Friday, March 07, 2014

Talking Ice, Power, and Limit Hold’em

Had a decent-sized ice storm hit us starting before dawn today with the cold temps and freezing precipitation lasting into the early afternoon.

We woke up to no power and as I write here just after dinner time we’re still without, although after successfully cranking up our generator (a must for farm living) we’re enjoying a window of a few hours of power before bedtime. That pic is of two of our barn cats, Lily and Moe, who like Vera and myself figured out how to make do.

With little time to write I just wanted to point folks to Nolan Dalla’s latest piece on his personal blog, one that focuses on limit hold’em and how it was once all the rage in poker rooms prior to the “boom” and now finds itself a threatened game not unlike five-card draw and other rarely spread variants.

Dalla titles his post provocatively -- indeed, pretty much everything he posts on his blog is provocative -- calling it “Mason Malmuth Was Right (Limit vs. No-Limit Hold’em).” The title is referring back to Malmuth’s prediction way back in the early 1990s that no-limit hold’em had little chance of catching on, something he had written in a volume of his Poker Essays.

I actually wrote a little something last summer about this very same passage in Malmuth’s book, coming in a chapter titled “The Future of Poker.” It’s one of those predictions that reads much, much differently from our perspective, of course, and Dalla offers some reasonable justification both for Malmuth’s position back then and for his underlying arguments about no-limit hold’em actually still being valid despite the fact that NLHE has not only lasted but has grown into the single most popular variant of poker played for the last several years.

I can’t delve into the entire discussion just now, but you can read what Dalla has to say and decide for yourself what you think about the points he makes. I will say that as a LHE player myself, I’ve always felt similarly to Dalla that the game is more fun than NLHE, and in fact to me provides a lot more action in the form of constant decisions and the higher percentage of hands played.

I even wrote a kind of defense of LHE for Learn.PokerNews some time back called “Limit Hold’em Isn’t Always Like Watching Paint Dry” in which I made a couple of the same points Dalla does about why LHE is fun, perhaps especially so for beginners and/or recreational players.

Anyhow, follow those links for more Friday evening reading. Meanwhile, I’m going to go try to enjoy a couple more hours’ worth of power here before we shut it down for the night. Might go check on the cats one more time, too, although I’m sure they’re doing fine.

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