06 June 2006

The Poker Valve

What do you get when your dog eats a raw chicken breast and a Huggies diaper wipe? Well, you end up with three inches of wipe hanging out of her butt that you then have to pull out. I haven't researched the health implications fully. It seems that it would definitely clean you out, but you better keep track with how many wipes you swallow (can you say blockage?).

My play has declined in amount since we moved the office downstairs. I'm leaving my laptop in the basement and have been pretty busy, so the table time has just declined. I'm fairly experienced at playing infrequently and irregularly, although I don't like it much. Poker is like riding a bike, except that it's not and you can't lose lots of your bankroll on a bike. Can you switch the poker valve on and off at will? Some thoughts:
  • Bow patience: The boys used to be in karate (which is really a suburbian cash extraction venture designed to have parents part with their money--see ballet class for girls). One of the things that you do before you start is bow and say patience. Patience is one of the greatest things to suffer when you aren't playing regularly. It may rear its head in table and game selection, it most certainly is exhibited in starting hand selection.
  • Start tight, then fight fraidy-scared-syndrome: Tighten up your starting hand criteria in the first orbit or two, just to get back to the feel of what you're doing. After you've made it through that, the next risk is that you overcompensate and just are gunshy. This is especially true with value betting. A portion of your ROI depends on value betting and getting paid off, so there is risk that rust will sap those bets. Have five river value bets as your goal starting the session.
  • Drop down a notch or two: There is no need to play at your typical stakes when your rusty. You're either playing for the enjoyment or trying to get started again, so put less of your bankroll at risk than normal.
  • Take a break: Decide to take a walk after an hour or so, whether you're live or online. It's a good way to clear your head and get your swing thoughts together.
  • Analyze more diligently: Look deep at the session after your done. Was your play typical? Did you make some blatant errors? Were you successful due to a run of cards or weak players? One of the greatest dangers of playing intermittently, I believe, is lulling yourself into thinking that everything's great. This can happen when you have a nice result after a layoff. Clouds could be over the horizon.
  • SNG: Sit-n-go's are a great way to play infrequently. Small risk, lots of play, gets your head engaged.
I don't know if I'm an expert at infrequent play success, but at the least I'm experienced. Would be interested in additional thoughts as well.

You can head over to PokerWorks to see a new article on Wild Bill Franceschine, an interesting guy who moved to Thailand to play online because he wanted to live in paradise. He focuses on SNG's and tourneys, and just took down his biggest score in the Mandalay Bay tourneys. You can head to his blog as well. Have a good day, and hope you get to play a good bit.


Blogger Wes said...

I couldn't agree more with the dropping down in stakes. I have been a victim of playing a game that fits into my bankroll, but I was not ready for since I had not played the game in a while.

11:41 AM  

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