Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FOQin' insane

I think I may have an affliction. It is shameful to even admit this but it did happen for a couple seconds on Monday during a PLO8 game. I may have FOQ. Fear of Quads.

The game is 6 handed .25/.50 PLO8. I call from mid position with A 4 4 J, with the A and J being spades. The SB calls and the BB goes for the min-raise. I call along but the SB drops. Usually preflop raises in this game are a big signal. If he raised pot it would scream AA or KK. But the min raise tells me he has small wheel type cards. I would raise with that as well.

The flop is 3 3 4.

Bingo, bango, bongo! He checks and I decide what to do. I want to bet. I am not slow playing this. Last time I flopped a boat and slow played someone rivered a higher boat on me. With just 4s full it could happen again. But I also consider his min-raise and what I thought it meant. Wheel type cards. He will call anything I bet. I can build a pot or take down a small one. I bet pot.

I expected a call. But instead he raised. Huh? He raised? Not only did raise but he raised pot. Usually they raise this early with the mortal nuts. That is when it happened. I stopped and said aloud "Great! He flopped quads on me. Damn it!"

A second or two after saying that, I felt pretty damn foolish. Am I going to play this game fearing everyone is flopping quads on me? Hell, that is a stupid thing to think. If I am going to fold every time the board pairs and I have a boat then I might as well take my money out, delete the software, and never play cards again.

A calmer presence took over. I thought for a second and raised pot. If he has it, he has it, but now I don't think he has it. He wouldn't have raised if he had it. He may let one more card fall to guarantee the trap. I think he is drawing and I hope he will commit the rest of his stack to draw at half the pot.

All the money goes in and he shows a great low draw. He has a ton of outs for the low pot and would need runner runner to take the high. The 9 on the turn guarantees me the high and the face card on the river shoves a big pot in my direction doubling me up.

I was happy but also very disappointed. How could I be insane enough to think the guy flopped quads on me? A couple bad beats has me living in fear of more bad beats. Not a way to play the game. Good news is I think I have shrugged it off.

Anyone watching the Beavis and Butthead poker show otherwise known at 2 months, 2 million? A bunch of geeky poker players go to Vegas with the goal of making $2 million in 2 months. Take 4 dorks, put them in a house, allow them to use every poker cliche in the world, and act immature because they think they are someone because they have money and call it a TV show. They probably are damn good poker players, much better than I. But social skills and a better vision of life are more valuable than any of the bank rolls these clowns may have.

Monday, August 24, 2009

4 card bingo

Omaha is a challenging game. It can test your limits. It will challenge your patience. It will make you mad. Watching nuts hands on the flop become weaker and weaker at the turn and river hit can take you to the brink of poker sanity.

That is why some call it 4 card bingo. Flopped a straight? Don't matter. The guy chasing the low just hit and you split the pot. Or the board pairs up and they have a full house and scoop the entire thing. Slow play? Don't be an idiot.

My weekend was an interesting one on the tables. I ended up losing about a buyin. That came from running a boat into quads. But I did have fun. I just wish I could have taken the bingo players for more money.

There were two separate occasions when I had an aggro donk at the table. I watched in fascination at they kept raising and/or betting and while showing crap hands. Their chip stacks fluctuated wildly like they were riding a roller coaster as they played. Their method was to raise a hand from late position no matter what they had. If they were in EP it was a limp. See the flop and respond to the action. Bet if it is checked to you, fold or call if you caught a piece of it. It was always bet POT too. No half pot or min bet. The turn either made their hand or they folded. They were going all in or folding on the turn. Two pair? Push!

Watching how people played back at them was very informative. From one guy berating him for playing bad hands to others letting him put his money out there. I tried to let him think he was controlling the action. Call his flop bets as they usually meant he didn't hit. Raise on the turn to extract value (if he had two pair he was going to call) from any trips or better. Push with the nuts on the river even if acting first. He may call with that two pair.

The system worked for him. Well, to an extent. He bought in for $20, ran it up to $60 and went bust. Rebought for another $20 and ran it up to over $100 before losing it. His comments to the haters showed he didn't care about the money. It was all sport. It was about seeing what would happen and just having fun. Hell, I have done that playing 2/4 limit at the IP in early morning session. Raising blind and playing it down without looking at cards.

I found myself thinking about the general style I witnessed. I try not to get too aggressive in a game of draws and re-draws. I had a number of hands go back this weekend trying to protect them. But the aggro method seemed to rule. I think some people figured out that most play is passive on the flop and betting pot to take it down worked out most of the time. Take down several small pots and you build a stack quite quickly.

I will have to adjust my game accordingly. And hopefully I can avoid running into quads again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ooooooooohhhhh, what a rush!

Poker players generally feel better when they discover holes in their game. They feel great when they are able to adjust and plug said hole. It is all about the learning process, of improving play to a better level and making money.

Yesterday I discovered a hole in my game. It may not truly be a hole but it is something I hadn't done much of in the past. I had 3 tables of PLO8 running last night on Full Tilt. I lost half a buy-in on two of them within the first 30 minutes. I made some river calls that weren't the best losing to higher flushes. In each case I bought some chips back for leverage. But it was on the one table that I made a change that helped on all 3 tables.

I played the rush.

Yes, it is that simple. I won a nice sized pot and then went on a rampage. It wasn't that I was getting good cards. They were good but they weren't great by PLO8 standards (well mine at least). I have read many a better player talk about how they were making calls on raises with good but not great hands against certain players. They took faith in the rush they were on and milked it for all it was worth. I finally jumped on that bandwagon and went for a ride.

It helped to have an aggro at the table. This guy would raise most hands and follow up with a continuation bet on the flop. I took a nice size pot off of him when he called me down with his flush to my boat. I then started playing back at him when it was just us in the hand. I made some calls with only high hands and started hitting them. I would let him bet out and then pop him on the river. This happened for 5 hands straight and soon I was just about tripled up.

Better yet, it helped me on the other two tables as well. Whereas I was down on each, I started grinding my way back up and soon had broken even. Of course it helped to have a donkey on my left who kept calling me down when I had a nut nut.

Playing the rush seems like such a simple idea. Sure it can get you into trouble as well but it feels good to feel in total control and invincible for a while.

I may take care of my Vegas plans this week. I have a place to stay thanks to Special K. And after reading Kid Dynamite's latest trip report, I feel that these four months will seem like eternity. How do you not wish it was December after reading this?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seeking time

I haven't had much time to play poker lately. Either work has taken over or there are just many other things to do during summer. I have been trying to take advantage of the time I do have to play. Full Tilt's bonus is a good deal and allows me to multi table the PLO8 games. Results are mixed. I either squeak out little gains or drop a buyin. Once in a while I catch a nice win but for the most part things seem to be Even Steven.

I think I should take the time to get a new pc as well. What I have is about 10 years old and slowing down. There is a good chance that if I click on the "last hand" function on FTP that it may freeze me up for a couple of minutes. Being that I have the brain of a drunken chimp I never remember this until it is too late and I am folded out of a couple hands for being disconnected.

I tried some software to clean things up but it only made my pc slower. Seriously, I am not kidding. I am thinking a cheap laptop may take care of my needs. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Snooze you lose

So much for a great rate at New York New York. Prices are going mid 80s now. Should have put in a reservation. But there is plenty of time to plan.

Bammer, you may want to check in on the Riviera. Looks like they are going belly up and may not even be open come December.

Update: Guess I should have waited until I got home. Had an email from NYNY showing rates averaging $65 (total bill including taxes) for the weekend. There is one catch though. If you reserve a room and cancel it, you will forfeit your deposit. I will have to think twice and make sure I can get those days off of work.