Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stretch and Retract

In high school I use to do many a sport…Football, Cross Country, Wrestling and Track. Of all these sports I would have to say that wrestling was the one sport that really use to take it’s toll on me. Yet, when it comes to poker I would like to turn to the sport of Cross Country (CC). Why? Well there are many parallels that one can get from this sport believe it or not.

I use to run on a very competitive team that was division one. I was the last runner to make the cut on that team but I didn’t mind. I figured it was o.k. since I was only doing it to keep my weight down for wrestling but all the other guys took the sport really serious so just to be able to get a small spot on the team was an accomplishment. Not to say I wasn’t a good runner for I could run the mile in 4:55 –5:05 on average. Yet, I wasn’t to the caliber of our top tier runners.

Our coach Tom use to have this training regimen that use to kill me. He called it stretch and retract, stretch and retract, rest, and run like hell. Basically this was how we would train when running so our workout would look like this.

Mon. (stretch): 6 mile run
Tues. (retract): 4 mile run
Wed. (stretch): 8 mile run
Thur. (retract): 5 mile run
Fri. (rest): short 2 mile run with team meeting
Sat (run like hell): run 2.5-3.0 mile race as fast as possible.
Sun. (day off): no running

I found this to be a very interesting approach to poker. I have been trying to use this approach here and there to see the highest limits I can play. If you have built a good bankroll you might want to try this approach in order to move up in your games. The reason being is that you will never move up in limits unless you are willing to take shots at them from time to time. Only when you get comfortable with those higher limits will you be able to not only beat them but also feel comfortable with them. There are times when I play small and times when I play over my head.

Here is what I do from time to time to test myself.

Mon. (stretch): 15/30 or 10/20 (depends on where I’m playing)
Tue. (retract): 2/4
Wed. (stretch): 15/30 or 10/20
Thur. (retract): 6/12 or 4/8 even 3/6 (depends on where I’m playing)
Fri. (rest): go back to the 2/4 game.
Sat. (run like hell): play a high game…40/80 or 50/100 for a bit

I know these are rather high limits and to be honest, I tend to always run back to 2/4 or 4/8 and sometimes I play ½ at party…just depends on the feel I’m having. I just think there are good players that don’t want to make the jump because they are playing good where they are at. I enjoy grinding but I also know my game will not improve unless I push here and there. Also, I have found that I really bring my A game when I move up in limits.

In closing, some of you might not want to try this and that is cool. But I think you should take a week and see where you can get with it. You might find that you can move up from the 2/4 to the 4/8 games and hold you own and find yourself a new home. Make sure to take into account variance when playing at these levels.


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