Friday, February 9, 2007

conversations with Mike

Fantastic starters, Mike. Too bad on the aces. It is so much fun to read your reports. No one else in my group writes much of anything. It is interesting how much our interests have evolved in the same direction starting with craps and continuing into Hold em.

I have never had a similar casino experience of putting someone all in in a no capped situation. That must have been a thrill. And you must have been worried because you could be beaten. The guy should not have seen even one reraise with just trips.

This pattern of how the starting hands fall, is always fascinating to me. I laugh more in this game than my fellow players. To know that randomness is always a factor in life and to face that with good humor is the best thing I have learned from this game. Too many people playing outside of Vegas let that randomness get them grumpy. When other people win against the odds, the predictable players get surly. They act personally offended. Sometimes they even walk away from the table.

It gets so bad that some continue to whine even when they are winning. I am a bit of a kidder, so I am apt to tell them that "Winners can't be whiners." I might even to confidently say in a serious tone that the rule is in the official Hold Em rules book.

I forgot to put one good story in the blog. I can't remember the exact details, but there was a fellow playing with a World Poker Tour cap who raised on a heart flush draw because he had the ace of hearts and was in position to get a free card if he raised. He did not catch the heart he needed for the nut flush, but he won the pot with a small pair. It was so clear that he had raised with a poor hand that he felt he needed to explain it. "I misread my cards," he explained. I laughed. No one else did.
So I said, "Hey, that was a good bet. You can't really wear that WSOP hat and tell us you misread."
"Well, I guess you are right," he admitted.
I know I should have kept that information to myself, but I so loved seeing him make the perfect play, completely fool us, and then attempt to convince us that it was all a mistake so we would not put see him as a skilled player. He was saying to the table that he was a klutz while really being in charge.

Well, I'll be going up again next week and we will see how it goes. As for $4-$8 choice. There is no $3 -$6 at Foxwoods. The $2 -$4 is always no foldem holdem and no one pays any attention to how tight I am, so I can't make the occasional bluff or semibluff because there is always someone to call to the river.

This kind of play would be impossible at 2-4 but it happened at 4-8. After playing tight for a long while at Foxwoods I got a pair of tens, but acting first after the BB.. When I raised, all but one person folded. This is at a table where most people pay $4 to see the flop, so the pot was close to $40. Head to head I had a much better chance with a pair of tens. The turn and river both were bigger than tens, so I checked to the end as did my opponent. I won. And I got to show the pair of tens, so that the next time I raised with aces, I might get callers.

On a $2 -$4 table this would never happen. They would not track my play. They would not remember my tens on my next raise in early position. And I could not raise for free cards ever.

I don't really know if I should be moving up another notch to $5 - $10. I suspect that there will be better players there and not so many calling stations, so the pots will be about the same size, but it will cost more to see cards. I also know that in higher levels of play would be more trickier players. There was virtually no reraising at our level. I like that. I want the only reraises to be mine.

At the Majestic Star in Gary Indianna the $3 -$6 was the only offering except no limit. I watched my son play no- limit and it was at a table where players talked openly about cards and expectations so I got a real sense of how hard this game was and also how fast it went. My son told me that much of the talk was meant to disquise what they really had or how they really thought so the levels just keep coming.

But the limit game was just like a $2 - $4 game with a few good players who were frustrated. One maniac loose player will either amass great wealth or get drained over an afternoon, but five of them will tend to move the chips between themselves and drain the rest of us unless we just get the best cards everytime, the best being cards that can hold up against runner runner straights or flushes.

In contrast, at Foxwoods they select hands and they fold hands. We had one maniac at the $4 - $8 table who actually won a pot when two sevens came on the turn and river. He had played and come out betting to the river with 2-7 offsuit. And it was no fluke. He played almost every hand, bet often and called almost everything, paying us nicely if we had cards. For a time he collected chips, but then he started to get drained. He groaned often as if fate was against him. Strange!

Michael Everson wrote:

Hi, Dewey. Nice report. Below is a synopsis of my time at Riverside Casino
last Saturday night. I esp. found your report interesting for the lack of
starting hands you got. I've had those nights, but Saturday, here's what I
got for starting hands:

During a five-hour session, I was dealt a pair of tens once, a pair of nines
once, a pair of jacks once, a pair of queens once, and a pair of aces FIVE
TIMES. Of these, I eventually won with every hand EXCEPT the aces, where out
of five hands, I won two of them. Interestingly enough, with the non-ace
pairs I won either unimproved or by picking up another pair. With the aces,
I won one hand unimproved, one hand picking up a pair of eights on the flop,
and the other three I lost when other people had either pocket jacks or
pocket queens to my aces and they were able to trip up; the other hand, in
spite of my heavy betting, one guy made a straight on the river that I would
have beat him unimproved with if he hadn't caught the last card. Stuff

Other notable hands: I get dealt eight-deuce suited; a crap hand, but I'm
the big blind so I decide to see the flop. The flop comes eight-eight-deuce.
The kid next to me who pays to see ALL flops, has the fourth eight in his
hand, so he starts betting and raising like mad--he bets and raises until
it's only the two of us left in the pot, and the rule is that if it's
heads-up, there is no capping on the bet, so he raises and I re-raise until
all his chips are in the middle. I show him my full house and he just about
dies. He can't pair the other card in his hand so I win.

I get dealt a reasonable hand, have a four of hearts in my hand, and there
are three hearts on the board at the turn. The river card is a heart as
well, so now I have a flush, with only a four of hearts as my high heart.
It's my turn to bet first and I notice that everyone is starting to count
out chips, so I fold a flush. Three guys stay in and bet their asses off.
Two have flushes and the third guy has quad three's to take the pot.
Sometimes it's just better to observe...

I am dealt a pair of eights and am the first to play--I bet and the table
calls--no raises. As the game progresses, the board pairs jacks and the
action is still light with people being fairly tentative. The third jack
falls on the river and a kid who has been tentative starts the bet, everyone
folds to me, and I raise. I figure the kid for a pair and since I have a
pair of eights, I feel the odds are in my favor that my pair is higher given
the fact that he hasn't been betting. He re-raises me, so I call, and he
turns over a pair of sevens. He just about when into shock when I turned
over my eights.

Like you, I was actually was quite a bit down at the beginning--about $130
in the first hour and a half. Some old guy next to me in three consequtive
hands got a pair of tens, a pair of tens, and a pair of queens. After about
five more hands, I got a pair of aces and he got a pair of queens and
managed to get a third, beating me. It was just really wild. At about 9:30
pm when I thought it would be a good time to leave, my cards started to
improve dramatically.

Lessons learned:

It's true. These guys who see every flop will win an occasional flush or
straight on the river, but in the long run, they end up hemmoraging to
death. It happened with every guy at the table who never saw a flop he
didn't want to play;

Hands like ace-six are just awful hands to play. Even guys who would catch
two pair were ALWAYS outkicked. You simply can't underestimate the value of
better kickers.

I have to learn when to fold hands that have started with monster pairs.
Maybe learn to read players better. When is it that you realize it's time to
fold pocket aces?

I liked your comments about $4-$8. I was wondering if it's a substantially
different game, but you seem to indicate that it has its share of cash
machines. Maybe I'll consider playing that after some more time at the
$3-$6 table.


No comments: