Saturday, 6 June 2009

To Play or not to Play

This morning I broke a 32-game losing streak (punctuated only by three trivial gains).

I had expected downswings to last maybe a dozen games. Indeed the longest stretch with no return at all amounted to thirteen. However, I've been having the sort of sequence that forces a re-evaluation of strategy.

OK, so I was basically playing multi-table tournaments with upwards of a hundred players, sometimes nearly a thousand. The odds of hitting even the final table, let alone the big money positions, were contributing to the persistent failure. This is not good for building a bankroll, which is what I need now. I can gun for the big prizes later.

Despite that, I have identified most of my exits as being down to running out of stack in the face of rising blinds. I’m fine for the first hour and on into the second but, as the bubble approaches, I have to shove with increasingly desperate hands to stay in. And of course I don't survive. This is symptomatic of playing too tightly. According to PokerStove, not even 7% of my hands. Given that, playing randomly, I should win 10%, I clearly wasn't giving myself much chance.

It is a balancing act. Play too much and your stack disappears in false starts; play too little and the blinds catch up with you. There's a happy medium somewhere. I’m still working on finding it.

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