poker follies

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varwoche
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poker follies

Post by varwoche »

I need a counseler. (Poker and/or psychological.)

I've been intruiged watching Texas Hold'em on TV. I'm also intruiged by gambling opportunities where I possess an advantage (hence my youthful indulgence in BJ/card counting).

Because poker has become mega popular recently, I've been speculating there might be opportunity due to all the newbies rushing to play. I'm intimidated to play against "real" players because I have no clue how to read someone else for tells, nor how to prevent them from reading me. So online it is, where I, a newbie who has read some articles about how to play, head off to fleece other newbies who hopefully haven't read articles.

I signed up at an online poker service about a month ago and bought in for $200. I began playing so-called mini-tournaments: Table of 10, top 3 win money. (eg for a $6 dollar buy-in, the top 3 get back 25/15/10).

As fully expected, I began losing in earnest. (No prob, learning mode.) I went through the $200 in a week, though I started to do a little better towards the end. Then I bought in for $50 more.

And then I start to win at a (seemingly) freakish rate. Here are my finishes for the $6 mini-tournaments, as of last buy-in:
1, 2, 8, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1

Cool. Newbies who haven't read articles are fleeceable methinks. Some quick math reveals, however, that at stakes this low I may as well be mowing lawns. So I step up to the $11 buy in, where the winnings are 50/30/20:
1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 3, 7, 5, 5, 3, 2, 5, 2, 4, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3

Interesting. Still making a good return here despite the long stretch of no 1sts. So I step up to the $22 game where this happens:
3, 3, 3, 7, 7, 2, 6, 6, 5, 2, 4, 6, 6, 2, 5, 5, 2

OK, not so hot anymore. Almost even at $22 level though (-14$) and well up overall.

Questions for poker mavens out there (RCC? Rebecca?)...

Was my early success at low(est) stakes games likely a freak? Or am I just bumping into more experienced players now? Any advice in general?
Sock
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Post by Sock »

Ask Suddenly on renata's forum or TOP. I don't know if he's on this forum or not.
rebecca
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Post by rebecca »

Hey varwoche,

I wouldn't call your success "freak," as it sounds to me like you went through some learning at the low level, then caught on and started winning. I've found that in the sit-and-go's (mini tourneys), $5 buy-ins are about the same level of play as $10. $20 and $30 are going to be a different type of player, and $50 and $100 are going to be even better.

If you want to continue playing the s&g's, you're going to have to get used to the different styles of play between levels. Low buy-in games feature lots of fish, who are difficult to bluff but easy to beat if you just play your best hands and play them aggressively. Mid buy-ins are going to need some trickier play -- some of them will be paying more attention to how you're playing, so you'll need to mix it up more, bluff, steal blinds, etc, and you'll need to pay close attention to how they are playing. High buy-ins -- well, just stay away from those for now :).

The other thing to consider is your bankroll. Don't play the $20 games if you don't have a sizeable chunk of money behind you -- I'd say at least over $500, but that's debateable. You need enough to lose. A lot.

Finally, there's this: most pros (and this is just from things I've read, not necessarily documented fact) are of the opinion that s&g's are NOT good sources of income. There's enough luck involved that your rate of income is going to be much slower than if you were playing cash games. That doesn't mean you can't come out ahead, it just means it's going to be slow going. When I first started playing them, I thought I hit the jackpot. I made about $1000 in a week, but we all know what happens to short-term statistics. :)

Oh, and one more thing. The site you're playing on can affect your money. Party Poker is full of little fishies, but also full of packs of cheaters. Pokerstars players are generally tougher but you'll learn more, I think, and security is better.

So I hope all that made sense. It sounds like you're going in the right direction. You may want to purchase Super/System by Doyle Brunson, if you haven't already. And don't be too shy about playing live games -- after a few months online, I cleaned up at my first baby-stakes casino game.

Let me know if there's anything else -- other players, feel free to tear all this apart :D.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

Hey thanks Rebecca.

The cheating aspect online is a drag. I suppose the common form is team playing / sharing card info? Or is there (known) hacking?
rebecca
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Post by rebecca »

varwoche wrote:Hey thanks Rebecca.

The cheating aspect online is a drag. I suppose the common form is team playing / sharing card info? Or is there (known) hacking?
The hacking thing is debatable. Some say that since it's possible that someone could do it, it's inevitable that someone would try (and succeed). I'm not sure. I think that PokerStars is very good about keeping an eye on players. If it were to happen, I would guess that it would be on very high stakes, probably on Party. I'd worry more about team playing. Look for suspicious play, like two of three people in the pot raise back and forth to knock the third out, then one folds without showing cards. Stuff like that.
RCC
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Re: poker follies

Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:
Was my early success at low(est) stakes games likely a freak? Or am I just bumping into more experienced players now? Any advice in general?
I can help somewhat. My first idea would be to purchase pokertracker software, assuming you are playing at partypoker, paradisepoker, or pokerstars. This is software that you can use to analyze both tournament and hand histories. Here is the link:

http://www.pokertracker.com/

No serious on-line texas holdem poker player should be without this, in my opinion. It not only allows for you to analyze your own play, but it can also allow you to develop a line on the play of others that regularly play.

As to whether you are winning or not, that is a different story. I'm more of a ring game player and that analysis. I've just started screwing around in tournaments, both single and multitable, and it seems that these results have a larger luck factor, moreso in the multitable though.

However, it seems clear that the play in the sngs is much, much worse in general than at the ring games. Bad players seem to get away from ring games and towards the tournaments, likely because of the limited loss potential.

A large factor to analyzing SNG results is the structure. Partypoker has the "fastest" structure as the blinds go up very quickly as a proportion of the starting chips. On the other end of the spectrum is pokerstars where the sngs almost take too long as the blinds start small and go up slowly.

If your results were on party, I'd guess you are looking at a large luck factor and it is way too soon to tell. Those sngs are just crazy. I would suggest not doing the $5+1 tourneys, as the "juice" is just too high as a percentage of the prize pool.


I've been playing online since 2000. I mainly play at very small limits and use the internet as a training tool more than as a revenue stream, although I make a few thousand a year I would make more working at McDonalds. I just like to play. I play roughly 10 -20 times smaller online than I do live. Cheating really isn't an issue at these limits, and not really a factor at all at sngs. Most people that try have no clue how to properly cheat and wind up losing more than they would otherwise.
RCC
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Post by RCC »

rebecca wrote:Hey varwoche,

I wouldn't call your success "freak," as it sounds to me like you went through some learning at the low level, then caught on and started winning. I've found that in the sit-and-go's (mini tourneys), $5 buy-ins are about the same level of play as $10. $20 and $30 are going to be a different type of player, and $50 and $100 are going to be even better.

If you want to continue playing the s&g's, you're going to have to get used to the different styles of play between levels. Low buy-in games feature lots of fish, who are difficult to bluff but easy to beat if you just play your best hands and play them aggressively. Mid buy-ins are going to need some trickier play -- some of them will be paying more attention to how you're playing, so you'll need to mix it up more, bluff, steal blinds, etc, and you'll need to pay close attention to how they are playing. High buy-ins -- well, just stay away from those for now :).

The other thing to consider is your bankroll. Don't play the $20 games if you don't have a sizeable chunk of money behind you -- I'd say at least over $500, but that's debateable. You need enough to lose. A lot.

Finally, there's this: most pros (and this is just from things I've read, not necessarily documented fact) are of the opinion that s&g's are NOT good sources of income. There's enough luck involved that your rate of income is going to be much slower than if you were playing cash games. That doesn't mean you can't come out ahead, it just means it's going to be slow going. When I first started playing them, I thought I hit the jackpot. I made about $1000 in a week, but we all know what happens to short-term statistics. :)

Oh, and one more thing. The site you're playing on can affect your money. Party Poker is full of little fishies, but also full of packs of cheaters. Pokerstars players are generally tougher but you'll learn more, I think, and security is better.

So I hope all that made sense. It sounds like you're going in the right direction. You may want to purchase Super/System by Doyle Brunson, if you haven't already. And don't be too shy about playing live games -- after a few months online, I cleaned up at my first baby-stakes casino game.

Let me know if there's anything else -- other players, feel free to tear all this apart :D.
I agree with most everything, except that the luck factor at sngs isn't going to harm the earn rate in theory, rather it will make for larger swings and make it harder to see how you are doing. Small difference, but important. When your edge is large, variance is your friend :) .

I think NLHE sngs are a very good way to play. They attract the fishies much more than classic limit games, and if you have the bankroll to fade the swings a decent player will come out OK. If you can play limit Omaha H/L sngs well, or any kind of omaha well, the win rate can be obscene. My Omaha results are way, way better than my holdem results as the edge a good player has over a poor one is much bigger in omaha.


As to a book I'd suggest to an begining academic minded player "The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky, as it gives a great picture of the theoretical aspects of poker that can be valuable in understanding and putting into context other poker books.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

Thanks RCC.

Re pokertracker... looks awesome. I didn't realize I could get game history from Paradise -- I thought it was individual hands only. I'm getting this for sure.

p.s. Courtesy of Sock, I put 2+2 together and realized I'd seen you more recently that I thought. :wink:
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

I read an interesting article that discusses how hands like A5s are more profitable than AA. The reasoning is that the potential flush hands happen or not, and don't cause the large losses that AA does. Makes sense to me.
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:Hey thanks Rebecca.

The cheating aspect online is a drag. I suppose the common form is team playing / sharing card info? Or is there (known) hacking?
There is a massive body of conspiracy theory out there about hacking, cheating, and most of all that the sites are rigged for some reason. The evidence for this is roughly as good as for most conspiracy theories. The possibility of these sorts of things do make me play more or less exclusively at PokerStars as they seem to be on the ball for the most part. However, that site has by far the toughest players, which means many people lose there that win in other places, which means more conspiracy theories as most people can't accept that they might not be winning players.

There was one confirmed case of hacking about four years ago, when a site's shuffling formula was solved. About that same time another site that was quite popular went kaput under circumstances that lead many to believe that a certain person acted less than honestly as to how he treated the deposits on site. A lot of people I know lost decent sums on that deal. Weirdly enough, ESPN has been trying to turn this certain person and his "crew" into some sort of cult figures, which makes a large amount of people that lost money on that deal a bit testy...
varwoche
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Re: poker follies

Post by varwoche »

RCC wrote: However, it seems clear that the play in the sngs is much, much worse in general than at the ring games. Bad players seem to get away from ring games and towards the tournaments, likely because of the limited loss potential.
Isn't playing with bad players a good thing?
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:I read an interesting article that discusses how hands like A5s are more profitable than AA. The reasoning is that the potential flush hands happen or not, and don't cause the large losses that AA does. Makes sense to me.
I'm not a big fan of that. In fact I'll take AA over A5s in every circumstance I can think of. If it is played properly it is always going to do better. Especially in lower buy-in sngs where people like to call huge bets preflop with weak hands. I think a lot of my profit comes from other people misplaying ace-rag suited in situations where it is an automatic fold for a more experienced player. If aces are played correctly, any huge pots they lose are going to be when the aces are the favorite. Yes, there will be bigger losses, but also bigger gains.

In a 10 handed game where 7 or 8 people are seeing the flop, a mediocre player may do better with A5s than AA since many players misplay AA in big multiway pots. A5s plays itself, flop the flush draw or 2 pair or better or be gone.

But I'll take aces because I know that they have to be played properly, as they are not the automatic that many players seem to think they are. Other than cheap multiway pots, or maybe shorthanded where the high card value of the ace is enough to make it playable, I'm usually going to muck A5s. I'll never muck aces, that is except in really weird situations that have to do with certain tournament structures...
RCC
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Re: poker follies

Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:
RCC wrote: However, it seems clear that the play in the sngs is much, much worse in general than at the ring games. Bad players seem to get away from ring games and towards the tournaments, likely because of the limited loss potential.
Isn't playing with bad players a good thing?
Yes. A thousand times yes. However, since the biggest weapon against really bad players is patience and understanding the basic math rather than creative play, there are those that perfer slightly better competition as it makes the game more interesting. Some have trouble making the adjustments required to win against clueless players and swear that those kinds of games can't be beaten. I'm not one of them. I love wild games full of people with little understanding. If you understand the game and can emotionally handle some really tough beats these games can be a lot of fun.

But I don't feel that way when I get all in with my kings against someone's KQo in the first hand of an SNG and have the flop come AK2 and then watch the final two cards come with a jack and a ten... These are the sorts of things that when they happen a few times in a row make people think that these games are unbeatable...
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:Thanks RCC.

Re pokertracker... looks awesome. I didn't realize I could get game history from Paradise -- I thought it was individual hands only. I'm getting this for sure.

p.s. Courtesy of Sock, I put 2+2 together and realized I'd seen you more recently that I thought. :wink:
I don't know how well the paradise sngs work with pokertracker, as I stick to the pokerstars sngs as they have much better structures IMO. I'd suggest checking that site out, as the lower level sng players there aren't much better than paradise if at all, seeing that paradise is not known for bad players. Also. since the blinds rise as a function of time on stars rather than every 10 hands the end of the tournaments isn't quite the crapshoot that paradise is.

That and on stars they give you frequent player points that can be used for many purposes, such as winning seats into large buy in tournaments. As a result of these points I just missed a seat in the World Series and actually won a seat into a huge Pot-limit Omaha tournament this Friday that will have at least a 200K prize pool. Nice free bonus.

I guess it suddenly came to you who I am, eh? :wink:
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

RCC wrote: don't know how well the paradise sngs work with pokertracker, as I stick to the pokerstars sngs as they have much better structures IMO. I'd suggest checking that site out, as the lower level sng players there aren't much better than paradise if at all, seeing that paradise is not known for bad players. Also. since the blinds rise as a function of time on stars rather than every 10 hands the end of the tournaments isn't quite the crapshoot that paradise is.

That and on stars they give you frequent player points that can be used for many purposes, such as winning seats into large buy in tournaments. As a result of these points I just missed a seat in the World Series and actually won a seat into a huge Pot-limit Omaha tournament this Friday that will have at least a 200K prize pool. Nice free bonus.

I guess it suddenly came to you who I am, eh? :wink:
I tried at pokerstars after Rebecca's recommendation -- my credit card company blocks them.

I had already thought to myself: Hmm, poor s gets mopped up everywhere he goes by articulate attorneys. That I needed the poker connection to add 2+2 doesn't exactly live up to my avatar. :wink:
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote: I tried at pokerstars after Rebecca's recommendation -- my credit card company blocks them.
I'm shocked that your cc company doesn't block everyone. Very odd that one went through.

I use neteller.com, which is sort of a paypal type service. It links to a bank account and allows you to move funds from site to site, as well as allow you to eft funds to and from a bank account. This is a very useful thing if and when you feel like "bonus whoring," or flipping a few hundred from site to site to take advantage of the 20% deposit bonuses that pop up every now and then. You play a few tournaments or a few hundred hands and they give you the bonus, usually capped at around $100. It also allows for quick deposit of winnings without having to physically deposit weird looking checks from some offshore bank. I've never used it to move money onto the internet since I am still playing off of the $50 deposit I put on paradise back in 2000, but I can say it works really well to move money from site to site and into a bank account.

Right now, as you have around $250 in charges, if I recall correctly any withdraws up to that amount go as canceled charges on your cc, then they start sending you the weird looking checks.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

At present, I do not sense a great likelyhood that there will be a lot of weird looking checks in the mail. :cry: Yes, I'm on a truly awful streak here.

The luck factor in the mini-tourneys has proven way too frustrating. When everyone is going all-in at the drop of the hat, with lame ass cards, it reduces it to a random game of chance. Or at least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.

So, I'm going to experiment playing "normal" games at $25 level.

After getting the living crap knocked out of me last night, I played one of the giant free cluster fuck tournaments that feeds into another and then feeds into a live WPT event. And qualified! Hey, one more miracle then I qualify to try for miracle #3.
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Post by rebecca »

varwoche wrote:At present, I do not sense a great likelyhood that there will be a lot of weird looking checks in the mail. :cry: Yes, I'm on a truly awful streak here.

The luck factor in the mini-tourneys has proven way too frustrating. When everyone is going all-in at the drop of the hat, with lame ass cards, it reduces it to a random game of chance. Or at least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.
Yeah, it happens. I enjoy playing sng's, but the edge a good player has makes the money not nearly as good as in cash games.
So, I'm going to experiment playing "normal" games at $25 level.

After getting the living crap knocked out of me last night, I played one of the giant free cluster fuck tournaments that feeds into another and then feeds into a live WPT event. And qualified! Hey, one more miracle then I qualify to try for miracle #3.
Congrats!
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:At present, I do not sense a great likelyhood that there will be a lot of weird looking checks in the mail. :cry: Yes, I'm on a truly awful streak here.

The luck factor in the mini-tourneys has proven way too frustrating. When everyone is going all-in at the drop of the hat, with lame ass cards, it reduces it to a random game of chance. Or at least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.
Makes sense. Those things are very frustrating, the swings are huge.

So, I'm going to experiment playing "normal" games at $25 level.
NLHE? Eeek. You will see some huge luck swings at that as well. If you are looking to lower the frustration and luck factor you may be taking a step in the wrong direction. Long learning curve in no-limit cash games, and the players tend to be a little better as poor players bust out very quickly at no limit. Very stark darwinian nature to it, and the strategy for a NLHE normal (called "ring" games for some reason) is so different as to the strategy for a sng that they are barely the same game.

My advice would be to take advantage of the microscopic games you can find online until you figure out you can beat those and understand why. Virtually every player loses at first at poker. These really small limits offer an opportunity to learn the basics really cheaply.

Put bluntly, at this point the odds are that you are among the prey and not the hunters in this deal. Virtually all new poker players are at first losing players, although many try to avoid that reality through a number of ways, usually some form of ignoring losses and only counting winnings. Weird stuff sometines. I saw one guy at a 10-20 table (real life game in Atlantic City) lose his first $300, then buy in for $100, lose that, then keep buying in for a c-note 10 more times, than finally he ran the $100 up to a whopping $600. When his friend stopped by to ask how he was doing he said that he was up $500... That is an extreme case, but only as to amount. He no doubt really thought he won $500.

The two keys to making money at poker are being completely honest with results and to not pay too much "tuition" at the beginning of a career.


After getting the living crap knocked out of me last night, I played one of the giant free cluster fuck tournaments that feeds into another and then feeds into a live WPT event. And qualified! Hey, one more miracle then I qualify to try for miracle #3.
That is the sort of thing that is nice about internet poker. While making money on a consistent basis can be tough, there are a lot of free and small entry tournaments that not only present the longshot possibility of a payday but also offer valuable tournament experience win or lose. Good job on qualifying.

I often try those sorts of things. Right now I am in a whopping $5.50 buy in no limit tournament. However, since there were 1515 entrants, first place is slightly over $1700. Cheap way to practice NLHE tournaments and try out different theories and playing styles, with the chance of a pretty nice payout.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

RCC wrote:Put bluntly, at this point the odds are that you are among the prey and not the hunters in this deal.
:D No doubt! (As expected, my buddy RCC tells it like it is!)

I accidently just clicked the ignore button -- hopefully I can figure out how to un-ignore you.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

The hands that vex me the most are low pairs -- 55, 66, etc -- I groan when I draw these cards as they seem to invite loss. I take it the sole future is flopping a set, or else checking thru to a low-pot victory...? Are raises called pre-flop? Are these hands ever used as bluff opportunities pre-flop?

(Realizing that position plays in.)
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:The hands that vex me the most are low pairs -- 55, 66, etc -- I groan when I draw these cards as they seem to invite loss. I take it the sole future is flopping a set, or else checking thru to a low-pot victory...? Are raises called pre-flop? Are these hands ever used as bluff opportunities pre-flop?

(Realizing that position plays in.)
(In no limit ring games)

Play these as strictly drawing hands in multiway pots. As a general rule you are around 9:1 against flopping a set, and somewhere around 22:1 to hit a set on the turn. Never call a bet after the flop in a multiway pot without a set absent odd circumstances such as:

a) You have a pair of sixes and have a gutshot straight draw where a naked ace will make the low end (2345 on the board) and you judge your opponents play too many aces and are unlikely to lay down the straight. In this case you are about 11-1 against hitting, so depending on stack size 5-1 odds should suffice.

b) The pot is huge, say preflop everyone calls a small raise and the bet on the flop is small so that you approach the 22-1 odds you need to call. Two principles to keep in mind in this situation are implied odds and negation of outs. "Implied odds" is the concept of factoring in the reality that if you hit you are going to collect future bets, so you do not need the pot to be 22 times the size of your call for a call to be correct. "Negation of outs) it the possiblity that your card can make someoneelse a bigger hand. A good example of this in a small pair situation is when the board has two of a suit. Now instead of two outs to hit the set, you only really have one, making the odds 44-1 rather than 22-1. Worse, but harder to see is when someone has a straight draw using one of your outs. This makes the odds effectively zero.

That is unless the board pairs, in which case you are negating some of their outs... The lesson here is to tend to not draw to flushes or straights when the board is paired...

These two concepts are extremely important in no limit.

The way to look at it is that you need to on average make nine times your initial investment every time you flop a set. This means that you want to get in with several players for as cheap as possible.

Late position gives two advantages. Preflop, the later the position the less chance you are going to get blown off your hand with a raise so large in relation to stack size that you are not going to get your 9-1, as well as likely mean a larger pair which increases the danger of set-over-set.
If you are in one of those games where people are almost always limping in for the big blind to see the flop and raises are rare than position is less important preflop.

The second advantage is late position allows you to extract more value from your hand when you hit it as you get the information from the other person's hand.

If they don't flop the set, a baby pair is in a pot with more than two opponents worthless. Two or less opponents it can be possibly good, but judging this takes a bit of experience, especially since a lot of the new players tend to overuse the slowplay and checkraise. Against players that like to slowplay top pair (bad move in a ring game) taking the free look at the turn when possible is the best play, as a free 22-1 shot at a big pot is a bit of a windfall. Moreso when you realize that when you do hit the longshot the other player is going to be betting into you, and if they don't have the discipline to lay down top pair to a huge raise...

As to bluffing preflop, I would never do it in a small ring game. In a tournament small pairs are tricky, as they are usually either small favorites (against overcards) or a huge dog (against an overpair), so in the early stages they are best played as speculative hands. However in the later stages they are fine all in stealing hands with a short stack, but lousy cards with which to call an all in bet.
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:
RCC wrote:Put bluntly, at this point the odds are that you are among the prey and not the hunters in this deal.
:D No doubt! (As expected, my buddy RCC tells it like it is!)

I accidently just clicked the ignore button -- hopefully I can figure out how to un-ignore you.
I guess you figure I mean nothing mean by it. Weirdly enough it is the nicest thing I figure I can say to a new player. :D

In my experience critical self-assessment is essential to becoming a winning poker player. I know too many people for whom "being a winning poker player" is an important part of their psyche, even though they have zero evidence whatsover that they actually do win. So they keep losing since they are winners and understand it all they have no need to improve. Happens in golf as well, the "I can play better than this but I never do" crowd. I remember some famous quote about fear of self knowledge being the barrier to excellence. If there isn't one maybe I should make one up...

Poker can be sort of a psychologial treat for skeptics.

Just like reality, poker is governed by scientific laws, mainly the laws of probability. However, just as in reality, most of the time this is not obvious, so there are those that reject it and make up beliefs based on poor evidence.

They believe in lucky seats or cards, or that they for some reason are above the statistical laws everyone else in bound by, they rely on poker truisms that are inaccurate or at least wildly imprecise, such as never draw to an inside straight. Even the "better" ones see in a wild loose holdem game people take down pot after pot with trash when they keep missing with "good" cards so they abandon reasoned analysis and act like the other players.

The treat? You get to take their money. Maybe not right now, but that is part of the deal, that they are even going to think that the short term is important while the reasoned player can identify short term luck and realize what really happened, and that the person crowing will look back at this short term result as "proof I am a great player" and eventually lose tenfold the amount he won in his day in the sun.

Yes, sick to a certain extent, but affirming in others.
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Post by rebecca »

You forgot to mention, RCC, ALWAYS raise with 55! PRESTO! ;)
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Post by RCC »

rebecca wrote:You forgot to mention, RCC, ALWAYS raise with 55! PRESTO! ;)
Irwin?


He is not yet ready for the advanced mysticism of PRESTO. Maybe someday, once he learns the mighty powers of the ARGers he may be confirmed into the Holy Order of Presto.

Are you going to FARGO?

http://www.fargopoker.com/
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

OK you two, enough of the goddamn condescension. Just lay the zen on me and lay it now! :wink:

I look forward to seeing the data format that Paradise provides for the game history, and as well whatever built-in analytics that Pokertracker provides. My profession involves similar sort of database analytics and I'm hoping there is an opportunity to payback my generous counselers.
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:OK you two, enough of the goddamn condescension. Just lay the zen on me and lay it now! :wink:

I look forward to seeing the data format that Paradise provides for the game history, and as well whatever built-in analytics that Pokertracker provides. My profession involves similar sort of database analytics and I'm hoping there is an opportunity to payback my generous counselers.
To become one with PRESTO is a jouney every person takes alone...

Presto is sort of a religion among some that frequent rec.gambling.poker on usenet and attend "arg" events such as the FARGO I link to above. If you believe in PRESTO (a pair of 5's) and raise and raise with total confidence than PRESTO will come through for you, then PRESTO will smile on you and your chip stack will grow. (The standard methods of only counting positives and blaming negatives on a lack of true faith suffice to prove the magical properties of PRESTO)


Here's a hand history where I get a small measure of revenge against Soviet repression. My comments in parenthesis:

Hand #173073-8133 at Madrid ($.50/$1 Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 14/Jun/03 18:42:17

Shohen is at seat 1 with $61.40.
d_black66 is at seat 2 with $41.20.
LENIN is at seat 3 with $52.55.
MikeL is at seat 4 with $44.75.
baylor22 is at seat 5 with $6.50.
sheabones is at seat 6 with $32.80.
RCC is at seat 7 with $50.75.
pirate1 is at seat 8 with $80.05.
STALIN is at seat 9 with $18.30.
The button is at seat 1.

d_black66 posts the small blind of $.25.
LENIN posts the big blind of $.50.

Shohen: -- --
d_black66: -- --
LENIN: -- --
MikeL: -- --
baylor22: -- --
sheabones: -- --
RCC: Ad As
pirate1: -- --
STALIN: -- --

(Woo Hoo!! I have Aces. Lets see If we can't get some dough in there!!)
Pre-flop:

MikeL folds. baylor22 folds. sheabones folds.
RCC raises to $1. pirate1 folds. STALIN
re-raises to $1.50. Shohen folds. d_black66 folds.
LENIN calls $1.50. RCC re-raises to $2.
STALIN calls $2. LENIN calls $2.

(Stalin made it 3 bets. He must have something. I'm hoping he has KK.)

Flop (board: Ac 9s 4h):

(Cool. I flopped trip aces. Lets gamble boys!!)

LENIN bets $.50. RCC calls $.50. STALIN
raises to $1. LENIN calls $1. RCC
re-raises to $1.50. STALIN re-raises to $2.
LENIN calls $2. RCC calls $2.

(Yikes. I check re- raised and Stalin capped it on me. He's gotta have a set or at least 2 pair. There are no flush or straight draws out there, so lets hope he's half nuts and pushing KK too hard...)

Turn (board: Ac 9s 4h 4c):

(Kewl. Just made a full house. Lets hope Stalin or LENIN didn't go 4 bets pre-flop with 44. Off to the races.)

LENIN checks. RCC checks. STALIN bets
$1. LENIN calls $1. RCC raises to $2.
STALIN re-raises to $3. LENIN folds.
RCC re-raises to $4. STALIN calls $4.
(Maybe he has 99? He can't have 44 right? I mean, I check raised two streets in a row and he just pops me right back. Gotta be one of those two hands, right? LENIN finally figured out that somebody's carrying real lumber here.)

River (board: Ac 9s 4h 4c Ts):

(Might as well be the card with the instructions on it. If that made your hand you have to be about half stupid for capping on every street...)

RCC bets $1. STALIN calls $1.

(Not 44 it would seem. I think he gets the clue that I'm not bluffing. Lets see what we have here?)

Showdown:

RCC shows Ad As.
RCC has Ad As Ac 4h 4c: full house, aces full of fours.
STALIN mucks cards.
(STALIN has 6h 9h.)

(A pair of nines? WTF? No wonder the USSR went under...)
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Post by varwoche »

:lol: :lol:
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

Ah, PRESTO is starting to come into focus -- it sounds like it might be an idealogical cousin to certain BJ betting systems that rely on unexplained phenomenon. (Or not.)
RCC
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:Ah, PRESTO is starting to come into focus -- it sounds like it might be an idealogical cousin to certain BJ betting systems that rely on unexplained phenomenon. (Or not.)
The origin of PRESTO is known, and you are correct that it comes from blackjack, although the mystical properties came later...

http://slicer.fekali.com:3455/16/112

I was playing single deck at Four Queens, and Frank pointed me out to Steve and Blair, who sat down at my table, unbeknownst to me. Every time someone at the table got a blackjack, Steve Jacobs yelled "Presto!" This did get me suspicious that it was he. Finally I left the table and so did he and he confessed and we laughed about it with Frank. There was a drunk following us who had done a completely boneheaded play at the table, so I didn't think it could be a rec.gambler; I was wondering why a boneheaded drunk would be following us around... but I then found out it was Blair!

Thereby "presto" on blackjack became the call sign for blackjack playing rec.gamblers. "Irwin?" became the countersign, due to the popularity of his chip in the toilet story and his involvement in the caper.

This was long before the newsgroup split, of course, so the hold'em players heard this story and they wanted their own hand to yell "presto" on. The obvious choices were either AA or AT-AK, but no consensus could be reached. There were several threads posted in which 55 had miraculously won, and people started nominating 55 to be the presto hand. Then I made a post in which 55 miraculously won. At this point Steve Jacobs stepped in and declared 55 the official presto hand.
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Post by rebecca »

RCC wrote:
rebecca wrote:You forgot to mention, RCC, ALWAYS raise with 55! PRESTO! ;)
Irwin?


He is not yet ready for the advanced mysticism of PRESTO. Maybe someday, once he learns the mighty powers of the ARGers he may be confirmed into the Holy Order of Presto.

Are you going to FARGO?

http://www.fargopoker.com/
Alas, I am a silent lurker only, and have yet to introduce myself or attend any events. As I type this, someone is losing all-in on 55 against QQ, but the fool merely called before the flop instead of raising all-in before. Such is the danger, varwoche, of misplaying this key hand.
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Post by RCC »

rebecca wrote:
Alas, I am a silent lurker only, and have yet to introduce myself or attend any events. As I type this, someone is losing all-in on 55 against QQ, but the fool merely called before the flop instead of raising all-in before. Such is the danger, varwoche, of misplaying this key hand.
I remember a thread where someone complained of losing with PRESTO, where that person called both preflop and on the flop then checked it down.

A wise poster observed: "You didn't have PRESTO, you had a pair of fives."

I'm pretty much counting down the days to FARGO at this point. I have my trip report to ATLARGE out there somewhere on RGP and I posted a version to JREF. It was a good time.
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Post by varwoche »

rebecca wrote:As I type this, someone is losing all-in on 55 against QQ, but the fool merely called before the flop instead of raising all-in before. Such is the danger, varwoche, of misplaying this key hand.
All-in before? Hoping maybe the (unbeknownst) QQ folds?

The path before me is long indeed.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

RCC wrote:
varwoche wrote:Ah, PRESTO is starting to come into focus -- it sounds like it might be an idealogical cousin to certain BJ betting systems that rely on unexplained phenomenon. (Or not.)
The origin of PRESTO is known, and you are correct that it comes from blackjack, although the mystical properties came later...
Amazing how few degrees of Kevin Bacon are needed to connect "off-topic" threads to skepticism and the paranormal.

Like poker.

And politics. :wink:
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Post by varwoche »

My 11 yr old son had been enjoying my new hobby along with me. He's been trying out the different games (free versions), and last night was playing Omaha with me alongside, blathering away here on another computer.

He gets all excited about his hand -- an inside straight draw. I explain that not only is an inside straight hard to hit, but that in a 9 card game a straight isn't that exciting anyway.

He presses on, misses the straight, and loses the hand of course. Then I notice he has nothing at all, and tease him. He says oh yeah, it happens all the time. (Of course he discovered Omaha just 10 minutes prior.)

So we whip out a deck of cards and start dealing 9 card hands. Second hand -- "Bup!" he proclaims. (Short for bupkis -- nothing.)

Undaunted, I say OK, how many non-bup hands in a row do I have to deal to impress you? Ten he says.

That was 65 hands ago. We both finally got bored.
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:My 11 yr old son had been enjoying my new hobby along with me. He's been trying out the different games (free versions), and last night was playing Omaha with me alongside, blathering away here on another computer.

He gets all excited about his hand -- an inside straight draw. I explain that not only is an inside straight hard to hit, but that in a 9 card game a straight isn't that exciting anyway.

He presses on, misses the straight, and loses the hand of course. Then I notice he has nothing at all, and tease him. He says oh yeah, it happens all the time. (Of course he discovered Omaha just 10 minutes prior.)

So we whip out a deck of cards and start dealing 9 card hands. Second hand -- "Bup!" he proclaims. (Short for bupkis -- nothing.)

Undaunted, I say OK, how many non-bup hands in a row do I have to deal to impress you? Ten he says.

That was 65 hands ago. We both finally got bored.
Ah, the golden trap that is omaha...

Omaha is one of the worst things to happen to some people, especially long time holdem players. They see all those cards and, when it is Omaha HiLo they realize they have two ways to win and off to the races, not ever figuring out that everyone else has extra cards so the hand values are a little different.

Some of my friends keep trying to play pot limit omaha (hi only) and it is just a shame. They keep complaining of bad beats and being unlucky when they are really making just terrible plays because they can't lay down hands that would be big in holdem but are sucker hands in omaha, like a low full house or the flopped nut straight with no redraws when there is a bet and raise before they get to act. I try to explain that they need to lay these down but they can't stop applying holdem hand values and they think I am nuts.

I like it though. Omaha in all forms is a goldmine against bad players as the edges a skilled player can create are much bigger than those in holdem. I taught my mom how to beat a really loose omaha h/l game in about an hour. Easy to beat if you don't mind being bored as the general level of play at lower limit Omaha H/L is far worse than in holdem.
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:
rebecca wrote:As I type this, someone is losing all-in on 55 against QQ, but the fool merely called before the flop instead of raising all-in before. Such is the danger, varwoche, of misplaying this key hand.
All-in before? Hoping maybe the (unbeknownst) QQ folds?

The path before me is long indeed.
Nah, what you want with 55 is to be called and have the board come Q7755 or QA432. If it doesn't it is your own fault for lacking faith.

Consider the following presto story posted to RGP by "Dave L."

Holding 5h5d UTG in a 400/800 game Monday at the Sands, I come in for a raise. Player right behind me three bets, next guy caps it, and 8 players
all call. I call. The flop comes AKQ, all spades. 8 handed, this isn't a
bad flop for presto. I lead out and bet of course, player after me raises,
third three bets, and again we are capped 8 handed. The Turn is another
Queen. Slightly scary card for my hand, but I have no doubts. We are once again capped. On the river, the dealer fumbles and accidentally places two cards at once on the board...and they are both 5s! The players at the table start to grumble that the dealer need to get rid of one of the fives, there should be a misdeal, a new card should be placed, etc... The floor comes over and rules that the hand is indeed live, and both fives will play. At the same time, the waitress comes with my drink order, which I had ordered right before the hand began. I bet (no slowplaying presto), and again we are capped 8 ways. The hands are flipped over:

Me- Quads
UTG - KK
utg+1 - AA
utg+2 - Js9s
utg+3 - JTos
utg+5 - KQ
Cutoff- AQ
Button- 72 os (a true fish)

I scoop the pot, and tip the dealer 50 cents. He immediately returns the
tip and throws in $100 of his own, saying that the pleasure of watching me
play was all the thanks he needed.
That is the sort of thing we mean by presto. Faith will be rewarded.
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Post by rebecca »

I LOVE Dave L.
varwoche
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Post by varwoche »

>> I need a counseler. (Poker and/or psychological.)
Good news/bad news.

Same news actually, depends on perspective -- I was having fun outside and forgot about the tournament I qualified for and missed it.
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Post by RCC »

varwoche wrote:>> I need a counseler. (Poker and/or psychological.)
Good news/bad news.

Same news actually, depends on perspective -- I was having fun outside and forgot about the tournament I qualified for and missed it.
I'd say good news. Isn't that tournament one where you have to finish 1st out of like 4000 to win? Not worth spoiling a good time over. seeing that considering the prize pool and number of entrants you are only statistically giving up about two dollars.