The Hot Seat

Horrible day at work today. I’m not going into details, lets just say it was straight out of Dilbert. By the time I escaped my cube for lunch it was 2 o’clock, and I only had time to grab 2 pieces of pizza. I don’t think I could handle the grind and pressure of playing poker professionally, but at least you have no bosses, and make your own schedule. On days like today I dream of mucking hands all day and winning my 2 big bets per hour.

So I don’t feel up for playing poker, but I did read something last night that sparked some thought, and I figured was worth writing about. I played some $3-6, but it was pretty unevenful (losing to flushes on the river, or the ugly loss when some guy hits his kicker on the river to beat my top pair-top kicker), the usual Party stuff.

What I read last night was John Feeney (2+2’s resident psychologist) on rushes and “independent trials”. Feeney says rushes are non-existent, and uses the “coin flip” analogy to illustrate the inherent variance of every single hand. Here’s Feeney’s example, from “Inside the poker mind”:

“Say you begin to toss a fair coin over and over. Beginning on the 458th toss you happen to have a streak of 17 tails in a row. Would you be willing to lay odds that it will come up a tail on the next toss?… To do so you would have to be convinced that the next toss is no longer 50 percent. You would have to believe that it has somehow risen to over 66 percent… As you looked at the coin sitting in your hand prior to the next toss, you would actually have to believe that some force was present making it over 66 percent likely to come up a tail.”

Feeney’s point is that each hand represents an independent random process, and we are equally likely to receive a good hand on the 459th deal as on the 1st deal. I believe that in the B&M world, this is a false assumption. I think we can safely say that the standard B&M shuffle does not generate a completely random distribution of the cards. It has been conjectured that it takes at least 6 standard shuffles (cut, riffle, join) to ensure that the next hand dealt represents a truly random distribution of the cards. The standard B&M deal usually is composed of mixing the cards on the table, followed by 2 standard shuffles. This means that hand t+1 has a reasonable dependence on the card distribution of hand t.

The best blackjack sharps are called “shuffle trackers,” and are able to follow a “slug” or group of high cards throughout the deck. For example, if we notice that 6 aces have come out in 2 hands, we would identify that slug as a profitable one, and memorize its location when the dealer performs his shuffle. We are more likely to get a blackjack (or a winning hand) during this slug, and our expected return is much higher than it would be for a completely random deck.

The point here is that each deal does NOT represent a truly independent trial, but rather, is dependent on the previous deal. The deck (or rather the shuffling process) “has memory,” and if we were dealt pocket Aces, we are slightly more likely to receive an Ace the next hand. Only slightly, but as positive EV gamblers, we know these percentages add up in the long run. Of course, the shuffled deck is very different than the last one, and we are still very unlikely to receive any of the cards we held in the previous hand. However, I or one of the players to my immediate left or right may have a significant probability of receiving one of the Aces that composed my pocket rockets.

What I’m getting at is that although I don’t believe in “rushes” in the traditional sense, I do believe that a group of seats can get “hot”, winning a significant number of pots in the short run. This means that some seats are “hotter” than others, since players in that group have a slightly higher probability of receiving a good starting hand than players not in the group.

How can we use this information? Well, it’s not very useful, but I’ve gotten in the habit of moving seats when one side of the table becomes chip heavy. If three players are accumulating a lot of chips, and my side of the table is getting killed, I’ll move to a “hot” seat if one of the players leaves. Besides that, it’s pretty much useless. The B&M shuffle is more or less random, and we don’t have a chance of using the previous hand to predict what one of the players next to us has, or of predicting what the turn or river will bring.

This bring us to online play– if we discount the action flop theory, we would expect to see a truly random distribution of cards, and we should agree with Feeney– each hand is completely independent of the previous one, and there are no “hot seats”. This is one explanation of veteran B&M players screaming that online hands look nothing like they’ve seen in a B&M. They’ve never seen a true random shuffle before.

Alright I’m running out of steam here. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions about rushes and hot seats… Not sure if this theory was worth anything, but it did make me miss the B&M. The visual input of seeing players with chip pyramids up to their chin, and seeing the eyes of the player on a rush is missing from the Party avatars.

Happy holidays to everyone… hopefully Santa will give us all a couple 25 big bet win sessions when everybody is full of turkey and alcohol…

Sunday Morning Comin Down

I spent Sunday morning fighting off a vicious hangover after losing badly in a drinking game last night. My wife and her friend teamed up and threw every drink my way, and we ended up polishing off a bottle of tequila to go with the horrible $5 bottle of margarita mix. Don’t play drinking games with Margaritas.

Sportsbook review
–The Chiefs got blown away by the Vikes, who look tough when they come to play. I bet on them heavily early in the year, but they fell apart midseason. Saturday’s game suggests they may be back… I think Tice is inconsistent– seems like he gets his team ready for big games, but Minnesota plays sloppy against inferior opponents. I’m not sure what happened to the Chiefs– Green looked AWFUL, and couldn’t hit his receivers… Chavous and the Vikes secondary did the best job of single-covering Gonzalez I’ve ever seen, and Green couldn’t get the ball to one of his favorite targets.

–The Pats came through last night (barely), and Belichek outsmarted Pennington, who threw an interception on the potential game winning last drive. It looked like Billy B picked up a tell on Pennington– he kept his athletic D-line back, and had them jumping up to knock down Penny’s passes rather than go for the sack. It resulted in several key 3rd down pass deflections, as well as McGinest’s big INT to put the game away. Belichek = best NFL coach ever.

–Baltimore predictably trounced Cleveland, and Jamal Lewis had another 200 yard game. Unbelievable. Butch Davis has got to be one of the worst in the NFL. Why wouldn’t you stack the line and force Wright to beat you rather than Jamal Lewis? Just baffling.

–So I came out 2-1 on my big bets, and then pissed my winnings away on the Colts game. I figured the Broncos were dead without Portis, and the Colts needed a win to clinch the division. I didn’t get to see the game, so I will have to figure out what happened tomorrow morning.

Google sells out?
I had a very disheartening read through some anti-google literature today. Here’s a snippet:

How bloggers game Google
Wise words from blog spammer Elwyn Jenkins, PhD
“There is an additional idea that you need to implement to get good results from Google and that is as you write each day, make sure you are using new words connected with your area of interest. I have a list of 158 words that must arrive in my text over a two month period — these, if you like, are keywords that have to do with my area of interest. Make a list and make sure you get through all of them over a certain time. This will increase the number of people arriving at your site from Google who put in all manner of query strings.” — found on a pro-Google forum, 2003-05-02

I’d always looked at Google as the pinnacle of Internet technology. Because of Google, the new generation no longer has to flip through library card catalogs, and waste our time wandering through towers of books. There’s a lot to be said for libraries, but the instant access to information through Google has saved me hours and hours, and I think I can safely say it has increased my amount of knowledge about life drastically (one could continue this line of thinking in arguing that Google has actually made me a better person). I spent a fair bit of time in graduate school researching Google, and I even proposed a tentative thesis dissertation on how to improve their PageRank algorithm.

So it was very sad to me to see that Google may be selling out. I’m not going to get into the details of their going IPO and all that, but this excellent article suggests that something is fishy in the Google ranking algorithm: Google Filter Fiasco. The implication is that Google has recently altered their algorithm to elevate larger commercial websites in the results ranking. The intention is to keep people from “cheating” the ranking algorithm (it’s relatively easy to do, but hard to filter), but the article suggests that the real intention is to increase the visibility of major commercial sites so that these sites will increase click-throughs, etc. strengthening the IPO.

All that said, the methodology of the investigation is suspect, and it’s not clear to me that “unfair” filtering is going on. I experimented with a search for “Poker Blog”, and the new Google filter produced “better” results than the unfiltered results. My definition of “better” is of course subjective, but I found the filtered results to be much more conducive to finding “interesting” sites. So the jury’s still out on whether or not the filtering is done for commercial reasons, or if Google is just developing ways to weed out “cheating” sites.

Personally, I’m not into GoogleBombing, or getting my site higher up in the ranks. I would love to have more readers, but I figure if I provide quality content, they will come. But then again, I’m not an “A-list” blogger, and not competing with other Bloggers.

Thanks to Iggy for turning me on to the Google literature. If you want links, Iggy’s got em. Here’s my contribution: check out this google mirror. I tried a search for “golb rekop” and got some interesting results.

Isn’t this a poker blog?
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. I’m still feeling a little shell shocked from my losing battle with the river, so I didn’t make it to the tables today. More and more I’m starting to think of online play as practice for B&M play, where you can see the whites of their eyes, and the players aren’t as strong. Which means I’ll probably drop down to $3-6 and get back to good old Hollywood Park. The man of Guinness got me thinking along these lines, and I thank him for it. Two Iggy links in the same post, somebody stop me!

I started reading “Inside the Poker Mind,” a collection of essays by John Feeney from 2+2. Sklansky is listed as “strategy consultant”. So far the book is superb, but I’m only a couple essays in. Just read an excellent quantitative analysis of the profitability of tell-reading. I’ll post a full review when I finish the book, but so far, it seems like one of the best poker books I’ve read. Feeney is a psychologist, and takes a psychological approach to poker, which brings a different perspective than the other books I’ve read.

I had an excellent discussion with The Intrepid Card Player about implied odds, and the difference between tournaments and ring games. Someone has probably said this before, but I came up with an example that I think illustrates a decent way to understand the difference between ring games and tournament games. Sklansky sort of gets at this in his “Tournament Poker” book, but the guy doesn’t know how to write. Anyway, here goes:

I offer you a game, and you get two choose between two payoff structures. You choose the structure before we begin, and cannot change until we have finished all of our betting.
The game: I think of a number from 1 to 10. You guess the number. If you are correct, you win, if not, you lose.
–Game R: For every dollar you bet, you receive $11 if you win. You can play the game a maximum of 100 times, and $1 is the maximum bet.
–Game T: For every dollar you bet, you receive $15 if you win. You can play the game 10 times.

So to compute the expected value of each game, we use the following formula:
EV = (probability of winning)*(payout) – (probability of losing)*(bet amount)
Thus, EV(Game R) = .1(11) – .9(1) = .2
So, we expect to win 20 cents for every dollar we bet in Game R.
EV(Game T) = .1(15) – .9(1) = .6
So we expect to win 60 cents for every dollar we bet in Game T.

Which game do you choose? Although Game T has a higher expected value, we clearly get more profit from choosing Game R, due to the low limit on the number of tries at Game T. Our expected profit from game R is (.2)*(100) = 20, while the expected profit from game T is (.6)*(10) = 6. Despite the fact that game T has 3 times the expected value of game R, it pays off less than 1/3 as much as game R.

Obviously Game T represents tournament poker, where R is ring games. The idea is that in tournaments, our number of bets is limited, so we want to save our bets for situations with heavy positive expectation (60% or better). This means that even though we might be getting the right implied odds to play a hand, it may be a negative EV play for the tournament as a whole. This is why small pairs are no good, even in a 10 handed pot for a single bet. You’re 10 to 1 to hit your hand, but you can’t bleed chips in a situation where you’re a 10% favorite to win. This is why you need to stick to hands with Reverse Implied odds in tourneys, and avoid suited connectors and small pairs. This holds especially for Party SNGs, where your measly 800 chips only give you a couple shots to increase your stack size. Sure, sometimes these hands are good to play (e.g. if you have a big stack), but usually you will end up losing chips with them. We’ve all heard the discussion of folding pocket Aces when you are chip leader and there are 2 short stacks fighting for second. The idea is that even though a given hand might have a positive expectation, it has negative EV when one looks at the play as part of the entire tournament gamble.

Whew. I hope no one fell asleep during that theory rant.

The Poker Blogiverse Expands
I am continually amazed at the quality of Poker blogging out there. I’ve added Mean Gene to the list of Blog Brothers, and highly recommend his site. He uses words like “schadenfreude” to describe poker, so you know there’s somethin good goin on there.

Another poker player with a bigger vocabulary than mine has started a blog: Anisotropy. Check out Sean’s blog and avoid him at the tables…

Some great blogging by a guy who (sometimes) makes more money on the tables than he does at his job: Poker Odyssey.

Keep up all the great blogging folks, and much thanks for reading. And when it’s checked to you when the runner-runner four flush hits, don’t waste a bet!

“Greatness is defined by how one responds to adversity”

This was a quote hammered into me by my college football coach. And I’ve faced some poker adversity in my last couple sessions. I had my worst 2 consecutive sessions ever:
-$729 on 173 hands!!! On average, thats a $4 loss per hands. Almost a small bet every hand. WOW. These losses came on the $5-10 tables, and although I was playing slightly tilted, the majority of the losses were just bad luck.

If I get another turn-the-nuts-and-cap-the-turn-but-the-board-pairs-on-the-river hand I’m gonna have to hack the party servers and wreak havoc. The poker gods punished me brutally for trying to steal the blinds with ATo. Check out the hand:

***** Hand History for Game 291330040 *****
5/10 TEXASHTGAMETABLE (LIMIT) – FRI DEC 19 20:44:50 EST 2003
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to hdouble [ Ad, Tc ]
nemisisone folds.
ddosu folds.
CrazyN8 folds.
ngcngc folds.
hdouble raises (10) to 10
dsmith3622 calls (5)
squidpickle calls (5)
Hellmaker calls (10)
Boston2Vegas calls (8)
adjayscent calls (5)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 3d, Jc, Kh ]
Boston2Vegas bets (5)
adjayscent folds.
hdouble calls (5)
dsmith3622 calls (5)
squidpickle calls (5)
Hellmaker calls (5)

(I call with the gutshot draw and one overcard. Not a bad play in my book, as long as I know that no one behind me will reraise.)

** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qs ]
Boston2Vegas bets (10)
hdouble raises (20) to 20
dsmith3622 calls (20)
squidpickle folds.
Hellmaker folds.
Boston2Vegas raises (20) to 30
hdouble raises (20) to 40
dsmith3622 calls (20)
Boston2Vegas calls (10)

(I hit my gutshot and hold the nut straight. I can tell from the reraise that the guy has either a set or we’re going to split the pot. I make a note to offer the poker gods a virgin sacrifice for allowing me to hit my 11:1 draw.)

** Dealing River ** : [ Qh ]
Boston2Vegas bets (10)
hdouble calls (10)
dsmith3622 calls (10)

(The board pairs– I’ve seen this before. I curse the poker gods and tell the virgin to go back to school.)

** Summary **
Main Pot: $232 | Rake: $3
Board: [ 3d Jc Kh Qs Qh ]

hdouble balance $133, lost $65 [ Ad Tc ] [ a straight, ten to ace — Ad,Kh,Qs,Jc,Tc ]
dsmith3622 balance $135, lost $65 [ Qc 9d ] [ three of a kind, queens — Kh,Qc,Qs,Qh,Jc ]

Boston2Vegas balance $277, bet $65, collected $232, net +$167 [ Jd Jh ] [ a full house, Jacks full of queens — Qs,Qh,Jd,Jh,Jc ]

So, that was a nice $232 pot down the drain. Enough complaining. Needless to say, it sucks losing a huge chunk of your bankroll in 2 sessions, and I was pretty down. But I know I didn’t play too badly, and was just unlucky. Which is the tough thing about poker– playing perfect poker often costs you more than playing badly. I got my money in when I knew I had the best hand… I knew I was favored– the guy with the set has a 23% chance of the board pairing, so I like my odds here. So capping the turn is the right move. But I paid for making the right move.

I think the tough thing is to walk away, analyze what you did, and say “Ok, I got unlucky. I’m a good player, and in the long run, I will win.” This is true in all walks of life… I made plenty of mistakes on the football field, but I also did things that not many players could do. If you have faith in yourself as a player, these things will roll off your back and you’ll recover. If you let them affect your confidence, you will play poorly.

So I dragged myself back to the tables, and decided to take a shot at a $50 SNG. Sadly, even a first place finish would get me back less than 1/3 of my losses. Party now gives you 1000 chips to start at the $50 buy in or higher, so you have a tiny bit more room to work with. There were some real tourney players here… I don’t think I saw an all in until the blinds were up to 100/200, and people weren’t playing junk hands. I knew I’d have to play well and catch a few hands to win this thing.

I raked in a 170 chip pot on the first hand when a cautious table gave me a King on the river to go with my KQo. I got my muck on for a while until I picked up KJo in the big blind. The blinds were at 200 here, and I called the button’s 200 chip steal-raise after SB folds. Flop is Qd Jd 9h, and I sense danger, but have to test the steal-raise, so I bet out 400 more. Button calls, and I feel like I’m in trouble. Turn is 3h, and I check. He bets out 900, and I go into the tank. I’ve seen this guy try to steal, but he’s been pretty solid… could he have AQ? KQ? My intuition tells me he’s got a queen, and I throw away my second pair. He shows me AQo (why did he show?) and I’m happy about my laydown, but I’m down to 865 chips.

Sidebar: I just discovered an awesome new feature on PokerTracker! I downloaded the new version last week, and in reviewing the tourney, I saw a button that said “Playback this hand”. Click on it, and you get a graphical replay of the hand, betting and checking included! I’m really impressed with PokerTracker. Anyway, the way you find this screen is to select a session from the session note/game notes tab. Double click it. Then go to the “game notes” tab. Double click on a hand, and a window will come up displaying the hand history for that hand, but also a new button labeled “Playback this hand”. Click it, and you get to the hand replayer function. You can replay the entire tournament, or just a single hand. The cool thing is, if someone wants you to analyze their play, they can just send you the hand history file, and you can replay it in the Pokertracker playback feature. Gotta tip my hat to the guys (actually I think it’s just one guy) at PT.

Back to the tourney. The blinds are up to 300/600 and I’ve got 1100 on the SB. Folded to me, and I go all in with A9o. BB calls the extra 500, and here we go…
board comes 3 2 9 K 3… and I’m not happy, but BB has Q8s and I double up. I try to steal the blinds with K9o one off the button, as this table has been super tight. Oops… SB calls all-in, and the board is 8 A 7 3 T. I figure I’ve lost half my chips, but SB shows QJs!!! K high holds up! We’re down to 3 players and now we’ve all got the same size stacks. The next hand I’m the BB and reraise a limper (I almost never reraise on the BB but felt that this was the right play here) with KJo. He calls, and the flop is K J 9, and it’s all in time. He calls, and my 2 pair holds up over his K4o. Heads up with a big chip lead!

I’ve got 7395 chips to the other guys 2605, and I know that the blinds are so big (300) that I can knock him out with a couple good hands. I steal a couple hands, but he wins his all-in bet of 1K chips when his Q8o pairs up and beats my K6s.

The blinds go up to 500, and he’s up to 3260, with me at 6740. I get 65s in the BB, and he just calls. Flop is 7h 5c 8h and I like my hand… a pair with the open straight draw, so I bet 800 and he calls. The turn is a Kd, and the guy has been playing tight, so I try to win the pot right there with a 1K bet. He comes over the top all in for 2K, and I go deep into the tank.

I figure he must have the king, but I’ve got some outs here. I figure I’ve got 13 outs–the 2 5s, 3 6s, and the 8 straight fillers. So the odds are against me, but the pot is so big at this point I think I have to call. I barely make the call before time runs out, and the river is… a 9!!! Hdouble wins! Poor guy had K7, so I really only had 10 outs. The poker gods were kind. But even if I lost this pot, I still had 3500 chips to work with.

It felt good to win, especially after getting hammered for the past week. Gotta get a little win streak going, especially since Moss and Culpepper have pocketed my $100 bet with a 21-0 lead at halftime. I was right about one of these two things: < em>“Chiefs specials make the difference in this game, even though Moss will have a huge game.” It’s up to the Pats and Ravens, unless the Chiefs have an unbelievable 2nd half…

Hopefully I’ll get to dive into the Saturday night fish pond later on, and get some of those losses back… I watched The Intrepid Card Player get rivered to go out 4rth in a $10 SNG. But I guess that’s poker… and watch out for McGrupp, he’s getting ready to jump into the Party frenzy after Christmas. He’s building a photo book of poker bloggers… I’m curious how many players will reveal their faces and risk losing some B&M profits.

pic of the day:
Ghost story

NFL Week 16: Everything must go!

Well, the linemakers are off this weekend, which means yours truly is puttin the cash on the table. I feel pretty good about these picks. I am 80% confident that I’ll win at least 2 of these games. Also, the games are Saturday! So you have a chance to Parlay if you win tomorrow…

Game 1: Ride the lightning
NE (-3) at NJ
I said I’d ride Billy Belichek all the way to the playoffs, and what better opportunity to bet on the Pats than this week in their matchup with the hapless Jets. The Pats are only giving away 3 here, but all the Jets have got is Curtis Martin, and the Pats have effectively stopped the run all year. They’re also playing for homefield advantage in the playoffs, whereas the Jets have nothing to gain from this game. On the negative side, Pennington was one of the few QBs to figure out Belichek’s defensive scheme last year, and punished the Pats in a big game. But Chad P doesn’t have the horses this year. Pats win by at least a TD.

Game 2: Special teams and turf
KC (-3) at Minn
This game should be a high scoring shootout… two very weak defenses against high powered offense. I think these teams are more or less evenly matched, except that KC’s special teams are far better than Minn (Vermeil was the first NFL special teams coach ever!) and I think Vermeil is a much better coach than Tice. Look for Dante Hall to have a couple big returns on the turf. Chiefs specials make the difference in this game, even though Moss will have a huge game.

Game 3: Fade the Browns
Baltimore (-3) at Cleveland
Baltimore needs this game, and Billick has been stressing that the Ravens need to finish strong. Cleveland is a horrible team, and has nothing to gain from this game. I will bet against Couch/Holcombe any day. Ray Lewis is the best defensive player in the league, and probably deserves MVP this year. Jamal Lewis went for almost 300 early in the season against the Brownies… that won’t happen, but he’ll get plenty of yards rolling over the horrible Cleveland front 7.

There are two games that currently aren’t showing a line–
1. Denver at Indy
If Portis plays and the spread is less than 7, Indy is money here. With a sprained knee and ankle, Portis will lose his most valuable skill– explosiveness. The Broncs have no offense without Portis, and Indy should demolish them.

2. Tenn at Houston
Tennessee’s starting QB for this game is Jason Gesser, an undrafted free agent from Washington State. QB is mostly mental, and the kid might be alright, but the odds are against him.

Boy Genius drops some knowledge in his Lions report card. The guy should be a scout. BG, Detroit -10 at Carolina? I think the under (37) could be a decent bet in this game…

Sweat the action!

I gotta give props to the poker penguin… I think we may be long lost brothers… he’s working on a novel, has bad knees (I’ve had 2 ACL surgeries), and blogs profusely. Check out this gem from the Penguin:

“It was a dark and stormy night at the Last Chance Saloon. The No Limit Holdem game had been going on for a while now and everyone was getting fed up with the angle shooting guy with the big moustache. So, when another towel headed guy put a monster of a bad beat on the simple looking cowboy, trouble was in the air.

Sure enough, a couple hands later, the cowboy makes a decent sized raise to try to steal Saddam’s blinds. Saddam hated this, so he started talking about how he had rockets in the hole and was going to take great pleasure in taking the cowboy down a peg or two.

Well, sure enough Saddam came right back at the cowboy with an allin re-raise. Problem was, all he had was 72o and the cowboy knew this. After Saddam takes a beating, he slopes off to a 1-2 game threatening to build his stack up and have another shot at the cowboy. He also threw in some choice words about the cowboy’s daddy.

“Ain’t nobody insults ma Pa” the cowboy drawled. Dammed if he and his pardner English Tony didn’t leave the game too and chase him right down to that 1-2 game. But Saddam, he turned into a total calling station. Wouldn’t fold anything, wouldn’t raise anything, just sat there behind his dwindling pile of chips calling away. Sure enough, his chips eventually disappeared.

The moral of that story folks is that if you’re going to piss off a cowboy who has a crapload of chips, and the only rockets in the game, you better pray.”

Santa, I want a big bankroll

It has been one of those non-poker weeks. I haven’t even had a chance to avenge the $300 whoopin I took earlier in the week. Work has been rough this week– I’m launching my application, which means we have to move all the code over from the development server to the server that runs the public website. This is the bad part of programming… no creative thought, just meticulous grooming of code, making sure the semicolons are in the right place, etc.

Sample of annoying conversation with boss:
(I send out an email to the group, saying that the code is being moved over and is ready to launch. I have spent about 6 weeks coding this up, and it has passed testing and is ready to go. My boss approved it about 3 weeks ago)
boss: (comes up to my cube) “Can you bring up the app?”
me: (annoyed feeling building in stomach) “Sure”
boss: “Ok, see this color here? Can we make that blue? Can we add some more space here? Can we change this icon?”
me: (annoyed feeling threatening to destroy me) “Ahhh… we discussed this earlier… the customer really liked the color and icons the way they are… it’s going live soon…”
boss: “Yeah that’s true. Maybe you could do it as an enhancement, after everything’s all done.”
me: (trying not to smash monitor) “Sure. Just put in an enhancement request.”

Apparently I live in a Dilbert comic strip these days. My dream: a 1 year freeze out with the manager’s salaries on the table, we play until somebody takes all the cash. I picture myself strolling into work, pulling up a chair, and check raising until 5 pm. I’m not sure how one becomes a manager, but some soul-selling has got to be involved. Most of these people know nothing and do less.

Back to poker: I did play 3 3-player NL sit and gos last night… at home with the wife and a buddy. Things do not bode well for the all-blogger SNG for me– after I won the first tourney, my wife beat the pants off of me and took all of my chips in the next 2 games. Which is a bit sad, since she’s played poker maybe 20 times or so. But she is actually tough to play against, because she plays with a strange combination of bluffing and calling. She’ll always think I’m bluffing and call me down with stuff like King high, which forces me to bet if I have anything. And if she does have a hand, she won’t bet heavy, so I never really know if I should value bet or fold. To top it off, she has the worst poker face ever, but I can’t differentiate between the “I’m smiling because I’m bluffing” or “I’m smiling because I have a monster” face.

The first tourney went as it should… I stole pots and value bet my hands, and won our 3 player tourney pretty easily. But the second one didn’t quite work that way. She demolished my buddy’s stack (uhh that didn’t sound too good) when she caught the 4rth Ace (!!!) on the turn. 4 Aces in a 3-player game. On video poker that hand pays off 2 grand on some machines. She knocked me out on the next hand when I went all in with second pair, thinking she had nothing. She had the Queen for top pair, and I was out. The next game was a short one for me, as I went all in with AQ and she called with 55, and her pair held up.

This was one of the few times that losing hasn’t bothered me much. I was proud of her and the way she played, and also somewhat impressed.

Bankroll news: in addition to her tournament domination, the wife landed a job at the swank Beverly Hills Hotel, a big step up from her current place… which means I might actually be able to put enough money towards a real poker bankroll, and sit in the $15-30 every once in a while. We’ll see…

All this Christmas stuff has kept me off the tables. Hopefully I will get a chance to play over the weekend, as tonight is the department Christmas party, so there will be no poker. It’s 7:30 Pacific time, and I was debating hopping on the tables right now (8,000 players logged on!) for an hour before work, but the quality of the players has to be much better now, so I’ll wait. I wish someone could
(1) come up with a measure to quantify the looseness of a game (not “avg. pot size”)
(2) get an average number for each hour of the day

I think it’s possible that there are a lot of calling stations playing during the morning hours– retired people not taking the game too seriously, etc. Or perhaps some of the Eastern European players play looser on their Friday night, so now would be a good time to play.

Unfortunately I had to wipe out all the old comments to get the new comment tool (the old one kept dying), but hopefully this one will work better.

Good luck to everybody… Friday night is fish night!

Stay tuned… football picks to come…

Pic of the day:
Fiber optic full house?