domino effect...

Its amazing how 1 small change can produce such different results. I have two examples to demonstrate what I mean. The two examples, of course, fall into my favorite catigories (soccer and poker).

On the soccer pitch, my Soccer Club Struggled in the beginning of the season. Growing pains were partially to blame for our struggle, as we went from having two squads (1 in the A-League and another in the B-League) to having three squads total within our organization (now 2 A-League squads and 1 B-League side). So yes, we had 2 squads competing with one another in the A League.

The A-side that I affiliated myself more closely with had a significant amount of fire power, yet it lacked a proven goalkeeper. In fact, we'd adopted the goalkeeper by committee approach. The result was that we were unable to totally trust our keeper, thus we'd have to concentrate that firepower on ensuring the defense was a bit more solid in numbers (read: we'd drop everyone back on defense as opposed to leaving two up top when we were defending). Our record throughout this keeperless era was no wins, one draw, and two losses. We knew what the problem was and had been "in" every game played (both losses were by a single goal).

On Match Day, I was sitting at the local watering hole, The Cornerstone, watching the Champion's League Match up between Manchester United and Villareal. I began conversing with the Bartender, who hinted that she played soccer as well. Knowing that in addition to being short a solid keeper, we were also short female players (our leagues are co-ed), I quickly made her an offer to play for us. She accepted and got a cool ass CheckRayz.com endorsed Beer F.C. Jersey. Upon further conversation, she mentioned she has a friend who plays Goalkeeper. At this point, I'm wanting to marry this girl... Not only does she enjoy and play soccer, but she also knows a Keeper. This is awesome, I'm thinking. So, we contact him and he agrees in principle to play for us.

Long story short, the Beer Side were victorious. The addition of a fundimentally sound keeper allowed us the luxery of not having to constantly track our attackers back to defend. End result was a victory in which we defended better and were able to keep a solid attack, which in turn caused their defenders to not cheat forward as much in fear of a counter-attack from us. So, one small defensive change solidified our team as a whole and took us from losing by a goal to winning convincingly by five.

Yesterday, while mentally preparing for a session of 6-seated 1/2 NL, I went over my pokertracker stats. I had discovered the Filter Button and began manipulating the data. First I ran the "No Blinds" filter and discovered I was probably playing the blinds a bit much. Created another filter in which I called "Quality hands" where I filtered out all the mediocre and shit hands that pokertracker had accused me of playing. My win-rate snowballed significantly when I filtered out the garbage. Next, I took a look at what i called Mediocre hands. This was about break even, which meant I had been playing a bit more shit than I had previously believed. So, finally, I made a shit hands filter (containing any hand not in the Quality or Mediocre hand family). No surprise that this was an unprofitable dataset. However, what was surprising is the amount of times I played with shit and bet into the pot. Wow.

So, as an experiment... "just to see," I committed to only play the hands on my "Quality Hand" Section if the pots been opened before me and to open with select mediocre hands or better. Additionally, if I had something in the junk catigory and the pot was raised with me being on the blind, I committed to not playing the hand no matter how favorable the odds were. Once again, as an experiment. My theory was that my attack would be more profitable by having a stronger core of a starting hand.

My theory, for this session at least, was sound. I had a very profitable day in a very short period of time. I showed down my strong hands, mostly to victory. When I raised the pot, people took notice. When I entered the pot, people played with caution. I had the presence that I had wanted and played what I believe to be a successful and sound session. I'm going to continue this experiment.

1 change... adding a goalkeeper... filtering out shit hands, can be the difference between a winner and a loser.

Poker Haiku of the Day:
"Lose the Junk"

Quit Playing Shit Hands
Bankroll Inflating like Mad
Takin' Donks to Bank
Happy holidays to all...