Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Flavour of the Month = Omaha

Jesus Shuttlesworth: I hate my name. What kind of name is Jesus anyway?
Jake Shuttlesworth: It's biblical.
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Yeah, no shit.
”He Got Game”

I’m a bit concerned that this blog is becoming just a recount of hand histories. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading hand histories and the such, but not exclusively. It’s just that my poker over the last few weeks has been really juicy for me, I couldn’t help it. That has ended now, as evidenced again last night with a -$50 night. I bubbled in a $20 SNG when the short stack doubled up, creating a new short stack who then doubled up through me (QTs vs A7s), leaving me as the third short stack in as many hands. I didn’t get as lucky as the other two.

I also have to say that Omaha is getting more popular…almost too popular. Usually when I went on Party to play the $1/$2 tables, there would be three tables open, and nobody multi-tabling (I make sure to check for that). Now I see 8-10 tables, and heaps of people multi-tabling from higher limits down to this one. Omaha may have just becoming less profitable than it was, as many sharks are now in the waters. Sometimes playing against people who are on 3-4 tables at once can be a good idea, as obviously their attention is divided (and perhaps they pay less attention to the lower limits?), but in limit play it seems easier to keep up with it.

An amazing event did happen though – I won a bluff in a limit game of Omaha! That has always been my problem with limit games, people catching runner-runner when you couldn’t push them off it. Bluffs at limit have never worked for me – not that I have tried very often (and perhaps my methods are faulty too). But when I called the bet on the flop (looking for runner-runner to be honest) and the turn, the 3rd heart came on the river. I put out a bet and the sole competitor folded. I had bottom pair. It was a nice $10 pot or so, hardly enough to put me in the black for the night.

A funny thing happened at work just the other day. I was explaining about online poker to a few work colleagues, clueless about the whole thing. I explained about the poker rooms, the online casinos, Neteller, and then got into online play, reading a players betting patterns, 4 levels of thinking and so on and so forth. I even tried to explain pot odds. I explained how pros make a living out of this game, and how popular it has become in North America and Europe. I went into the ideas of poker being a game of “imperfect information”, and how even online, people still have tells.

“But you can’t see them, how do you know?”

“Well, it could be about how fast they bet, their patterns of betting, how much in relation to the pot, the size of their stack, the time of the game, the time of the day, their perceptions of my playing – any or all of it can tell you what they might have.”

This little speech showed me two things. Firstly, I think I have learned something in the last 6 months or so since I have been playing. Sure, I can’t put all those things into play every time I sit down, but I do use some of them. I have notes of a myriad of players – everything from “Solid player, does not bluff” to “Fucker rivered me 8 times”. While it may be slow, I think progress has occurred.

The other thing I learned is that to an outsider, poker is still gambling. They even asked me if it was legal. They started to compare it to “video poker” and poker machines (slots for my North American friends). Sure, there is an element of luck involved. There are 52 cards available to be dealt, and this is done at random (in most cases, wink wink).

After this whole discussion, where they also learned that had peaked at US$1079 (I went back and checked it) without ever depositing my own money, they asked what would happen if they each gave me $10 to play online for them? Visions of AlCantHang and my ill-fated investment portfolio played in my mind.

“I’d have a good story to tell you.”

To tell you the truth, I’d probably just pocket the money and say my Aces got cracked 72o.

Damn bloggers!

1 comment:

Dr. Pauly said...

Congrats on your run!