Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thinking about the game

To understand anything its best to understand the very basics of it and build up. I don't have any exact sources to back up the following post, so please comment any mistakes I make. If there are some it will most likely not matter to understand the gist of what I'm saying.

Tight aggressive wins in poker, fish lose. It's pretty simple. If you don't know what I'm talking about stop reading now. So lets say you are making good money playing, but want even more action and more bad plays. What are some things you can do? Sklansky, limits, blah, blah, blah. What if you added more cards? For example 2-20, J, Q, K, A. I'm crazy right? Well there didn't use to be 2-8 (I think), they were added to give people even more crap to play with to lose hands to the good players. I believe it was on the riverboats in the US, but I could be wrong on that. Thinking even more 'outside the box' what would happen if you added another suit, maybe two new suits to the current deck? Truth is, not much, the good players will still win, and the bad will lose more quickly.

I'll have a writeup later on what hand ranks are with more suits, etc. Its pretty interesting stuff. The truth of the matter is, that with a little math you can be profitable with any deck, we are all just accustom to playing with 52 cards.

The big game now is Texas Hold'em. Think about it for a minute. There are 4 betting rounds, but after only the first one, you know 5/7 (~71%) of your hand, and 3/7 (~42%) of your opponents hand. Seems a bit odd right? There is a reason for that too. If I'm a good player, I have the fish right where I want them. The draws are simply right in front of your face. The game is almost over before it even starts, but most of the money comes into play in 2/7 (28%) of the game. The other way to get money from fish quickly is to have lots of betting rounds and have them drawing at the smallest chance of making their hand. Seven card stud is great for betting rounds, but Texas Hold'em is great for the amount of information that you have. In seven card if an opponent has a gutshot in 4 cards they have 3 chances at hitting it, in Texas Hold'em if they have a gutshot on the flop they have 2. Do you think there is a reason for that?

In reading different histories of gambling, it was again on the riverboats, that the good players experimented with lots of different ways of playing poker games in order to balance betting rounds vs. information vs. draws. Some stayed with us (seven card) and the others were lost to history.

To understand anything, one should know it's history and why it is the way it is. There is a reason things are played the way they are currently in poker. By that I mean how the cards are distributed and displayed in order to make the best five card hand.
Pop quiz:
How should you adjust your game for a 10/20/30 game (A limit game that allows 30 to be bet on the river)

I have not read the answer, but I know generally what would be the right decision, although much more detailed information could probably be found on 2+2.
There is going to be swings, the bad beats will happen. Party is not rigged (valued at $4 billion, do you think they are really after your $10/$100/$1,000). You have to have a big enough bankroll to play through the hard times. You have to play solid. You have to understand the game. We all can learn more.

On a side note, if you sign up at Full Tilt with bonus code 'EPHRO' and email me your username I will send you 10% of your rake back every month. Right now they are offering a 100% deposit bonus, and the fish are streaming in everyday. They were over 2,000 players today, and they are growing fast. The fish love the fact that so many pros play there and are willing to throw thousands around in order to say "I made a move on Howard Lederer".

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Fuck it. I've been thinking tonight. It's V-day, and mine has been full of problems all that have arose because of miscommunication or not enough communication. So I sit here now, thinking about this blog (weird eh?)

I've been on the outside looking in on the poker bloggers for over two years now. I just recently started mine. What to post or not post has always been a bit of a debate in my mind. The debate has ended, one side has won. The side that won is my "Fuck It" side. Every week, sometimes everyday, people tell me "That's your solution for everything isn't it. Just fuck it." Truth be told it is. If you don't like me then so be it. I don't want to be part of any group that will have me as a member (put the correct credit here.) The "Fuck It" attitude has worked out for a long time for me, so I'll try the same here.

Pauly, you crack me up (my favorite blog), Daddy at Snailtrax could be, but he is too lazy to post enough to keep me entertained, however in real life I love him. Grubby is like your little brother, that you love to hear the stories, but you want to tell him to grow up, but I can't get enough. He also would be my only entertainment if he posted more. Felicia is so in your face with honesty that I can't get enough. And yes I do admit it, Stripper by Night has been my inspiration for over six months now.

In the beginning she was entertaining, then she was highly profitable. If she is for real or not I don't care, she gave me something to work for. I admit it, I thought, "Shit, if some dumbass stripper can make money why can't I?" I didn't read for advise, I read for inspiration, I read for entertainment, and I read because everybody loves a good soap opera. I've read the blogs, well a lot of them, yeah there is some good information, SbN has none of it. What she had, in my opinion, was a way of placing the stick so high that there is no way to reach it, a Bad News Bears of sorts. I've said it before, I don't want to be good, I want to be the best, if I see Phil Hellmuth say on TV there is no way he could have made a laydown, or a call, I want to snicker at the shear stupidity of his statement. I want to read how others talk about the plays I made against them. Only by setting the bar so high do we fall into an area of novicness, that like school, without being a novice at first, there is no way to master.

I'm honest. Pretty simple. I like what I like and I don't like what I don't like. Most people call me an asshole, I don't see it that way. I've been reading at Iggy's site and others about burnout and the masses posting about poker. That's what lead to this post, along with others to follow it. 'Fuck it' is the answer, if you don't like what I say, then read it and flame me, if you do, read it and don't post a comment. Either way I think more people will read. I'm an arrogant asshole that is too smart for their own good. I could make a living programming like hdouble, I could do a million things, but instead I choose poker, a passion that is the least +EV for my life. Why? It's the battle, that's why people love it. You don't battle over who gets the better phone at work, you don't battle over who gets the cubicle with a better view of the window, you don't battle over who gets to give the boss a blow job after hours, you battle over cash. What is more beautiful? What is more capitalistic? Every battle is over money, it's just that most put any number of proxies in the middle. Poker doesn't.

Iggy said in a post a few days ago that someone quoted him saying he would link any poker blog. I give you a different promise: I link blogs that don't suck. If you aren't listed, then I either haven't read you or I find you annoying. Perhaps that is why I'm not linked up very often, and if so that is fine, I've never asked anyone to link me.

Well enough of the high horse, or annoying rant, and on to more important discussion.


"Limit Sucks"

'Why do you play limit?' 'Your playing limit?' etc. etc. All comments from people I have heard. Simple truth of the matter is that limit poker is math. It's fast math with draws when you know you are behind, but it's also knowing when you are ahead. It's raising with a hand like 94o when you have a pair and know the other guy is betting into you with AK AQ KQ or some other such hand that they have fallen in love with. It's calculating the odds on the fly to know when to call with a flush draw, to know when you have the right odds at the pot and grinding it up to +BB/H. Shit, these days playing super solid is highly profitable at limit poker because of the fish. The challenge is to see how many BB/h you can average. It's not as easy as you may think. Why do so many bloggers hate limit? It's simple, they aren't good at it. Limit is more difficult in my mind then no limit. Seven card stud is more difficult then limit HE. There is more going on in the game. More to keep track of, moves are harder to make. Bluffs are harder to run. While playing today I was up +19BB in 45 minutes without one premium hand. The best hands I had were AT and 77 twice. I never would have played a hand in no limit. I got some hands run up my ass, that happens, it's limit. The biggest pot I won was with 45s and never made the hand until the river, but because of other people poor preflop play and poor flop play I always had odds to draw, that's limit. I play both, but I can average a much better hourly rate in limit then in no limit, but to each their own. Shit the entire reason that Gus Hansen isn't dead money is that he knows odds so inside and out he can massage a pot into not allowing better hands to draw that he is +EV at no limit. John Juanda makes more than any other pro (I think) because he can play high stakes limit better than anyone else. The people on TV are the Anna Nicoles and Backstreet Boys, but they aren't the ones making the real money. Go read Iggy's site to see what he plays. If Juanda had enough time to have a web site you could go read about what he plays too, but the truth of the matter is, that the constant, good money is in limit.


In other matters I need to get my other Trump post up, I broke a few rules of Pauly's, but I like breaking rules. However, I'm introducing my own Stern rule to the line-up.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Computer Problems

I have pictures to post and finish writing about the second day at Trump Indiana, however my hard drive crashed on my primary computer. I'm on my backup one right now, with all the parts ordered and I'm hoping to get a full recover off of it. I'll post when things get settled.