Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hard Candy, Talking Bananas, Moby Dick, and the WSOP

Happy Halloween, all.

Had to make a quick run to the grocery store this afternoon to pick up candy for the trick-or-treaters, and unfortunately the shelves were nearly bare. Normally I am careful about buying candy that I like, anticipating the possibility that we won’t have enough visitors to deplete the supply. It’s a simple, clear cut, long-term EV strategy.

But this time I was stuck picking up a lot of suckers, hard candy, and sour-flavored varieties -- in other words, less chocolate -- so now I’m hoping we have more kids come around than usual so I can unload it all. But darkness is already starting to fall and there’s a big bowl full of the stuff sitting by the door.

The problem was in the planning, it’s clear. Kind of makes me think a little bit about a hand from Day 7 of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event which I remembered from the summer and watched again on ESPN a couple of nights ago. It was the one that saw the Argentinian Fabian Ortiz get knocked out in 17th place, with J.C. Tran the one claiming the last of his stack.

Ortiz was a player I hadn’t necessarily known too much about this summer, but then I saw him again not too long after the WSOP when in Lima, Peru at the Latin American Poker Tour Main Event that took place there a couple of weeks later. In fact, I’d end up following him a bit while covering that event for the PokerStars blog, including writing a post in which I found myself making an elaborate reference Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. If you’re curious about how something like that happened, follow and read.

Ortiz is a good player and had a solid run to make it to 17th, although his bustout hand wasn’t necessarily his finest moment. Down to just 15 big blinds or so, he chose to make a small early-position raise with A-Q and got called by Tran playing from the big blind. Then the hand became one of those one-thing-led-to-another type situations that saw Ortiz making a suspect-looking shove all in on the river in an effort to win without having connected with the board, and Tran correctly reading the play to call him with second pair.

Aaron Hendrix wrote about the Ortiz hand and one other from Day 7 in a post today on Learn.PokerNews, breaking down it all more thoroughly while showing how the hand demonstrated a potential consequence of not thinking ahead with one’s play. Click and read if you’re curious.

Okay... during the time I’ve been writing we’ve had a few more callers, including a cowboy, a few princesses, and one large talking banana. I don’t want to be overconfident, but I might be able to get rid of all of this candy before we’re through.

Of course, I could just go all in with the next visitor, after which it would necessarily be lights out at chez Shamus.

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