Saturday, February 17, 2007

Meet The Competition?

"Humor is reason gone mad. "
-Groucho

Either very worst player in all the world is making a series of poker 'instructional' videos, or we have an Andy Kauffman-level satire emergency on our hands. The next coming of TuffFish? Ah, no, at least TuffFish occasionally knew where he stood in a hand. And un

Here it is, a frightening window into the mind of the people who are managing to crack my Aces.

"I have a flush draw" preflop. Sweet jumbly goobers, this simply cannot be real. It's fake, right?

I don't think so, actually. I've played these guys. If he's not real, I can point to five guys last night who definitely are.

The level of confidence directly proportional to the level of delusion.

If this isn't a joke, he amazingly manages to be wrong about 1700% of the time he opens a mouth. If this IS a joke, he is officially my very favorite person in all of the Inter-nets.

Judge for yourself . . .

"King seven, that's actually a pretty good hand."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkIdBWY2iNg

"I have a lot of critics on that first video . . . "
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BxGHN0DS8A&mode=related&search=

"I dominate . . . PokerStars. Straight ballin', that's me."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqRjPysjC6A&mode=related&search=

"This is not a joke."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8EE6Dw8-dc&mode=related&search=


ETA: After further review, this has to be a joke. It's still pretty awesome.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The End, And Everything After That

"Hello, I must be going."
-Groucho


Here's how it stands. I'll be going broke soon. That's what happens when you are (1) a MTT guy (2) can't rebuy and aren't interested in jumping the hurdles and taking the risk associated with making a deposit post-UIGA, and, most importantly, (3) haven't made any significant cashes since November.

It's a cooler. It's a long cooler.

Sometimes, the cooler never stops. That's what they don't tell you about variance. I've never had a run where I was so consistently getting my chips in with the best of it. My reads are sharper than before. I'm learning how to figure out just where I am in a hand. I think hard about what the other guy might be holding. When the cards are flipped, I am rarely surprised these days by what I see.

This is a big change from the impressionable young goat who first hit the digital felt in 2005. I'm happy with my progress. I feel confident (Mondays at the Hoy aside) that when I start an MTT that I am one of the better players at the table, and what I observe rarely acts as a corrective. Eventually, if variance is allowed to continue indefinitely, variance will come around and smooth that thang out. Eventually.

But 'indefinitely', much like leprechauns and free lunch, just doesn't exist. Every swimming pool has a cement bottom. Sometimes, for some folks, the cooler just doesn't end before you find yourself standing on it.

So, unless the sun breaks through the clouds in the next month or so, I'll be all done. Cook the goat. Remember him fondly. Pour some Guinness on the curb for busted homies.


But . . .

Sometimes, it's not about variance. Sometimes it's about your play, and you don't even know what 'it' is, you just know that it is there. If you are losing for months and months, it's usually not variance, or luck, or 'luck'. It's usually not that everybody else is a donkey. It's that YOU are a donkey.

So it may be with Julius _Goat. If I weren't getting the beat with the best of it so much, I'd automatically assume that this was the case.

But even still, I wonder. Can I be busting after constantly (I'm going to make a wild guess and say 80% of the time) getting the money in with the best of it, and STILL be playing badly? Comments from my betters highly appreciated here. What do you do to locate and patch the holes in your game?

And while we are on the subject of bad play. Let's talk abut the bad play.

The Bad Player is leaving now that Neteller has left the dance floor? Um . . . only if they are being replaced by the Bad Players's ugly kid sister, Really Excruciatingly Bad Player and her good friend, Do You Even Know How This Game Is Played? I played the 18K this weekend and was busted again, near the bubble by somebody calling off 2/3rds of their remaining chips post-flop with two overs and no draws (hey Hoy, it was Ace Jack offsuit -- isn't that great?). That wasn't even close to the worst play I observed. I saw somebody check call down to the river on an AQTJ board with nothing but pocket 4's. Want to guess what the river was?

That's right.

So, I am at a loss as to what to do. I think it's time to drop the limits, but I'm starting to wonder if there is much point to it. So what if I win? What then? Can't get it out, don't know if I'd want to try. There's a paucity of good news for online poker these days. I'd rather be Spinal Tap's drummer than an online poker pro these days. Some days I just want to chuck it, buy into the Stars Millions for almost all my remaining scratch, and just be done (or be big).

I've definitely come late to the Party (Poker). I think I'll just play the MATH until I'm dry. I'm hardly funded for a $20 MTT anymore (hard to believe, but there it is), but I have fun at least playing with good people I kind of sort of know.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Doing the MATH

"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. "
-Groucho

Another Hoy, another final table bust out. I played really well and toyed with the chiplead for a good part of the time. I am happy with my play . . . until about 11:30, when we got five-handed and I decided to try to steal from EP with mighty mighty KQ. A King hit the board on the river, which made me decide to make that my push opportunity.

Um, except I totally neglected to think about the texture of the board. Tony the Mean Green SNG Machine had made his flush, and I lost most of my hard-won stack.

With an M in the Horshack Zone and the blinds upon me, I was miraculously allowed to limp with 64 spades. Flop came six high, two spades for the inside straight flush draw.

I pushed, of course, but Hoy called me with KTs. No further spades came, but the T on the river sent me home. Once again I was a bald-headed little girl with no lollypop.

But this was refreshing. I didn't go out on any sick beats. I went out because I deserved to. Tony made a flush against me, but he was ahead the whole time. Hoy had a few less outs than he expected when he called (since I was on a straight flush draw), but he made the right call. He was either the favorite or it was 50%, and he had way the right odds. I complained a bit at the time, but about one minute's reflection made it clear that it wasn't luck that had just bit me . . . it was playing KQo out of position and then failing to make a continuation.

I'd rather win for good play than lose for bad play, but it's nice to see the universe normalize itself, however briefly.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

TurnStars

"Of course you know that this means war."
-Groucho


Well, here's how I went out this weekend.

Aces, raised up 4x and called by 34 hearts. Two hearts on the otherwise ragged board and the caller poooooshes. Heart on the turn.

Kings, RE-raised up 5x and called by A6 diamonds. Two diamonds on the Q high board and the caller poooooshes. Diamond on the turn.

Pocket sevens with an M of 6*, after being card dead and playing approx. 15% of all hands. After this, my raised command such respect that I am flat called by some mutton-eater for a third of his chips with . . . Q3 hearts. Two hearts on the flop, final heart hits the river.

Queens, raised up 8x (limpers) and called by KJ clubs. Two clubs on the Ten high board and the PF caller calls. Club on the turn. By now, I am tilting enough to just shove all-in to make him show that he made it.

Those are the ones I remember. This keeps happening and happening and happening. You want to know what the odds are for your two suited cards to make a flush are?

Against me, I'd put it at around 80%.

You want to know what the odds are for your flush to hit with two cards coming?

Against me, this weekend? It's been 100 freaking percent. I get in ahead, and if somebody's drawing to the flush, they get there. 100% if the time in all-in situations. I wish I were kidding.


*Because of this hand. Re-raised big with cowboys. Two callers with Ace-Jack and Ace rag. You know that one of the 2 remaining Aces is peeling out on the flop. I got away from the ensuing all-in, but Ace-rag decided to go down with the ship.

Ace Jack. Fonky-fonky, as Richard Pryor would say.

I have never been one to subscribe to the RiverStars mentality. (And to be fair, it's really been more like TurnStars for me.) When Hoy went on his mega-uber-glorious-supremely-wonderful rant a couple weeks back, I was amused, nothing more. But now, with my cash stuck in there indefinitely, I am starting to wonder. I have nothing to back this up, nothing. I'm not planning on doing the massive research to check it out. And honestly, this has been happening to me live, too. I'm not wearing a tin foil hat . . . but I'm getting sized for one.

Again, this is not statistical, and it's definitely influenced by the kind of tilt you get after getting kicked in the head repeatedly, but it really seems that variance is not balancing. When I get in ahead, over the past 2 or 3 months, I don't think I'm winning many coin flips. When I am ahead in some coin-flippish situation? Say 77 vs. overcards? Based only on memory (which of course weights the beats harder), I'd say I'm winning 10% of those over the last 3 months.

That probably makes it more like 20%. But man, it really really FEELS like 10%.

When I am way, way, way ahead? Like, my opponent has 2 whole outs? That one feels like I win 33% of the time. I'll give it 50%, but it isn't more.

My Kings vs. Jacks, all in pre-flop? I've gotten to the point where I'm surprised when the J doesn't hit.

I just expect to lose all-ins now, when I'm ahead, when I'm behind, whichever. I expect it. And then I do.

When I'm called by suited rags? I know the flush is coming.

Gah. GAH.

This is probably variance. It's got to be variance. Let it be variance. Getting all the money in when you're ahead needs to be enough.

Whine, whine, whine. I know, this is pathetic. Holla, I owe you a dollar. Let me hear it.

Friday, February 2, 2007

HSP Shout Out

The poker blogging world (and especially Grubby) have a new white knight.

Yes, the mighty hammer has gone public.

Watch here. On episode 3 of the latest season of the increasingly wonderful High Stakes Poker, and only seconds after Daniel Negraneuaueuoueu tries to claim the 72 offsuit as his own, Mike Matusow gives it its proper title.

Done, done, and done.

And by the way, how smart is DN for giving up his seat to commentator Gabe Kaplan for a couple eps for the opportunity to see hole cards in a game that he is playing? I mean, he can't act on the actual hands for which he sees hole cards, but he's getting invaluable information on how everybody is playing. I can't believe that the other players didn't call shenanigans of the very highest order.

Well played, Daniel. Well played.