Thursday, March 31, 2005

You called with THAT?!?!

James Clayton: Would I have to kill anyone?
Walter Burke: Would you like to?
”The Recruit”

Most of you will now be laughing it up in the latest WPBT event at Poker Stars, while it is early in the work day here in old Sydney town. For some reason, this makes the little clock on my computer trickle over even a little slower.

I have been enjoying the little forays into Scurvy’s tournaments on Noble Poker, but there is a downside to them. The majority of the players in these tournaments remain silent when I ask if the read “Suckout”? And the few bloggers I do recognise in these tournaments never seem to be seated at my table. But it has been fun none the less. I have even been seen wandering the lobby at Noble Poker, trying out their ring games and SNG’s. Here is my very quick review of Noble Poker:

Scurvy’s tournaments.

Every thing else.

Suffice to say I am not overly impressed with the site. Ah, that is a small bit of over-reacting, but you see what I mean. The only tables with any action are the $0.01/$0.02 tables, and the play is, well, fitting for the level. I was lucky enough to double up on one of these tables last night, but only because some idiot was going all in on every hand. I had AKs and saw a flop with 3 spades, no chance for a straight flush. He went all-in UTG, and of course I called. He had the Jack of spades, and I guess I was just the lucky one to double up. He said he was leaving now, because these levels are a joke to him. I typed “rebuy” into the chat window 3 times before he left the table.

So a $5 win isn’t that much, and I felt less than satisfied – even telling my readers about doubling up at a $5NL table seems hardly worth the time. So I decided to let it ride, and put that $5 into a 6 person SNG.

I normally prefer the 10 person SNG, because the payouts are bigger obviously and you have more time to make a profile of each player. It seems though that while Noble Poker does offer these options, few take them.

On the first hand I take it down on the turn, when I had top pair and some nasty looking draws on the board. Not bad, a good start. Second hand, two players end up all in on a board of AQJxx. Here’s me thinking somebody is on a straight draw, back door flush perhaps. But no – they both flipped over A3o and A9o – which was good enough.

But the funny thing was, my semi-bluff on the first hand was respected? I don’t understand. See, the behaviour displayed above shows me they are maniacs trying to push others off the pot or they just don’t care and are trying to leave the game. There is an old saying that you can’t bluff bad players (took me a while to learn that), but here was evidence that they will fold. Which can mean only one thing – both thought that top pair no kicker was a good hand. I was shocked. I mean, a $5 SNG is far from the WSOP, but surely it is still above this play? I knew I was up against idiots. Normally knowing that you are the only person at the table with an IQ in double digits is an advantage, but today I knew I would need the cards to win – because no matter what, I could get outdrawn just once and that would be the end of it. Yes sir, we are looking at a crap shoot.

A few hands later, I am dealt Aces and I am first to act. By now we are down to 3 with two getting paid, and I have not played one hand. What would be wise to do here? A raise normally would show strength, a call may be seen as disguised strength by any decent player. So I decided than when in Rome…I went all in. What a stupid move, who in the world would call that?

Why, the big blind of course. After all, his Q9o does have a chance at a straight! Fortunately, nothing hit and I had doubled up.

Eventually when heads up, I see a flop with T5. Flop comes rainbow 345, and I decided to go all-in straight away – it was no use guessing what he had, top pair will have to do heads up. It looked like he reluctantly called, and flipped over 62o for the flopped straight. Well I can’t complain I guess, I intentionally played badly and got paid for it, so I guess I succeeded. But it was one of the most bizarre SNG’s I have ever played. Any profit was welcomed.

More and more I have been thinking about the comments Hdouble left me a post or two ago – about low limit poker being all about implied odds. I think I have the standard beginners understanding of odds – even if I don’t think of it as odds, I still look at the size of the pot relative to my stack and my chances of winning. But implied odds does take another step in thinking – which I know I do commit to from time to time, but not consistently.

The more I thought about this simple little comment, the more it made sense. When playing low limit poker, as I always do, you need to consider what your opponent will bet after the next card, as well as after you act. With so many hands going to showdown too, I guess it really is a necessity that I should have learned a long time ago.

One day I will have to document everything I have learned from my fellow bloggers. Many people ask “why do you keep your blog”? Is it for self promotion, gratification, hope of getting discovered for a book deal? Is it for the millions and millions of people you entertain with each post? I can honestly say I keep my blog because of my readers. They’re heaps more smarterer than me, my bank roll thanks them.

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