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(no subject) [Apr. 26th, 2007|01:47 pm]
ts4z: poker

One clarification from my previous post: Five or six players took the flop, and I think three of us saw the J on the turn.

So there were plenty of people around to catch a full house when the jack came on the turn.
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(no subject) [Apr. 26th, 2007|12:05 pm]
ts4z: poker

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I have QT♣, in the blinds, IIRC. Flop is A♣J♣8♢.

What would you call this draw? I guess it's a double-gutter royal flush draw, but that seems a little ambiguous to me.

I limp. When the flop comes, I bet, AJ raises, I three-bet, he caps. Turn J, hI check, he bets, I call. River 2♣, I bet, he raises, I call.

I get a lecture from some guy in the hand who apparently didn't understand that I knew I was behind on the flop. I argue a little, because I think this guy's an idiot anyway and it's just going to annoy him if I argue. I don't think he looked at my hand too closely and saw the straight draws, he just thought I was betting a flush draw too hard.

He did deduce that I didn't realize I was behind on the end, and I shouldn't have bet. But at the time, I was thinking the pot was huge, and if I was chasing, I had to bet when my club came in. He was right about that. I should have check-called.
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(no subject) [Apr. 16th, 2007|04:11 pm]
ts4z: poker

The end of a lousy 8/16 session was punctuated by a very strange player: He gave off a bunch of tells that were exactly wrong.

I made a decent hand and bet; he raised. He stared me right in the eyes and leaned over the table. I called, and paid off a couple bets. He'd made a trash two pair, but it was likely the best hand.

I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe he'd read Caro's Book of Tells, too, and took it as a counterexample. I couldn't decide if this guy just behaved naturally oddly, or if he was acting unnaturally to mess with the other players.

I think he just gave off an aggressive vibe, and I couldn't adjust for it. I didn't stay long, though, and just decided to go home.
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(no subject) [Apr. 15th, 2007|01:54 pm]
ts4z: poker

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Procrastinating on taxes, I went and played poker last night instead. Actually, I got in the car to go to the mall, but decided it was such a nice day I'd drive a little ways up 280. That was good so I drove until I got to the San Bruno exit. Then I decided I'd just go to Lucky Chances, since I have a $1 AJ's chip and if I'm going to go to AJ's, I'm going to cash that chip in.

Anyway, I took a seat in the inexplicable 1-1-2 4-to-go spread-limit game. Unlike the GC game, this is a $200 capped buy-in with a $200 max bet. I never saw a hand where the $200 bet mattered. I did see some hands where people put more than $200 into play, but it was multiple bets.

Anyway, I wrote up a really boring entry here, but mostly I played bad, then okay, and did well in a very good game.

But here's one relatively interesting hand.

I'm in middle position. There's a raise to $12 and a call to me, and I have JJ. I call, as do the blinds. Five players take a flop. (Pot $55 after drop and jackpot.)

Flop is Kxy, so I have an underpair to the K. Pre-flop raiser bets $25. Next guy folds (IIRC--might have called) and it's to me, with two players behind to act.

What would you do?

I thought, and concluded if one of these two didn't have me beat, one of the two to act behind did.

Obviously, I was wrong about this decision. One player behind called. The hands at showdown were TT and 98 (flopped middle pair).

This was the only hand I saw where I didn't make either a decent read, or a really bad one that was obviously way wrong once the cards were turned up.

One other oddity: I broke a chair. I got up to use the restroom, came back, leaned real hard against the back of one of their huge chairs, and it gave way before my ass hit the seat. I said the obvious: "Guess I've got to lose some weight."
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(no subject) [Apr. 6th, 2007|03:37 am]
ts4z: poker


My rush ended this week, because I've had two big losing sessions when I stared playing aggressive against opponents that just didn't justify that behavior. Yeah, yeah, I missed all my draws, I got cold-decked, all the dealers suck, whatever, but what I really regret is betting a flush/straight draw against a calling station who would have called with anything, much less the two pair he actually had.

I also managed to find some creative ways to slowplay and check-raise in situations that really don't call for it.

I think it's time to take it a little easier on poker and clean the house or fix a video game or play with the cats or something.

Notes for personal tilt avoidance: iPod good. Well-rested good. Do not play suited aces early. Do not play KJo early. Do not play unsuited connectors on the button.
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(no subject) [Apr. 5th, 2007|07:00 pm]
ts4z: poker

Over last weekend, I was helping out for a fundraiser at bayareajenn's zoo, which was running a carnival game where I was hidden and had nothing to do. I spent a lot of the time reading The Mathematics of Poker. I'm not scared of math, but I haven't thought through everything in the book. I'm currently stuck about halfway through, although I've peeked ahead and seen some explanation on risk calculations that look interesting.

But I have a question about game theory and bluffing. The rule is that I want to bet my strongest hands, call my moderate hands, fold my trash, and bluff my really stinky trash. That makes intuitive sense.

But why would I bluff trash in particular?

Is this only truly applicable to the toy (non-poker) games in MoP? Certainly, I don't usually bluff hands in hold'em unless the river makes a bluff credible, and that's a lot more important than my cards.

To phrase it differently, my understanding is, for the solution of some game, I'm expected to bet the best X% of hands, call with the best Y%, fold with the rest, except the bottom Z% I bluff. Okay, why not bet X%, call Y%, and regardless of the hand I hold, bluff Z% of the remaining time?

Why is the spectrum bet-call-fold-bluff and not bet-call-bluff-fold?

Are these two equivalent anyway?
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Garden City update [Apr. 5th, 2007|02:29 pm]
ts4z: poker

The food seems to have suffered a little. The restaurant is closed. I heard a rumor that it's supposed to open in 90 days. I'd take the over.

Closing the restaurant is bad, but they closed the bar. Some of the dealers in my game commented that this really hosed the bartenders who lost a lot of tips. Plus, the bar stretched last call a little later (1:45 instead of 1:15 or 1:30), so I'm sure it's not doing any good for the poker, either The service bar at the back of the cardroom is now serving walk-up traffic, and even has a couple bar stools.

Tuesday, the 8/16 game list got long and they started a third game. It went for a couple hours and they collapsed back to two.

This is kind of sad, but they're getting four or even five 20/40 games running. I assume this is because they're not must-move.

I checked out Bay 101, and there's only one 8/16 game running there and the list is long. I guess I'll stick to GC for a while longer.

I played some really awful poker the past couple days. I check-raised into the nuts. I played a lot of crap pre-flop in holdem. I made $40 playing stud/8, then lost about $100 because I couldn't stick to my starting hand requirements. I got aggressive and clever in a game that punishes that behavior.

I finally tightened down and made some money back last night, though. If I could have done this a couple hours sooner, it would have been a nice night.
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YACHT-13 [Mar. 25th, 2007|03:26 am]
ts4z: poker

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Saturday was Patrick Milligan's 13th biannual no-limit hold'em tournament, YACHT. Most private poker tournaments don't have 103 players or massage therapists available. I also won the last one, but couldn't manage to repeat. I had a good time, but I'm really upset with how I busted out.

Here are some notes I mostly wrote last night. They're a little fragmented.

Tournament starts at 6:30ish, mostly on time. I have butterflies in my stomach. No one has ever won YACHT back-to-back.

I have 88 in late position. Raised, called (fairly aggressive player who has not yet accumulated chips), I call behind. Flop 245cc. He checks, I bet 400. He tanks and jams for 800. I call. He has AQo and does not improve.

Queasiness in my stomach goes away.

zbignieuu comes to my table. I have KK and make a standard raise of 125 (blinds are 20-40). He jams, I call. He shows 66 and does not improve.

I steal a little and have 2775 at the break, about 2.5 times the average stack.

Dinner break. Eat pizza.

Not long after the break, I have AQh and make a standard raise. Blind (?) player jams, I call. He has KK and I do not improve. I have 1700ish.

My cards run cold and our table breaks. I am angry with my new table. I pick up about 200 in chips here and there and eventually have about 2500, around an average stack. We're down under 50 players.

The tournament is very fast in the middle and I feel short. Queasiness in my stomach returns. I am very unhappy about losing with AQh, but I don't think I was really wrong there, just a little unlucky.

At 150-300, I make a steal attempt from the button with T8c. Big blind says "I'll put you all in." I think and call, figuring I'm getting 3:1 on this raise. I'm wrong, he has KK. I am really upset with this play. Not only could I have gotten away from the hand and waited for something better against an aggressor, but it was an unnecessary steal attempt. I was getting short stacked, but this was not the jam-or-fold hand I should have been looking for.

I'm way pissed at myself. But it's YACHT and I want to play something else. I don't really want to play pot-limit, and I don't want to play 25-50 cent blind limit anything.

I wander around. As usual, cash games have sprung up on the empty tables. I prefer limit poker, but the field likes no-limit. I'm want for a 1-2 NL hold'em game, or a pretty decent-sized limit hold'em game. Both are unavailable; the usual suspects are not around.

The promised $10 lowball game is full and looks to stay that way. I want to play lowball because I haven't, because it's become impossible to find lowball, and because Q and Zimmers are in the game and I can either donate and learn or luck out and tilt them.

I walk out into the lobby, where Chris Kuntz has set up three arcade games on free play. I play Ms. Pac-Man, but it's set on slow mode, and I hate that. But the high score isn't that high, and I take a shot at it.

Howard wanders over and says they're staring a pot-limit-something. That usually means Omaha, and I hate Omaha. I am a huge donor at Omaha. I am trying to avoid it until it stops beating me. I might take it back, but it's just a bad relationship we have.

"Do you want to play poker or do you want to play Pac-Man?" Howard says.

"I want to play Pac-Man," I reply, and Howard wanders off.

I finish and it looks like Howard, Andrei, and others are in a .50-1 mixed-something game. I wrangle up another player or two out of the 25¢-50¢ blind game, including dmorr. This is -EV, but at least the table talk will be better.

We are playing Omaha. Andrei and I both flop a straight with something like KQ9x, but Andrei has the flush redraw. I pay him off on fourth street when he gets there because (1) I am an idiot (2) he is crazy aggressive, albeit not in this situation which is completely obvious to everyone but me (3) I have a boat redraw. I miss and rebuy.

Andrei is killing the game: all his draws come in, and all his bluffs are good. He does both frequently.

We add Mississippi Stud/8 to the mixed game list, which nets me a few bucks. I love this game against new players because it plays itself and it's so frequently misplayed. (Mississippi is a seven-card stud variant. Deal two hole cards and one up card to each player. Round of betting. Deal two up cards to each player. Round of betting. Deal one up card. Round of betting. Deal last card up. Round of betting. If limit, first two rounds are at low limit, last two as higher limit. Four rounds of betting works better for pot-limit games.)

One hand of note that helped me immensely: I limp in with some freaky two-card low and diamond draw for fifty cents, because it's fifty cents. I get raised and there are two callers, so I limp along. The raiser doesn't look like he understands the math of high/low pot-limit, by which I mean I'm going to absoluetly hose this guy if I make my flush in five or anything else I can bet. Sure enough, I make a flush in 5 cards. I check to the raiser who bets the pot ($15), two more callers. I re-pot ($91) and everyone folds. Fine with me, I didn't have a low and that hand wasn't going to get any better.

We do bust a couple people playing Mississippi/8, making the upcoming Omaha round all the more dangerous.

A seat opens in the $10 lowball game with Q and Zimmers. The mixed game is about to kick into Omaha. I take it, but it is now a $15 lowball game ($5 and $10 blinds, $15-to-go) since they wanted to play higher, but not $20. The structure has Q killing on his big blind, every time, because it is only $5 more and doubles the stakes to $30.

Now, I usually wouldn't play a $15 limit game, but it's lowball and this really isn't out of my comfort zone.

Plus, there's a guy in the game who is an incredible action player. He kills a lot of pots, sometimes blind. He draws two or three. All the time.

If you've never played Norcal lowball, well, it's like this. Five card draw, two rounds. The first player in a pot "opens" the pot for whatever-the-limit-is, in our case, $15. He can neither raise nor limp. The next guy can raise. Check-raise not allowed, no cap on number of raises. If you don't bet a 7 after the draw, you lose all action after the draw.

Southern California lowball is different, but equally obsolete.

After the action junkie leaves, I start really killing the game because everything goes my way. Well, except for two hands.

Misplayed: I have 65542 before the draw and elect to stand pat and call a bet from Q, who paired his 4. I think I'm on crack.

Misplayed: I have X8542 against Q and another player and elect to draw two because I figure I'm against a 7. I ask for criticism and receive some from Q, so I guess he didn't have a 7. Anyway, I made a straight 6 and won the hand.

Snow: I have AAAAQ. I play it hard before the draw, stand pat, and bet after the draw and get paid off. I show it and say, "What's a snow?" (A snow is a bluff with a hand that can't possibly win, ideally holding cards making it less likely other players can call. AA222 is a canonical snow hand.)

Suckout: I have AAA3x and open, intending to snow, but I get two callers. I figure I can't snow two, so I draw three. I catch a 246 for the second-best possible hand.

I'm sitting in the 5 seat, zbignieuu is on my left, MPH is on my right. We both check after the draw and MPH checks behind. He shows a 7. Now, betting a 7 is required, or you lose action after the draw. So he wins the pot. But he should have bet here, because if we had had a hand better than a 7, he would have gotten his money back!

I look down and find a two-card draw to a seven. I call Q's kill, because this draw is rough, but it's likely better than what he has. Q raises, and I call because I'm getting better than 3:1. But when I go to draw, I realize I have six cards! Q is nice enough to give me my raises back and just stick me with the blinds. I am unhappy about this but it is far better than I deserve.

I had a wheel, too, in there somewhere.

I think I played okay for a novice, except for two hands that were just inexcusable (six cards and not breaking the 5s). I ended up beating the crap out of this game for the couple hours I was in it.

Calcutta: I did take a break from the lowball to discover that I had the first place horse (Karma), enough to cover all of my purchases, and then some. Plus I had 3, 8, 11, 15, and 19, and a little more from a Syndicate we ran to pick up all the un-bought horses, for a really nice little bonus.

Congratulations to Karma, not just for winning, but for winning _me_ money. I know Bob felt the same way about the last YACHT when I won the Calcutta for him.

As always, thanks to Patrick for putting all this together, to Greg McClendon for hosting, to Paul Zuzelo for the chips and all the hard work...
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(no subject) [Mar. 22nd, 2007|02:04 am]
ts4z: poker

I played 4/8 Stud/8 tonight. In the past, I've concluded I can beat this game if I can just stick to my starting standards (three to a low straight/flush, AAx, or rolled up). I could have saved $20 if I could have thrown out some crap.

Twice, I made flushes on 7. Once I didn't notice until I turned my hand over, I was just thinking "I have a low and will call now." Dammit, I missed a bet!

I remember making this same mistake playing Low Chicago in 1997. I HAVE LEARNED NOTHING IN TEN YEARS

Anyway, I did okay. The time charge in this game should make it unplayable but the players are bad enough to make it nice. (8/16 was more fun, though.)
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(no subject) [Mar. 21st, 2007|01:01 pm]
ts4z: poker

I've been reading The Mathematics of Poker in fits and starts. I'm at the end of the first section, and again I read the bit about the difference between Bayesian statistics and Frequentism.

But I still don't quite understand it.

Classical (and Bayesian) probability says, if I roll this ideal die, there's a 1/6 chance of it coming up 6, because there are six sides and one of them is "six". Is the difference that Frequentists say, oh, I dunno, let's do a bunch of trials and we'll see what happens?
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