Monday, April 26, 2010

Rush Poker Round Two

I haven't had a strictly poker post up here in months, and with all the BBT5 hub-bub going around, I've had a jonesing for some card slinging. I found out this afternoon some micro-er Rush tables have been put into play on Full Tilt, and the absence of smaller buy-in Rush tables was a big reason I stopped playing Rush Poker when it began in January/February earlier this year (the stakes were too high for my crippled bankroll). Now the microest of NL Rush tables have nice and comforting 0.02/0.05 blinds.

I sat down with the max buy-in, which comprised 40% of my bankroll and 100BB. Welcome back, bankroll management!!!... I played 102 hands, which probably took 20-30 minutes, and ran my $5 up to $12.14 with pretty decent play and also above average starting hands. I got JJ four times in those 102 hands, only losing once to AJ aipf for $2. I made a hero call with JJ later in the session for all my chips on a Q8754 no flush board. I started the hand with $7 and the villain had me covered, and put me all in for my remaining $3.50 on the river. I called his pot-sized bet on the turn, not believing he had a queen. I'm not sure why I didn't believe him, I guess a pot-sized bet on a non-scary board doesn't make sense now that I think about it. He pushes on the river and my decision to call was based on my turn read, not thinking he has a Q, and trying to stick to my read. If he has a six for a rivered straight, I'm screwed. I felt 75-80% right about calling, so I did and was shown air.

I sat out after the 102 hands obviously happy with my result and promptly started a new poker spreadsheet. Ah... life in the black. I jotted down some notes about my play, such as stealing based on stack size, and re-stealing on position and stack size. I figure the players with larger stacks are likely to be more aggressive than players with smaller stacks, and when it gets folded around to a big stack in late position, they raise about 75% of the time, which makes them a good target to resteal from. I also realize my tiny bankroll won't be able to handle the inevitable swings of Rush Poker, not to mention playing with 40% of my bankroll on the table.

I hopped back in with the minimum $2 buy-in, which is still 40BB and plenty to play with, in my opinion. For the last five years I've always been a fan of buying in for the maximum to maximize my profit, but from a bankroll perspective I think the smaller buy-in should deflect some of the risk of going broke. I also reasoned that with my small stack, players might respect my raises more, if they are thinking along the same lines as me--that bigger stacks are the more aggressive ones. I played another 100 hands and caught some pretty good cards and doubled up with 66 flopping a set and rivering sixes over aces, with the villain having trip aces. Ended up another $3, which is almost the same as my 150% increase from the last buy in. During this second set of 100 hands I also started making a "player note" whenever anyone 3-bet my raise. This never ended up happening more than once this session, but it makes sense to see who is doing this just in case I tangle with them in the future--and to see if they consistently have big stacks, so I can emulate them!

Took a break, and then played one last round of 100 hands, and lost a buy-in. QQ < KK aipf, he opened, I re-raised, he pushed and I didn't like calling, but figured there are enough other hands he could have that make folding QQ there not smart, but I wasn't shocked to see KK or AA. Ended up getting QQ again after buying back in for $2, and getting it all in the middle against AK on a 234 flop and fading 10 outs twice. Ended up down $1 after this last set of 100 hands.

I've got a bankroll of 400BB now, which makes me feel a little more comfortable playing at the lowest stakes... sigh... but we'll see what happens. I remember having a good first night at Rush Poker last time around, then dying a horrible death in the week that followed. I'm going to try and keep the buy-ins small for now, and if the bankroll increases, I'll stay at this blind level, and just increase my buy-in. So far I've been happy that me getting felted was only a $2 loss instead of a $5 loss, but I'm not scaredy cat enough to be blind to the fact that my QQ > AK hand would have made me more money (but ultimately they cancel each other out no matter what buy-in I start with).

I'll be interested to see what other tidbits of knowledge I come across playing Rush Poker, and I'm intrigued to whether or not other people pay much attention to stack sizes, and what information big, medium, and small stack sizes give other players. Are you more or less likely to call a raise from a big stack? Are you more or less likely to steal from a small stack in the blinds?



Anonymous poker tables said...

Rush Poker is a good innovation. I must say it attracts more poker players. I enjoyed reading your poker ordeal. Thanks for sharing!

7:59 AM  
Blogger BLAARGH! said...

stack size - DEFINITELY keep an eye on it!

Unless I have a read on a shorty, I will not tangle without a good hand oop. If I'm first in, I'll sometimes adjust my raise size - you put less in in case they resteal-shove. At your levels I don't know what the shortstackers are like - probably pretty bad. Most are bad at 50NL, but I still play them aggressively and cautiously. Mark the weak ones that play fit or fold. It's always a good idea to look at who's on your table before mashing the rush raise button... slows you down somewhat and you can think about your strategy before you plop your $$ down.
enough rambling - back to work!

11:15 AM  

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