Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Self Improvement

I had a pretty awful run at the tables last weekend, and it's taken me a few days to figure out how I could do better next time.

Sure, there were a few coolers and bad beats. But I should to take responsibility for my wins and losses, and I want to learn from my mistakes. By writing them down, I hope to avoid making the same errors in the future.

_ I realized I was giving off some pretty obvious timing tells by betting too quickly. Observant players will be able to read my too-fast bets and abuse me when I'm running on autopilot. Some of these timing tells were created by a reliance on Full Tilt Shortcuts, which is a cool problem but one which I haven't learned to use properly. For now, I've turned FTS off.

_ I got a little bit lax on table selection. I still looked for good tables, but I found myself settling for tables with a bunch of average-type players. I'd rather be at a table with one fish and a bunch of solid players than a table with no fish and a few guys playing their hands for value.

_ I targeted halfstackers and shortstackers too much. I hate these players because they prevent me from playing the type of poker I want to play. When you're forced to decide your hand preflop or on the flop, you're going to end up taking a few too many coinflips. The best defense against shorties is to refuse to sit with them.

_ I stubbornly kept trying to play despite my losses because I believed I was still playing my best. I should have realized that sometimes, it's just not my day. And how can I really be playing my best when I'm yelling "Goddammit!" after every beat?

I'm back on my A game now, and quickly on my way to recovering the weekend's mistakes.


spritpot said...

Dude, if you want to get rid of those timing tells, just make like Andy Beal and get a buzzer in your sock that goes off every eight seconds and then wait to execute your decisions until the next time the buzzer hits.


Gnome said...

This sounds a little silly, but maybe not as silly as putting a vibrator in your sock: I try to count aloud to four or five before pushing the button. With Full Tilt Shortcuts, it's too easy to bet, bet, bet without slowing down to think.

Weak Player said...

Do you think timing tells would be an issue with 6*1/2fr? I never thought about that.

Gnome said...

I feel like timing tells are most harmful when I quickly make continuation bets. When people see these fast c-bets for the same amount every time, it doesn't take long for them to start playing back at you.
It's only an issue at any level against observant opponents.
I have a hard time evaluating just how damaging timing tells are in any individual situation, but I got the sense that my opponent's read my routine quickbets as weakness. Unfortunately, many of the times that read was correct.