Thursday, October 26, 2006

Twenty Wild Hands

Had a nice, sedate session of Omaha High/Low yesterday. Fifty-odd hands’ worth. Only took an hour (lol). Am playing the limit variety -- for only $0.25/$0.50 -- sort of feeling my way. For all of the flaws in Bill Boston’s book (enumerated mercilessly in my review), his main thesis is inarguable. Show some prudence in your starting hand requirements, as well as in your decisions whether or not to proceed beyond the flop, and you just about can’t help but do okay.

Before that, though, I did stop in on my regular 6-max limit Hold ’em game ($0.50/$1.00) over on Absolute Poker. Talk about night and day. Only spent 15 minutes there, playing 20 wild hands. Had to sit at the Omaha tables for an hour afterwards just to get the heart rate back down in the normal range . . . .

In truth, I’m trying to be cautious with my moneys as I’ve only a limited stack on Absolute. I wrote before about how Poker Source Online deposited $50.00 for me over there, and I’m hoping not to have to add to that. While I’ve been doing fine overall (also pluggin' away still on both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker), on that particular site I’ve found myself up nearly $30 and down as much as $25. Such is the variance one should expect, of course. (I’ve played 460 hands there, all told.) Theoretically speaking, $50 is hardly the correct bankroll to be playing at such a limit. (Simon had an interesting post on his blog recently about “standard deviation” & bankroll matters, if yr innersted.) Currently I’m up about $15 on Absolute. We’ll see how that lasts . . . .

Probably not damn long if I have a few more sessions like the one I played yesterday.

Before posting the big blind, I noticed the player to my left, KamikazeKeith, had just won a fairly large pot having only made top pair with K6-offsuit. I’d also seen him preraise the previous three hands in a row, and so had already developed a certain prejudice about his play before I’d even been dealt a hand.

In Hand No. 1, I was dealt a pair of eights. It folded around to KamikazeKeith in the SB and he raised. I decided to duke it out, and so reraised. He three-betted, and I capped it. The flop came Jd5dJh and he bet out. Having decided he’d missed the flop with ace-rag or king-rag, I raised him again. Again he three-betted, and again I capped. The turn was the 4c and damn if he isn't betting again. Going with my initial read, I reraised, and when he again three-betted me I finally slowed down and just called. The river was the Ac. He bet, I called, and he showed JcTd for trips.

Boom -- first hand and I’m down 7.5 big bets. About as much as one can lose in a hand of limit, practically speaking. But when I witnessed KamikazeKeith again preraise three out of the next four hands, I knew if I was patient I might well get it back.

I’ve written before about these “Moose Malloy”-type players. Moose Malloy is a hulking brute who plays a prominent role in Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely. Chandler’s hero-narrator, Philip Marlowe, describes Malloy as looking “about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.” That was KamikazeKeith, all right. Couldn't miss him. Played every single pot, usually hyperaggressively. And usually lost.

On Hand No. 6, I called his preraise w/KT-offsuit, then after pushing back and forth with him through a board of Ac5dAd8d5s, ended up winning the hand versus his 49-offsuit. I was back to less than $2 down. Two hands later I won a ridiculously-large pot ($21.50 total; $11.50 net) against him with 8hKh versus his pair of fours when the board came 7dKd5h6d4s. I’d played eight hands and was up $8.75. Three hands later I got AJ-offsuit and was up against KamikazeKeith yet again. By the showdown, my trip aces had obliterated his pair of tens. Eleven hands played, and I’m up $13.30.

I should probably leave now, I think. Naw . . . . Of course, the very next hand I lose a big one to him when he turns a flush (after preraising again, this time with 95-suited). Two more crazy beats and I was suddenly back down below my starting stack -- 18 hands played, down $0.70.

On Hand No. 19, I was dealt 3hKh in the small blind. Again KamikazeKeith preraised from the button, and this time three of us called him. The flop came QhTs5h, giving me the second-nut flush draw. It checked around to KamikazeKeith who bet (because that's what he does). I called, then one of the mid-position guys check-raised. This subterfuge helped cause the betting to be capped on this round -- with all four of us still in the hand. The pot was now $12.00.

The turn was a pretty Jh, giving me my flush. I bet out, and more wildness ensued. We capped it again, with three of us still in (including, of course, our friend KamikazeKeith). The pot was up to $25.00. The river was the 6c. I bet, the remaining middle position player surprisingly folded, and KamikazeKeith called me with Ah3c. Hey, Ace-high might still have been good . . . . I end up with a $26.50 pot (giving back $0.50 for the rake), netting $18.50 on the hand.

Twenty wild hands (Click to enlarge)I folded the next one, then ran screaming from the table, having scooped $17.80 in twenty hands. Meanwhile, KamikazeKeith -- with his VP$IP of 100.00% and Aggression Factor of 4.05, according to Poker Tracker -- was $14.55 to the bad.

Of course, had he sucked out a heart there on that river, he’d have been up about $4.00 (and I’d have been down nearly $9.00)!

And limit is supposed to be boring.



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