Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Manage Your Luck


Managing your luck might seem ridiculous because it's not something you have control over. Luck is a mysterious creature that can be your best friend one day and a mortal enemy the next. The proper monitoring of this element of your game can be part of the edge that turns you from a average poker player to a member of the 10% club, those players that make a long term profit.

I'm sure you have heard of the Saffir- Simpson scale for rating hurricanes. Well let me introduce you to the Stratman Lady Luck Scale where we rate the intensity of our luck on any given day.

Category 1.) Your cards are just plain bad. You go all night with out hardly ever seeing a decent starting hand and when you do, you miss the flop or just get no action. This is where luck produces a slow leak in your game. Your going to lose chips but you have control over how many. You have to tighten up and go with the flow. I call this part of my game Texas NL Fold'em. It's when you ignore the fact that lady luck is pissing in your corn flakes and you continue to forge ahead. You start playing that Q/7o because it's the first face card you have seen in a hour. You start thinking that you don't need luck, your good enough to play your way through this situation. Wrong!

The pro's say that luck doesn’t matter, that they can win playing no limit without ever looking at there hole cards. Well, that may work for the $200/$400 at the Bellaggio but you got to have good cards to win at your average online small limit game. Other wise you'll get your bankroll blistered.


Category 2.) Is where your getting good to great cards but you can't win a freaking hand. What your seeing is unbelievable. Total fish are beating you by drawing to a 2 outter on the river, every time. Statistical improbabilities are hitting you like rain drops in a thunderstorm. No matter how good your cards are, you find yourself holding a hand full of Johnson with the second best hand. It keeps happening over and over. Your playing well, your making good decisions, you haven't gone on tilt, yet you can't win a hand.

When you find yourself in this category and you will. Quit playing. You can't recover your loses and if you try your just going to go broke. To many times I've tried to tighten up, only play premium hand trying to recoup my loses just to take another badbeat. This is when your luck is so bad you start to question if you even know how to play the game
at all. You get so frustrated that you actually lose the ability to make good decisions. Again I tell you stop, do as I say not as I do.


Category 3.) Is where most of us are the majority of the time. The cards seem to be distributed fairly. Your getting your fair share of good starting hands. People are respecting your bets, you win a few pots as well as lose a few. Your not getting rich but poker is fun.

Category 4.) Is a warm fuzzy place. You are really having fun at this game called poker. You getting great starting hands Your getting a piece of just about every flop. Your able to play position and buff. You bets get respect. You winning a lot of money. You have it figured out, you knew how to play all along. You think about moving up in stakes, maybe even going pro. Watch out Phil Ivey there is a new dawg in the house.

Category 5.) A place know as nirvana. You reach this level of luck only rarely. Cherish the moment when it arrives. Its called the "rush". It typically doesn’t last for more than a session, although Gus Hansen had unreal luck for a year or more. Won three WPT titles playing any two cards. Its a thing of beauty when it hits. You cant lose, you check a potdown with your 7/2o and find that your pair of duces is the best hand. Any card you need to make the nuts hits. Your flopping straights and flushes. Your at least hitting 2 pair every time. The action, oh man your getting players betting into your nut hand like they're crazy. Your flopped set only get better when it quads up in a large multi way pot. It's just freaking amazing, You find that your the only one left at the table because you
busted everyone else.

I can pretty much put myself in one of these categories every time I play. So pay attention to your luck and adjust your game accordingly. Good luck loosen up a bit, bad luck put your sword away and put up your shield. If your lucks is just terrible, stop playing. Find something else to do. With online poker you know there will be a table open any time, any day.

1 comment:

Joe MacDonald said...

I really like this post. I need to pay attention to my luck