Mixing it up...just a woman changing her mind...
Now I know all of you have heard of the phrase, "mixing up one's game", it can involve anything from playing the same hand many different ways, playing a wide variety of hands situationally, changing your style of play depending on the texture of the game that you are in, to making sometimes the most minor of adjustments to create that much more of an edge on your opponents. But what about in a literal sense? I am talking about something I have done with my cash game play in the last four months. In the last 50 or so live cash game sessions I have played, I have split almost equal playing time between two games: $100-$200 limit hold 'em, and $10-$20 blinds no limit hold 'em. Sometimes it changes from one session/day to the next, sometimes it is even in the same day. On one given day I recall playing three hours of limit hold 'em, followed by two hours of no limit, then another two hours of limit, and ending with two more hours of no limit.
The problem with this is that those two games involve two drastically different strategies, methods and styles of play. Like most poker players, limit hold 'em has always been my "bread and butter" game, while no limit has been something that I started to pick up two years ago and have devoted a significant amount of time to since. It all started like any other day at the Commerce, I was in my usual limit game, but I was running very poorly and was getting outdrawn on every street, and then all the juicy players left making that the worst beat of the night. Which in turn left me in a horrible game with an even worse chance of gettin my money back. So, I glanced over a few tables down and my eyes fell upon what I thought looked like a great no limit game, and decided to take my shots there. Long story short, I came, I saw, and I conquered, and call me superstitious or just plain silly, (because that is exactly what this is), but I feel like when I run bad in one game, I just might run good in the other.
What I have learned in the past four months is that there are pros and cons to doing what I did, bearing in mind a few important variables. First and foremost, you have to be alert and ready to focus, in order to switch back and forth between the two different mindsets each game requires. Secondly, you should not do this solely because you are trying to turn a losing session into a winning one without considering whether the game you are jumping into is better then the game you are leaving. Finally, if you feel as though your skill level at one game (i.e. limit) is significantly greater than your skill level at the other (no limit), then just stick to playing that game and tough out the bad and ugly times because they will always pass sooner or later.
A week ago I played my first live session back since my self-imposed month long break for the holidays. It was $100-200 and after 6 hours of play, I was tired and down $2800.00. Then, my second session back, two days ago, I left a four and a half hour session up $5900 in a $10-20 no limit game. It would seem as if I had jumped right back into my old routine, but I think for a while I will just continue to work on my no-limit game, and maybe I just might keep more of my winnings.
Please email any and all comments and questions to email@example.com! I look forward to hearing from you all!
Playing an event at Festa al Lago 2005 in my "I mean business" shirt!
It says Boy Beater on it, sorry I know its kinda hard to see!
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