Jan. 26th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
One area where I should reall do a lot more homework (because you don't get enough situations in real life to know what to do automatically), is multi-wayers where I am the big stack.

What would you do here?

Texas Hold'em NL $0.50/$1.00 8-handed table
Seat 1: Hero ($148.55 in chips)
Seat 2: ypayfomyweed ($62.90 in chips)
Seat 4: kingli ($25.50 in chips)
Seat 5: Doctor112 ($21.70 in chips) DEALER
Seat 6: kermadec ($49.00 in chips)
Seat 7: villain, Big Blind ($34.10 in chips)
Seat 9: Nethuns ($79.40 in chips)
Seat 10: SS Fish ($18.80 in chips)

kermadec: Post SB $0.50
villain: Post BB $1.00

SS Fish is laggy, 60/30, not very aggressive on flop, but if he calls the flop, he's probably going all-in.

Villain is loose passive over a small sample (48 hands). 48/0. Not very aggressive post flop.

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to SS Fish [??]
Dealt to Hero [J♠ J◊]
Dealt to villain [??]
All fold to
SS Fish (UTG+1): Call $1.00
Hero (MP1): Raise $3.00
All fold to
villain Call $2.00
SS Fish: Call $2.00

$9 in the pot.

*** FLOP *** [2◊ T♡ 2♠]

I have my own theories on playing Jacks in this kind of game. This kind of flop is about as near to a 'hit' as you can get without flopping a set.

villain: Check
SS Fish: Check
Hero: Bet $8.00
villain: Raise $31.10
SS Fish: Allin $15.80
Hero: ?

It's $23 for me to call. It's a turbo table, so you have six seconds to make your decision. How much is the side pot? How much is the main pot? What are opponents' ranges? Putting all these together, are you priced in?

Oh, hold on, you've just been dealt AQs on the button at another table and the CO has open-raised.

Let's worry about whether or not to reraise with the AQs in a second. What do I do with the Jacks?


Later that evening.

Another solidly depressing session brings the downswing to nigh on $1,000 over the past five days. I know that the only way to get used to these things is to do them again and again, and I know that, eventually, you either get used to it or you go broke; however, I still find it a dispiriting experience, moving from $40 an hour for the month down to, well, rather significantly less than that.

Even though I know that at the start of the month I was running well; even though my hourly rate is only a fraction less than my estimated "real" rate when I posted at the end of last month. Notwithstanding all these things, I get the old "have I been found out?" worries. Is my style horribly exploitable, and are people exploiting it? Or am I just the slave of variance? Or is it a bit of both?

The strange thing is, there haven't been any dramatic bad beats. Well, obviously there have been (a couple of sets under sets this week that I really couldn't do anything about). But I've won a few 50-per-centers as well. The fact is, it's "only" 2.5 buy-ins at $200 and then another five buyins (four of them today) at $100 buy-in (in fact I just looked at the stats and it's eight buy-ins at $100, plus 2.5 buy-ins at $200 -- bonuses and trakeback have covered some of the loss). This is quite within the realms of variance.

And yet, this kind of thing impacts my play, when I know it shouldn't (particularly on Party, where I am more worried about whether I'm a real long-term winner). Once your play is impacted, you really need to get a bit of good luck to pull you out of what can be a self-reinforcing downswing. I'm actually down at $100 buy-in this year, seven buy-ins-worth at Party and four buy-ins worth at No_IQ, compensated by being up nine buy-ins on BetFred and 3 buy-ins up at $200 buy-in. But it's hard to convince yourself that you are really a winner when you look at those kind of numbers. But then I look at the bank balance for the month and it looks okay. $300 up in cash games. $30 from the freerolls, $450 from bonuses and $200 from rakeback.

The danger when you run well is to see it as "normality". And I do appreciate when I am running well. I'm not like some players who see any 60:40 that they win as "right and just" and any 60:40 that they lose as "a travesty which should never happen". I'm grateful even for the 80-20s that stand up, and if I ever get a suck-out, I make sure that I remember it. At least that way you don't start to think that 10BBs a 100 can carry on for ever. But you still start to get used to things going your way. Your continuation bets elicit folds when you miss just a bit more often than you have a right to expect. And you get called when you hit your hand a little more often than you have a right to expect. People do not hit their straight or flush draws quite as often as they should. And you get sets over sets (not that I've had ANY of those this year), rather than sets under sets (of which I've had three, none with less than sixes). But even I start to wonder why my AKs is $400 down on Party. Surely that can't be purely down to bad luck? Am I being outplayed without seeing it?

I think that the most irritating thing about tonight was that I broke one of my rules. I was getting a bit tired after an hour or so, and I was about even, and I decided to leave (I went so far as to uncheck the auto-post boxes). But then I looked at the stats of the other players, and I said to myself. "Christ, these guys are terrible. I must be positive EV here, even if I'm a bit tired. Walking away from these games would be a dab move. Because they won't be this soft during the week. I'll stay another hour or so".

And the rest is history.

I'm now even more convinced that what I should worry about is not how good the game is, but how awake and on form I am. If I'm awake, and thinking clearly, I can beat tough games at $100 buy-in. If I'm tired, I can't beat donkeys.

Another example of the conventional wisdom (in this instance, the advice; "don't walk away from a good game") being wrong.

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