It’s nearly 2:00 AM as I write this. I have played on and off since 9’ish.
My first mistake was entering a $30+3 Pot Limit Hold’em tournament. I had never played pot limit before and it immediately adds something new to the game. If you show weakness, other players in better position will take advantage and raise like crazy.
Now a pretty good hand becomes suspect. It might have been worth a bet… but your whole stack? As it is, I finished in the middle of the pack. I went “all in” with a two reasonably good picture cards only to lose.
Next it was a one table No Limit Hold’em tournament for $10+1. I don’t know what I was thinking, because I had just done so poorly with pot limit. I came in third, again going all in with a reasonably good hand only to lose to someone with a reasonably better hand.
Third place pays $18, so that’s $7 net, minus the $33, leaving me down $26.
Helaine played a $10+1 Hold’em tournament. Nada. Now down $37.
I decided, before bed, to try some low stakes non-tournament poker. After all, this is what I play in casinos. The advantage of tournaments is you limit your risk. But, I decided to play $1/$2, so how wrong could I go? How much can you possibly lose playing $1/$2?
It should be noted that I’m playing at pokerstars.com. Earlier, I had played at partypoker.com. There’s really not much difference. Competition makes them all match each other. I met some folks from pokerstars at The Orleans in Las Vegas at a tournament and they seemed nice.
Maybe the biggest difference here (and I haven’t been to Partypoker in a while) is the very, very low stakes games you can find. You can literally play $.01/$.02 pot Limit Hold’em, and $.02/$.04 with fixed limits.
Of course, there are also free games, but the play is so different when there’s no real money on the line that it’s just no fun.
I played around a half hour at $1/$2 and got very hot, very quickly. By the time I was done, I had gone from $37 in the hole, to $12 up. Moving $49 to the positive at these stakes is pretty unusual… so luck and the other player’s lack of skill certainly had to enter into it.