Apr 20, 2010

The Big Switch

I get up this morning and decide not to go in for my internship despite still needing 20 hours and only having a total of 5 (7 if I want to really push deadlines) left to finish it. This mostly stems from having to work later today and not wanting to put in 6 hours at an internship and the 10-12 hours at my job today, not from the want of playing poker or not wanting to go exactly. I'd just really rather put in an extra 6 hour day later this week than put in a 16-18 hour day today. But I'm getting away from the purpose of the blog and my post.

I decide that now is just as good as any to put in an hour or so on poker, finish some homework then head to work. So I jump online and look around at 8am. There are a total of 2 games going in my range (which is up to a 25¢/50¢ blinds game of No Limit). There are never any Pot Limit games on no matter what time of day it is. And those 2 games, 1 has a total of 3 people in it. The other is a decently full 7/9. However, I watch the game for a moment, and everyone is playing tight and accurate. Nobody in that game to exploit. Wow, early mornings apparently suck for poker on Bodog.

On a whim, I decide to check out what other sites that I don't use have going this early. I do a little research and Pokerstars seems to have really good reviews and the highest player base. So I check it. WHOA! There are more games going in my range at this hour than I have ever seen on Bodog at any time. There are stats kept on games (which you can reset whenever you like), there is a filter function for searching for games. Now I can set my range and how many seats I want, then sort the tables for "% of players to flop" as a high percentage here usually indicates a lot of loose calls. A table ripe for profit.

I create an account and jump into a play money room to see how the interface is. It's kind of ugly. But I really don't care about that or I'd play the incredibly bad console (you know, Xbox and Playstation) versions of poker games that have pretty graphics. First thing I notice is there is no "text" indication of bets and raises on the table. I'm confused thinking you have to mouseover every bet to figure out what it is, which takes up a lot of time in a "turbo" game. Worse, it takes time away from strategic thought. Then I noticed that the chips didn't seem to be just a graphical representation of a bet being made. They're accurate. So you count the chips that come out to figure out the bet, like a real game. And if you're confused, you can mouseover, similar to asking for an amount at a real table. I actually like this. And the rakes are even less, except on the big time tables, where there is never a soul on at Bodog anyway. And I highly doubt I'll ever play in a $1000/$2000 game. But the max rake difference on a 50¢/$1 is a full 50¢! Half. That's nice and will make profits a little easier to get (though, I expect more skilled opponents, but also more loose opponents to hopefully even out decently well).

So, I've decided I'm going to open up shop on Pokerstars.com and see how things go. And I don't mean as a social experiment or anything. I'm really gonna play on there. I figure $50-$75 opening deposit (plus their nifty 100% bonus, which you have to earn by playing enough) and play at tables in the 25¢/50¢ to 50¢/$1 ranges (Maybe a little lower if that doesn't work as well as I hope it will). I will continue to use my account at Bodog to try strategies and social experiments and things of that nature, but serious playing will be done on Pokerstars.com from now on. I'm going to try to keep running totals and goals and how I'm doing meeting those goals. All goals are long term, so don't think I'm being insane if I say I'm doing alright at $.10 an hour through the first couple of hours at a 10¢/20¢ table or something.

Bodog (experiments): Started: $3, Low: $1.98, Current: $10.91
Goals: To learn, test, develop, and master playing styles, image creation/management, etc.

Pokerstars: TBD
Goals: $2.50/hour on 25¢/50¢ tables.
$5/hour on 50¢/$1 tables.

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