So I found the 5 card draw games.  Of course, I know better than to delve into the heady depths of NL or PL tables, or the high rolling tables.  I'm not stupid.

I thought that as I had managed to get a cash ticket prize in a 5 card draw game, I was ready for it.

So in I step into the realm of the of 10/25c Fixed Limit Holdem.

And within about forty minutes have lost my $10 bring in.  Of course none of it my fault.

I went to another table, lowered the limit and well.  I took $5 into a table, left with $6.35.  Took another $5, left with $7.35!  I was on the way to success. Profit was only a matter of time!

One more burst before bed.  Can't hurt, can it? Yeah. $8 in, $4.49 out.  At least I left with money in my pocket though eh?  I quit before I lost it all.  Lesson learned?

So before I went to bed, I was $9.81 down.  Ouch!

I woke up this morning with the bug.  I knew the trick now, I could make money with this.  Bang: no.  Lost $18 without return before I could blink.  What was going on?  I'm a good player?  Well, novice, but not stupid?  I thought I was making intelligent calls.

So.  I went online, surely the internet can help me here.

And help me it did!!!  I found a blog, an old one, on how to make money at five card draw.  One I didn't even have to pay for! Ah the internet.

It told me to stop playing those bloody flush draws from any position.  Position is key, god damnit Alex, surely you know that.  You wouldn't play Ac7d from UTG in Holdem, why you playing 99A43 from UTG in 5 card draw?  Do you know the odds of making that 999?  Not good son.  Hell, you're barely getting good odds with 3 limpers for that open ended straight flush draw.

So I tighten up.  Stop playing those mid pairs out of position.  Start playing Aces strongly.  Throw down those 2 pair when its looking dicey.  Learning how to disguise my trips with drawing 1, and not to hold onto kickers to try and convince people I had trips.  Its obvious I don't.  And I'm reducing my chances of hitting 2 pair or trips by doing so.

What else?  Take notes.  Every hand.  Every player.  Build your armoury.  Know what they're going to do before the bets are even made.

Does it work?  Here's the thing. It did!  I went from having about $4 to $14.45.  Big difference.

Following so far?  At this stage I am $18.66 down in total.  Oh yeah, I track every single poker session on a spreadsheet.  Still down, but at least I know to the cent.

Ok, so its not a disaster.  I went for a walk, clear my head.

I come back and try playing on a few tables.  Hard to get a rhythm going.

Start on one, $10 in, $11.15 out after maybe 12 hands.  Not bad.  Second table, $2 in, $2.11 out.  Positive returns, but not great.  I'm struggling to get a table that stays together, maybe I'm too good for them and they are all leaving to avoid me?  Doubtful.

Anyway, I trundle into another 10/5c game and what do you know?  Cards conspiring against me! Every time I am favourite pre-draw, they hit.  Without fail.  Barring a miraculous "toss four hit Aces full of Nines" from me that I got paid for I went own hill rapidly. Left with my tail between my legs and 72c left out of 8 bucks.  Outdrawn nearly every hand.

I did play some hands like an idiot, but even some (first pat hand I played, strong raises all through and he calls after drawing 2 with his trip 9's, I had 55, what the hell???!!!).  Even when people were calling with flush draws, they'd pair Queens to beat my Jacks.  If I had AAKK and they had 5544, they'd fill their house.  I was at a loss.  Some stupid calls granted, but still.

So what did I do?  Went up a level, yeah, GO TEAM SHAMSTAVO.  I mean do I not read about tilting, about never go up a level until you've beaten your current level?  Of course I do.  But its easier said on paper than it is in real life.  Screw it, $10 into the pot, see what comes out.

Immediately I go down to about $6.  Like within 2 hands.  Checking myself as I go.  One bad call, 3 where I was badly outdrawn.  Ok, it'll swing upwards.  I ran into a pat Full House when I had a pat Q high straight.  I have AA 1010 and someone draws four and hits trips.  It was horrendous.

Eventually, after fluctuating around the $2 mark for what must have been nearly an hour, even getting it as high as $5 again, before finally crashing out with a mix of poor luck and woeful play.

I'll analyse my play in more detail and come up with some good hands, and some of the horrible plays.  I keep all hand history and have a bus or train journey of doom coming up soon, plenty of time to analyse the dross and pick out what I did wrong, what I did right etc.

These things even themselves out I hear, eventually. However when you add piss poor play into the equation it spells B-U-S-T.

Still going strong though, will probably take to the freerolls, and the play tables, and whilsts its never as competitive or realistic, it will help me hone them.


Total Spent 83 Total Won 46.32 Total Profit -36.68 Total ROI -44.19

Not the best start, that's nearly 1/3 of my bankroll.  An interesting foray into the world of cash games, but back to the $1.50 9 player STT's for a bit for me.  And a blog to come about them sometime soon!!!