Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Live Poker Debacle - or, the rest of my WPBT trip

There are a few things that I have learned about my poker game in the last month. Which might equal the sum total of things learned about my game in the years that I've been playing.

Thing #1 - I'm not going to make any money at the blogger mixed games. I'm pretty sure I've dropped about a grand at 2/4 or 3/6 blogger mixed games in the past couple of years. It's not even so much because most of the bloggers are better at mixed games than I am (although they are). It's mostly because I don't pay a whole hell of a lot of attention to the game when I'm settled into a game with a bunch of bloggers. I'm more interested in splashing chips around, making big donkey pots and trying to hit ridiculous cards on the river to win huge pots. And failing. In essence, I'm at those tables to have a good time, not to play optimal poker. Which means I'm pretty much dead money.

And that's okay with me. I'm not usually dead money at my game of choice (yeah, NLHE), so I can handle paying for entertainment a couple times a year. This is a leak, but no bigger leak than booze or strippers.

Thing #2 - This is a bigger leak - I can play limit in a casino with moderately good results, but not if I'm playing the smallest game the room spreads. My game is predicated upon an opponent thinking to at least level 2, and occasionally believing that I actually have the hand I'm representing. This will not happen at a 2/4 table. If the lowest game they spread is 3/6, then it won't happen there, either.

I came to this realization over the course of Saturday and Sunday in Vegas, when I dropped a buy-in playing like a jackass at a 4/8 table at the Venetian (lowest limit they were running), and then making a buy-in and a half playing 4/8 with a half kill at the Palms (biggest limit game they had running). I could certainly have made money in the game at the Venetian, if I could have managed to pay enough attention to do so. The players were awful, but I'll admit to a little bit of sleep deprivation and a little bit of "how can you keep hitting with that garbage" tilt.

But the fact remains that I'm an aggressive player, and you simply can't apply enough pressure at the lowest limits to make anyone fold, and that keeps me from being profitable at those games. So going forward I will endeavor not to play the smallest of limit games, and concentrate on the games where I actually show a profit.

So most of Vegas is a blur, except for the highlights I've documented previously here. One late moment that stands out is seeing George Carlin at the Orleans. Lil' Nick had gotten tickets because Carlin was one of his heroes, and I decided that by Sunday night I'd be in the mood for a couple of hours in more comfortable seating, so I went with. You wouldn't have known anything was wrong with the old bastard, he put on a helliuva show. Knowing what I know now, I'm glad I got the chance to see him before he croaked, he was truly a legend.

So plans are being made for the next trip, which is going off December 12-14. I've already got my ticket, and that may shape up to be my 5th Vegas trip this year. Not a bad year, methinks.

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