25 January 2006

What Goes Up...

The balloon bursts, what goes up must come down, variance: all that and more. Bankroll hit in the last three days on FullTilt and Party: FullTilt (-$500) and Party (-$1000). Some bad donkified beats (catching K on river with nothing but gutshot), tough beats (AK vs AJ catching J on river with A on flop), draws not hitting, sets getting flushed out, two-pair flops getting flushed out, bad traps (QQ vs 69o). So, all of that and most of the gains of a great run are gone. Not down, but all for naught. Throw in some no-cashing in MTT's and it's complete. One thing I'm not good enough at is changing tables when one of the following occurs:
  • AK and AQ getting called down by underpairs
  • KQs getting called down with A on bad board
  • Slipping into pot odds/marginal to bad calls (calling two-bets/re-raise from bb with two other callers and gapped suited connectors)
  • Raises cold called with nothing and catching
  • Middle to small pairs never catching
I'm bad at being able to move from these tables, so any thoughts or comments on criteria for table movement would be good. I'm on the last $20 of my sign-up bonus from FullTilt, which I'll sadly miss. I think it definitely sucked me into bad play, playing there with no one there just to work off the bonus.

One of the challenges confronting online poker is player attraction and retention. There are similarities to long-distance phone service in the '90's. If you recall (or I guess I should say, if you are old enough to have paid long distance bills in 1992), companies like WorldCom, Sprint, and MCI bought consumers using checks for switching. What they quickly found was that this attracted the wrong customers: consumers who switched and weren't loyal. It was false growth, empty revenue which would evaporate when the next deal from the next company came around.

This is not to say that we bonus junkies shouldn't chase this free money (and I'm definitely lite on the use of this). The bigger questions for the online poker community:
  • How do sites attract and expand the total player universe vs. stealing players from one another? Sign-up bonuses seem to be an excellent way to attract new cash players. One of the biggest problem in attracting players, I believe, is the credit card barriers in the US. I'm not sure how they can really address this unless they can create some sort of surrogate system (you use credit card to purchase a certificate).
  • Are there innovations which can be introduced to expand play? Private tables, innovative tourneys, private tourneys are all good starts. Other areas to explore: affinity/association marketing (marketing custom poker tourneys or leagues to groups like fraternities, associations, universities). College students have to be a significant percentage of online play: where is the March Madness-type tourney: first, you play tourneys to see who respresents your school, then that gets you into some sort of tourney.
  • Listening to different types of customers. Some of the new innovations seem to be headed in the right direction (the Party multi-table screen size modifier to have easier multi-tabling). Other communities to listen to: low-stakes players, sit-n-go players, MTT players.
  • Creation of a strong #2 in the market. PartyGaming, like it or not, owns the market. This is not healthy over the long haul, as without competition, innovation will suffer and short-term results will drive Party's decision making. Like any extremely strong #1, Party bears much of the burden to expand the poker universe, while competitors slug it out in taking market share from each other and from Party.
Would be interested in any thoughts, and I'll try and explore some of this further.

I might be able to sneak out of Singapore a day early, we'll see. I haven't been able to get on an earlier flight yet, but it may be possible. I don't have anything on Friday now, so I can get away possible. American Idol episode in North Carolina is on Star World here, which is nice to watch while playing. By the way: Simon is just horrible, telling the girl in the pink cowboy hat that he would have put her through. I can't stop laughing, so I've accidentally raised two pots because of the shaking.

And in the oh-by-the-way shoutout category: must see this post from Grubby. I'm not finished reading it, but he's just great and a great, hilarious episode as always.


Blogger Mark said...

I don't understand why the indicators you listed would make you want to change tables.
You want people to call you down with underpairs.
You want KQs to get called down on a bad board.
You want to play against calling stations.
You want to make calls if the pot odds justify it.
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but none of these things you mentioned indicate that you are in bad game. Playing against fishy calling stations is profitable.

7:05 PM  
Blogger cc said...

Well then let me restate: I don't want to lose to all of the above (so I need some sort of whimpering sympathy--lol). OK, so an add-on question: what criteria justifies leaving, what frequency of leaving/table swapping is normal/desirable, and how much do you go down with the positive criteria listed above before calling it a session. I seem to get on a negative roll in bunches, so I'd be interested in stop-gap/braking systems that folks have put in place. Thanks for the thoughts.

10:51 PM  
Blogger WillWonka said...

I'm definitely terrible at leaving tables...instead, I try to adjust my game according to table conditions which obviously isn't the right answer.

To me, if the preflop raises are getting over 15-17, I get a little worried and move to more conservative hands (or different table if uber fishy)... of course, this is for shorthanded tables which is all that I'm playing these days.

1:13 AM  

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