The Shocking confession: After all, NLH may be OK

I’ve been a poker snob. Texas Holdum has been the undisputed king of poker for at least a decade, but I’ve been advocating for more “intellectual” challenges to the game’s limited variety. I’ve sworn my love for mixed games like Limited Omaha Eight or Better, Stud, and H.O.R.S.E., but generally my no-limited holdum play has relegated me to tournaments only.

In fact, I was scared. I was scared to face a strict group of unlimited grinders that could instantly mark me. I’m scared to throw everything out and lose in the worst case scenario. Or worse, I’m scared to throw everything out and lose as best I can. It’s one thing to be an 80% favorite, disrupt 4 bets with a pre-flop, and then adjust your bets accordingly as your community card is released. Betting on the whole investment is a completely different thing, but only to see your ace crack the kings. In the last few months, I’ve noticed that there are unlimited hold tables that scare me. But I’ve also noticed that there are plenty of tables I can sit on and get a significant edge on.

On a recent trip to Las Vegas to cover the “Nov. 9” World Series, I had the opportunity to sit down and play a couple of “Mirage” $2 unlimited holdovers. When I was a player at a small bank, I bought it for at least $100. At least half of the people at my first table looked like an ordinary person. One woman in particular was extremely aggressive, getting me back up on my feet at every opportunity. I think she can smell the blood in the water. Even if I had called and won, nothing I had ever walked on would have meant to her, because my precious items would not squish the chips and piles of notes in front of her. 파워볼실시간

Thankfully, about an hour after I took my seat at a loss of just $10, some players left, and our table collapsed. My new table consisted of a few regulars (especially Hal Rubarski, who used a different reader than Gary Trask profiled), none of whom scared me like my first table. After picking up a small pot early, I got hit with an ace in the very next hand. I picked it up, re-held it, and all moved before I popped over. My opponent showed me the pocket kings, and when the king showed up on the floor, what I feared the most came true. I was playing perfectly and completely lost my buy-in. But what surprised me was the reaction. I didn’t lean over, I knocked on the table, bought it again, and felt confident I was playing the right way and that the next buy-in would also play correctly.

I later got a little lucky, so I doubled down when my top turned plush and beat Rubarski’s and top kickers (I told you exactly when it went in, it was my favorite, 59-41). After that, I felt like I could do nothing wrong. I finished my session over $200 and left myself confident that I could do my best, even though I might have to make a decision over $100 instead of $8. Later on, I had another successful no-limit holdup session when I got back to Mirage, and I’m sure I’ll try again the next time I’m in town.

Before I sat down at the table, I would have said I didn’t like unlimited cash games. And even though luck played a bigger role than technology, I can say the skilled players at the table made the most money (trust me, it wasn’t me). But really it was fear that kept me away from the casino’s unlimited cash games.

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