Hello from New York City!
I just left Playa del Carmen, Mexico with my girlfriend, Lynn. Both of us needed to relax and chill for a bit since we spent so much time traveling over the last year. I decided to skip EPT Prague and stay here for a few weeks to recharge because next year's schedule is going to be just as hectic. I plan on playing the PCA, the Aussie Millions, every event on the LAPT and several EPT events as well. I'm really happy we decided to come here. Lynn is taking Spanish classes and I've been playing a little bit of online poker while she's at school. Playa del Carmen has a great nightlife and some excellent bars and restaurants. Just the other night we were at dinner and the staff at the restaurant was telling us that maybe 70 poker players are living here now. I think the secret is out about this little slice of paradise!
When it comes to poker, I've been playing mostly $5/$10 and $10/$20 no-limit cash games online and tournaments only on Sundays. I've been studying a lot lately, trying to improve my game and fix a few leaks. I've been trying to separate completely how I play a tournament and how I play a cash game. My background is actually in cash games--tournaments were something that came later for me. And since I've been playing so many live tournaments over the past couple of years, I'm discovering that I have a tendency to pot-control more than I should in cash games. In tournaments it's OK to pot-control more often, because you can't just buy back in. In cash games, there are of course spots where it's appropriate to do it, but they don't happen as much.
This year I also started playing PLO. I've booked some good volume so far, but I haven't seen nearly as many hands as I have in no-limit. I love learning the game and it's actually really fun. It's much more active. Players are more aggressive and you can't be nitty--you have to play more hands. When it comes to fully understanding PLO, there is a lot of math involved and I'll be working hard on that aspect of the game over the next few months.
Though my experience with PLO is still pretty limited, I've noticed there are a lot more spazzes still around than there are in NLHE. People still spew off their chips with abandon, and you just don't see that any more in no-limit. Huge whales still show up from time to time in the NL games, but in general, I feel like I find weaker opponents in PLO. Just by seeing the showdowns and playing close attention to the game flow I can see where they're making mistakes. I think there is a ton of value in playing PLO regularly. And even though the NLHE games are always getting tougher, I still believe you can find ways to exploit the regulars and gain an edge. That's what I'm working on now, and I never want to stop learning.
Now we're here in New York City to ring in the New Year. I've never been to New York for the New Year, so I'm really excited to experience it. Happy 2013!
Angel Guillen is a member of Team PokerStars Pro