Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rush poker, Take 2

About 2 weeks old, Full Tilt's Rush poker is like a virus, continually adapting and morphing to weed out the lesser players. As I described before, Rush poker is poker presented in a format of constant action. Don't like the hand you have? Quick fold to the next hand without waiting for the current hand to complete. Thus far, there is no effective means of real-time datamining of hand histories, so you have no true reads on your opponents.

I programmed a quick application to take my PT3 database and dump it to the Full Tilt notes file, giving me stats on VPIP, PFR, 3bet and attempt to steal, at least giving me a prior-to-session history on the player. I find that having the data available on hand is mostly effective, yet I am still in situations where I need to make snap decisions based on gut feel.

Results-wise, I find myself continually changing the way I play. I started off stealing nearly 100% - why wouldn't I? If I have no read on the BTN / SB / BB, why wouldn't I attempt a steal? When I first started, cbetting was key, and when I'd run into a stubborn player, a flop cbet would generally take down the pot. Well, the majority of the Rush player base has adjusted and started defending their blinds by either 3 betting or calling. I am in the phase now where I am adjusting to their adjustment, by using the delayed cbet tactic; i.e. attempt to steal, check/check the flop and bet either the turn or river on a decent random card (i.e. a 2 flush /straight board, Ace, King, etc.). I am also starting to modify my steal requirements, such that in the event that I do get pushback from my opponent, I have somewhat decent holdings that my opponent is unlikely to have, or will have him out-kicked. My steal % has probably gone down from 100% to about 85%; therefore, I'm not raising 72o (all of the time), and I'm folding quite a bit of hands in the CO.

I'm also finding that KK is a dangerous hand to shove / raise a 4 bet. I have been finding that since it is so easy on Rush to wait for a premium hand, rarely is a 4bet shove or a 4bet a bluff... I am playing my KK hands much more conservatively, and laying down / flatting AK (less so than KK) more often than on the regular tables. Moreover, I am avoiding getting stacked with KK, which is hugely important.

All things being equal, Rush has made me a tremendously better player in a short amount of time. I am able to spot sets, overpairs, and make sick reads on my opponents... all of which carry over to the full ring tables. I also have a lot more experience with turn and river play, due to the fact that most of the Rush hands continue into the latter streets of poker play. I am now able to make river check / raises with air - finding the right spots to do so, of course! I am also able to 4bet semi-bluff (mostly unsuccessfully, though :-( ). I am able to get away far more easily holding TPTK (top pair top kicker) based on prior action, because there is so much more set action happening as people wait for the nuts.

Overall, I enjoy Rush poker. It gets me 500 points per night - easily - at 3 tables. It gears me up for the Full Ring tables. It generates tons of rakeback. I can quit whenever I want, without needing to wait until I'm UTG.

Good times.

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