Wednesday, April 09, 2008

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me

I'm going to make a brief statement. The rumors are true. The past 3 sessions I've raised 25% of my hands. No not the hands I play - I'm raising 25% of the hands I see. I can't stop. I'm addicted. No more limping. It feels wrong to call. If I'm going to get involved with a hand, I'm going to raise. It's what I know to be true. It's what happens after 16 months of living in Vegas.

Now can you see why this whole Vegas Year was supposed to end after 12 months? I was never supposed to get to month 16 when my brain finally let my body do what it knows is right. This could be dangerous.

Sunday we went to see a pretty amazing youth production of The Who's Tommy at the Topanga Community House directed by The Finger. Afterwards as I sped up the 15 back towards Vegas something clicked and I had a mental breakthrough.

Now please keep in mind there are weeks, even months where I'm walking around this city feeling mediocre about my poker game. Wondering what I'm doing with my life.

But every once in awhile, completely out of my control, a concept will come together in my mind and provide me with a renewed passion for the game. This was one of those moments. I'm so excited to play poker again.

What did I finally understand?

I'm capable of controlling a poker table with my aggression. I am. And it's so absurd because I still see myself as the tight novice. But somewhere along the way I've developed a pretty good feel for where I stand post flop. So it's actually become to my advantage to raise and get more money in the middle preflop, so that I can rely on my making better decisions than my opponents do post flop.

That's my edge.

Switching to a more aggressive style has been real challenging. There have been many nights where I've lost a buy in or two playing too aggressively and then thought maybe I've made a big mistake trying to open up my game. Maybe tight has to be right.

But then I'd also sit at tables and watch how the big winners used a loose aggressive style to snowball themselves into monster stacks. I studied who did it right and who had no clue. I learned to identify the players you didn't want to get involved with because they clearly knew where they stood post flop much better than you did. These were the same players who didn't need to go to showdown to win pots and make money.

This is who I've been working hard to become. And something feels different this week. It's kind of like hitting puberty. One day you can't, and then all of a sudden you wake up one day and you can.

I'm hoping I finally broke through the mirror like Tommy.

It's always two steps forward, one step backward with this poker stuff.

There were years I didn't play 25% of my hands.

Now I'm raising 25% and thinking I might be onto something.


BWoP said...

Good luck with the new style!

Check Raise Chin said...

LAG is a great style to play, hard to master but I know you can do it Rob. I see a lot of guys play loose aggressive and some of them do very well. Are you doing this at 2/5 or testing this out at 1/2? Just curious.

Although I'm still an advocate of mixing it up but then what do I know.

Keep up the good work bro.

Big Joe said...

Go to the mirror boy!
Go to the mirror boy!