Friday, November 11, 2011

Insert Title Here

I've got like three things I want to talk about in this post, so I'm going to write them down in a list so I won't forget to talk about all of them when I invariably go off on a random tangent and also because I like lists. And three just became 4:

1. I took a piece of howmany yesterday in a 3/6 mix game
2. I believe I still have a medical condition
3. Holy shit everyone plays bad
4. Limit hold 'em is a flawed game

First things first, a 300/600 HET game went for some ungodly reason yesterday at my place of employment, and as soon as it did MikeL and I were texting Death Donkey and howmany to alert them to the existence of such superb action. As we're doing this MikeL says absently to the table "anybody want 10% of (him)" and my hand shot instantly into the air. My boss looked at me like I had two heads, since of all the young 40/80 props I have decidedly the least gambool in me (this is something Danielle finds hard to believe, since from her POV I have a dangerously large amount of gambool), but nonetheless I booked the 10% and hoped the game wouldn't get kicked up too big too fast. You see, Mike explained that whenever a game like that goes the stakes have always been reached via compromise and invariably somebody wants to kick it up. One player in particular, he assured me, would ask to kick up the stakes every 2 to 3 hands, and once managed to turn such a 300/600 game into "700/1400 it was just completely absurd". Anyway I took 10% and for my efforts lost....well, quite a bit. Moving right along.

I used to think I had this, but now I am not so sure. Right now my basic symptoms are "my hips really ache whenever I am sitting" which to be honest is a royal pain the ass. This is neither interesting or important, but it does make me sad because I am almost 30 and my body is already showing signs of deterioration. No wonder professional athletes are over the hill at 32; I am a professional ass sitter and I'm starting to have problems in my 20s!

A player in my game who shall remain nameless played both of these hands today, one at 20/40 and the other at 40/80. I'll run the 40 hand first, because it is less atrocious and perhaps more hilarious. It folds to him on the button with me in the big blind, so we see a flop of:


I check/raise him because I have Q9 and he just calls. The turn pairs the queen and he calls. The river brings a third queen, giving me quads with a valid kicker, which isn't really interesting until I bet and he...raises! I pause for a second and then of course 3-bet, thinking that even against this guy we have a shot at the jackpot because what hand other than 55 makes any sense whatsoever? He calls instantly and says "queen is good" and shows me....Aces. You know what, in retrospect he actually didn't play this hand very badly but damn it we have to hit the jackpot eventually....anyway, now to the real beaut.

The game is 20/40 and I open somewhere in the middle. A weak/tight female employee calls behind me and villain calls the big blind. The flop comes:


He checks, I bet, she raises. Let's pause the action right there? What does she have here? Any guesses from the audience? Time's up the answer is a medium pair, most likely 8s or 9s but perhaps as big as tens or maybe 5s. That's what she has, and that's all there is to it, and since I have ATcc I'm going to take one off, miss, and fold quietly. But wait, the big blind has something to say about that plan, and it sounds like he doesn't like it. He 3 bets! I say to myself "huh, this ought to be good I wonder if he knows what she has" and fold quietly, she calls, and we see a turn of:


And it...checks through. Wow, OK. River:


Big blind bets, she calls, and he shows...AK. It's OK, go back and look at the action again if you need to, I'll wait. As she's mucking I turn to the victim and say "what'd you have, like pocket 9s" and she looks at me without a hint of sarcasm and says "No, no, pocket tens" as if to say "learn how to read hands you idiot." I mean, really...this happened.

I just remembered another hand villain played where basically the board came JJ8-A after I had 3-bet him from the small blind with one other player in. To make a long story very short he raised me on the turn with exactly an 8, basically turning his hand into a bluff, which is just so ridiculous I don't even know what to say...anyway, I play with this guy every day and it is glorious.

The last point really isn't that interesting except in that it basically explains why limit hold 'em is so popular and frustrating all at the same time; the game is just silly because you can play a hand "terribly" and only make one ftop mistake the entire way. I was thinking about a hand recently in which I had aces and my opponent held T7s. I raised a limper and he called behind me, the blinds called and we saw a flop 5 ways. I'm not going to do a stove calculation but let's just assume that he has less than 20% equity here and that he's not going to make up for what he's missing with position (while he has the best absolute position his relative position stinks in this case, since I'm going to be driving the action with AA and he's immediately after on a lot of flops its going to be one bet to him with three players having a chance to check/raise...anyway). He flopped a "pear" and then the silliness started to happen. The board is something pretty dry, like maybe KT3r or some such, and I bet and he called. This call is 100% correct from an FTOP perspective, since there are now 11 bets in the pot and he has 5 outs to crack my hand. Now the small blind calls, the big blind folds and the limper check/raises. I 3-bet immediately, putting the 16th and 17th small bets into the pot, giving him immediate odds of 17:2 to call, which he takes gladly. Once again, his call is not a mistake. The small blind abandons ship and the limper calls, leaving us with a 10 big bet pot on the turn, which is a banana, something like a rainbow 5. The limper checks, I bet, and again he calls, this time getting the same 11:1 he received on my initial flop bet for his efforts. The limper hems and haws and eventually calls, and of course we all know what happens because I know what the guy has....he binks two pair on the river, doesn't even raise me, and drags a $600 20/40 pot. Did I make money every time he called a bet? Yes. Did he make a single mistake the entire hand, other than calling preflop (which as discussed is a VERY small mistake, playing a 5 handed pot with a suited two gapper on the button) and not raising the river? Nope. He played the flop and turn perfectly against me. Even putting 3 bets into a 17 bet pot would have been acceptable, given that he would more than make up for the missing little bit of equity in implied odds. So to make a long story short this guy pushed the call button 5 times in this hand and pretty much played it "just fine", which is both extremely frustrating (for me) and extremely good (in that it keeps fish from going broke too quickly).

OK that's all I've got have a great weekend.


armor35 said...

So the guy in the T7 hand (or the AA hand) did not make any mistake. But you did not make any mistake either. However, poker is a zero sum game so one of you had to made a mistake. Who was it ?

Unknown said...

actually, to answer myself (after I referred to the Wiki link of the FTOP) - I guess this is due to "implicit collusion". Or fish "schooling" effect

jesse8888 said...

Yeah, it can be a little tricky the first few times you think about it. I still remember the day I realized the difference between "inducing a mistake" and "making money on a bet". That was an aha! moment for sure.

armor35 said...

So maybe you explain your way of understanding the difference between the two ? Just in case :)