Tuesday, November 20, 2007

They're Not The Same Game

I played a couple of limit sessions recently.

I'm not too sure exactly when it happened but something just clicked for me in terms of understanding limit poker. It was honestly surprising to have any sort of breakthrough because I hardly play the game. Yet after being away from it for awhile, this time it made more sense. The aggression. The pounding.

-Figuring out which players defend their blinds and which players don't.

-Figuring out which players check raise you (on the flop or turn) to see where they're at...and which players don't.

-Figuring out which players have the courage to fire 3 straight bullets with nothing ....and which players don't.

And it's obviously so much easier on the stomach to only lose an additional big bet on the end if I'm wrong. No tough decisions for my whole stack.

Limit is a different game and when the stakes are large enough, I like it.

Limiting the bet size makes it easier to play aggressively. There's always a good reason to bet. If your cards have connected you bet because you want to get as much money as possible in there. If your cards have missed then betting might be the only way to get anyone to fold. And if you're on a draw, betting will either get opponents to fold or build a pot in case you hit. Betting good.

When the game limits bet size there's no need to trap.

At no limit I sometimes convince myself that trapping the other players will win me more money in a particular hand. At limit this strategy usually just means I am missing bets.

The strategic differences between limit and no limit are so vast that I find it wrong to call both games Texas Hold 'em. Sure they're both 2 card poker games that share 5 community cards. But they're the same to each other only so much as turkey dark meat and turkey white meat are the same meat.

Sure they're both turkey. But just cause you eat one doesn't mean you eat the other.

I hope everyone has a dysfunctional Thanksgiving weekend.

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