Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I'm Henry the 8th, I am.

KAOS Agent: Look, I'm a sportsman. I'll let you choose the way you want to die.
Max: All right, how about old age?
”Get Smart”

Welcome one and welcome all. I have received a bit of a spike in readers over the past week or so with no real explanation for it. If some blog out there that I don’t regularly read has linked to me or has mentioned The World’s Greatest Poker Blogger Ever recently then let me know, I’d love to return the favour.

Going through my results of SNG and final table finishes, I have noticed that I do not finish second very often, or even third. First and forth are most common, which I think is a little weird. Last night in another $10 SNG when it got to heads up I found myself full of confidence that this would go my way. As a spoiler, it didn’t and I actually came second this time, but I am pretty confident in my heads up play – mainly due to the fact that I have been running into some real rocks lately. This table last night was too tight by far.

After reading The Poker Geek’s blog in recent times, I thought about his comments on his own play – and also the a blogger favourite “Minimum raises make baby Jesus cry”. One player, when still ten active player at the table, make a minimum raise of $30 into a $180 pot and took it down. He tried again a second time, and was raised to $100 for a fold. I take notice. He tries a minimum raise on the turn against me, and I re-raise with nothing. He folds. Thank you very much, I have two players sussed out from this. Firstly the bluffer, weaker than day old coffee at McDonalds. Secondly, the rock that he bluffed out on the first hand, his greatest tell is his bet. He did not vary from this for the whole game. “Check” = I got nothing. “Call” = I am looking to improve. “Small bet/raise” = I have something small. “Big bet/raise” = I have something big. See, this poker stuff is a simple game. I think I made it into the top three without knocking anybody out and without making it to a showdown once. Now I am a fan of playing tight, but when 10/10 people at the table are doing it, you gotta loosen up a little fellas. Quite a few times (and even once or twice by accident) I had 75% of my stack in the middle with nothing but the board.

In heads up, I made a beautiful check-raise move on a flopped set to his TPTK to cripple him. Blinds were 300/600, and I left him with 450. Next hand, I get The Hammer, and I have to call the extra 150 regardless as he is all in – no real brain effort in that move I think. His Q5o doesn’t improve, and neither do I. Next hand he actually has some decent cards and I have 62o. Damn it, he is back in it now.

It went back and forth for what seemed like 20-30 hands, and we even tossed up the idea of a deal for $5! In the end, on a flop of AQ6, I had Q9 and called his all in. He showed at least an Ace, maybe even A6 I can’t remember. It was at the stage where I really wasn’t bothered because profit was already guaranteed – and even though I had a loss, I am confident that I played the better in the heads up game (if you exclude the impatience on the last hand).

I want to plug the fine work over at
Sound of a Suckout and his effort to start monthly poker blogging awards. Unfortunately, I don’t think he has one for sucking up to him, so I am at a loss already. As I have documented here, my bank roll is considerably more healthy with the help of his blog, and through affiliate rebates I think his bank roll has also been helped by mine in a very small way. It is a very generous gesture to offer up a little bit of his own scratch for the amusement of the poker blogging community, and I hope he gets some laughs out of it – and I’ll get some good tips on other fine blogs to read from it also. It’s win-win people!

And to the noble Knight himself, Sir FWALGMan: When times are tough, when the bank roll has been belted around, when you feel like the smallest fish in the biggest pond, you have to make a decision. It’s not about whether you want to “invest” or “gamble” more money into poker. Only you know what your own situation is. It’s about whether you enjoy playing. I say play in a home game with friends and family for some miniscule buy-in. Drink what ever ails you, tell stories and lies, show your mucked cards for a laugh and forget that you have $5 on the line. If you don’t enjoy that kind of game, then maybe it is time for a break (permanent or temporary). If it is just a purely financial decision, then take it from me – free rolls can be your friend as long as you don’t mind flipping a coin a few times. I’ve made over $1,000 dollars in a foreign currency all by starting in free rolls – and I’m not even that good. I was looking back through my blog today by coincidence, and I noticed quite a few times where your writings in my comments section was a great help to myself. So I guess my message here is play poker because you want to, make the money a secondary objective.

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