Monday, October 26, 2009

Online Poker at Sixes and Sevens

At Sixes and SevensI continue to play mostly on PokerStars, from which I’ve had zero trouble when it comes to cashing out a chunk every now and then (via eCheck). Currently have some cabbage on both Full Tilt Poker and Bodog as well. Did take out a small chunk Full Tilt several months back (via paper check), but haven’t cashed out from Bodog in over a year, I think.

Have started thinking more and more about December 1 -- the date the final regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 are required to be implemented by banks (or “designated payment systems”). Those finalized regs suggest cashing out will not be a problem even after that date, but that depositing will. I have seen reports here and there that a few banks have sent notices to their customers regarding their intention to start complying with the UIGEA come December and block transactions with online gambling sites. Haven’t received any such notice from my bank (yet).

Efforts have been made to delay the UIGEA’s implementation, including the introduction of legislation (Barney Frank’s bills in the House, Robert Menendez’s in the Senate) as well as an appeal to the feds to use their authority under something called the Administrative Procedure Act and simply put implementation off a year in order to give these other bills a chance to be heard. There’s really no way of predicting whether or not such a last-minute delay could happen -- but time is running out.

Meanwhile, I play on. Had a strange hand of pot-limit Omaha ($25 buy-in, 6-max.) last week I thought I’d share, not so much for the sake of talking strategy -- although there’s a little of that to consider -- but mainly because of the statistical improbability the hand ended up demonstrating.

The hand came up during a semi-rough stretch for yr humble gumshoe, which may partially explain the seeming impatience I showed. After having lost a bit elsewhere, I had arrived at this particular table about a half-hour before, and so had played around 25-30 hands with this same group. One of my opponents -- LtBradshaw -- I had played with before and considered to be an essentially solid player who tended to avoid nonstandard moves. He had been doing well at this particular table, and had $55.15 when the hand started. Another player -- RockyRococo -- I had never played with before. Rocky had lost one buy-in under questionable circumstances, was doing a lot of calling out of position and other not-so-great moves, and thus seemed from the small sample to be a much less tutored player. At the start of this hand he had $23.45. I had $23.35.

The hands I had played at this table had been entirely uneventful, aside from Rocky’s having lost that buy in somewhere along the way. (Incidentally, he didn’t lose it to LtBradshaw). The hand began with the UTG player limping in, then LtBradshaw (UTG+1) raising the pot to $1.10. It folded back to RockyRococo in the small blind who reraised to $3.25. The action was on me in the big blind, where I had been dealt 5d7h8h6d. As I say, I was down a bit and wanted to play my double-suited rundown. Could’ve reraised, I suppose, but I figured my hand played well against multiple opponents and so I just called the extra three bucks.

The UTG player folded, then LtBradshaw repotted it to $13.25. (“Why, hello there, aces,” thought I.) RockyRococo quickly called, leaving himself just about ten bucks behind. Calling seemed silly here -- I, too, would be committing over half my stack -- and as I say, I was feeling a bit stubborn. Also, now I figured I was up against aces and kings (or even better, aces and aces), which made my hand seem even more playable. So I pushed my stack all in, and both my opponents quickly called, creating a total pot of just over 67 bucks.

Even though we were all in, the cards were not flipped over as I suppose one of my opponents had removed the check mark from the “Show Hole Cards When All-In” option in the lobby. So I had no idea what they held as the community cards were dealt.

The flop came 6hJs7c, which delighted me -- two pair, and an open-ender. Not bad at all. The turn was the Qd, which didn’t look so good, and when the river brought the Kc I assumed I was cooked. The cards were flipped over. RockyRococo somewhat surprisingly turned over 3s2d6s7d. He and I both ended the hand with two pair. And LtBradshaw? 6cTc9s7s! (Wrong about them aces, I was.) He’d backed into a straight and took the pot.

All three of us held sixes and sevens, and the case six and case seven had come on the flop. I imagine the other two liked the flop, too, although for Rocky it was terrible, leaving him just 7% to win the hand. And by the end, I’ll bet LtBradshaw didn’t care to see those three overcards like that, but they'd ensured him the pot.

By the way, that phrase “at sixes and sevens” refers to a confusing situation, a world out of whack. (Read more here.) The fact that we’d all three gotten it all in before the flop with those hands was a bit out of whack, for sure, although as I suggest, I think there was something in the dynamic of two reasonably sound players (me and LtBradshaw) and one apparently loose cannon (Rocky) that helped cause that to happen.

’Cos weird stuff can occur if you get the right (or wrong) combination of people interacting with each other. Like the passage of some bizarre, unfocused law against transferring money from online gambling sites. Or the delay of such a law’s implementation. One never knows.

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Anonymous Stef said...

6's and 7's...what a beaut!

10/26/2009 10:33 PM  

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