Good things come slow - bad things happen fast
Sep 10th by Peter Hallberg
The caption of this blog is taken from a Swedish rapper named Professor P. He is not talking about poker but I am.
Switching from 6-max cash to heads-up tournaments requires you to make some huge adjustments. You need to play a lot more hands and you often find yourself having to few big blinds to make a 3-bet and expect to see a flop. At first I made a couple of huge over-adjustments. The first being playing too many hands out of position. The second was playing way to tight in end game with shallow stacks. The last huge leak I had was not paying enough attention to my opponents tendencies and punish them.
After putting in a lot of hours I found a really solid default playing style and started to make good adjustments to my opponents. This has worked fairly well against most of the players at the $50-100 level but against the better players it's just not enough.
Currently I'm working on two parts of my game. The first is doing a lot of calculations on end game stuff which will win me a lot of $ in the long run but it is insanely boring looking at formulas and tables and calculating ranges and equity. There's no way around and I will eventually get through it but for now I'm working at a very relaxed pace.
The second concept I'm working on is putting pressure on the opponents range. Basically this means taking him off hands when his hand stands to be worse than mine (not considering my actual hand strength). This requires a lot of hand reading and the downside is that when I'm wrong it is often very costly and my opponent didn't have to do anything else other than play his hand straight forward. Currently I seem to have all this under control but when I have worked so hard learning to find bluff spots I naturally find them for my opponent too. When he is in a good bluff spot I never believe him and pay him off. The reality is that they almost always just have a hand. They don't bluff. This huge leak came sneaking in through the backdoor and overall costing me more money than I gained from all my bluffs. First I thought my bluff spots were off but a closer look revealed the real source.
This is both good and bad. Bad because I'm playing bad and paying them off. Good because they would be much harder to play against if they actually did bluff once in a while. Over the coming weeks I'll try to restrain myself in those spots and find the fold button.
The state of things
Sep 9th by Peter Hallberg
The summer is almost over in Denmark and that is good because I like the weather much better in the spring and autumn.
Currently backgammon is on hold. I can't find the energy and motivation to play and when I do I often enjoy hanging out after that games much more than playing. This season my team 'Nemesis', participating in the 'Elite Division' of the Danish Team Championship, will have me mostly as a one-man cheering squad.
Last month I decided to take up chess once more. This time around things are going to be a bit different than before. My daily schedule now allows me more room for chess practice. One hour a day, six days a week. The hour is divided into three segments. One for opening theory, one for positional awareness and one for training tactics. At the moment this is the highlight of the day.
As for poker it's pretty much status quo. I'm still working hard to try to really break through but it always seem to be right around the corner. At the moment I'm focused on playing Heads-up Sit'n'Goes. It's like a tournament with only two players. The game suits me very well and I feel there are a lot of ways I can improve. In cash game I felt the things I needed to do to be successful, were out of my reach.
A new project called 'Pokerlejren' (eng: Poker Camp) started by two of my friends launched at the beginning of this month. The idea is to get some young promising poker players together and give them a good working environment with boundaries to keep them on track. On top of that there will be a lot of focus on health, mental game, focus and team work. Everybody is sitting in the same office in the heart of Copenhagen. I was lucky enough to get one of the few available spots in the office where I don't participate in the poker camp but only rent a desk and a chair.
All in all everything seems to work out for me and I'm optimistic of what the future brings.
Back to the future or something like that
Sep 9th by Peter Hallberg
For the last three years I've been blogging at coinflip.com and texaspoker.dk. It has been fun but now I think the time has come to get my old website going again. Right now I'm quite excited about my decision and I hope it will stay that way for a long time.
Going forward I will make content mostly in English but some of it will be in Danish. The simple reason is that when I talk about something mostly related to Danes it's both faster to make and more accessible for the target audience.
The content will be less specific than before. Mainly I'll go into stuff that is currently on my mind whether it be about poker, backgammon, chess or just random thoughts.