Have I 'Hooverized' My Game ?

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WillWiggly

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OK ..all you poker buffs out there. Have I destroyed my game without realizing it?
I used to think I was pretty good at the game, of course always needed improvement. I usually place in the top 40 percent of any tourney, and of course I have my bad days as well. I know a person can't win all the time. If they did, it would get kind of boring, now wouldn't it?
I changed my game quite a bit by only keeping 8's and above, playing tight, disposing of small pairs, and small suited runs. If I make it to the flop and there's nothing there....I'm gone.
The blinds usually do me in,before the players, forcing me to go all in pre flop, if I wish to stay alive a few more go rounds. I pose little threat when I'm sitting there in my chair with 450 chips against a hombre with 45000.
(Sort of like this guy):ridinghor

The question is: Have I become so careful and so tight, that I have completly destroyed my game, giving it a likeness to the sucking power of a Hoover vacuum cleaner ?
 
Tammy

Tammy

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I think so, yes. If you only play tight waiting for the "perfect" hand, they may never come. Poker (especially Hold 'em) isn't just about who has the best hand. Betting and bluffing play a big part in the game. If you don't work on your bluffing game, then you're gonna lose your money to someone who's bluffing you. Don't be afraid of your bluff being called...even the best players get caught with their hands in the cookie jar! :biggrin: Of course, you want to bluff at the right times--this means studying the style of play at the table you're on, then figuring out when you can take advantage w/ a bluff.

Another thing--high cards are not the only cards in the deck? How many times have you had a solid pocket, only to be burned by a bunch of low cards on the board giving someone the straight draw, or a boat, etc.?

But I think the number one thing is this: if you only play tight all the time, your opponents (online or otherwise) will quickly get a read on you and know exactly what to do to bluff you out of a hand, or when to get the hell outta dodge when you try to make a move. In my opinion, I think it is essential to mix up your play, know when to change your methods, and not be too afraid of making mistakes...it is the best way to learn after all! :damnmate: :marchmell
 
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chicubs1616

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I usually place in the top 40 percent of any tourney
This isn't that great of an accomplishment. Not to shoot you down or anything its just you can easily get to this plateau by sitting out...

Anyways on to your question...

You don't always have to have a short stack by playing tight...along with playing tight you must play aggressively when you pick a hand to play. If you hold 88 and the flop is K-7-5 don't automatically fold! Many times you can pick this pot up if you are up against a pair lower than K's or a hand like K3.

In order to play the tight game correctly, you must be aggressive during the hands you are in.
 
Grumbledook

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maybe you should switch to playing ring games where the blinds aren't constantly going up

should find you make a steady profit with low swings if you stick to playing limit holdem 10 seated
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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This is going to get long so hang on to your chair.

Chicubs is right, not to run smack about your game, but your admitted 40th percentile finishes in your tournaments is not a huge deal. Consider some very randome assumptions on my part. Probably a good 15% of people who enter the tournaments you're playing can safely be considered "dead money" meaning their chances of winning or placing in the money are virtually nil. I see that 15% as being a fairly lowball estimate of the "dead money" in the tournament. When taking this into consideration, your 40th percentile finish is actually diminished in that you're probably only besting about 25% of the actual players in the tourney that have a decent chance at a money finish, final table appearance, or win.

From the situation you describe, it sounds to me like you have tightened your play so much so that you're preventing yourself from having a large enough stack in the middle to late levels from which to work with. You must attempt to capitalize on every single opportunity presented where you can increase your stack while not putting your tournament life at stake. Try to avoid "race" type situations as much as possible as it usually isn't as necessary as some like to play it. During the early stages of the tournament, aside from the donks that go out on the all-in festivals during the first few orbits, players tend to be fairly tight, and playing almost strictly premium hands is the best way to go. During this time bottom set or bottom two pair isn't going to get you there in most cases, but as the game progresses, you simplt must loosen up a little and slightly adjust your starting hand requirements in order to keep up with the blind structure. Also, make sure you're not letting your blinds be stolen to often. The blind protection is imperative at all stages of the tournament but as with everything increases during the later stages incrementally with the size of the blinds and antes.

I'm not sure how you're playing exactly, but limping into pots from any early position is usually not a great move to make as you're making yourself voulnerable to a raise behind you which is going to leave you not knowing where you stand in the hand. Keep in mind that when you're up against one or two players in a pot as the tournament progresses and you miss the flop, there is a chance that it missed your opponent as well and a lot of times with a decent starting hand you can take a pot down with a raise. This strategy isn't something to make a habit of, but one that will work in many instances. All the above advice comes back to the capitalization of as many situations as possible that present themselves upon which you can increase your chipstack.

Very often there will be orphan pots that people will pick up with virtually no hand because they have the balls to fire at them after missing a draw. Why give this money away to someone else when you can be the one to rake the pot uncontested.

The most important thing, in my estimation, to remember is to make sure you're able to adjust to the constant changes in situations during a tournament, but don't place so much emphasis on it that you play in a manner that is uncomfortable to you or that puts you in danger of making maniacal moves that send you to the rail. I'm sure much of this seemed like rambling, but it is basically a stream of conciousness that you can take some pointers away from. Good luck.
 
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JonSherwood

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Someone get that man a drink! ^

Great post Diablo. You put all the right emphasis in all the right spots.

Will, I used to be just like you. It takes time to get it all combed out, and let it take it's course. Nothing will come to you overnight. Play, play, play and you'll find that you know when you can take a pot or not. I'll almost always make a try at a pot that no one seems to want. And Diable is right about the K3 pots. A lot of times you'll get someone who has that King, but if you know what you're doing you can make them completely unsure about their kicker, which will usually warrant a fold. It's a great thing. It takes some finesse, but I'm sure eventually all of these things will become part of your game. :)

Also, I want to let you know that when I'm in a pot heads up, I will almost ALWAYS try for that pot. There's just no sense in not...You'll make more than you'll lose from it. If I get called on the flop usually I'll amke oen more value bet, if I get called or raise there I stop. Also, if you get raised on the flop, don't try and claim the pot still. Muck it, unless you strongly can tell they're bluffing too.

Jon
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

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Will, I don't think there's much I can add to add to the above posts, but here goes! You seem to be aware of the problem you've got, so personally I would recommend you read "Harrington on Hold Em" (at least volume 1), which showed me that you don't particulary need to make a hand post flop to win pot. If you can "guesstimate" that the flop has also missed opponents, a further bet will often take the pot.
 
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WillWiggly

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Thanks for All the Input Everyone.

Great information and advice! I have put it into play and it has improved my game already. One of the troubles I have/had is tightning the cinches up so tight that I strangled on them. I used to be considered a loose cannon and make the other players seek me out for easy money, so I tightened up my game....way too tight. I guess now all I need is the proper balance...the old yin yang thing. Thanks again. Peace
 
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