Sunday, January 08, 2006

See you at the beach

I love arriving in a new, beautiful city and being able to look around without knowing anything about your surroundings. All there is is what you see: the rainbows over the mountains, the girls in bikinis in January, the wind from the ocean. There will be a lot to see and do here in Honolulu, but for now I'm enjoying my ignorance. Hawaii will never feel this new again.

It's great so far. I got here Tuesday night and started work on Thursday. My job sounds like it will be fulfilling, and everyone I've met so far has been nice. Unfortunately, I got a little bit sick Thursday evening, so I've been resting as much as possible ever since then as I try to get better.

At least I can still play poker while laying in bed. :)

The new year has been treating me pretty well so far. I cleared the $600 Eurobet (sucky bet) bonus on Saturday. It took me about five or six weeks playing mostly $100 buy-in no limit, but it was profitable. Eurobet recently switched over to the PokerRoom platform since its split with Party Poker, and I hate the software. Fortunately, the players there suck. And a $600 bonus is pretty damn good! The only other $600 bonus I've ever played was the sign-up bonus at Full Tilt Poker. Both of them took a while to clear, but the payoff is nice.

Now that that is done, I'm going to concentrate on 6-max $5/$10 limit on Party. Shorthanded play is fascinating to me because it seems like the skills involved are crucial to improving your game. Additionally, you get in a lot more hands per hour, so there's plenty of action. I've only been playing two tables at a time, but I think that's good because the games move so fast and I can still keep track of all the action.

It will be sad whenever the new Party Poker platform comes out of beta. Data mining of observed hands will no longer be allowed, which will take away some of the edge that people who use programs like PokerTracker have. But I think it's probably a good move for Party Poker to make -- as long as data can be gathered from hands that a player is involved in, I won't be too upset. And getting rid of passive data mining is good for the fish, which is good for poker.

I've also added a new statistic on my heads-up display while I'm playing. In addition to VP$IP, PFR, Aggression Factor and WSD percentage, I've added the percentage of the time that a player will fold their big blind to a steal attempt. This is useful because some people will never defend their blinds, and that's just dead money for the taking. Other fish will always defend their blinds, so you know it's futile to attempt a steal raise.

I've been trying to decide at what percentage a steal raise is generally effective (100 percent means that the player always folds to a steal raise, 0 percent means they always defend their blind). My guess is that the borderline where you can attempt a steal with any two cards is probably somewhere between 65 percent and 70 percent. Of course, you also have to consider the chance that the small blind will call or re-raise a steal bet from the button. My reasoning is that if it's folded to me on the button and I attempt a steal, I'm risking two small bets to win 1.5 small bets. So the steal needs to be successful 57 percent of the time (2/3.5) to be worthwhile.

The small blind will fold a significant majority of the time, so then it's a matter of your read of the big blind to determine whether a steal is worthwhile. And that's what the data is for. I put this stat in pink. People who are 100 percent pink tend to be quite wimpy!

I'd be interested to hear any comments on steal raises from the button, especially with any two trash cards. How fold-prone does the big blind need to be for this kind of move to be worthwhile?

Also, Daniel wrote a post about some of the cool things I can look forward to doing here. Maybe I'll take up surfing or sea kayaking. Pretty much all of the activities here sound awesome.

1 comment:

Willie said...

Just wondering how many hands it took you to clear that bonus i play 50nl do you think its possible?

Cheers