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More from the experiment

October 15, 2007

There are still some things that I’m learning from the experiment.

It’s reinforcing patience. In the early stages of a tourney it’s recommended that you play tight and allow the loose and weak players to knock each other around while the blinds are small. On top of this I cannot play unless I raise, and since there are lots of limpers both where I’m running this experiment and where I normally play real money SnGs, I play even fewer pots. Often by the time the blinds get to 100, the point where I normally start looking to steal blinds, my stars are often something like 9/9/3.

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You also avoid marginal hands, like limping 87s and pairing the 8 on the flop, but you also miss flops like 887. I told myself that I would allow calling only if calling a short stack push or to slow play a monster, but after some 30 or so SnGs I have yet to flop a monster that I can slow play. If I raise AQ and the flop comes QQ8, it’s hard to hide that and get much value. Since I can’t call I don’t get to limp or call with 22/33/44/55/66 and hit nice hidden sets either. And I’m not going to raise 87s in the early going because that goes against the “stay out of trouble” philosophy and is going to get all kinds of callers. The only slow playing I get to do is in the very late stages like heads up, where I often also forget that I’m supposed to be not calling because I get so focussed on trying to manage the flow of the game.

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It is not, however, helping me to focus on the players better. Because it’s so formulaistic and because I play so few pots early on I often don’t even bother watching the table until the blinds get to 100. Maybe that’s not so bad as the bad players often get knocked out by then anyways, plus players like myself should be changing up their game at this point anyways.

At some point soon I should consider running the other experiment; the one where my cards are hidden under a post-it note.

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