Saturday, January 15, 2005

Weird day thus far

I can't really get ahead, but I'm staying about even. It seems any low PP I play I flop a set and have rivered quads twice in about 120 hands. Very odd. That's once at Party and once at Ultimate, and the sets just keep coming. The rest of my hands I can't hit worth a damn, or I get outrun by the schools of marathon running fish.

Took a break for a little while to sort out some networking blues. The network in my house has changed a bit, where now I go through three internal subnets to get out, and the wireless wreaked a little havoc on speed at the sites.

Keep on playing and if you blog, keep blogging. This recent Poker Bloggers drama has me a bit entertained, it's too bad that livejournal is down right now, as I am interested in see some more retorts. By the way I don't think Iggy is Hitler, but that's just my opinion.

Not having Blogger's spellcheck work makes for some spelling errors I assume, oh well.

Binion's Money Clips

Grub posted a story a couple days ago at his site about when he played at Binions. What's funny is I heard the same story a year ago when I was there right after the 2004 WSOP. The way that I heard it was as follows:

It was a $5/$10 table I believe and this tourist had been losing all night. After the river was laid, he won the pot with a one card royal. A regular at the table told the tourist that there is a prize for every royal and called for the floor. The floor came over, the regular showed him the royal and asked what the prize was today. The floor said "It's a Binion's lighter and money clip. I'll have to go get it." A couple minutes later with the tourist excited to hit the bonus the floor came back over to the table and presented the tourist with the pack of matches and rubberband.

This post wasn't to take a stab at Grub, whom I'm sure told it exactly as he heard it. It just makes me laugh how these things get changed over time, especially at a poker table.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Too Many Drinks

Thank God I had the presense of mind to not play for real cash. After getting a bit popped and feeling the urge to play, I logged on to UB. Going to the play money tables (I've made the other mistake before) I decieded to play some Omaha. Quaddruppling through on my third hand I felt I might not be as intoxicated as I thought I was.

I few more hands in I was all in with two pair and the nut low. The board brought a wheel on the river but also a flush. The flush took down the high hand, and I didn't get any chips. What?! was all I could think, but that faded quickly after realising I was at a high only table. Perhaps I was that drunk. The consolation prize is that I finished with more play chips than I started with, but that was just because I got reloaded to 1000 and started with 670. ::grin::

If you read the post about my first back room poker game below you should send Daddy a comment asking him about the time he played at the game. All I can say is I warned him it was the loosest game I have ever played in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Stars in my eyes and my first game online

I got bit by the online bug a couple of years ago. We had a weekly game in the basement of a bar starting in about 2001/2002. Playing all kinds of games from Cincinnati, to Omaha 8, to 7/27, etc. etc. That went on for a while, then I started playing at some local 'underground' places. The first time was a rush.

Another guy in town has played on and off for years (Mr. Boo from previous posts). A friend and I were talking about playing online in his bar (I'll get to my first online game later.) We ask him if he knows of a game in town, and he says probably, he will call and see. Warning us ahead of time that it's an almost impossible game to beat being that it is 3/6 with 4 dragged from the pot. The players are as loose as it gets and it will drive you up the wall. This information was never even heard, we were too excited he knew of one in town we would take our chances. Mr. Boo makes a call and says he is sending some people over. He tells us where to go and tell the person in the front we are looking for Ice Box and the rest would be taken care of.

My friend and I ordered one more beer and talked it over. There is something about going to a place we had never been and asking for Ice Box that seemed like we were getting in over our heads. Finally we decided that it couldn't be too bad and headed off. We pulled up, went in to see a couple of old guys eyeing us and a petite dated woman bartending. My friend and I both have long hair, and this is the sort of place that it can lead to a bit of drama when you walk in with long hair.

The bartender asks "Can I help you?" and we reply "We're looking for Ice Box."

She points to a door and says "Down that hallway and to the left."

So this is what it feels like to be at an illicit game in the backroom of a place like the _______. The first thing that went through my head was how brightly lit it was. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but fluorescent lighting and light color painted walls wasn't it. We reached the door and went in, all the action stopped and we asked if Ice Box was here.

He replied "That's me, we're playing 3/6 and have one seat open right now." Introductions were done, somehow they got the impression I was from Israel, so I just flew with it. Every once in a while I would mutter something in gibberish and get some odd looks. It was a strange group of people, but strange in just the way that I like it. Names like Oil Can Dan, Doc, and Ice Box were the norm, among some rather normal names with quite some characters.

The chips looked to be 20 years old, at one time they would have been nice, but the ends were literally rounded over with wear, and would leave little white dust on the table if you clicked them together too hard. It was a passed deal, one player who was 98 had someone else deal for him, since shuffling the cards to him meant cutting them five to six times. All the drinks were free, as was the food, the pots were big, and in less than 2 hours I was hooked $180. On the way out the door they said to come back anytime. I smiled and said sure.

My friend and I dissected the game, he also lost over $100 in that time. This was a totally different game from anything that we had encountered before. Let me state that the players were not good, in fact that's what made it so hard. It took at least another 4 months to learn how to break that game, but we finally came out with a +EV.

[I think I am going to tell this whole story in more detail later so you will have to wait for it.]

Ok back to my first online game. Ultimate Bet is the site that took my cherry and smashed it right against the virtual Caribbean scened poker table. I think I deposited $100, back when you could still use a credit card. After looking around for a while it seemed like a SnG might be the place to start.

I think it was the third hand and I was in the BB. I caught QJ of clubs and it was raised 3xBB to me, I called as did someone else. Flop came Tc9c8c, I checked my straight flush, EP went all in, LP went all in and I called with the nuts. EP had Ac2c and LP had AhAs. They had me at flopping a straight flush. (Imagine a young cute looking boy with glasses in the background.)

The sad part is that I don't think I even placed in that tournament.

Crazy Hand of the Week (1/2)

I've been thinking about this hand for a while, and it still amazes me. I wasn't involved in the pot, but it was about 5 on the flop of JT9 rainbow. It went

check (1) | bet (2) | raise (3) | fold (4) | call (5) | fold (1) | rereaise (2) | call (3) | call (5)

Turn 8

bet (2) | raise (3) | reraise (5) | cap (2) | call (3) | call (5)

I'm thinking (2) has KQ at this point and (3)/(5) have Qx

River 8

bet (2) | call (3) | raise (5) | call (2) | call (3)

(2) shows KQ
(3) show QJ
(5) shows 88

The thing that amazes me is that (5) didn't have the presense of mind on the flop to realize even if he hits his 8 on the turn he is still so slayed in the pot, since he obiously needs to boat up since someone is going to have a Q in that hand. I guess I'm not super suprised, and those sorts of plays are what you want to see at a table, but even hitting his 8 is scary.

Doing a calculation of the odds, on the flop he is at 2.0 - 2.1% depending on what I think the other two players had given past hands. On the turn he jumps to a ~21% chance if an 8 hits, and ~5% if the board pairs. That's a tough call on the flop for me, but to each their own.

Just thought I would share. The craziest part about it was that nobody, save one person that wasn't in the hand said a thing about it, except vvvvnh. That's what got me thinking about how bad it was.

Monday, January 10, 2005

One of those days

Finished reverse engineering the FTP player note file. Everything has been posted over at FullTiltFan.

Been one of those days at the tables, the fish were so thick at one table that I couldn't push through them to get a breathe of air, oh well, I like my odds in the long run. Losing a set to a set is an absolute brutal beat, hard to blame either side for their play (I just wish I flopped kings instead of 9s.)

If anyone is interested, I have a set of cards online. If you want to use them on your site it's just where # is 2-A and S is the suit (scdh). They aren't the prettiest, but they work.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Proper Bets

In my opinion one of the finest points of NL, both tournament and cash is to make the right size bets to require a call when you have the best hand. It seems to me that it is more important to underbet what would be the maximum amount they would call. While it is also important to bet more than the minumim if they will call more, the closer you get to the maximum call amount the more risk that is involved with the bet.

While it seems this judgement needs to be made on many different reads on the player(s), I see many 'bad bets' watching tables. In playing limit I use the same theory, but in a different way, if I have the nuts and I'm in EP with a bet in front of me, a calculation has to be done of if it is better and drag X number of people behind you or to raise and isolate to most likely one caller on the raise, or perhaps at times none.

It's not to often you get those hands and it seems like it is esspecially important to get as much as you can out of those pots.