Playing with the numbers

I’m getting back into playing Texas Hold’em again, entering into a couple of freeroll tournaments last night. I thought I played a fairly tight game, and I made it to the top 13% (#661 out of 5,304). Then I had my stats e-mailed to me:
I saw the flop a whopping 48.6% of the time (18 out of 37).
OK, let’s take out the times when I was in the big blind, and that comes down to 40.6%. And I thought I was playing tight? Reading the book I just got (“Phil Hellmuth’s Texas Hold’em”) I see that he recommends for beginners to only play the top 10 starting hands. Which I did the math on, and that means only seeing the flop 4.8% of the time.

Talk about a huge discrepancy. I think only one of the 18 hands I played met his criteria. But I clearly played my hands fairly well, winning 38.9% of the hands I played, and winning 77.8% of the hands that I saw through to the end. In fact, I only lost 2 hands that I didn’t fold.

So I probably should tighten up my game, and Hellmuth has clearly won a lot more money at poker than I have, but it’s hard to look at my success rate and think that I wasn’t playing well. The one thing I do know is that I am not bluffing well. Tried it twice, and got burned both times.

Tonight, I’ll try Phil’s “supertight” strategy and see how I do.

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