Sunday, April 08, 2007

Cash game vs. tournament; which has +EV for me?

Since my last post, I have played about an equal number of cash game sessions as tournaments, and fared better in the cash games than in the tourneys.

The cash games have been almost all Stud 8, and I have quit ahead in every session. Friday night I played for about an hour and a half on PokerStars at $0.05/0.10 and came out $5.70 to the good, and last night I played on Full Tilt for about 40 minutes at $0.25/0.50 and won $7.50. I can't say that I have studied all of the strategies for Stud 8 or that I feel like I am particularly good at it just yet. But I have picked up the basics, such as don't even go past third street unless your starting cards give you a solid foundation for a hand, and don't chase if your cards aren't live and your hand is likely to come out second best to your opponents' probable holdings. There are so many players that either don't know these principles or choose to ignore them that a lot of dead money gets into the pots because of all the second-best hands that stick around too long. Even a split pot can be profitable for both players thanks to those donations. I suppose it's tougher at the higher limits where the players are more knowledgeable, but at these lower limits, it has been relatively easy for me to profit so far just by playing ABC Stud 8. I expect to keep studying the books that address Stud 8 and applying what I learn so I can try to do even better.

I'm doing only fair at the NLHE tourneys. Still hitting the 5-table $1.25 SNGs on FullTilt; took 5th place in two of them, finished out of the money in two others. But I managed to get into a few freerolls on FT, a couple of their WSOP Main Event satellites and one Poker After Dark sat. As you probably know or can guess, there is a whole lot of pushmonkeying in these tourneys, where the players hope to double or triple up early with any two cards and aren't worried if they bust out since it was free to enter. In one of the WSOP sats, I got Ad Ac on my very first hand. As expected, three others besides me went all in. The other hands:

Qd 9h
As 2s
2h 3h
2c 3d

Powerhouses all. The board came out:

7d 8h 4s Ks 6h

I'll admit, I thought for sure that a spade would fall on the river to crush me, but instead I quintupled up on the first hand. I nursed that stack through a long stretch of dead cards, and after surviving for quite a bit longer than I expected, I finished in 13th place out of 315 runners. In another WSOP qualifier, I finished 28th out of 630. Although I didn't move on to the next round in any of these freerolls, I was glad to do as well as I did and practice my MTT freeroll satellite play. I was multi-tabling the freerolls with the SNGs, so at least I know that I can play more than one table at a time and not have that divided focus destroy my game. Not that I plan to multi-table regularly, but I might do the freerolls that way when I can.

So, not doing too badly over the past week or so. And with the good news about the poker bill in the Texas legislature getting off to a good start in its first hearing, I'm feeling positive about the state of my poker situation. Here's hoping that the good streak continues.

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