Well things have certainly gone my way since I last wrote and it’s all because I started playing Zoom Poker on PokerStars. I naturally play a little on the tighter side anyway and this sort of game plays into my hands I think. For those that may not know, Zoom Poker is where you get dealt a hand and if you want to fold, you click the Fast Fold button and you are immediately dealt onto another table with a bunch of different players. You don’t like that hand, fold and once again dealt onto another table. I believe the idea was first done on Full Tilt Poker called Rush Poker. I didn’t do very well when I first started out with it and for various reasons. I actually don’t think I played tight enough at the beginning. Sometimes I would try to outplay people, or try to bully through a hand. In a game where all you have to do is fold and get dealt into another hand right away it’s not too often that someone is bluffing. Why take a chance and lose when you can just move on right away? Actually, I should amend that a bit. It’s not too often that people are bluffing on the turn and river. Everyone and their dog continuation bets the flop after preflop raising but in this case it’s even smarter to c-bet. If they call, you know they have something. In this day and age that’s not always the case. When you watch guys on TV like Tom Dwan, Jason Mercier, Phil Ivey, etc. where they’re always looking for a way to win the chips, people try to emulate that style. Dwan has said on numerous occasions that he’ll call a bet looking for a card that he can bluff. It’s such a high level of thinking nowadays.
I’m not saying nobody does it in Zoom Poker, just not very many. At least not on the levels that I’ve been playing which, up to this point, have only been .05/.10, .10/.25 and now .25/.50. I will play that way in certain situations because I just don’t believe someone has the hand they’re representing. I will float to see what happens on the turn or see if I can pick up a draw to lead at. One of the other things I’ve noticed is that95% of the time if it gets folded around to the button that person will raise. And almost every time I will fire back at that person no matter what I have. I’d say it works about 75% of the time. These people are using the same thought process I am as far as people mainly playing premium hands. Obviously someone will have a hand and will re-raise you, or they don’t believe your raise and will play their position. That’s OK because for as many times as the person on the button is folding to your re-raise, you’re still making money on the occasional hand that plays back at you. If I raise in early position with AJ or A 10 and someone re-raises I will fold almost 100% of the time. You’re so dominated most of the time that I think it’s much better to simply find a better spot.
So, a few nights ago I was playing .05/.10 and my bankroll had started to rise pretty rapidly. I knew this was going to be a tough grind because using my rule of not moving up until I had 100x the big buy in, the difference between that and the next level of .10/.25 is pretty significant. But I went on a serious run of great cards, well timed bluffs and some luck and next thing I knew I was right at the $250 mark. I moved up and just started killing it right away. I started that night with $215 in my account and at the end of the night finished with just under $500. Considering the blind levels I think that’s pretty good. So the next night I moved up to .25/.50. Now, I should point out here that normally I wouldn’t just move up because of one or two really good sessions. But, I’ve played this level enough in the past to know that I can play and beat this level too and so far I haven’t been disappointed. I fold a heck of a lot more than I used to in certain situations during a normal ring game. For example, I might limp in early position with a medium to low suited connector in a regular ring game and depending on the size of the raise, maybe I call and maybe I fold. Now, 9 times out of 10 I just fold. Same with ace/rag in early to middle position. If I start to win a little bit I’ll raise sometimes in those spots to mix it up. While there may be something like 300 or more people in the player pool, people do still remember how you play in certain hands. I know I do. My account is now almost at $700 and hopefully will keep rising. It’s a perfect time of year to try and bring in some extra cash and my goal will be to get up to $2000 by the end of November. Wish me luck!