Last night, I ended up playing a cash game. The folks there for the tournament indicated they'd rather just play cash, so I decided to buy into the game for $100 (min $25, max $200), and see what I could do.
Cash is a completely different beast compared to tournament play. I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on inflectin points and short-stack vs. big-stack play, but none of it seems to apply in cash games.
Wait, what hand do I have?
After folding a few hands, I pick up 88 in UTG+1. I make it a 3xBB raise and get called. Flop is 82T two diamonds. I keep the momentum and put in a small bet, which gets called. Turn is a diamond. I bet out, trying to price out diamond draws, but I get called.
River is NOT a diamond. I bet out half the pot and get insta-raised. After thinking about it for a second, I call and table trips. Villain is angry but I don't know why.
The flop was a 2. I had second-nut boat. My opponent had 82, for a weaker full house. In my anxiety I failed to read the board properly. Had I known I had eights full I would have 3bet shoved. I knew it, he knew it. He's also upset because I announced trips, meaning he'd thought he'd won for a second before reading my hand.
Later I apologized for this one. Of course it's cool, it's just poker. But damn, I still feel pretty dumb.
Wake up in the SB with QQ. Love it. The pot's raised by time action gets to me, so I 3bet and get two callers. One was med-stacked, decent but mostly watching the football on TV; the other was a monster-stacked (I thought, at the time) TAG.
Flop is xxJ. Having an overpair, I lead out for half the pot and get two calls. The turn adds a flush draw to the board. Wanting to price out the draws, I put in a near pot-sized bet. One call, but the monster stack raises. I tank hard. I've already bet the entirety of my profit here, and I'm down to near my starting $100. He's got me covered. I figure if he bets on the river I can't call, especially if the flush hits. I'm in a raise/fold situation, and at the time I'm not 100% convinced that I'm beat, but I can't put the rest of my money ont the line for an overpair. I fold. I'm sure I'm playing way too tight.
River J. Check to the raiser, he bets out, and the med (now short) stack folds. I think he was chasing the flush. Our monster-stacked opponent tables JJ. It turns out I made a good fold after all, although I'm not 100% sure I made the profitable call there.
My strategy for the game seemed to be complete ABC poker. Pick up a good hand, bet aggressively, hopefully take down a pot. Occasionally mix it up with drawing hands, and keep pure bluffery to a minimum.
It worked, to a degree: the game broke a half-hour after the hand I just described, and I walked away with a staggering $9 profit.
I think for now I'll stick with tournaments for the most part. Cash games every now and then are fun, but I'm not really rolled for them and that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I'm happy playing the cheaper tournaments and slowly building a roll that way.