Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Table Selection

AUS-Package replied to my previous post asking about table selection. I've mentioned in a couple of posts that table selection is important, especially as you move up in limits. So I thought I would share with you some of the things I look for in a table before I sit down.

The first thing I check for is to see if any of my "buddies" are online and playing. These are people that are known maniacs/chip spewers that I can take advantage of. I need to do a better job of adding people to my buddy list when I see some truly horrible play. Calling stations, people who bluff too much, people who play way too many hands are all the type of players you want at your table.

unfortunately, I usually don't find them (probably because they lost all their money already), so I try and find tables with high VP$IP. I like it when a lot of people see the flop. When I raise with good hands, I want people to call me. For 6 max, it's really nice to find a table with a VP$IP of over 50%. For full ring, anything over 30% is ideal. Don't even think about joining a table with anything less than 20%.

The next thing to look for is a high average pot. That will tell me that there are some gamboolers there. If you hit a set at a table that has a really high average pot, you'll more than likely get paid off.

And the last thing I look for is the amount of short stacks at the table. I like to play at a table where as many people as possible have right around the max buy-in. That means there is a lot of money on the table. If there are more than 3 short stacks (with less than 30% max buy-in), I usually pass on the table. I don't really like playing against short stacks because I have no fold equity against them and no implied odds for draws, etc... I would think one of my strengths is my post-flop play. But when you play against short stacks, they really only have two moves after the flop. Push or fold. I hate playing push or fold poker.

Once you find that ideal table, always try and have position on people that have a lot of chips. The natural flow of money around the table is from right to left, so you want the money from the big stacks sitting to your right coming into your stack. Try not to sit in a spot where you have the big stack to your left. They are always going to have position on you, and that is a big disadvantage to have. Remember, Big stacks to your right, little stacks to your left.


I'm glad that AUS-Package asked the question about table selection, because I've been having a hard time thinking of things to write about. My bad run is still going on. It's hard to believe how card dead I am. I finished up the PartyPoker bonus this morning. In the 1000 raked hands (which was probably about 1500 total hands), I flopped one set. I wish I was making this up, but it's the truth. I should look back on poker tracker, but I for the past month+ of the downswing I am having, I am probably only getting about 25%-33% the amount of sets I should statistically expect. That's variance for ya, and I've been on the shit side of it for a long time now.

I was able to play in a few MTTs last night, so that was a little fun. I played in the Monday's at the Hoy, but went out in like 34th place out of 38. I lost most of my chips to Iggy when I tried to bluff with the hammer. I raised PF with the hammer, and only Iggy called. Flop was Q93 rainbow or something like that. I bet, he raised, I re-raised, and he pushed. Hmmm, I guess my hammer is no good.

I played in the crazy $10 rebuy at Stars next. I didn't double up at all in the rebuy period. I took the add-on and then doubled up shortly after with Kings vs Jacks, so that gave me a stack of just above average. I didn't get involved in too many more hands for the next two levels, but stole blinds whenever I could. I lost a decent portion of my stack in a battle of the blinds. I didn't have too good of a hand, but raised it anyways from the SB. The BB called, and I hot top pair, crap kicker. I bet, he called. Turn was another low card. I bet, he called. River was another low card. I bet about half pot again, and he raised about 3.5x my bet. I folded and he showed his wonderful play of catching his inside straight draw on the river. Nice play sir, nice play. I went out shortly after with a short stack when I didn't really care anymore.

I also played the Paradise $10 crazy rebuy at 10 PM CST. I was the chip leader for a while in the beginning. I rebought right away, and tripled up shortly after when I pushed with pocket Tens. 3 people called, AK, A6s, and 88. A ten on the flop gave me a winning hand. And then about 15 minutes later I won another huge pot with the nut flush against 2 other people (one of whom had the 2nd nut flush). Then, right before the end of the rebuy period, I called a raise from a short stack with 77 as did one other person ( I should have re-raised to isolate). Flop was 993, and I called the shorties push ( it was only about 1/4 pot bet to call) as did other dude. The turn was a beautiful 7, and me and the other dude got it all-in. He had 96 for trips. The river was another 3, and he rivered the nice big pot. After the add-on, I was just above average. Then I went to card dead city and ended up pushing with an M of only 6 with A7s. I got called by AT (The dude only had me barely covered) and I go home now. Good job man on calling away almost your whole stack with AT.

I also played in two $20 180 person SNGs. I made it far in one of them, but went out just before the money. The only thing I remember about one was that I lost a coinflip with 88 vs KQ when a Queen fell on the river. Yay RiverStars.

I made back all of my MTT buy-ins plus about $30 from my cash game play as the night wore on. Then this morning I had about 40 hands to go to finish up the bonus and tried to quickly play those. I lost a whole stack from a mega-donk who called all of my PF, flop, and turn raises with 64s who hit runner-runner flush to beat my straight. There goes my bonus. I then found two other maniacs, but couldn't get a hand to save my life.

Ah well, at least I have three more people to add to my buddy list.


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