Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Random Poker Thoughts

Well, Hammer Wife really needed to use the computer to plan for our upcoming week at the beach, but I went ahead and registered for the WWdN anyways. Then even before it started it was clear that I really didn't have time to play last night. So I played like a true donkey, basically offering up my chips with my poorly-timed allin reraises with nothing to whoever was ready to step up to be the first to call me down. I actually managed to last maybe 15 or 20 minutes, and somehow once again I was beaten to the punch by not one but two other jackasses players who somehow managed to sneak out of the tournament literally just seconds before I did. For the life of me I can't remember who it was who called my hoy on the river with Kx on a board of AKQxx, but hey more power to ya, you got me there.

One props I will give was to Hacker59, who played his usual aggressive game, and showed me something when he hoy-raised me on a flop of 567 rainbow, and I folded my AJ, only to have Hacker show his KJ. Nice play, Hacker. That one went straight into the notes. I should sell those things someday, I really should. Some enterprising blogger out there would be willing to pay me something for notes on how all of you play, wouldn't they? There's got to be someone. Which bloggers would be most apt to pay for that list? Hmmmm. Well it's got to be one of the guys who plays in most of these blogger tournaments, to make it worth their while. And they'd have to have some kind of a bankroll, because my notes ain't gonna come cheap. Let's see....

Iakaris really loves the blogger events. He seems to make it to most of the Hoys, WWdNs, Mookies and WWdN Nots. And he loves his fellow bloggers, and would really enjoy consistently winning in these blogger events. And, the guy is a doctor, so you know he has the bank. Iak is a definite possibility.

Smokkee is another potential candidate. I don't actually know the size of Smokkee's poker bankroll, but let's just say that I've seen him win $3500 by bubbling in an event, and not even seem to care. Thirty Five Hundred Dollars. The guy didn't even flinch. He was pure pissed at bubbling, and didn't even seem to care about the dollars. 3500 of them. So the guy's gotta have the bank. And for a guy who brings the pain in terms of smack chat as much as Smokkee, you know he would get great use out of notes on how all the other bloggers play.

I suppose you can never really count out Waffles when you're dealing with something like this. I mean, I never know where his bankroll is at, what with the constant playing of 42o and the truly unbridled aggression at other times, so I guess I can't say whether he'd be able to pay what I would charge for my complete set of blogger notes. But when you take shit-talking to an art form, those notes can always come in handy and would provide a constant opportunity to take advantage of players' weaknesses and really get some good comments in.

Anyways, there are lots of potential suitors out there, so one never knows when I may decide to leave the game forever, and make some money on my way out by setting someone up to beat up on the bloggers for ever more.

OK a few more quick items today. Felicia has a great post about the various forms of poker that are commonly played. Her comments on each of the games, and her thoughts about them and the differences between them, are valuable, spot-on, and for the most part very interesting if you're someone who is into variations other than just Holdem. And, if I can weigh in with my commentary here, I am going to agree with Felicia and the many other poker pros out there who say that, if you truly want to take your poker game to the next level and be generally regarded as a top player of the game of poker, you ought to play more than just Holdem, or more than just any one variant of the game. Not to mention how much fun a changeup can be from your usual Holdem games, all the time.

Lastly, CJ posted a comment to my post yesterday that I thought gave rise to an interesting distinction. I had said in yesterday's entry how I thought that the two plays that cost me my chips in the Hoy tournament from Monday night were both negative EV plays. I went out of my way not to call these "bad" poker plays, because frankly I don't necessarily think they were. But I do think they were -EV plays over the long term. CJ's comment essentially stated that he thought both plays made sense, and why would I call them bad plays. The answer is that I did not call them bad plays, and I don't regard them as such. Just negative EV plays, which I'm going to stick with, in particular with respect to the first play that was made against me. Basically, a player in MP raised it up 3x preflop, and then I reraised allin preflop from LP with pocket 9s. This player than called my allin reraise with AQo. And promptly hit two Queens on the board and took significant chippage from me. CJ's comment was that the player was short-stacked, and basically already had a significant portion of his stack invested in the hand when I reraised preflop, such that AQ was a perfectly acceptable push hand given this player's low M. I agree. That's why I'm not calling it a "bad play". Maybe it was the right play, given this player's M. But, calling preflop allins from a guy like me who almost never goes allin with a big stack with a hand that is worse than AQ. There is almost nothing that player could have put me on that would have his AQ in the lead. Maybe he was ok pushing due to a low M with a hand like AQ. But that is a desperate push. It's based on having a low M, not on being a good situational play.

To use an extreme example, imagine that player had 1000 chips remaining, was holding pocket Queens, and raised a pot from the BB of 200 up to 900 from first position. Then imagine if 6 other players all call this 4.5x raise, such that 7 players total are seeing the flop. The flop then comes AAK. Our first player basically knows he is going to lose here. With 6 callers of his preflop raise, at least one of them if not several are holding an Ace of some kind, and the rest are probably holding at least a King. His QQ is way, way behind here and likely drawing to just two outs. Nonetheless, since he only has 100 chips remaining and the pot is nearly 6000 chips at this point, pushing in that last 100 chips is clearly the "right" move. But it's also very obviously a negative EV move, since he knows he is going to lose this hand unless one of the remaining two Queens in the deck hits the board. His odds are terrible, it's a desperate push, but one that makes sense given his stack size and the amount of chips already in the pot. So the 100-chip push on the flop makes sense. But it's not a +EV move. It is in fact a decidedly -EV move.

This is the only distincition I was trying to make about what happened to me in the Hoy on Monday night. Someone on a short stack made a -EV call of my allin reraise preflop when holding just AQo, a hand that cannot reasonably be expected to be ahead of anything I would reraise allin with preflop. That's not a positive EV move, even if he more or less "had" to do it because he was on a very short stack and AQ is a push-worthy hand for his low M. So a play can be both the "correct" play chip-wise, but also a negative EV play, at the same time, and in my view the two are not mutually exclusive.

That's all for today. I didn't get to play other than a few minutes of hyper-aggro WWdN last night, but I look forward to playing in the Mookie tonight at 10pm ET on pokerstars. Password is "vegas1" as always. You should all know that the Mookie has, over the last few weeks, basically become the blogger tournament of the week every week, as it has recently surpassed even the WWdN as the largest regular weekly gathering of bloggers and non-bloggers (who like to play with bloggers). If you like playing with a bunch of guys who are funny, trash-talky and yet who really know their stuff about the game of Holdem, the Mookie is definitely the place for you to be tonight at 10pm ET. See you there!


Blogger smokkee said...

i would be interested in seeing your notes but, only for a chuckle. i'm not very explicit with my note taking. i usually only note "solid player" or "donkey". after playing so many blogger events, i've got a pretty good handle on who's who.

1:25 AM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Love the theoretical example hand you posted. Gave me lots of food for thought and a nice, long blog post of my own today.

EV is a tricky beast!

I'd like to say that when it comes to tournaments, EV is less important that a lot of people think, but I am a big donkey who eats grass and poops on himself all day long.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

Getting 60:1 odds on a 22:1 shot is always +EV...

2:19 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

The Notes? I'll buy 'em Hoy. We'll work out the details in AC down the road.

As for the example you gave, it reminded me of a post that Fluxer pointed me to The Fundamental Flaw of Poker, by Andrew Prock.

I think we've all been in situations where the odds are right, but other considerations make the call unlikely to be successful as a long term strategy. I know for sure that removing a few hands from my calling range that were at the lower end of justifiable by odds, has significantly improved my play. So I agree - while not bad plays, the individual is likely not going to see a great return on the investment for reasons other than simple pot odds.

7:49 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

Whew...didn't make your list. When I saw that quote of "Well it's got to be one of the guys who plays in most of these blogger tournaments, to make it worth their while" I surely thought I was coming. I do have a HUGE BR to donk off if you haven't noticed.

8:29 AM  

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