Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It’s a Gift

'It's a Gift' (1934) starring W.C. FieldsStill primarily sticking with limit hold’em. Have thoughts during the day -- when not playing poker -- about other games, tournaments, higher stakes, new challenges. But those thoughts all tend to evaporate when I log on to squeeze in the usually brief session I try to play each day.

Of course, being a recreational player makes it tough to pursue loftier goals. Or any goals, really, other than just finding something enjoyable and sticking with it. And maybe making a little cabbage, too.

The fact that I’m winning (modestly -- hovering under 2 big bets per 100 hands) also makes it less enticing to do anything differently. Will have to push just a little here over the next week to maintain my Silver Star over at PokerStars, which now only requires 1,200 base FPPs per month. I want to do that, as I have now gotten into the routine of taking the $50 whenever I reach 5,000 FPPs -- perhaps not the best investment of the points, but one that makes sense for someone like me who just about only plays cash games and isn’t looking to parlay a couple of freerolls into the Sunday Million.

Continue to encounter all varieties of players at $0.50/$1.00, including some spectacularly bad ones. Had a fairly typical example at my six-handed LHE table yesterday limping every single pot, then calling every street until the river where he’d fold unless he happened to make a pair. Was looking in PokerTracker after and saw how in over 100 hands he’d voluntarily put money in the pot 87.5% of the time, only raised preflop twice (pocket aces both times), won only 33.33% of his showdowns, etc. Fairly easy to spot these guys, against whom one simply has to wait for a hand, then value bet.

Meanwhile, I had a couple of other players at the same table who had bought in for $100 each. (Was writing about stack sizes in limit hold’em a couple of weeks ago.) One was up a bit, one was down. But I was watching both warily, operating according to the standard prejudice that their big stacks might suggest they were better than average players.

Now that I think about it, while a lot of times I just hop onto the first open table -- reckless, I know -- when given a choice I’ll pick the table with more small stacks, again thanks to this same prejudice. Didn’t do that yesterday, obviously.

In any event, the one guy who had bought in for $100 who was down about ten bucks or so was sitting on my immediate left. He seemed to be playing very few pots. As a result, I hadn’t really noticed what he’d been showing down, so I didn’t have much idea about him when I picked up JdQc in the big blind. It folded to the cutoff -- a loose-passive type -- who called, the button folded, and MrHundy completed in the small blind. I might have raised here, but I was playing this one passively myself, and so checked my option.

Flop came As8d5c. MrHundy checked, I’m not interested at all and check, and the cutoff also checks. Turn is the Kd, and again we all check. River the Th. How about that? Easy game. MrHundy checks, I bet, the cutoff thinks a bit and calls, and MrHundy also takes a moment before calling. I show my Broadway to win the small pot. The cutoff had Td9d -- middle pair and a busted flush draw.

What did MrHundy have? AhAc.

Will have to think of a name for this kind of hand -- sort of the opposite of a “So It Goes Hand,” really. A hand in which you make no mistakes, but also exert little or no effort, and surprisingly win thanks to someone else’s bungling. You know, the kind of hand where you realize when the pot is pushed your way that you Got It For Taking up space....

Oh, right. There’s already a name for that.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Here's the funny thing. I look for big stacks. I love huge stacks in Pot LImit Omaha and No Limit Hold Em. Why? Think about it. You have to take huge risks to build a huge stack, especially in today's nitty society, unless you're running like a God. And that means they're making bad plays and have gotten lucky. I can't tell you how many times I've sat down at a huge stack and watched him give away all his money, sometimes to me.

As with any poker tip, this isn't always true, but more often than not, if a player has more than 200 BBs at a table, he's kind of a donk, and 300 or above surely means that.

3/25/2009 12:32 PM  
Blogger Greylocks said...

$50 for 5000 fpp is not a bad deal, but you might do better putting those points into FPP satellites, then unregistering from the target tournament and either selling the T$ or using them to enter something you might actually have a chance in, like an $11 PLO SnG.

The best FPP sat for the money is the 210-point 2-table turbo sit-and-go. It pays 6 $11 entries into what used to be the Sunday $100k and is now the Sunday $250k. Even if you only "break even" playing in these things. you should finish in the money 6 times (on average) for every 4200 points you invest (20 x 210), which is an EV of T$66. And I'm pretty sure you're a better player than that.

The basic strategy for these 210-ers is wait for a spot to move in, then..uh...move in. The blinds go up too fast to play them much any other way. If you're lucky enough to have 6000+ chips at some point, stop playing hands, because that's almost always enough to finish in the top six.

3/26/2009 6:55 PM  

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