Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately. Playing a ton of “Zone Poker” on Bovada – mostly at $0.10 – 0.25 no limit Hold’em, which is the highest level at which Zone Poker is available.
Note: Zone Poker is Bovada’s version of Full Tilt’s “Rush Poker,” where you get a FOLD NOW button and upon clicking it you are moved immediately to a new table with new players and another hand begins. No boredom watching others play before getting into another hand.
Here is my results update:
Year-to-date online results: (- $1,805)
Month-to-date online results: + $272
Better, but still a ways to go!
Zone Poker is quite interesting. The speed is amazing, with probably 200+ hands per hour. Combined with the anonymity of Bovada’s general format, it takes that aspect to its ultimate level. Not only are the other players anonymous, but you aren’t playing with the same Seat 1, Seat 2, etc. on each hand. Instead, a new and random group of anonymous players sits together for exactly one hand, then disburses. Player tracking is impossible, other than paying attention to a few in the player pool who have accumulated very large stack and are recognizable by their stack sizes (albeit this also changes quickly).
So what is the best way to play?
Is bluffing ever a good idea?
How do you develop a meaningful range for each opponent?
How do you interpret their actions?
Are bet sizing or timing tells useful at all?
Will it help me become a better player at live games (especially cash games)?
Is it addictive?
Maybe time and reflection will yield some insights…
So what are some of the lessons learned in playing so many hands and moving from table to table? How has it made you better? Has it reinforced any bad habits or revealed better habits?
One of the key takeaways for me is a reinforcement of the importance of position and starting cards. Playing the flop/turn/river from out-of-position is just awful. Playing these betting rounds with draws – especially weaker draws such as gutshots and non-nut flushes – is atrocious. So starting cards in the blinds like suited connectors and suited gappers – while tempting – must be folded. While you sometimes (rarely!) flop the nuts, most players consider a draw to be a good flop with these hands. Yuck!
At least in position, you have a far better chance of (a) controlling the pot size, or (b) knowing a bluff is likely to work after the others check and show weakness.