Monday, December 05, 2005


I'm frequently reminded of Jennifer Harmon, who has said in interviews that her longest losing streak lasted six months. She said a poker player can be measured more by the times when things are going badly than when they are going well.

I have been winning small amounts recently, and I've also tried to keep Harmon's words in mind. Bad runs compound themselves when ego and emotions get involved. I'm guilty of stubbornness and a refusal to accept realities until some time has passed.

What I realize now is that while aggression is a fundamental trait for a successful poker player, it needs to be closely moderated to ensure that it doesn't get out of hand. When I had the worst run of my poker career at $15/$30 limit hold 'em during Thanksgiving week, I was trying to force good hands beyond their value. I still believe that a fair portion of my losses were due to bad luck, but I could have done better.

I attempted more blind steals from two off the button. I tried more semibluff raises, only to miss and then get called down. In short, I lost patience waiting for good hands and went too far with medium-strength hands. I became the kind of overplayer that I'm always trying to value bet. Instead, I was the one being check-raised on the river.

Specifically, I want to analyze a few things about my game to find out whether they were effective, or if I was just spewing chips. I like to tell myself that aggression is not a crime, but sometimes it is a waste.

I need to find out whether my isolation raises preflop show a greater expected value than if I had simply called a limp bet. Do I show a greater profit with Axs from late position when I raise a limper immediately to my right or if I limp?

I've also noticed that I show a greater profit from early position than from middle position. It seems unnatural that this would be the case. I want to examine the statistics I have on other winning players to see if their positional profits exhibit the same pattern. Even if they do, I think there's room for me to tighten up from middle position and perhaps loosen up from late position.

For now, though, it's time to get more free money through bonus whoring! I recently finished the Poker Players Alliance bonus at Party Poker, and I'm about halfway through the Eurobet 100 percent matching bonus up to $600. Now I'm going to try out the bet365 monthly bonuses (which are easy to clear and don't require a deposit). Then it will be back to Party for an account-specific bonus.

All this bonus money is nice. I just wish the bonuses would keep up with my life expenses! I need a job.

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