7 card stud tricks and new game in Baltimore

I’ve gotten an unsolicted e-mail about a new 1/2 and 2/5 No limit hold’em game in Baltimore, run professionally with dealers and referral bonuses.  If you’re going to be in Baltimore and would like to check it out for me, let me know and I’ll send you the details.

I’ve got about 1,300 hands worth of data in Poker Tracker Stud now, and I’ve got a pretty good idea where I stand.  My stud card sense is getting more and more honed every time I play, and I’m starting to pick up on differences between various stages of play.  I’ve moved up and down from the $.25/$.50 and $.50/$1 limit stud games at Full Tilt and it’s amazing how different they are.  Neither one is easy; you have to adjust.  But the differences are striking enough that I’m having to explore different strategies at each one.

The $.25/$.50 game is basically a drawing game.  Lots of people stay in, and to be successful, you need to be:

  1. aggressive with your best hands, but not with your draws,
  2. good at reading other player’s up cards, so you can see if you’re drawing to crap, and
  3. able to know when you’ve got the best hand early, and be willing to punish the other player’s with it.

The most important skill at this level is reading the up cards.  I don’t know how many times I’ve picked up an extra bet because I knew that both I and my opponent had two pair, but I knew mine was better because I was able to deduce what his pairs were based upon his shown cards.  The players at this level generally don’t seem to have that kind of analysis, as they’re not really even looking at your upcards if you don’t have a straight or a flush on the board.

As you move up to $.50/$1, the other players start to read your upcards.  This is both good and bad.  It’s bad because it’s harder to get paid off with your good hands if most of it is showing on your upcards.  On the other hand, if you’ve got someone else read for a pair of queens, and you can sometimes steal the pot if you’re dealt an Ace and you bet it hard and fast.

I’m going to work my way up through the levels two at a time, logging a solid number of hands at each level in a profitable manner before moving up too fast.  I’ll always be losing a little money, since I’m going to play the next level a bit while I’m mastering the one I’m on, but I’m a pretty conservative player and I’m playing limit, so I’m unlikely to lose much. 

I’ve seen people who try experiments where they try and move up levels as fast as possible.  I think such experiments are egotistical, and done mostly to just show off.  Showing off == losing money, and is indicative of an ego problem that will eventually ruin your poker success.

In other news, I bought an Xbox 360, but not the zombie game Sarah has been forbidding me from getting.  My analysis of the rumors about the Playstation 3’s release date revealed that there will be shortages this holiday season when they’re released, and therefore I wouldn’t get one until early 2007.  Since I can’t wait that long, I’m hopping platforms for a while.