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I worked from home today, and after managing to restore my Outlook connection to the main server (I don't know what the IT people are up to, and what worries me is that I fear that they don't, either) I finally got the newsletter out of the way.

Being a bit bored with $3-$6 limit, I looked at Betfair to see what the biggest game was that had a full table. When I saw, I gritted my teeth and sat down at, yes, 25p/50p. The grinders have sure destroyed William Hill/Befair.

Anyway, I decided to practise some three-tabling, and also to remind myself of what the $2-$4 games can be like in Vegas.

After an hour, I knew. What about this for stats in 185 hands? Aces, 0 for 3. Kings, 0 for 2, Queens, 0 for 1.

Needless to say, these minor set backs were not enough to stop me winning the grand sum of £2.89, which I make the equivalent of more than 5 big bets an hour. Next stop, 50p-£1; if I can find anyone on Betfair willing to play at such rarefied stakes.

This kind of level really is a different world. For example, I won money 24% of the time I saw a flop, which I would consider abhorrent at any level $3-$6 and above. At this level, it's enough to win money. You also have to seriously reassess your hand rankings.

Playing at this level is good for you. It stops you getting used to a single style of play that you can beat. I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the differences amongst the experts on how to play properly at limit revolve not around the higher stakes games, but at these low levels, where the normal laws of physics clearly do not apply. One guy sort of thought that he knew what he was doing. So he raised to get a free card (pointless, the guy in small blind bet pn the turn anyway) and raised to thin the field (pointless, guy on his immediate left cold-called the raise with a flop that gave him no flush draw, a single overcard and a three-card gustshot straight). So, throw away all the following tricks: 1) Stealing blinds, (2) Semi-bluffs. (3) raising to get a free card and (4) raising to thin the field when you face reverse implied odds.

Curiously, one "advanced" trick worked -- the "Harman raise" on the turn.

All this was fun, in a strange kind of way. Mind you, I might have thought it less fun until my AKs in the small blind flopped KKQ and got caught in a raising war from K5 and AQ. £13.90 pot! Wow. That's, er, $280 in a $5-$10 game.


I made a list of all the things (well, some of the things) that I needed to get done, given that I was at home. I wrote down 20 "must do's' without pausing for breath. So far I've done, er, three of them.

Back when I lived in Turney Road with Gamble, Oakes, Leila and Marie, I used to compile lists of things that I had to do that very day, and I would cunningly insert things like "Play James Bond Game on the Spectrum". That way I could tick off things on the list, feel righteous, and yet not get anything useful done.

August 2017

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