Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Everyone Thinks Props Are Terrible

I was thinking about doing a surprise ending here, but really there can be no surprise. The answer is simple; most of them are.

Last night I spent my whole shift playing in one of the best 20/40 games I have been privileged to grace in months. It was old school Garden City 7 guys to the flop for 3 bets a couple times per orbit holy cow that guy was down to the felt now he has 4 racks level good for basically the entire night. A new 20/40 prop who has been a regular donator to the 20 and 40 games for at least a few years (I guess she's running out of money and figures that getting paid for playing is a good way to play more) was seating on my right for most of the night, and this hand basically sums up how I run and how bad she is.

9 handed and somehow it folds to her in the low jack. She open limps, because that's what you do from the low jack when you're terrible. I raise 55 in the next seat, not really sure what I want to have happen. I mean obviously what I want is to flop a set in a 6 handed pot, but all manner of good things could happen here. I could get a massively multiway pot with a hand capable of winning it, or I could end up HU or 3-way against the prop and a blind. Instead the cutoff and button fold, both blinds call (the small blind is another terrible prop, stuck 4 or 5 racks and playing every hand to try to get it one point he called an under the gun raise with 42o, and he hasn't folded his small blind since 2006) and we see the flop 4 way, the generally accepted worst number of players for a small pocket pair.


Nice. I get an easy flop. They all check though, and I follow suit, basically giving up on the hand. Why would I bet here? There is just no way I can take this thing down. Drum roll please.....

AKT-5 with a flush draw

The small blind bets and the big blind fold. Ms Terri-prop calls the bet after some thought and I, holding the verifiable second nuts, raise. Nobody can have AA, KK, or TT. It's not possible. So only QJ beats me. When they both call only, I am literally 100% sure I have the best hand. They simply cannot have QJ.

AKT-5-4 no flush possible

I now move from the 2nd nut to the 3rd nut, but I mean really, who has 23? The small blind checks and terri-prop...donks. I am stunned but muster the courage to raise/fold. This could be a mistake, as it costs more than just calling and I might get that extra bet anyway in the form of a curious overcall from the small blind, but this was a case where I simply refused to believe my hand could be beaten. The small blind folds and our prop friend now 3-bets. I rage fold and she courtesy shows QJcc (terrible players like to show their monsters on the river to prove just how awesomely tricky they were with the hand and how they are the bestest poker players in the world). I just can't believe it.

1. She open limped QJcc in the low jack. This is atrocious.

2. She checked the flop. This is merely bad. She doesn't really know how wide my raising range is here, but a good bit of it is checking back the flop (at least 55-99, maybe even JJ and QQ). But what's more important is that if she donks, I'm folding exactly the hands I would check with, calling with some hands that I'd bet with (like KJs for example), and raising a ton of other stuff (all the sets, pretty much any ace, KTs, QJ). In short if she bets, sometimes the same number of bets go in, and a lot of the time more do. Almost never do less go in, except when I actually have a monster and 3-bet her check/raise.

3. She just called the SBs bet on the turn. This is so bad it hurts my brain. The guy behind you checked the flop of AKT. The turn is a 5. Do you really think he is going to put in an over-call? Really?

4. She just called with the lock down stone cold nuts closing the action 3 ways on the turn. I just don't get it.

5. She donked the river and that's not too bad except I basically owned her. If she checks I bet, she might get a call from the SB, then she can raise. I'll have to call, and she'll win at least 2 bets, maybe a 3rd from the small blind. By donking into an opponent capable of raise/folding, she wins the same or less. And I'm betting every single hand I raised on the turn. Every single one; especially since the only hand I can have is 55.

So just wow. I saw some other terrible stuff from the two props in the game, stuff like calling two bets cold with 42o (already mentioned) and T6s in the SB. It really drives home to me the fact that propping doesn't really make sense financially unless you play above the game you're confident you can beat.


The blindman said...

So are these terrible props mostly managing to break even? That's great news for anyone with a clue.

jesse8888 said...

I think it varies from prop to prop obviously. It is in the casino's best interest to hire props who make just enough to survive. For most this probably means breaking even.