8.23.2005

There Will Be A Test

Below is a hand history - though, obviously, the good parts have been edited out for the purposes of this post. There is no prize for guessing MP1 and Hero's holdings other than the satisfaction of a job well done. Maybe I'll throw up a link if I haven't linked you already (I have been lazy as all get-out in expanding those) - that should be good for an additional two to three hits per month, meaning that between now and the heat death of the universe you might earn an extra dollar out of the deal. The game is 5/10 Hold'Em at PokerRoom, if that tells you anything. MP1 is the table fishiac. Hero is me. ANTES/BLINDS SB posts blind ($2.50), BB posts blind ($5). PRE-FLOP UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 bets $10, MP1 calls $10, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, Hero calls $10, Button folds, SB calls $7.50, BB folds. FLOP [3s,9s,6s ] SB checks, UTG+2 checks, MP1 bets $5, Hero calls $5, SB folds, UTG+2 folds. TURN 4h [board cards 3s,9s,6s,4h ] MP1 bets $10, Hero bets $20, MP1 calls $10. RIVER 7s [board cards 3s,9s,6s,4h,7s ] MP1 bets $10, Hero bets $20, MP1 bets $20, Hero bets $20, MP1 calls $10. ###

8.18.2005

Random Cynical Thought Of The Day

Poker is a game you play while waiting to be dealt aces.

8.11.2005

Implied Odds: An Object Lesson

Just yesterday hdouble was suggesting that learning to cold-call preflop with hands like 86s is a big step forward for a poker player. Below, we see why. bisonbison's hand converter doesn't work for PokerRoom hands anymore so I guess I'll just out myself in the process. ANTES/BLINDS Elvis lives posts blind ($2.50), celeste31 posts blind ($5). PRE-FLOP crazy bubba bets $10, sertorius folds, mcfoldy folds, rseitup folds, Troublecat calls $10, capri8 folds, zing64 folds, Elvis lives folds, celeste31 bets $10, crazy bubba calls $5, Troublecat calls $5. FLOP [board cards 6S,JS,8C ] celeste31 bets $5, crazy bubba bets $10, Troublecat bets $15, celeste31 bets $15, crazy bubba calls $10, Troublecat calls $5. TURN [board cards 6S,JS,8C,6C ] celeste31 bets $10, crazy bubba calls $10, Troublecat bets $20, celeste31 calls $10, crazy bubba calls $10. RIVER [board cards 6S,JS,8C,6C,8H ] celeste31 checks, crazy bubba checks, Troublecat bets $10, celeste31 calls $10, crazy bubba calls $10. SHOWDOWN Troublecat shows [ 8D,6D ] celeste31 mucks cards [ KS,KH ] crazy bubba mucks cards [ QS,QH ] Troublecat wins $194.50. SUMMARY Dealer: zing64 Pot: $197.50, (including rake: $3) celeste31, loses $65 crazy bubba, loses $65 sertorius, loses $0 mcfoldy, loses $0 rseitup, loses $0 Troublecat, bets $65, collects $194.50, net $129.50 capri8, loses $0 zing64, loses $0 Elvis lives, loses $2.50 ### If only somebody had been in there with AJ, I could have made some real money.

8.10.2005

Meme Ahoy

Joe is at least indirectly responsible for this. Absinthe is NOT very bitter. Absinthe is bitter, like licking failure. Absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. Absinthe is very flammable and burns with a pleasing blue hue. Absinthe is known as La Fee Verte or The Green Fairy. Absinthe is the fucking shit. Absinthe is online. Absinthe is no stronger than a glass of table wine. Absinthe is about as common as orange Fanta. Absinthe is a strong example of the exuberance and complexity with which
the Cubist armature had assembled itself by the fall of 1911 Absinthe is briefly mentioned several times in the Bible. Absinthe is going against the very grain god intended to grow out
of humanity. ### (PS: good luck, glyphic.)

8.09.2005

Double-Edged

Pride: it's what goeth before a fall. Or so I've heard. I've had it on my mind of late, because I've been getting back into the game and trying to think seriously about my style in the process. The first question I asked myself was: what's my edge? What do I do (though not "better than anybody else" or "as well as it can be done") well? I thought about the answer for a long time. And thought. And thought. Here's the problem: anytime I start thinking about something that's core to my game, it almost always exposes a corresponding weakness. Good: I have a reasonably-developed sense of when not to value-bet my marginal or vulnerable holdings on the turn. This often saves me two bets against a flush that was planning to checkraise, one that I'd probably call down. Bad: That means sometimes I give a free card... and sometimes it beats me. Worse: And what do you mean, you'd probably call down the flush? Don't you KNOW he has the flush when he checkraises you? And Last But Not Least The Bonus Round: Sometimes the free card lets me backdoor the nuts and get four bets out of someone who doesn't believe in redraws. This is what drives me nuts about leaks. The better you get, the more marginal the leaks in your game become. The inexact science of it all can make the short-run cure seem a lot worse than the long-run disease. For a long time I didn't understand the wisdom of not making bets with no upside. Passing up that river bet when the worst possible card hit the board was hard to do. Now I can pass it up easily - which results in a missed bet every once in a while. I used to want to be devilishly clever and rapaciously greedy, meaning that I'd almost always check when my draw to a monster came in. Then I noticed that even players I'd tagged as dunces were checking behind. Thus was absorbed the lesson about value-betting the nuts. Except that once you've done that a couple of times people start folding their hands to their river bets. Which leads to stealing opportunities, which leads to suspicious players, which leads to... and all of a sudden I've backdoored my way into being the kind of devilishly clever player I wanted to be in the first place. Except then the cards go cold. The lesson I'm trying to teach myself right now: Cold-Calling For Fun And Profit (Mostly Profit). (This is completely tangential. Bear with me.) I used to abandon a game immediately when there were no more fishies to be had. The edges get much more marginal when you're at a table of half tight-aggressives, one-quarter rocks and one-quarter tricky tight-neutrals. Mostly because every single one of them knows not to cold-call a raise, and all of them have at least some idea how and when to defend their blinds. Blind steals gone awry are a major leak for... well, anyone who likes to steal blinds, really. But there's a dirty little secret to the deep-seated aversion to cold-calling: it's mostly peer-pressure. On a really tight table I've come to the point where I'll happily cold-call a raise with a suited one-gapper or low-to-medium pocket pair... so long as I'm doing it from a disadvantageous position. Seriously. The more people waiting to act behind, the better. Because once you take the leap, once you peek down at 6h8h and toss in two small bets behind the uber-rock with a PFR of 2%, the rest of the table starts sneaking in with you. It's giving action to get action; it's creating pot odds for yourself. Yeah, you're giving up a significant amount of EV - but you're giving it up at the most fluid time, before the flop has been dealt. You've got to have some faith in your ability to make good decisions after the flop, but if you don't have that, what are you doing in the game in the first place?