The Cards Spoke

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



Don't call it a comeback

"Now that Fortuna had saved him from one cycle, where would she spin him now? The new cycle would be so different from anything he had ever known."
--John Kennedy O'Toole, Confederacy of Dunces

Just chain me to my PC and never let me back in the B&M. After losing my shirt-- actually, I think my most expensive shirt is $30, so let me rephrase-- after losing 10 shirts at Hollywood Park, the cards smacked me in the head and I managed to walk away with $260 in 1 hour and 20 minutes last night. For some reason I'm missing $50 of profit on PokerTracker, since the auto-request seems to have failed once (this is the first time that's happened-- maybe it was on party's end?). But the BB/HR is up there at a whopping 25 BB/Hr.

I was 9 for 13 showing down, and had 6 two pair hands, a flush, and a full house. And did I get some cards.

starting_hand    times_dealt    win_pct    amt_won
AQo    2    100    49
KTs    1    100    39
TT    1    100    37.5
AJs    1    100    37
KQo    1    100    28
QJo    2    50    20
AKo    1    100    20
AA    1    100    18
86s    1    100    14.5
QQ    1    100    14.5
99    1    100    14
K7o    2    50    10
JTo    1    100    6

A grinder's dream. Note I even hit on my 86s and one of my K7o blind hands. The sad thing was I didn't feel like I was focused the entire time, but my cards were so good it didn't matter. I did make a couple of good calls, and a couple well-timed bluffs, but the old saying "it's better to be lucky than good" certainly applied.

I took pleasure in busting out two short stacked players who were tilting their money away. I ended up calling them down with small pairs, and of course they were trying to buy the pot. Each of these dying fish added $40 to my profits, so most of my winnings came from simply calling these guys down on the 6 pots I was in with them. This brings us to the simple corollary that I'm sure most of you have already figured out:

Unless a player has proven him/herself as solid, if that player has less than 9 BB on a Party Table, the probability that they are running a bluff is much higher than usual.

I suggest doing everything you can to get these short stackers heads up, which is usually relatively easy-- the tilter raises early, allowing you to make it 2 bets to go, making it much more expensive for later callers. Obviously the table's texture might prevent you from isolating the short stack, but if you think a raise might knock the others out, it's usually worth a shot.

Here's an example:
***** Hand History for Game 341773724 *****
Table Ice Cream (Real Money) -- Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Conejo ( $47)
Seat 2: LTGambi ( $9)
Seat 3: markarian7 ( $146.50)
Seat 4: elvislives_ ( $301)
Seat 5: hdouble ( $173.50)
Seat 6: FeelGoodFern ( $210)
Seat 7: loubrdar ( $140)
Seat 8: Mgraw ( $63.50)
Seat 9: John549 ( $175)
Seat 10: bbadon ( $175)
hdouble posts small blind (1)
FeelGoodFern posts big blind (3)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to hdouble [ 9h, 9d ]
Mgraw folds.
John549 folds.
bbadon calls (3)
Conejo folds.
LTGambi calls (3)
markarian7 folds.
hdouble calls (2)
FeelGoodFern checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ As, 3h, Ac ]
hdouble checks.
FeelGoodFern checks.
bbadon checks.
LTGambi bets (3)
hdouble raises (6) to 6
FeelGoodFern folds.
bbadon folds.
LTGambi calls (3)
LTGambi calls all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8s ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 5c ]
Creating Main Pot with $23 with LTGambi
** Summary **
Main Pot: $23 | | Rake: $1
Board: [ As 3h Ac 8s 5c ]
Conejo balance $47, didn't bet (folded)
LTGambi balance $0, lost $9 [ 8c 7h ] [ two pairs, aces and eights -- As,Ac,8c,8s,7h ]
hdouble balance $187.50, bet $9, collected $23, net +$14 [ 9h 9d ] [ two pairs, aces and nines -- As,Ac,9h,9d,8s ]

Short stacks make for easy prey.

Grubby and Ignatius T. have turned me on to David Ross, and his latest rush makes mine look like one of Donnie McNabb's passes. Check out his latest post on 2+2:

Then the most amazing thing happened. I went on a rush like I’ve never had before. Between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM I won back everything I had lost that day finishing up $14 for the day. Over $1,200 in 3 hours. And it didn’t end there. Thursday saw me win another $1,616 and Friday another $1,502. From 1:00 AM Thursday morning until 4:00 AM Saturday morning that’s $4,400 in 19 hours of play. Over $200 / hr. Just an incredible feeling. Flopped quads on one hand (666 on board) and got all kinds of action from 2 pocket pairs. In a 4 way pot the final board was 5 6 7 8 9, I had the button with JT and the UTG guy bet into me, everyone called hoping for a chop and I got a raise in which they all called. If I was ahead on the flop I stayed ahead, and if I was behind I hit the river. I made so many sets on the river after being raised on the turn it was crazy. I also called down some outrageous bluffs.

No I'm not jealous. The guy has made 52K in 9 months playing full time. Note that the rush happened at 1-4 AM on Saturday night. Primetime!!! If I ever go pro (10% probability?), I will play from 6 to 3 AM (9 hour shift) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. The players are just so much worse then.

I need to think it out more, but my intuition tells me that you need to loosen up your starting standard BIG TIME in games where you can be sure that 6 or more players will see the flop. The implied odds go through the roof, and it seems like you can get away with suited queens and longshot suited connectors, like T8s. A lot of the poker literati will tell you that expert players often go too far by loosening up their starting standards, but this seems wrong to me in big multiway pots. Hopefully I can stumble through the math or better yet, run the turbo sims, and see how this plays out.

If I had a hammer...
Well it looks like my boy Paul took down the Hammer Challenge II. Congrats Paul. I still want to see more trash talking. When you drop the hammer, they gotta hear about it! Unfortunately I didn't get to swing it last night, although I did get 72 suited twice. It appears Jason isn't worried about me taking the third hammer, since he's thrown down the gauntlets and challenged Paul to go double-hammer-or-nothing in his blog. I haven't been able to log as many online hours as I want to (too busy blogging!), so I suppose I'm not destined to drop it. We'll see...

Thanks to Tommy, Peyton, Donnie, Jake, and you too Coy
I managed to go 3-1 on my conference championship bets, losing one of my 2 prop bets and winning my two spread bets. Peyton played awful, and most of it was due to his inability to read Belichek's constantly changing defensive formations. The Pats offense actually played quite badly in this game, and Brady seemed determined to choke, making a huge mistake (I can't remember seeing the last time he made a mistake) by throwing a pick in the endzone that would have put the game away.

McNabb couldn't suck it up when it counted, and was a disappointment after last week's stellar performance. Where was the fire Donnie? I'm still bitter after Mike Vick dominated him in last year's playoffs, losing me lots of money in the process. In his defense, he was coming off a broken leg, but D Mac, you gotta step up in those games.

Jake D has gotten a lot of crap all year, but I think he isn't that bad. He doesn't make all that many mistakes, and he's made a lot of tough throws throughout the playoffs. He reminds me of Brady in his rookie year, or perhaps a more accurate version of Trent Dilfer in the Raven's SuperBowl run. Delhomme won't win you the game, but he probably won't make any mistakes that cost you the game either. He is a little bit too excited for my taste, but some guys like a fired up QB.

But this week Delhomme will be overwhelmed by the brilliance of Belichek and Crennell. The Pats will pick this boy clean, and the backers will eat him alive. The Pats are giving up a whopping 6.5, but I think I'll still drop a few bills on my boy Billy B. This game will probably be low scoring, but I'd be happy to see a couple Patriot defensive TDs early. Billy also gets an extra week to prepare, which is worth at least 3 points.

Buy that man a Guinness
No blog pimping today, except for a shout out to THE KING. Ignatius has been offering us poor souls great links, theory, and everything else poker consistently for a long time. It's a lot of work to write a good blog every day, and I'm grateful that he's opened my eyes up to some great reading. If I ran a 50 player tourney, you'd probably see one-sentence blogs from old HDouble for at least a week. Here's to hoping the buy-ins for the tourneys he's running can raise enough money to get him in the Big One... I want a piece of that action.

Pic of the day:
Ignatius revealed!

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