some other distraction. This is the first and easiest mistake to correct. Though I can't take silence, maybe some music will help. The other mistake is I tend to play in the most comfortable way (bed, couch, etc.) I also think this is not ideal as it makes it very easy to drift off the task at hand and relax a bit. I am going to try and develop a better atmosphere for when I play and try to focus on my state of mind before playing. This will hopefully allow me to examine whether I have the right mindset before I play.

I have been mentioning my home game a bit lately so I thought I would describe it a bit. Lately, we have anywhere from 6-8 players at the game. We play for about 3-4 hours. It's a pretty wide range of players. At one extreme, we have a very loose aggressive player who will raise absolutely anything. You can definitely count on him to do your betting for you. At the other extreme, we have 2 players who are very tight. Basically, a raise from these guys means they are representing a top two pair or better. Though a raise into them with anything less tends to translate into a fold. We also have 2-3 solid tight aggressive players who change up their play throughout the night and generally know when they are beat. The rest are pretty much the loose passive players you would expect at any home game. These are the guys going into the showdown with middle pair and the like. All in all, I think it's a pretty good game. We have a good mix of players to apply different techniques against.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.