Brotherhood of Beats

“Unless man is committed to the belief that all mankind are his brothers, then he labors in vain and hypocritically in the vineyards of equality.”
–Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Still nothing exciting going on in Poker World for yours truly these days, but I thought I’d throw up a quick post to see if I still remember how to blog.
Back when I considered myself a real poker player, I would play for at least an hour every night, and usually end up sitting for 2 hours. Part of this was because I was relatively unsatisfied with my job, and my time at the tables provided me with a chance to stretch my mind a bit after work. But these days work is both challenging and rewarding, and grinding it out for a couple hours just doesn’t seem as attractive (and for all 500 of you that have emailed me: yes, Full Tilt hand histories are on the way). I’m the type of person that if I don’t feel committed to something, I don’t feel comfortable doing it “halfway.”
But I have been dabbling (uncomfortably) here and there, especially in this no limit stuff. I have to say I thoroughly prefer limit– I like the idea of making many smaller-but-somewhat-difficult decisions over the course of a couple hours than making one or two very-big-and-very-difficult decisions over a two hour period. No limit poker to me seems like much more of a grind than limit, especially since it’s much more difficult to multitable in No-Limit world, where you have to pay much closer attention to individual players.
Things were going pretty well for me in No-Limit land until the following hand came up (warning: hand history coming):
Tight-aggressive game, I get 75o in the BB. Aggressive player in early position min-raises, one caller, and I throw in an extra $5 hoping to flop big and bust somebody on a big flop.
Flop is Ad 7c 5d with two diamonds. Bingo. I check, aggressive player leads out and bets the pot, limper bails, and I double his bet. He calls, and the turn comes a diamond. The turn is the wonderful 7d, and I check, hoping he made his flush. He instantly goes all in, and I happily call, ready to rake the biggest pot of my life. I’m shocked when he turns over black queens, and as long as I can dodge the horrible 2 outer, I will have some retirement money.
I actually wasn’t very upset when the Queen came on the river.
A few weeks later, I’m beginning to grow a little frustrated as my opponents continue to hit two-outers when all the money is in on a regular basis. I think I’ve counted 10 times in the past couple weeks when I’ve lost all-ins and my opponent has had 3 outs or less. I’m actually happy when my opponent catches a 5 or 6 outer these days, although there have been plenty of times I’ve lost as a 90% favorite.
But that’s poker, and that’s why we have a bankroll.
I had the pleasure of hanging with Grubby, StudioGlyphic, and Absinthe & Mrs. Absinthe last night before a field trip to the wild No-Limit tables at Hollywood Park. We also managed to catch Wil Wheaton in a sketch comedy show before poker. I won’t say much about the show, except that I was more on tilt after the first 30 minutes than I was after getting two-outered by Queens. Approaching mega-tilt, I whispered to Grubby “can you think of anything we can bet on?” halfway through the show, but (luckily?) he either ignored me or didn’t hear me (I’m betting on the latter).
The company and the conversation was refreshing, however. I have to give credit to the LA bloggers (Grubby will be moving here soon, methinks, so he now counts as an “LA blogger” in my book) for their taste in movies and music. I hate this town, but it’s comforting to know there are a few people who care about something other than J-Lo.
Anyway, poker at the Park featured a series of bad beats. Studio took a couple horrendous beats, one coming on the river after the call of the night (AA vs. a very scary broadway board). I actually lost an all in to a One outer (after losing to 2 and 4 outers earlier). Didn’t get to sit with Absinthe (he told me he lost an all in as a 4:1 favorite), but I played with Grubby most of the night, and didn’t see him get bad beat the entire night. See Grubs, you’re not the unluckiest person in the universe…
A while back, Halverson 3K wrote about how much more interesting the “deep-stack” (where max buy in = 100 big bets) No-Limit games are, and I can’t agree more. At the Park, the blinds are 2-3, and max buy-in is $100. 33 big bets is all you get, and most of the time at least 2 players at the table have $300 or more. This means the default raise is 3 chips ($15) or 4 chips ($20), which represents 1/5th of the player who just bought in for $100. If you call and miss, you are down to $80, leaving you with 26 BBs. So, either you double up early and dominate the game, or sit and wait while big stacks raise you out of every pot. Remind me not to play this game.
Ok, enough whining. Go buy this if you haven’t yet, I promise it’s worth the $20. I leave you with what I think is the most important information to know in No-Limit tournaments:

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