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there's a huge difference between online HORSE tournaments and live HORSE tournaments. i don't think one is better than the other, i think both are suited for the paradigm that they're a part of, but it's interesting to note.

in online tournaments, typical levels are around 8 minutes. in HORSE tournaments, basically what they do is change the game every level. the initial 10/20 level is only for hold 'em, then 15/30 is for omaha, 5/20/40 (or whatever) is for razz, &c.

in a live tournament, levels don't define the game, they only define the blinds and the ante and the game switches every 10 hands. this feels much better for live play when the levels are more like 20-30 minutes, but it has a side effect that if you get pushed to another table you could be in a completely different area of the cycle.

i played the mixed game tourney at Harrah's back in May, which is basically HORSE with NLHE and PLO added on (they would have put five card draw in there too, but apparently draw games are illegal in louisiana). I was medium-to-short stacked, and was running through the RSE portion of the game, and the antes and bring-ins absolutely killed my stack. My starting hands weren't just weak, they *looked* weak, so i couldn't even try to steal pots representing strength, and the one time i tried, it failed. so i was nursing my stack in the latter part of the stud-8 game and planned to find a good hand to push on in the NLHE or PLO portion. Right around the 8th hand, i got pushed to another table - that was in the middle of Razz.

god dammit.

i think that it balances itself out since it could also go the other way, but i find it unfortunate that the setup for HORSE is such that all of the ante games are lumped together. it'd make more sense to me if it was, say, hold em, razz, omaha, stud, stud-8 or something. But it's a tradition and everyone is used to it so even when the NL, PLO and draw games got added to the mix, they don't mess with the original HORSE structure, which is even *more* strange because then you have the two big pot games back to back at the very end.

really, i like the 10 hands per system better than the per level system, but in online games the 10 hands per system just wouldn't work well. I'm not sure if there's a better alternative. if the levels were longer, you could split the level in half or something, but 16 minute levels for a limit tournament is pretty long online.

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so this past week has been Rush Week, where they're giving out some cash bonuses for people that accum a certain amount of rush points for seven days straight. They're also offering a $50k freeroll ticket for anyone who makes the final table in a rush tournament, so i've been playing a bunch of those.

I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it's best to draw out the time you have to think during the ante period or not. In regular games, i feel it's not worth it - it's more useful to see more hands and keep the game flowing, and the number of hands from table to table isn't so different that it makes sense to draw that shit out. But in Rush poker, fast folds mean that i could potentially paying twice as many antes as someone else who is drawing it out and when it gets close to the bubble, that could make a difference that regular MTT's don't have.

generally Rush poker is a lot more about position raising than regular online games, so when i play rush cash games and i'm on the button or one off the button, i'll sometimes try to make a position raise, c-bet steal no matter what i'm holding. But i'm starting to feel that this should be different in rush tournaments because i feel like it's important to try to play as many strong hands as possible during the initial 10ish levels before antes come into play, so if i'm sitting on the button with a weak hand, it's better to quick fold while all of the slowpokes are trying to figure out how they're going to act than to wait and try a steal. I'm not sure if this is actually right; stealing blinds is a pretty critical part of tournament play and with how tightly people generally play online it's generally easy to do.

not that i think i'm going to continue to play rush tournaments after this week is over, but it's still interesting to think about.

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i placed in the money in a PLO8 tournament just now. In the middle of the tournament i was the chip leader, but i got railed on a couple of big hands at critical times so i placed in the lower part of the prize pool.

Tbere was one hand in which i'm not sure if i made the correct fold preflop. I had KKJ7, single suited. Under the gun i raised to 3bb. A very good (but loose) player called me, and then the player immediately after went over the top and all in for what would have been the rest of my stack (he had me covered), which was another 8bb's.

8bbs was pretty short, but it was fairly close to the bubble (maybe 10 people more), and i didn't know how to feel about my hand. with regular PLO i snap call, but in PLO8 i don't think my strong was very strong for an all-in reraise since i have no low draw. i knew the third person would call either way and in one sense that puts more money into the pot, but it also makes it worse because i'm not sure where he is and the more people there are the less likely that a single overpair is going to hold up, so i'd be praying for a set at the least, especially if the all-in person is sitting on AAxx.

so i folded. the guy who went all in had AA26 double suited, the other guy had A22x double suited. I would have hit and tripled up and in the top 10 because the flop came KJJ, but i can't think about it with that sort of results-based thinking. what i really need to do is do some research or go ask some people on 2+2 what the correct play would have been. i have a good instinct for PLO and PLO8 as a post-flop player (i made a pretty key bluff afterwards that helped contribute to me cashing), but i'm not very strong at understanding true strengths of hands preflop.

all good stuff, though. time for bed.

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