|how bad are those players?
||[Oct. 11th, 2015|09:28 pm]
Yesterday was a banner poker session - I made $1000 playing $1/$2 no-limit Texas Hold-'Em. While this is rare for me, it is by no means unique. Amazingly, it is not the most important accomplishment of the session.
That would be that yesterday's session was the 20th significant win (+$100 or more) session in a row I've had. To put that in perpective, if my odds of winning any one session is 75%, the chances of winning 20 in a row is roughly .3%. If we make that chance an astounding 90%, I'm still only a touch over 12% to have that streak.
Now to be fair, I have some control over whether I have a winning session or not, in that I get to decide when it ends, and I am very loathe to quit when I'm down and think I'm in an explotable situation. The thing is, I pretty much feel I'm in an exploitable situation with every single player in my home poker room.
As I've mentioned before, if you really want to do well, you have to be able to beat up the regulars. Now if the regulars were good players, that'd be hard. But I've watched reasonably carefully, and they all seem to have glaring weaknesses. Gene is afraid of getting stacked; Chris plays too many hands, Mary bluffs at way too many pots, Lee never bluffs, Shannon telegraphs his plays ... the list goes on and on. Almost all of them commit the cardinal sin of cold-calling too many bets. It's amazing that they make any money at all, and I suspect a good percentage make a lot less than they let on. But there are enough drunk frat boys and andrenaline junkie asian gamblers that there's enough money coming into the room to beat the rake. We also have one or two _very_ wealthy bullies who like to push around the table who are very exploitable, though the variance can be higher than some of the regulars want to take on. (Me, I'll sit down at Mac's table any time I get a chance, and stay friendly enough with the guy that he doesn't seem to mind.)
David Sklansky, more or less the senior poker theoretician out there, once opined that when you know something about a situation your opponent doesn't, you win. (Even if you lose the hand - what he means is you can induce your opponent into making a mistake, which may or may not pay out to you depending on how the cards then fall.) A case in point came up halfway through yesterday's session.
I was dealt KQs under the gun (first to act preflop.) Sometimes I'd call, sometimes I'd raise small, sometimes I'd raise large, but in this case, I didn't want to randomize my choice because the player next to me was short-stacked - he had $15 left and looked like he wanted to throw it into the pot - and so I did something that would indicate it was safe to do so - I came in for $6. More later on why that was better than limping.
As expected, he tossed in his $15, and that caused a cascade of calls - 5 more total, leaving it my action with $96 in the pot. I thought for a few moments, obviously counted money in the pot, and raised it $150. Lots of folks grumbled, but they all folded, leaving me heads up. He flipped over 33, and I won when the board ended up AKKJ6.
Lots of the players started criticizing my raise - "how could you put in $150 on K high?" etc., etc. But really, this is quite a safe move, at least with this crowd. If anyone had AA, KK, or QQ, they are raising the pot themselves. I have to worry that AK called, but (a) there has to be an AK out there and (b) they still have to call the big raise on a hand that, for all they know, is facing a premium hand that's crushing them. Oh yeah, my image at the table was very tight.
The thing is, this is a basic play. Now some of the complaining was just sour grapes, since I expect that some of the players at least realized that if they'd pulled off the move I would have had to fold. :) But really, lack of knowledge about pretty basic tactics characterizes the play of the vast majority of players at most $1/$2 tables I've been at.
And as Calvin would say - that's not a complaint, I'm gloating. :)
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