Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Win Julius_Goat's Money

"Die, my dear? Why that's the last thing I'll do! "
-Last words of Groucho Marx

OK, last time I won a blogger tourny, it was the MATH back in the halcyon days of BBT, when new cars only cost a nickel and the streets were paved with cotton candy. Flush with confidence and heady with cash, I put a bounty on myself.

It was a really stupid thing to do. I couldn't make a move without getting called or pushed on. I went out early, and mntrider got the bounty. So, to recap, it was a really dumb idea. It was overconfident to the max. It didn't work out for me at all.

I'm doing it again. Let it never be said that I am a smart man.

Anybody who knocks me out of the Mookie tonight gets $11, or their money back, for their trouble. So kill a Goat, and you're freerolling.

Now . . . I like a big field, so a big field doubles the deal. Mook says that 70 is about the high end, but I'm going to take it down a bit. If the Mookie tonight has at least 65 runners, the Goat-Bounty is $22 U.S.

See you at the Mookie!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Table Profiles 009: Minimum_Betty

General Profile: One of the most prolific and wonderful opponents you can ever face in poker, Minimum Betty is more afraid of losing that she is desirous of winning. She'd bet less than the minimum if she could. In fact, the min. bet to her seems like a bullying shove.

Holding a marginal hand and faced with the choice between A) folding to your continuation bet or B) re-raising to see where she is in the hand, Betty will invariably choose C) raising so little that you have no choice but to call.

Holding a monster and facing a choice between A) raising big and hoping for a call and B) checking to trap you, she will almost invariably choose either C) min-bet, terrified that you'll fold your drawing hand, or D) check while hyperventilating and afraid to commit more chips, certain that you have the one possible hand that would beat hers. We even have video.

This play results in Betty losing a lot of hands to turn and river suckouts, and these losses only increase her natural fear of losing the hand.

Natural Habitat: Cash tables, typically low-limit. At the higher limits, Betty has been quickly destroyed, her poor bones cunningly whittled and sold on eBay to be used as card protectors by known thug gangsta rappers.

Strengths: Sometimes loses the minimum.

Weaknesses: Invariably wins the minimum.

Motto: Ummmmmmmmm . . . .

Favorite Hand: A folded hand. A nice, safely folded hand.

Care & Feeding: This point really cannot be overly stressed: You must make Betty feel that she is playing optimally. Observe this sample hand below:


Undergod posts small blind of $0.25
Hero posts big blind of $0.50

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to Hero [Ah5h]

Cowgirl487 folds
Zanzibar folds
Minimum Betty calls $0.50
Bushido folds
Undergod calls $0.25
Hero raises to $2.00
Minimum Betty calls $1.50
Undergod folds

[Flop 8h Jh 2s]

Betty bets $0.50

Hero: Hmmmm.

Hero has 15 seconds left to act.

Hero: Man. Do you have the Jack?

Hero: I think you only have 77?

Betty: Call and see

Hero: You WOULD make it tough . . .

Hero raises to $2.00.
Betty calls $1.50.

Turn [Jd]

Minimum Betty bets $1.00

Now, you can be pretty sure after calling your raise that Betty's got a Jack and has just made trips. You're behind now, but whatever you do, make sure this looks like a tough call. Really take your time and muse over the better than 7:1 odds she's offering.


Hero: Oh man.

Hero: What do you have?

Hero has requested TIME

Hero: You just keep betting out at me. You're either bluffing or you have a hand.

Hero: OK

Hero calls $1.00.

Don't worry about what the river is. In fact, missing a couple times might give you what you're looking for: positive reinforcement to keep giving you amazing drawing odds.

If You Miss:

River [3s]

Minimum Betty bets $1.50
Hero folds.

Hero: Little too rich for my blood. Do you ever NOT bet?
Minimum Betty: Heh heh heh

If You Hit

River [3h]
Minimum Betty bets $1.50
Hero raises to $6.50
Minimum Betty has 15 seconds left.
Minimum Betty has requested TIME.
Minimum Betty calls $6.50

Minimum Betty shows [As Js], 3 of a kind, Jacks.
Hero shows [Ah 5h], flush, Ace high.

Hero wins pot

Hero: MAN, did I catch lucky there!!!!

It's important to note that you can't just assume you can shove all-in on Betty when you hit; she might even fold her trips to the flush board. On the other hand, you paid to get here, and she made it worth your while to pay. When you catch your draw, make it sting as much as you can.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Run Good

In May 2004, I was dealt a beautiful pocket pair.

Today, I flopped a set:

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Under The Microscope 006A: Math + People = Bad

First, I'd like to start with a deeply-felt and sincere moment of silence. The blog KOD is MIA, and we all hope it isn't RIP. Come back to the five-and-dime, KOD, KOD.

Secondly, thank you to everybody who read or commented yesterday on my now 10-day old busto hand deepish (98th) into the 28K. I'll get to the way the hand played out in a second, but first I'd like to give a big shout out to Yancy (let me know the link and I'll link you up, buddy), who pointed out my inability to perform simple arithmetic, and to Emptyman, who gave me the title of this post. You win the prize, Empty, a coveted spot on my blogroll! Why, most people have to perform unspeakable acts of depravity to receive the literally tens of page views that such a plum spot of real-blogstate provides. All you had to do was give me a good start toward my real reason for posting on this hand.

Namely, there are holes in my game, and I'd like to patch them. I ain't ashamed, ya'll. There's holes in your game, too. Can I get an amen?

See, I know that mblitzo made a bad call. Not the most godawful call ever, a pretty standard "you see it every day" sort of bad call, but a bad call nonetheless. I don't know what range you'd put somebody on there, but you're only ahead of a total bluff with AQ unimproved. Unless you are up against an AK total bluff. Then you're hurting. A total bluff will occur, but it's going to be a small percentage of the time against most players. That percentage will be a piece of a pie chart that is viewable, but it's going to be a measly piece of pie. You ain't gonna get no whipped cream or nothin'.

Next you have to assume that a small but pie-noticeable amount of the time, you are totally crushed. A3s will do the trick, as will 55, 33, AA, KK, or QQ. Those last three are all pretty plausible hands for a smooth call pre-flop, and the first three aren't out of the question. I'd say you're looking at a small piece of pie, but bigger than the bluff. There is room for a single maraschino cherry.

Next, you have to assume that a very large percentage of the time, you are up against a pair smaller than your overs. That's going to be the kind of pie-piece that could kill a lumberjack. In this case, you need at least 3:1, and that's if you are up against deuces or fours. For sixes through Jacks, you're going to need 4:1. I'm going to assume an underpair to a queen is the hand that most of you put me on, and you'd be right. As a matter of fact, I had one of the very bestest hands old Mblitzo could have hoped for. I had deuces on this paired board, which means that he has the counterfeiting outs.

The turn was a four, the best possible card for me since it gave me an OESD to go with my already better hand, took away his Ace outs, and made me a nice 80% favorite.

The river was another four, which send me packing.

I want to be clear, I don't consider this a bad beat at all. I had a somewhat better hand that didn't hold up. I played better than my opponent . . . though I'm not sure just how MUCH better . . . and I lost anyway. If I had won, I'd have been in the top 5 in chips. I put what I felt was maximum pressure on my opponent while I was still reasonably sure my hand was better, and I got him to call with a worse holding. I know I was taking a risk with a pretty weak hand. He may just as well have had an overpair (ANY pair is an overpair), but my read was that he didn't. I see an all-in with a medium pair and a rope-a-dope check or a little pull bet with a monster. That's my read, I went with it, I was right about that.

But I think I was wrong about something, or a couple somethings, and I'm not sure what. That's why I'm posting. These are the hands that keep sending me out. I have a read that the villain has an overpair and missed. I have a medium pair and am pretty sure I'm ahead on an ugly, low, uncoordinated board. I bet hard, hoping for a fold, but hoping even more for a bad call. If I'm in early position here, I'll often check-raise to get some more money in the pot. I get called a lot by AQ, AK, and AJ in this position. Sometimes KQ. Did you know that paint cards show up a LOT on the turn and river? They sure do against me.

Here's where yancy and Emptyman come in. The checkraise got more money in the pot, sure. But it also sweetened the odds. Still not enough to make it a worthwhile call, but enough to make somebody think that it might be. I sweetened the pot thinking it was correct, but I'd pulled too hard on this guy, and now I couldn't push. The odds weren't right, but that doesn't matter if you can't do the math.

Speaking of guys who can't do the math . . . I've got egg on my face. Thanks, yancy, at least now I know that I'm sloppy. Sheesh.

Let's recap. You are deep into steal territory in an MTT, past the money. You have an M around ten. You have deuces in the BB and face a raise 3x from EP. How do you play it? You're going to have overs after the flop. If there is an overpair, you're crushed. Is this just an auto-fold? I don't personally think so, not even from an EP raiser, not when everybody's stealing. But maybe that's a hole in my game. Do you raise? I don't think so, because a raise is pot-committing me with deuces. But maybe that's another hole.

What do you do if you call it and the flop comes raggedy, but misses your set? Do you just shove into the original raiser? I don't think so, because if so you may as well have done it pre-flop, but . . . well you know.

You can't call an all-in, but what about a 1/2 pot bet that screams "C-bet"?

Where do I get away from this hand? Or do I even want to?

Let me know, Internet! Tell me I'm a donk and then tell me why! I'll tellya "Thankee sai" for your trouble, believe me. What's your strategy in this hand?

Under The Microscope 006: Hairy Defrauder and The Priced-In Ponce

All right, I'm going to reverse things on you for this sample hand. You're not with me for this one, you are playing against me. To be perfectly clear, and at the risk of giving away too much info, this is the busto hand for me in last week's 28K (98th place for a cash of maybe double my buy-in).

I have my opinion on this play. I shared that opinion with the gentleman whose identity you are about to put on (not something I usually do after busting, but I was a little steamed with the result of what I thought was good play).

The gentleman informed me that he simply had to call, as he was priced in.

I shared my opinon of his play again. Then I shared some other choice opinons I had just devised. Busto tilt is funny sometimes.

Hopefully, I am not writing this simply to receive justification of that opinion (I put this post off a week because of the possibility). Hopefully, I'm sincerely looking to see if there is something I am missing. I wouldn't be surprised to be told how I misplayed this aspect, or that aspect, or all streets. Let's see, whadya say? (Many of these numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousand to protect the innocent.)

So, here's the scenario:

Your name is mblitzo. I know, I know. But what can you do? It's a family name. You're playing the 28K and you're past the money bubble with about 100 runners left. About 50 hands ago, this joker named Julius_Goat moved into the seat directly to your right. He's been playing fairly tight given the levels, but he's raised in position to steal your blinds a couple of times. You put him on a steal both times, but your hand was bad enough that you had to lay down anyway.

Blinds are 400/800. Antes are 100. Your table is full. You have a stack of 32,816.

UTG you find AsQh. You raise to 2500. It folds around to the small blind, MDRPlayer, a short-stack, who calls. Julius_Goat also calls.

The three of you see a flop of [3h 5d 3c].

Not ideal, but it probably missed these other two as well. They both check it to you and you C-bet for 6,000 more.

MDRPlayer folds.

Julius_Goat thinks for a while, and then shoves in with his remaining 17,130.

You have just a little over 24,000 left. You have to call another 14,000 to win 31,000, so you're getting a little better than 2:1.

So, should you call this Julius_Goat moron, or what? What range do you put him on? Are you priced in, or is this a tough fold?

We'll be back tomorrow with the concluding episode of . . .




Monday, September 3, 2007

Doing The MATH 006: Using Bayes Theorum To Prove That Losing Sucks

A lot of people have occasionally had the thought, "I hate to lose," or "Losing sucks."

Friends, I am here to prove it mathematically. No, this has nothing to do with going utterly card dead at the MATH, squandering the chip lead from the break, and basically playing like a truck-struck weasel for about an hour. Shut up.

I'm going to take a page from Hoy here and utilize Bayes theorem. I've asked Hoy to come in and write me an intro, and he's been good enough to do so.

Take it away, Hoy.


Using math to prove different poker truths that we all may know are true but before doing the math we didn't know WHY they were true, we just knew that they WERE true, is something that I'm always down for sheezy, so when Goat told me he'd proved that losing sucks, I was excited to hear about it without question. And I don't agree with everything that Goat has to say about the matter, believe me, but I think there are definitely a lot of good points being made here in how Bayes theorem can apply to the absolute suckiness that occurs when you lose. Now, I know a goodly number of you are going to have a lot of trouble believing the results here, and believe me when I tell you that I was one of those people who absolutely didn't understand the concepts that are being unfolded here until I had gone over it again and again in my mind, that's for sure. So when these recockulockudingdongdockulous beats come with some flonkey calling you off with some JackAce hand or something and hitting and you just want to pull them through their computer screens and just chew their faces off and tell their daughters awful things, you may not realize that there is some math that can be applied to understand just how badly it all sucks, and why. I mean, losing just DOES suck. Not even the biggest idiot in the world would EVER question that.

The questions that Goat has devised can seem to fly into the face of logic, but when he comes back in a day or two (because we all know that Goat just doesn't post very much so honestly it may be a month or more and he'll just have some lame excuse for his long span between posts) with the answers, I think it will be a HUGE eye opener by any stretch of the conceivable imagination.

Cash players are donkeys. Bayne is a luckbox. Thank you.


Thanks, Hoy! So, without further ado, here, using Bayes Theorem, is the proof that losing does indeed suck.

Problem #1. You are playing "Lets Make A Deal" with Monty Hall. You have to choose one of three boxes that are identical in every way. One of the boxes contains a million dollars. The other two boxes contain a photo of Waffles. After you've made your initial choice, Monty will knowingly show you Waffles in one of the two boxes you haven't picked. He'll then give you the choice to keep the box you initially picked, or to switch to the remaining box.

If you switch, and it turns out that you gave up the million dollars, doesn't that just TOTALLY SUCK?

Problem #2. Presume that 5% of the population has Lupus. Further presume that 80% of those who have Lupus and are tested get a false negative. Further presume that 10% of those who don't have Lupus and are tested get a false positive.

If it turns out you have Lupus, doesn't that just TOTALLY SUCK??

Remember to think it through before you answer. I'll post the answers later this week. Comments are very welcome here.