14 October 2009

I read some more

Ok. I'm avoiding work again. This is going to become an issue soon but that is for another day. Today I want to let you all know that I just spent a fair bit of time catching up on Robert's recap of his participation in event 51 at the WSOP.

Some would be upset to come across such a well written piece so late - like missing the opening night for Transformers 3. Me, I'm glad I came to it late because, quite frankly, if I had come in at part two, I would likely have flown across the ocean, hired a PI to find him and then beat the remaining bits of the story out of Robert because I would have had to know.

I'm pretty sure that means it is well written. Or it could just mean that 14 hours on a plane followed by senseless criminal violence sounds better than another day in my job right now.

12 October 2009

Bad Beats

So I stumbled across Cardgrrl's book of bad beats which, at this stage, appears to just involve her and the Grump exchanging stories. I confess that reading it reminds me of the Monty Python skit "Four Yorkshiremen" - you know the one - (in case you don't) and I want to respond to a tale of a flush catching up with a flopped set in a loud exclamation of "Luxury!".

See below for recent posts which are pretty bad. Although I confess that I'm not sure if a boxed card is a bad beat or a cooler or what the appropriate term is. I do know that flopping top set and getting called twice by six high only to lose to runner-runner straight is pretty bad. And I have lost way more than should be normal playing live when, in a set over set situation, bottom set hits its one-outer to make four of a kind. (Although, in the interest of full disclosure I have also put this particular beat on a friend of mine from my local room on one particular occasion).

But to qualify for a true bad beat it has to involve horrendous play, I think, and set over set just happens. Which brings me to my entry in this particular competition:

Background - my local cash game. $200 - $500 buy in NL Hold'em with $5/$5 blinds. Full ring. I'm in BB with $1,200. There are lots of limpers (six?) and I check with an off suit Ad10c. Flop comes 10h 10d 7s. SB checks and I lead for the pot (my game involves extracting value with made hands - no need to be tricky here as any number of hands call) two callers, including the button. Turn is the 7d. I figure at this stage the best I can hope for is a chop, but anyone with one seven is going to call me down so let's find out. I bet 2/3rds of the pot. One fold and button min raises me. Ok, I'm behind to 77, tied with the other 10 and miles in front of one 7 so let's find out - I push. He snap calls and when the 8 of diamonds comes on the river tables the 6d9d for a runner, runner straight flush.

So, I offer this as my personal bad beat as it involved two of the worst calls ever. He called the flop with a pair on the board larger than his hand and holding only a gutshot straight draw. I actually don't mind the min raise on the turn but then he calls off his entire stack with a turned non-nut flush draw while facing a double paired board. Anyway - Nice hand sir, well played.

11 October 2009

Another month...

Well I have made it almost a month without playing live poker. If I make it to next week this will be a record - and it is entirely likely I will since I am broke and don't get paid until next week.

While I haven't been playing live I have been forced to come to terms with that unavoidable question - What do people do with their spare time while not playing? Remove three to four eight hour sessions from my week and suddenly I'm sitting in my new apartment staring at the walls and realising how desperately they need to be painted. I begin to contemplate regular exercise. Even my career takes an uptick since I can focus. Talk about boring.

Speaking of career, I have recently been approached about an opportunity that has forced me to do some thinking about it. This would involve a pretty sharp change of focus and a relocation to somewhere in SE Asia (probably Kuala Lumpur, maybe Singapore, less likely Jakarta). Naturally, the first thing I did was check the flight schedules from each of these places to Macau (looks ok) and start to ask around if the new casino in Singapore will offer poker (unlikely as it is a Las Vegas Sands property and they don't spread poker in the Venetian or the Sands in Macau so unlikely they will in Singapore - generally the Asian casinos just spread 500 baccarat tables). Btw, if anyone knows the answer to the Singapore poker question please let me know.

Of course the career thing has me in the recognition of existing rut mode - this is why I hate potential life shifts. Even if they don't materialise they leave you aware of why it would have been good. Anyway, this is what comes from an extra 30 hours a week.

22 September 2009

Not Playing again

Well that didn't last too long. Played over the weekend and managed to avoid finishing the weekend hung-over, but I think that was merely from anger burning up the alcohol at a faster than normal rate.

How do you know you are running bad? I know this is a question to which there is no answer and any attempt to offer demonstrations inevitably turns into a bad-beat whine. HOWEVER, one hand summarises my efforts lately. I call a smallish raise from loose, bad, utg player while on button with unsuited AJ. Flop comes J 10 4 rainbow. UTG leads for 1/3rd pot and I smooth call - I'm more than likely ahead, but the small bet from this player could also mean a flopped set or two pair - if he leads the turn then I'll know he has a big hand and I can get away. Dealer burns and then the card which should be the turn is "boxed - it is face up - which allows us to see the Ace of spades. House rules say a boxed card goes straight into much to be replaced by the next card, which in this case was another J (the case jack, as it turns out). UTG leads, I raise my trips, he pushes, I call and he tables J 10 for flopped two pair that, through the beauty of randomness, went from being miles behind my turned two pair to being miles in front of my turned trips. When a boxed card sets up this scenario - well, that feels like running bad.

On a different note, I took the Donkey Test. Apparently I should be mid-level winner (I think my score would have been higher but I was interrupted half way through so my quick calculation measure was lower than it should be).

17 September 2009

Playing Again

Naturally all of yesterday's rumblings about folding and taking breaks made me realise it was time to end my current mini-break. So I took a guy from work down to my local and introduced him to our game. He had never really played before, was still pretty confused about the hands but said he was keen so I figured what the heck. I had previously bragged around the office that I could teach anyone everything they needed to know to beat the local low limit game (which is a 1-2NL with a capped buy in of $80) in the amount of time it took to walk to the room and he decided to test my theory. Naturally he won for the evening and then spent the morning in my office wanting more information - it was kind of sad because I could see him processing the information and getting worse the more he understood. Last night he ran over the table playing my first-timers ultra tight ultra aggressive strategy. The next time he goes he will get murdered as he tries to play "better". Oh well.

My game was great. Some old faces I haven't seen for awhile and some new ones. Table was really great - I will never understand the idea of a calling station in a $5-$5 NL game, but they exist. I will also never understand those who try and bluff these calling stations. But last night I had both at my table - fortunately for me the main calling station was directly on my right. So after he had successfully stacked two "good" players who tried to run him off hands I proceeded to run my own "how much will he call pre-flop while folding to a C-bet" experiment. The answer appeared to be $120 (yes folks, that is 24bbs). It could be more, but he ran out of the necessary supplies so I was unable to test further.

I'll go back tonight and for most of the weekend as work has suddenly gone quiet again. We'll see how it works out - if I end the weekend hungover and angry at the idiots it will probably be time for another break.

Also, I've added the Poker Grump to my list of linked blogs. His name the casino game always makes me envious but he said some nice things to me so I guess it is time to behave like an adult.