Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Good To Be The Razor

Two solid nights for me on that series of tubes we call the internet.

Monday night I won a Pot Limit Omaha 8/B rebuy tournament. My opponents did not understand tournament strategy and allowed me to steal way too often. They were the kinds of players who'd only call a big bet if they held the nuts. I picked up so many pots that when they'd eventually take a stand, it was kind of like they were gambling against me with their own chips.

Tuesday night I entered the same Omaha tournament to see if I could win back to back. And as if Omaha wasn't going to be enough action, I also entered a hold em tourney taking place at the same time.

In Monday night's Omaha event I never rebought but Tuesday night I bought in for a Negreanu-like 10 times! This includes my first buy in and a double add on at the first break. That's 7 rebuys if you're counting at home. I had to come in 4th place just to make back my initial investment.

I was the chip leader going into the final table and playing like a complete and utter maniac. The kind of style that can win tournaments but also might make you go broke real fast at a cash game.

As fate would have it, I got into trouble with 4 players remaining and went out when a player shooting for the low, backed into a runner runner high. This finish got me my money back. And not much more.

I was so focused on winning the Omaha tournament that I hardly noticed the no limit window up near the top right corner of my monitor. And truth be told, once I was eliminated from Omaha I just wanted to go to bed. So I pretended I was Phil Ivey and raised 3 to 4 hands every orbit. I'd continue bet every flop, not minding at all if someone played back at me. Usually I'd reraise them. With sleep so close I was more than happy to race.

So of course what happens? The players kept folding to my raises. And the couple of times I hit something big, they chose to play back at me. Ahhh fate. You can sure be funny sometimes.

I was also playing some ridiculous starting hands which I think scared them more. After one particularly embarrassing (losing) hand I almost typed in the chat box "I am trying to lose my chips" but this seemed like too good of an experiment for me to "out" myself. For I knew it was good practice for me to keep playing like this.

The universe seems to reward players who play this style. Loose aggressive gets you paid off on your good hands. You just need to get lucky every once in awhile when you're behind. Which is most of the time. But it's also not that hard to play against players who fold 90% of the time. I can respect a raise from that kind of player. I know how much nerve it's taking him to finally take some action and make a stand.

And of course the key to my success was my not fearing getting knocked out. It would be hard to play this crazy if the money mattered. But down here I'm real comfortable being the table bully. Anytime I thought I could get another player to fold if I bet, I would bet. And when it didn't work, the free advertising that came with showing my cards was worth every chip.

My opponents knew I was giving them chances to double up. But I can be scary to play against if your goal is to make the money. Which is how most of them played. If you are trying to win the tournament, like I am, then you want me at your table. If you are trying to cash, I'm a nightmare.

Once this snowball got rolling down hill, my stack got out of control and no one wanted a piece of me. When I had 70k and the next closest player had only 20k. Three years ago I'd have played too loose weak and lost the stack. Two years ago I'd have played too tight aggressive and let the field catch up. Last night I was able to remain a chip leader for the entire tournament. (I can't say for sure I was always in the lead but I was certainly never in any trouble. As Hellmuth likes to say "I was never all-in.")

It was one of my better tournament experiences. I've won more money but to have a wire to wire experience like this was incredibly empowering.

Playing lots of Omaha was also helpful for my hold em game. There's such faith in Omaha. I love that in Omaha you can be behind (as in not have a made hand) yet often be the favorite to win a particular hand due to having so many draws with outs. I was able to take some of that gamble over to hold em and play my hands strongly even when they weren't made yet.

For me, this kind of confidence at poker comes and goes.

This week it's here.


Memphis MOJO said...

Nice going!

Are you going to play any live WSOP events?

Check Raise Chin said...

Weird Rob. When I play that way I always seem to bust out of the online tourneys.

In any event nice post. By the way...are you still on UB or have you moved to Fulltilt or PS?

Robert said...

I haven't played any WSOP events yet this year. I'm just trying to keep building up bankroll at the cash games. I might still try a few satellites.

As far as internet poker, I have accounts on multiple sites. The only one I don't use is Pokerstars. But if I were to ever win the main event, and they were to want to sponsor me, then we could all pretend like I play there all the time.