The Cards Spoke

After 5 years of silence, I'm back! Check out the new poker blog.



Happy Tree Day

Ok boys and girls, I just downed my second cup of coffee and I have 30 minutes before I have to go pick up my sister at LAX, my favorite place in the world. With the Orange Alert, I’m sure it will be a blast. I just read Iggy’s Christmas blog, and thought a Christmas post would be better than no post at all, so here goes…

I grew up a Catholic boy, and even went to Catholic high school, but if I had to classify myself these days, I’d probably say I was a Deist. I guess the amount of evil in the world doesn’t jive with my notion of what a perfect being would want the world to be like, so I have trouble with that one. Yeah, the problem of free will and all that, but I don’t buy it. Dostoevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor” story is a great illustration of this for all you literature buffs out there. Interesting to note that old Fyodor was a Christian himself… while we’re on religion, remember that the Christmas tree comes from Catholic missionary’s slick move to convert the (Irish?) tree worshippers to Catholicism. “You celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and we’ll make your tree our centerpiece.” I think this was St. Patrick’s idea, but I’d have to go back to the high school textbooks…

Minimal poker content in this post (I have been doing Christmas stuff for the past couple days, and did manage to sneak in a 10 BB win at $3-6), but I wanted to point out a good observation in Feeney’s book. He makes the point that a shorthanded game with 2 bad players can be much more profitable than a ring game with 5 bad players. Why?
1. In a full ring game, much of your time will be spent watching these bad players play against each other
2. In a shorthanded game, aggressiveness has “cover” since it is expected and rewarded. So good and bad players alike are forced to call you down, even when they are confident they are beaten, just to keep you honest.
3. You play many more hands, since you must loosen up your starting hands, and the games go much faster.
These are all great points, but the key is that 2 of the players in the shorthanded game must be bad. On Party, every once in a while you can find some fish in the shorthanded $5-10 games, but usually the players there are tough. Maybe I should explore the shorthanded $5-10s more, and start practicing game selection. Or, try 2 of the $1-2 shorthanded games, but before when I’ve tried two shorthanded tables simultaneously my brain nearly exploded. I don’t know how the Grubster can handle it, I guess his neural net is faster than mine.

Speaking of which games to play, I think I’m going back to $3-6 exclusively now. The wait list for the $5-10 games is out of control, and the players there are considerably better than at $3-6 (judging from my last couple $3-6 sessions). The Party user base is changing and it’s important to figure out how the games are being affected. I want to use online play as practice, and put the real money on the felt at Hollywood Park. The weekend $15-30s there are like the $3-6 Party games, so if I can squirrel away enough cash (thanks, Christmas gifts), I will sit with the big boys. My wife’s new job at the Beverly Hills hotel should help… why don’t you just play in the $6-12 game, my astute readers will ask. Well, in California, it is illegal to rake the pot, so they take a “drop” after the preflop betting is completed. The drop should be called robbery, because at $6-12 it is $6!!! A small bet! The way I think of it is that there is an invisible 11th player at the table, who is collecting a small bet every hand. If 40 hands are played in an hour, the invisible man is collecting $240 or 20 big bets an hour. No wonder he can afford that invisible mp3 player and those nice invisible sunglasses. You have to beat the hell out of a table to overcome a 20 big bet an hour hole created by the casino. But the top limit section has a time charge—in the $15-30, it is $7 per half hour. So the invisible man in top section is only making 10 small bets an hour from the table, or 5 big bets an hour. This is beatable, and just shows you how badly the Cali casinos treat the low limit player.

Running out of time here… I was dying when I read about McGrupp’s bad beat at Foxwoods. Aces full beaten at Hollywood Park wins you the jackpot, which is between 10K and 20K. Not only did poor McGrupp lose the pot, he lost 20K in missing bad beat jackpot cash. But I hate jackpot games, since the probability of hitting it is something like 1 in 25,000, depending on the hand. Hear that McGrupp??? 1 in 25,000!

I’ve always been more on the “content” side of blogging than the “links” side. I know that blogging has traditionally been about linkage, but I have always tried to give my faithful readers more content and less linkage. But it’s Christmas, so I thought I’d give linkage a shot. Enjoy.

1. The greatest interview ever, in MP3 format. Just in case you missed it on Sunday night football this week.
2. My favorite sportswriter out there. Check out The Sports Guy for a different take on sports journalism.
3. Far and away the best NFL column available.

And last but not least, a bit of shameless self-promotion. Check out a snippet of my first novel, which I’m working on when I’m not developing software or playing poker. The title is “The Escape Artist”. Thanks to McGrupp for including it in this month’s edition of Truckin’, his blogzine. He doesn’t just take bad beats, he’s also a writer.

Merry Christmas!

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