Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weekend Update

From the end of the weekend...

Played cards last night with the usual suspects. Jim the Knife hosted since Suzy asked that we not have the game here for a couple weeks so she can finish a few projects. I managed to double up on the evening, largely through no fault of my own. I picked up some big hands that hit and made a couple of bluffs that didn't get called. I did play a little tighter than usual, but having position on BG and Special K allowed me to collect the appropriate information preflop and get away from some hands that I likely would have played had I not seen their action before making my decision.

My profits too a dive at the end of the session when I made a stupid zero-sum move in O8. I'm blaming my move on the fact that it was late, but really, it's not like I haven't played much longer sessions before and not imploded on the end. I picked up 3457 rainbow in middle position, and everyone limped in. There's no point in raising preflop at that table in o8, because at least 2/3 of the players will call. So no one did. I flopped the world, A24, but there were 2 spades. BG checked to me, and I fired $3 into a $3 pot.

This is where my friends make it hard to tell them that I have a strong hand. Several of them are making decisions to call based on the size of the bet in real dollars, not in relation to the pot. Now $3 isn't a lot of money, but it's a pot-sized bet. That means nothing in this game. I knew this, and didn't really care if anyone folded or not, because in my head, I had at worst half this pot locked up, and was in decent shape to scoop if no spade comes.

Remember, I never claimed to be a good Omaha player. I have a slight edge over more than half the field in my home game, but if you think I'm actually any good at the game, you're more deluded than the 350-lb woman wearing the "You can't touch this" T-shirt.

Of course a spade does come on the turn, and I'm not happy, but I fire $10 into the pot to find out where I am. Note that this is now significantly less than a pot-sized bet, but because $10 is more real money, many people who called a pot-sized bet on the flop folded to a less than pot-sized bet on the turn.

I know, Jim. You call it gambling. But calling small pot-sized bets with bad hands (not that I know what you had in this hand) is a major leak in some people's game, and if they can get out of the habit of thinking in real dollar amounts and focus on the relationship between the bet and the amount of money in there, then they will lose the same amount of money, but more slowly.

I got two one caller in BG, who was on my immediate right. I figured him for the flush, but thought it quite possible that he didn't have the nut flush, since I'd seen him check-call with a mediocre flush for the high a few hands before, and hoped that maybe I could push him off the hand on the river.

River was a blank, BG checked, I fired $20, and he remarked "I was trying to be nice," and raised me $40. Because I'm not a good Omaha player, I wasn't smart enough to realize that he also could have flopped a wheel and he may have been check-calling because he thought we might be chopping the low.

Which we were. So because I'm not a good Omaha player (and helped by the fact that he checked on every street, but that's just good play against me, since I'm fairly aggressive and BG's been playing against me for a couple years now), I tossed in $40, only to see $10 of it come back when he table the nut flush and the nut low, quartering me.

It was a huge brain fart on my part, because several times over the course of the night I had remarked that someone was making a play that would only be called by a hand that beat them, and then I went ahead and did the same thing myself. Nice. Good thing I never claimed to be a good Omaha player. Or frankly, a very good poker player altogether. But I don't have to be a good poker player, I just have to be better than a couple of people at the table, and last night a couple of our boys were running very bad, so I took slight advantage. Slight. But profit is profit, and my streak of live game wins continues.

I know. But I'm intentionally writing about it now, months before I go play anything at any casino-level stakes again, so when I get crushed by the poker gods, it will be in my home game and for less money. So as long as the poker gods don't read blogs, my plan is safe.

1 comment:

Poker said...

It is true when you just play at home.