Monday, November 15, 2010

Jesse Plays Triple Draw; Hilarity Ensues

My life has become a lot less interesting since I quit playing live poker 2 weeks ago. Literally hours will go by where the only words I speak are aimed at one of my pets. And they usually don't listen to me (for the record our household contains two dogs, a blind cat, and a snake...perhaps I can write a post about them someday). Today was another frustrating day online, with me shooting out of the gate like a rocket ship (up 120 bets, 80 of them in the course of 250 hands, by 11am), and then slowly but surely coasting back down to Earth until a few minutes ago when I finally closed up shop and checked my results, realizing that for the day I was up nine (9) bets total. Things have been going better lately in terms of winning at 3/6, and today I was actually permitted to win a small sum at 5/T (despite losing a THIRTY FIVE bet pot when a guy spiked his set of jacks on the turn to crack my kings....the reason the pot got so large is that since we were still five handed on the turn I decided to put in a 3 bet...he obviously capped it up with the nuts and at that point I realized I was getting like 50% more than the price I needed to draw at my own 2 outter. Then the dude with jacks promptly got rivered).

Where was I? Ah yes, life being boring. So in order to combat this boringness I went to the Bike on Friday night because Bellatrix promised me there would be 3/6 mixed game with the 2p2 Poker Cast guys. So I rolled up around 4pm and proceeded with my phony pro routine that the Big Potato taught me a few weeks back at the Bike. That day he just showed up, pressed a few palms, settled a few debts, and boom was out the door to Commerce where he assured me he did the same thing. You see it's kind of (gasp) relaxing to be at a casino and not feel pressure to get into a game and get action. This was me at the Bike on Friday. I hung out with the Potato (again, at the casino, not making the gambool), talked to Babar's boy (who doesn't have a nickname yet) from Vegas and even hung out with Joker for a little while waiting for Bellatrix to show up and introduce me to the pokercast guys who were pretty obviously hanging out by the bar but I mean I didn't know a single one of them so what am I gonna do just roll up and be like "Hi my name is Jesse"? Well I guess I could...eventually Joker and I walk over there after he owns some poor schmuck in the 20/40 game with 6s on like a QJ94-K board or some such absurdity where he turned his hand into a bluff on the river and he introduces me to the guys because he's fucking Joker he knows fucking e'rybody. The crew has created started a 7-game 3/6 mix with the following rotation:

Triple Draw
211 Poker (actually spread at the Bike I shit you not)
2nd Best Hold 'Em (I have developed a theory of how to crush this game)
Omaha 8
$20 PLO flips

This wasn't the exactly order, but it was something like that and the game had just started up so I sauntered into a seat and was immediately dealt in for what was to be the next to last hand of triple draw. Now keep in mind I didn't know any of these guys and was still shaking hands getting names and stuff when I get dealt my first hand and behold:


If you're not familiar with triple draw, the idea is to make the worst 5 card poker hand. It's called deuce to seven triple draw because the worst hand you can make (and therefore the best hand in this game) is 75432. You get three draws to make your hand, and there are four rounds of betting with the the amount doubling for rounds 3 and 4 (just like limit hold 'em). Anyway, that hand I've got there is a verifiable monster. I stick in a raise and some action happens, and Joker is still hanging out behind me on sweat patrol and audibly gasps when he sees me draw the 6 to make a pat 76542 after a single draw. I bet and to be honest I don't remember the action, all I know is that it gets headsup between me and one of the poker cast bigwig guys who drew four on the last round (obviously he's just having some fun). I pat, he draws like 3 more or something absurd, and I then we go 7 bets on the turn. Seven. After he puts in the 4 bet he says "you're really not gonna like this", and after he 6 bets I almost lose my nerve but stick in the 7 bet and he just calls. We both "pat the river" obviously and he calls my last bet and shows that he actually made a smoothish 8 after two draws of 4 and 3 cards. Remember, this is my first hand at the table (my chips were delivered while the cards were in the air) and I realize, rather embarrassed, that my hands are shaking as I try to stack up the mountain of $1 chips in front of me.

All in all there were many good times over the next three hours. We were right by the bar and most of the table was drinking heavily (the poker cast crew had a tab and was paying for everything....believe it or not I am still successfully on the no drinking plan since week 1 of the NFL season) and everyone was slinging chips into the pot as if you could buy more racks for only $100 a piece. It was actually a struggle for me to play enough hands not to look like a nit (as a former live grinder I have an incredible ability to sit at a casino and pass on hands....most of these guys were, I believe, internet players), but I managed sort of OK. I got into a few pots I definitely shouldn't have, made some questionable call downs (actually saying to Bellatrix at one point "OK, I'll just give you $12) and in general ran like ass after my initial win. I did win one of the $20 PLO flips, but despite that and the monster pot I already dragged, I still eventually left the game down about a rack (the round of "no folding preflop" omaha 8 or better put a pretty big dent in my stack). It was well worth it, though, because I formulated my theory of 2nd best hold 'em which I am about to share with all of you.

First, the rules for those of you that don't know are simple. After river betting completes, everyone turns over his/her cards and the pot is pushed to the second best hand (you have to make your best hand if you have a 1 card flush you can't decide not to play it and instead claim 3 high because then you'd need showdown order to determine who won and since this game is only ever played by drunken professional poker players that would just be unacceptable). That's all there is to it. The catch is that NOBODY knows what they are doing. At all. My theory used to be to try to get the pot heads up and make the nut low, and that worked out OK for me for a while, but my new theory is much much simpler. Call all bets (or even put in some raises if you want) with any cards that don't flop a hand you'd be happy about in real hold 'em. Proceed to the river, and then check/raise. People will throw their hands up in the air, be extremely confused, and generally do something silly like throw their hand away. Really at that point so long as you don't have like top pair or something, it's pretty random who's going to win the hand (so long as there are like 4+ people getting to the river, like in this game), and if you knock a few people out, your chances probably go up tremendously. So that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

And and update on, you know, playing poker online for a's going about as well as could be expected, which leaves me making really not enough money. Things had sort of turned around at 3/6 this morning, but this afternoon I blew back a bunch of bets and am sitting at a winrate in the game of .4 bets per 100. I'm cruising along at 2/4 at 1.5 bets per 100, and 5/T I still only have 1700 hands (the game doesn't go as often) and have lost 17 bets. Overall I've played 30,900 hands, and HEM reports that it's taken me about 95 hours to do so (this is a little misleading, as it records the time from when I fire up my first table until the time I close my last there are a few minutes on the front and back of each session where really not much is going on). That means I'm playing over 300 hands per hour, which I guess is good. Honestly I don't really know. The most terrifying number is that I have paid $3200 in rake, or roughly $10 per 100 hands. At the end of the day, it's working out that about half of my winnings are coming from my 27% rakeback. I'm enjoying myself so far, but for this to work as a long term solution I really am going to have to beat bigger games.


bellatrix78 said...

That 2-11 poker is pretty boring, since you just have to play very tight. Basically fold everything that isn't a pair+3flush or trips if you're not in the BB or BTN. Why would you go for 2 in your hand, when you have the option to play 3? :)

I ran bad, too - but only at flips :). Last pot we did a 47$ flip, which I lost and therefore ended down the night 35$. You should learn some draw games, they are fun. Only sad thing is when Mat Sklansky doesn't play TD 2-7 or Badugi :(

Eric said...

What? No Badugaha?

Alan Bostick said...

Badugaha is a kids' game. Real degens play Chowaholdugi.

bravos1 said...

seriously.. the last time you had a drink was when you went out w/ myself and captain at BJs?