The Cards Spoke

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



Win big, lose small

Okay, a lot of my favorite reading has been polluted by Vegan bashing, and I'm hoping I get to read about poker soon. I agree with The Fat Guy, who thinks good writers shouldn't waste their time with idiots:

"Anyone that can use the phrase 'fellow mammals' with a straight face doesn't deserve the attention paid to him thus far, much less a rational counterargument."

Amen to that.

Yours truly is a bit worn out after a weekend jaunt 4 hours north to Hearst Castle and Wine Country. I'm not a foodie-- in fact, I've been mocked many a time by friends for my motto that "food is fuel." I use food for energy... and while I enjoy eating (sometimes), I've chosen to spend more time on things that I feel are more important (football, poker, reading, writing, etc.). Sometimes I wish I could share other people's enthusiasm for food-- we've got to eat, so why not enjoy it to the fullest? But a steak and potato tastes just as good to me as the recipe of a famous French chef. Unlike certain other folks who will tell you how and what to eat, I respect a person's choice to enjoy whatever food they want... it's just that personally, I can't get excited about different wine flavors or a gourmet chef's cooking.

That said, the wine tasting was fun. We only made it to a few wineries, and I was driving, but it was kind of like a high class pub crawl. The wife thoroughly enjoyed it, so it was time well spent. This was my first trip to that area, and I was blown away by the amount of open land on the central coast. We were about 10 miles inland of the Pacific, and there were more cows than people. Stretches of beautiful landscape for miles and miles, which soothed my nerves, on edge thanks to the concrete jungle of LA. I'm from a small suburb in Connecticut, and it had been a long time since I'd seen anything that resembled "nature".

Hearst Castle was something else. Beautiful and decadent, but all in all a big waste of money.

Back to poker. We drove home on the Pacific Coast Highway, which wound its way along the Pacific through several very small towns. My eyes nearly popped out of my head as we drove through a town that must have had a population of 5,000, and I saw the good old symbols of the four suits painted on a window. "Oceana Card Room" the sign read, and it must have been the smallest card room I'd ever seen. I was really tempted to stop, but the odds of a game going on Sunday morning were probably not good. I found this tidbit on the web "Brook's Oceana Card Room has 3 total table games". 3 tables! I doubt I'll never make it back that way again, but if I do, I'll be sure to stop.

PartyTime: Had a short session that netted $124 for 73 hands, or 28 BB per 100 hands. Both tables were very loose, and my profit came from hitting two big hands, and bailing out early if the flop didn't hit me. The big hands were as follows:
--$76 after flopping the nut flush with KT in the BB. Some idiot capped the turn and river after an Ace hit the turn. He had A8o, for top pair weak kicker. Where do they get these guys?
--$66 after slowplaying a set of twos in a multiway pot.

I also won 4 or 5 smaller pots (5 BB not including my bets) just playing my top pair aggressively.

I've heard it said before, but I am really starting to agree that the low-limit winner's profit comes from his ability to lose money well. Once you gather an appropriately tight set of starting hands, and play "fit or fold" poker, you gain extra bets by folding when you accurately assess where you stand in the hand. The successful low limit player is good at identifying situations when there is a reasonable probability that his hand is beaten. Everyone will suffer suckouts and bad beats, but the real profit comes from the correct play facing a check-raise on the turn, or saving a bet when your nut flush is in trouble when the board pairs on the river.

Its obvious that knowing when you are beaten is important in low-limit poker. But I think by constantly working to put players on hands and saving bets in situations where we are marginal favorites, we can increase our win rate by at least a big bet an hour.

Maybe that wine got to my head. Back to real poker this week, and better blogging!

Pick of the day: Hellmuth's Home?

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