Wednesday, August 31, 2005


31 AUG 05

In the pursuit of truth, I finally got around to making my Excel spreadsheet so I can track my wins and losses. It’s quite the eye opener. Talk about finding your holes!!

I always suspected that my internet play was –EV, but this really hit the point home. Specifically, playing ½ 6-handed is –EV. I’ve lost more playing that game then most. It’s also the source of some of my biggest wins (%-wise), but it’s more gambling than anything else. Poker should NOT be about gambling (at least limit-poker shouldn’t). It’s about odds, and about maximizing gains and minimizing losses. If I stick to the 2-table $15 SNG or the 5/10 ring game, I usually am a winning player.

Unfortunately, I lost another buy-in on PokerStars. I never really had a chance, I suppose. I didn’t buy in with enough to sustain the variance – made worse by a succession of bad-beats that in the normal course of the game are expected (not like the quad rush I mentioned yesterday).

So I got back to basics and went back to the Muckleshoot last night for a little 10/20. I played very tight for the first two hours and had nearly blinded away my entire stake when I got Q 10o in the big blind. There were three callers, so I thought I was going to see a cheap flop when the small blind raised it to 20. I called and so did everyone else.

With $100 in the pot, the flop came 10-high with 2 diamonds. The small blind bet (of course). I just called to see what the rest of the table would do. There was only one additional caller.

The turn was a blank, and the small blind checked. I checked too, because the third guy was very aggressive (LAG – loose aggressive guy), so I was hoping for a check raise. He bet, but unfortunately, the small blind called. Now I was stuck, but I paid to see the river card just in case I got two pair. The river was a blank.

Small blind checks (I put him on AK). I bet and hold my breath (figuratively, I hope. Mike Caro says that bluffers will often tighten up. If you see this, bet out). The LAG just calls, so I think I’m beat. Small blind calls (thank goodness for morons) with his AK. I show my top pair Q-kicker, and I think I’m going to get slow-rolled because the LAG is taking a long time to show. He flips over his ten, then mucks. Later I heard he had J 10.


Then I went on a medium rush and walked away up $60 for the night. Mary is my new favorite dealer.

In the interest of honesty, here is one hand I played horribly. I had QJo with the J of hearts. I flop top pair with 4 players in an unraised pot. Two hearts come and I pair the Q. I bet and all call. A heart on the turn and everyone checks. The river brings the 4th heart, but pairs the board. The early position calling station (CS) bets out. Now, I have the J high-flush. There is one person left, but he acts behind me. I figure, if early CS doesn’t have me beat, late position guy does.

I mucked. So does the last-to-act guy.

I’m not sure what the first guy had, but I think I heard him say he had 10 10 with the 10 of hearts. That would suck. If I’m forced to calculate implied odds, I think I’m supposed to make that call. If I was thinking critically, I could have discounted the full house (someone would have bet the two pair or the trips on the turn). That means that only three cards could have beaten me (AKQ of hearts).

I NOW know that the correct move was to raise. If I get reraised, I can fold. This is the definition of tight-aggressive play. Perhaps I was still smarting from earlier losses. Perhaps it was too late in the evening and I wasn’t thinking critically. Hopefully, I wont make the same mistake again.

You should be reading: Stephen R. Donaldson. He wrote one of the great Sci-Fan trilogies 20-odd years ago: Thomas Covenant, White Gold Wielder. His second trilogy wasn’t as good, and he just came out with the first book in the third trilogy. It’s getting mediocre reviews, so I might not get it. Most anything would pale by comparison to George R. R. Martin anyway.

Final thought: Experience suggests it doesn't matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive. - Lois McMaster Bujold, "Barrayar", 1991

No comments: