I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

7 High, Gimme The Cash  

One of my favorite poker blogs out there is The Film Geek's site. Great hand descriptions, and some helpful tips thrown out there every now and then. The title is a steal from his "I got Jack High, Gimme The Cash" graphic, which still makes me smile.

Anyway, onto last night, the return of the weekly home games, which had stopped after two of the main players moved away. This game was over The Hill's place, a player who stopped coming to our previous games because of work tension. In short, he was the boss of another player, who he ended up firing. Not very conducive to a friendly game of poker. But it was good to get back in with him. In addition, there were many other new players... not only to the weekly game scene, but to Hold ' Em in general. So last night was a game with many fishes, one in which you would assume semi-talented players would do well.

Yeah... that didn't happen. 3 winner-take-all games, and didn't win one of them. It sucked hard-core. An example of a hand: with the board showing 2-A-Q-6-J, two players were in at the end. One bets, and the other calls... bettor had a 5-3 (was trying to bluff the entire hand, saying he hoped the other could beat a pair of deuces), and the caller had 7-4... she won a huge pot with 7 high. I couldn't believe it. How do you call with 7 high? Even if you're sure the other person doesn't have a pair? Jeez...

The night continued my On Tilt status, and I'm starting to get worried. I thought my play was improving over the past couple months, but ever since my great showing at the monster home game three weeks ago, I haven't won a thing. I could chalk it up to my lack of studying... I've been meaning to pick up some low limit hold 'em books, but haven't had the time to get to a store. It may have something to do with my mindset financially... with the big move, my cash flow has been in flux, and truth to tell, I haven't been tracking it as well as I should. Hell, maybe it's been the worrying I've been doing over friends/family with all the hurricanes down in Florida. Whatever the case, I need to take a step back from the game a bit.

I have a number of things I need to work on in the coming months if I want to improve my game past average player levels. Here's just ten of them:

1. My poker face is pathetic. It's been pointed out, and I know this, that I can't keep a straight face... ever. Now, in my mind, this isn't too bad, because if I'm always smiling, it's not really a tell, but that ain't true. Sadly, this is the one part of my game I'm afraid will never get better. Thankfully, it's not a problem online...

2. I need to stay away from zero gappers unsuited. This isn't really a problem in early position, as I rarely call with them, but damn is it hard not to call the SB, or a raise in the BB with 6-7o. I just need to tell myself: it's not worth it!

3. Ignore runs of a strange hands. It happens quite a bit... 4, 5, 6 hands in a row are won by a straight or a flush. When your mind focuses on these random wins showing up consistently, you begin looking at your pockets from a standpoint on whether you can hit that flush or straight this time, when otherwise you would throw away the 2-5 immediately. I have a background in statistics... why do I ignore the random variables?!?

4. From Wil... I need to throw away hands in which I know I am beat. This is more a problem in 3/6 games than no-limit. If I have an average hand, but the straight iss out there, a higher pair is out there, hell, even a two pair possibility, I have this insatiable need to call a six bet, just to see. This was fine early on when I was learning to play, but now it's just poor strategy. Losing 10% of your initial bankroll for look-see... just pathetic.

5. Also from Wil, the flipside... I need to be able to lay down a winning hand. This problem is more for no-limit than 3/6. When there's not alot of money in the pot, and I'm facing a huge raise, even with top pair, I need to learn to let it go sometimes. My problem is that I do not respect player's bluffs... sure, they may be chasing a straight, but I'd much rather give them a small pot by folding, then allowing them to double-up by catching it. This obviously isn't a strategy many players take, but I'm becoming more and more conservative in my play, and I think I need it.

6. Stop raising with junk in home games, and even 3/6 at the card rooms. The books may tell you it's smart, but damn, in low-limit... I have not seen any advantage in it. There is always someone who's going to stay in, and in the long run, their K-5's are gonna do much better than your Doyle Brunson's.

7. Respect low board pairings. Even if I have top pair with a high kicker, or hell, even two pair, I've yet to learn folding when the board pairs on the turn or river. Just remember that, shit, this scenario's helped you out numerous times... it's bound to help someone this time!

8. Position, position, position! Before I read Abdul's page, I never really gave much thought to it. Now, it's slowly creeping in, but it's not ingrained yet... it will be... it will be.

9. Patience young man, patience! Maybe it's my TV-raddled brain, but I need constant action. If I've sat in an orbit and not seen a flop, I get antsy, and go in with crap I usually wouldn't. See: going all-in with pocket 6s...

10. Finally, I need to get back to having fun. I'll never be a professional player... it's not something I think I could be, nor aspire to be. So this means more home games, and less late-night Joe's excursions. More good-natured ribbing, and less stoic-crouched playing. I have no problem that my co-workers and friends associate me with poker... I just don't want poker players to become my work and friends.

posted by Holz | 3:26 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)


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Right Now I'm Probably...
Lost, Heroes, 24, Criminal Minds
Brobdingnagian Bards
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Final Fantasy XII
Running... hopefully
My Amazon.com Wish List
Comic Quote of the Week
"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"

"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"

"You took mine."

Wesley and Angel, Angel: After The Fall #15

Who Am I?
Name: Holz
Home: Sonoma County, California
About Me: I'm a comfortador.
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Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely
Kicking ass for:
29 years
UWing Systems Design Specialist
Walking Theme:
Believe It Or Not by Joey Scarbury
Most watched movie:
The Princess Bride
Most read book:
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

Where Do I Go?
Blogs I Will Most Likely Steal Ideas From
The Past
Some of My Favorite Entries
"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole."
100 Bullets #42