Saturday, 4 December 2010

Making good poker friends and contacts is as critical to success as much as coaching I think. Coaches are obviously great, but they cost $$ per hour and aren't around all the time. With an array of people in different timezones keeping odd hours there is almost always someone around to discuss hands or strategy with or do sweats.

I've picked up contacts via this blog, 2+2, coach introductions and sometimes chatting at the poker tables. One thing to note is that if you play the person regularly at the same tables it definitely will have a different and sometimes slightly odd dynamic playing against them in the future. e.g. cbetting a flop oop and being called by someone you know can make it quite tought to play the turn - you want to win the hand obviously and you might bet in the same spot against a villain of similar stats, but the fact that they called you probably means they might have a more reasonable hand than they might against a villain of your stats. Perhaps they are only calling with a really strong hand vs you because they want to keep a small pot and not take money from you as much as from others? If you do continue a bit light and it gets to showdown how will they perceive how you played them and how will affect future encounters?

Some people can be quite open in talking while others can be much more withdrawn and be unwilling to discuss specific details of hands between you and them. I think this is Tommy Angelo's "Information Reciprocality" in effect.. in that for the perfect poker strategy you should never give up information unnecessarily while trying to get as much as you can yourself. However, I think for what you can get out it can be worth sharing information with the right people. As in life, there are bad people out there and you have to be on your guard when first getting to know someone - there are enough horror stories on 2+2 of people being scammed so it pays to tread cautiously.

I now participate in a hh review session once a week with El Nino and Perfection - we simply take turns in going through hands we've marked during the previous week using TeamViewer, HEM and Skype. It has been really useful for all of us I think and definitely something I will continue with.

I can't do a section on friends without a special mention for Gary (El Nino 1). We've been good friends almost a year now, and I don't think I'd be the player I am today without all the hands and strategy we have discussed. Also, I don't think I'd have made it to Vegas and had such an awesome time if I hadn't known him. We play quite a few torunaments and often he is generous enough to swap some % (as he definitely a better MTT player than me!) so I need to thank him for winning a lot more for me than I have for him ($540 in vegas after his WSOP cash, and $900 a few days ago come to mind). So, thanks Gary, and I really hope you can win the prop bet for next June. If anyone is looking for a good coach or even staker for micro stakes then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and he is great value too.

As in life you can't be friends with everyone, and there will be players that you come across that can really make life miserable for you and you will start to hate with a passion. They might just run really well against you but its really important to try and keep a level head and stick to your A-game. Taking time to go through hands in your database to understand how they play and look for leaks is definitely valuable, especially the ones you play on a daily basis.

I have to make a small brag at this point as the last 2 days have been 2 of my best ever. 26.65 BB/100 is unfotunately unsustainable but I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Posting and rungood are now linked so I have to keep up this posting once a day !