The Poker Game of Life

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $30-60 for serious money and my life experiences in between.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Strategy - Heads up Play

Lately I've been playing a lot of 6 handed $10-20 on party poker.

I would say that this is a great game if you're in an action kind of mood. In my humble opinion I think the key is actually not to play a ton of more hands. Obviously the hand values change since the blinds come around much more quickly and those A/J pigeon hands become quite valuable in a short handed game. I think you have to loosen up but don't go overboard.

A key that I've found to success is actually to play the hands you do play more aggressively for the small bets (preflop and flop) as stealing pots is a more essential part of your play.I almost always raise coming into a pot preflop if I'm first in to potentially steal the blinds and the hand right there. Occasionally, I might limp in with Aces or Kings hoping to get some action behind me or maybe a J/10 suited hoping to get multi-way action .

I think mixing up your play is also a key to success in this game. I find that my opponents quickly become tired of me raising preflop all the time and betting a lot of flops if they do call my preflop raise. They often loosen up their play considerably and this is the perfect time for my mix-up.

Here's an example, if I've been pre-flop raising for awhile and I raise with Ace rag in middle position. Let's say someone in the middle cold calls and the flop doesn't hit me at all. I might bet this flop and if called, check and fold the turn if he bets. Next time around, the same play might occur and let's say this time I hit my hand with A/K and the flop is safe with an Ace. I might play the flop the exact same way but check raise the turn. I find that I've gotten paid off when I play a hand in this manner by funny hands such as bottom pair or something else silly.

I think my opponents are just getting tired of me pushing them around all the time and want to figure out what I'm doing. The bad news for them is that I got them for 2 preflop bets, 1 small flop bet, 2 turn bets and potentially a bet on the end as well. That's 4 1/2 big bets. Think about how many hands that takes to get even with me.

Differing or agreeing opinions? Any other cool thoughts?