Thursday, July 13, 2006


Our air conditioner is, again, not working. We suffered through a hot, humid Monday night, had it repaired on Tuesday only to have it punk out on us again last night. A string of thunderstorms cooled things off a little, but I still woke up tired and bleary. Not to mention how happy I was to sweat through my shirt before I made it out of the house.

Tie in the heat with my lack of sleep, the Mistress' push to get her final paper in for her graduate class, a sick General, and a cranky Monkey and my depression's kicked in. I'm in a funk.

I'm sitting at work, writing this, instead of, well, working. I've been surfing blogs all week, knowing full well that our internet usage is free for the inspection by the big bosses. Not to mention that I've probably got a bull's-eye on my back stemming from an dust-up I had with some of the other supervisors in the agency.

I don't want to be here, I just want to play poker all day. I can feel the ship go down, but I'm not doing a damn thing about it.

This lethargy and self-destructive behavior is typical for people with depression. In case anyone's worried about a gambling addiction, it's more like a hobby addiction. Before poker, it was writing, before that golf, fishing, homebrewing beer, panning for gold.

Yeah, that's right, gold panning. Let's move on, shall we?

I'm got great expectations for the weekend and next week, though. We should have our blessed cold-air maker back and running by the end of today, I'm playing live poker on Friday AND Saturday, and I'm getting FREE TIME (mmm...savor that with me-free time) to put in a multi-hour limit session online on Sunday.

Next week, we've got nothing to do but plan for the beach. Yeah, the beach, bitches! Swim, play in the sand, read me some sci-fi and poker books, take naps, eat good. Can't wait.


Even though I'm down in the dumps, my limit poker game is strong. I've put together two +8BB sessions in the last two days, playing an average of about 1.5 hours each time. Yeah, hit and runs, but not intentionally. I'm making a point to stop when my attentions suffers.

Recently, Jordan posted another of his "How Would You Play this Hand?" installments. I was excited to see that it was about limit and I could actually speak about it somewhat literately. I've noticed alot of bloggers 'hate' limit and I think I might know why:

I think that many players with backgrounds in NL tend to bring good NL skills to the limit table and are frustrated. Judging from Jordan's post and comments, there seems to be too much emphasis on reads. Reads can only go so far. In NL, you can get more info from bets, due to the leeway in betting amounts. Three times the BB or a min-bet? Half the pot or all-in? You just don't get as much data from an opening limit bet on the flop.

Also, I think that there's a different way of thinking about pot odds and pot size when playing NL. While 3:1 odds in NL is good, it's not good for most drawing hands in Limit. Also, a small pot makes all but the strongest draws and marginal made hands not worth defending.

Of course, reading players is important. But, with limited information, I think it has to take secondary importance. In my inexperienced opinion, your first consideration has to has to be the math. Continuing with un-made hands without the proper pot odds won't be profitable in the long run, even with the best reads.

I'm not criticizing Jordan or anyone else. The post got my thoughts rolling and I wanted to put them on 'paper.'


Here's why I've been doing well lately:

1. Patience. Fold, fold, fold, fold. And, for good measure, fold. I've made some corrections about which hands to play in mid and late positions.

2. Attention. I'm much more in tune to when I'm probably not ahead, what my outs are, what the size of the pot is, and how my opponents are betting. I'm also not multi-tabling anymore, and I think the difference in outcomes is pretty stark.

3. Discipline. I'm laying down more hands in small pots. I'm not calling as often when I'm getting raised while holding marginal hands. Usually, I'd call pretty much automatically. Now, I'm taking some time to think about whether a call is worth it.

Also, I'm getting up from the table when I'm tired, or if it's getting late and I'm heading downwards. In other words, I'm locking in more winning sessions.

4. Aggression. I'm doing better at protecting my marginal hands in large pots. I try not to give free cards anymore, and I'm more willing to bet when I think I can pick up a pot quickly.

Well, that killed about an hour. Sigh.

Have a good weekend.


Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Be strong, man. I know how depression can be, and I know all too well about neglecting responsibilities at work or elsewhere and obsessing on poker as an escape because of the D.

I'm glad you were able to add some input on the You Decide post. You've also been spinning gold (or panning for it?) on this blog lately, so keep it up.

9:56 AM  
Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Thanks J.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Grinder said...

Yea - NL and Limit are to totally different games. Like slow pitch softball and baseball.

Get a baseball team in a slow pitch tournament and they will flounder.

Get a NL: player in a limit game and they wil flounder.

Get ME in a NL game and "I" will flounder.

1:50 PM  
Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Hah! Me too grinder.

Love the site, btw.

6:02 PM  

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