Chance, Though Not the Only Element of the Franklin Circuit Court, Is the Element Which Defines Its Essence
“Disappointed” was the word the Poker Players Alliance used in its response to yesterday’s order. The PPA is disappointed in the way the order dismisses the notion that poker is a skill-based game. The PPA is also disappointed in other implications of the ruling, saying it has “set a dangerous precedent for censorship on the Internet.” A lot is up in the air at the moment, it seems. Hard to tell how much of this here ruling is even enforceable (never mind constitutional). I suppose we’ll find out in the coming weeks.
I’d probably use other words, too. Outraged. Appalled. Dismayed. Others come to mind as well.
The milder “disappointed” I’ll reserve to describe my play in yesterday’s LeTune Challenge, another one of those blogger tourneys to which I was fortunate enough to be invited. This one was hosted by RakeBrain, and 30-plus bloggers were recruited to play a “HA” (pot-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha) tourney over on Full Tilt Poker.
Got to play a bit with my bud Spaceman against whom I was also pitted in that Run Good Challenge last month. After getting moved to his table, he immediately commented that I probably liked the fact that PLO was in the mix. I said something facetious about the glass being half-empty.
The fact is, I don’t really like PLO tourneys that much. The game’s too volatile, really, for tournament play. At least it feels that way to me. Was recently listening to Jeff Hwang talking about the same subject on the latest episode of Howard Schwartz’s Gamblers Book Club podcast. Hwang is the author of the terrific Pot-Limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy and has also started contributing strategy columns on PLO to Card Player. When Schwartz asked Hwang about his tourney record, Hwang said he mainly played cash games, and that he felt PLO wasn’t a game that was very well suited for tourneys.
A debatable issue, I suppose. All I know is, I’m much more comfortable playing PLO in a ring game than in a tourney.
I played okay for the first hour or so. I’d built up to around 2,000, then had a hiccup of a hand versus PokerPeaker. We were playing hold’em. It folded to my button, I raised with A-7 offsuit, then PokerPeaker repopped it from the small blind. After his reraise, he had less than 300 chips behind, and I rashly put him all in only to see his Big Slick. An ace and king both flopped, and I’d stupidly thrown away a third of my stack.
One orbit later we were still playing hold’em. I was on the button again with pocket eights and again open-raised. This time LawChica repopped it from the big blind, and I had no choice but to go with it. When LawChica also turned over A-K, I was starting to feel a little snake-bitten, but my eights held up and I was back in bidness.
Made it to the first break with 2,434, putting me 11th of the 19 remaining. Held steady for awhile, then completely mangled a PLO hand to knock me back down to about 1,000. Made at least three mistakes on the hand, maybe four. This, frankly, is the hand where I’d most readily use the word “disappointed.” It is also a hand that proves beyond doubt that the Franklin Circuit Court is dead wrong when it says “no matter how skillful or cunning the player, who wins and who loses is determined by the hands the players hold.”
I had 2,334 when the hand began. It was folded to me in the cutoff where I had been dealt . First mistake was even playing this weak-ass cheese. I was vaguely influenced by the fact that Fuel55, sitting on my left, was AWOL, and so I essentially had the button if I wanted it. So I limped for 120. That was the second mistake, I think. Shoulda raised if I’m playing at all there.
So me and both blinds -- LawChica and PokerPeaker -- see the flop come . They both check, and I bet the pot with my top two pair. They both call, and I even say out loud “straight draw.” Another trey comes on the turn, and they both check again. I’m frozen, and make my third mistake of the hand by checking as well. I have to bet there if I’m going to proceed at all in this hand.
The river brings the , and both check again. Mesmerized by the pair on board, I somehow forget about the straight draws and make a horrible bet of 950 (about two-thirds the pot). Both LawChica and PokerPeaker call, and both show 10-9-x-x to split the booty.
Just terrible, that bluff. Bet just the right amount to solicit the calls. But so it goes. I pick up A-A-x-x single-suited soon after and push, and double up a just-arrived Fuel55. Left with less than 500, I push again with K-Q-J-7. This time LawChica has the aces, and when an ace flops I’m out the door in 16th.
Thanks again to RakeBrain for the invite! Would’ve liked to have had that one hand back, but to be honest I think my chances were less than favorable getting to the top four paying spots anyhow.
Unless, of course, as the Commonwealth of Kentucky insists, “Chance, though not the only element of a game of poker, is the element which defines its essence.” If that were true, well then, we all could win!