Fall is here and I'm getting back into some recreational poker for the Fall and Winter season. I've been easing my way back into play with the Open League, hoping to refine a points strategy in order to try and tame that beast.

I've noticed a trend this month. In games where I have not been in a pot until the break even point (or slightly around it) I have not done well subsequently when going all-in if presented with a compelling reason to act (strong hand; one opponent). Most of the time I will coast in at or near this late point to just avoid leaving positive points at the table, but sometimes it just makes good sense to ship it and risk a smallish point loss.

Here's how I have fared this month when shipping-it pre flop in games where I am at or slightly better than points break even position and have the option to take a stab at a reasonable chance of bettering the results of coasting through the last orbit(s).

My holding             Villain holding            comment

QQ                          22                                  lost to 3 of a kind on the turn

QQ                           K7                                 lost; can easily live with it

JJ                             66                                  lost to 3 of a kind on flop

AK                            99                                  hit K on flop; lost to three of a kind on river

55                            99                                  lost as I should expect to

KJ                            AQ                                 lost BB vs SB situation; it happens

AK                            A8                                  lost; flop AA8

AK                            99                                  lost the race

AK                             A4                                 lost to trips 4

AA                             JJ                                  lost to full house

33                             Q7                                 lost BB vs SB

KK                            97                                  lost to straight

So, in this defined subset of games I am batting 0.000 when playing situations that I figured to be reasonably worthy of changing my extremely conservative points strategy and where my tournament life is on the line.

Moral of story? When it doesn't look like you' ll score too many points to begin with take what little is given you. It doesn't appear to be easy to escape the gravitational pull of a game in which you aren't  getting any forward momentum.

Hope things are going your way with your stabs,

Cleobuddy