Taking a shot at $8/$16

I feel I’ve got my $6/$12 game under control, and so tonight as I waited for a seat at $6/$12 I sat in the $8/$16 game (half kill).  The half kill means that if you win two pots in a row, the stakes go up to $12/$24.  I’m comfortable at these stakes, but I don’t keep a bankroll big enough to play it that often unless I’m going to win.

I sat down with $200 and worried that it might not be enough.  It probably wasn’t, but I got my $6/$12 seat fifteen minutes later.  I didn’t have to worry though.  It turns out that when I’m playing my best $6/$12 game, it’s probably good enough for $8/$16.  The amount of donkeyness I saw was overwhelming.  I saw people play any two cards when there was a raise and two callers.  Now I know that no hand is worse than 4 to 1, but the fact of the matter is that you’re just donking your money away for fun, hoping to catch two pair and break somebody with Aces who can’t lay them down.

I got my seat 15 minutes and $45 of pre-flop losses later.  I moved to the $6/$12 and after being told not to take photos of the players with my camera phone, became shocked at how bad the players were in comparison.  I came to realize that it wasn’t exactly helpful to simply label players as tight/loose-aggressive/passive.  In fact what I needed to know was how they played before the flop and after, along with any particularly bad  weaknesses they had.  So as I went around my table my list of players went, "tight/tight, tight/loose, tight/tight, loose/loose, tight/loose, loose/loose, me, tight/loose, tight/tight (smart fucker)."

This was much more useful to me.  It allowed me to figure out if they were pressing hands like two pair hard, or if they had a set or better.  I’m converting my opponent database to account for this, and will be changing the way I keep records.

The one thing I find amazing is this: I’ve been playing hard, for about a week or so, and I’ve improved until I’m a pretty dangerous player.  Most of the other players I’ve seen regularly are terrible.  They play too many hands before the flop and they don’t consider that the board changes hands after the flop.  What the hell are they doing, playing without paying attention?  I don’t get it.

Oh, and someone paid me a compliment today.  A good tight/tight player raised and got three callers, including me.  He looked at me and said, "You’re the only one I really wanted out."  I felt all proud of myself until I realized that if he realized I was a good player, I wasn’t going to get any action from him.

Doh.  Perhaps that might make him fold at some point in the future.