shipitfish: (Default)

I've been playing pretty well the last week or so; nearly all NL HE. I've been very happy with my play, and somewhat happy with the results. I've gotten very good at manipulating the pot size so that people get all their money in when I have flopped a very good hand. I haven't been all-in with the worst of it in the last 20-30 all-in situations I've been in. Yet, I didn't win them all, of course, and I find this quote calming when it goes the wrong way:

If you are an excellent player, people are going to draw out on you a lot more than you're going to draw out on them because they're simply going to have the worst hand against you a lot more times than you have the worst hand against them.
&mdash Bobby Baldwin

Added to this, I also note that if you're a pretty good player, you're going to be particular good at tricking your opponents to take the worst of it, and thus adding to the times your hand can be outdrawn. The nice thing about NL HE against limit HE is that you almost always can set up these situations in the former where your opponent is mathematically incorrect in calling/raising you. Often in limit HE, you get the “I'm correct in betting and he's correct in calling” situation.

I also noticed no one has started keeping a running tally of how many days remain until banks must comply with the UIGEA. I am enough of a long-time net.citizen to recall when Internet countdown sites were still the rage, and I thought about adding a retro one to my journal, but for the moment, I'll just note that the final day of free Internet poker banking appears to be Wednesday 10 July 2007. Only 185 days to go. Here's a Perl one liner to tell you how many days to go:

perl -e 'use Date::Manip; print Delta_Format(DateCalc("today", DateCalc("13 October 2006", "+ 270 days")), 0, "%dt\n");'
shipitfish: (cincinnati-kid-betting)

Last year, a well-meaning relative bought me Phil Gordon's page-a-day poker calendar, that had exactly one good bit of non-obvious advice for the whole year, which I posted back in August. I came in to work this morning and turned the last page of the calendar, which was left over the long weekend. I found a wonderful quote for the weekend of December 30/31, 2006. I suppose ripping off the pages all year was worth it to find this wonderful quote at the end. I probably didn't read anything more true about poker for the entirety of 2006:

It's hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don't let anyone tell you different. Think about what it's like sitting at the poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money, and leave you out back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside. That probably sounds harsh. But that's the way it is at the poker table. If you don't believe me, then you're the lamb that's going off to the slaughter.
&mdash Stu Ungar

More people than ever now play poker “for fun”. Of course it's an enjoyable activity; I don't think any of us would have gotten into it in the first place if it wasn't. But, it's a predatory game in general, and NL HE in particular is the most predatory of all known poker games. I haven't gone all the way to thinking that you need the full-blown killer instinct to win at poker, but to play well, you have to be somewhat jaded about the predatory reality.

shipitfish: (Default)

Erick Lindgren (to Daniel Negreanu):

I had twice as many outs as Gus.

John Juanda interjects:

Nice needle, there.

The context is a spoiler. )

shipitfish: (u-club-stack-2006-02)

I was somewhat surprised that I hadn't read or seen this rather obvious pop culture connection to poker. However, as I sat at the U Club, with music fed from some staffers iPod, I heard this refrain from Tom Petty:

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Of course, this refrain couldn't be more appropriate for poker. It also got me thinking that I don't face the constant luck attack now that I usually play NL. There are some major draw outs on occasion, but solid play can really rake it against loose players if you know what to bet. But, even the losers get lucky sometimes, no matter what form of poker.

I lost $140, but no real harm. I don't think I misplayed any pots — will post the only (vaguely) interesting hand later

shipitfish: (l-club-stack-2006-02)

A quote often overheard at the old R Club last summer:

Jay, I got the gin. You gotta flop me the juice.

At the old R Club, there was a dealer named Jay — a very young African-American fellow — who also played when he wasn't in the box1. Jay is a strong player when he doesn't go off his game and goof around. He often kept the table entertained, both when playing and dealing, by making off-the-wall comments.

Somehow, he got it in his head that a pocket pair of nines would be called the “gin”. I don't know enough myself about alcohol to know if the number 9 somehow relates to a particular brand of gin. Also, there may be a subtle reference to the game of gin rummy, that I may also be missing.

Anyway, from there, Jay extended it into a name for a set of nines, and related it to a common line from hip-hop songs: I got the gin and the juice. It reached the point where it wasn't possible for someone to raise on a flop containing a 9 without someone at the club saying: He's got the gin — he's got the gin and the juice!. (Of course, that's bad poker etiquette but the old R club was somewhat informal.)

Indeed, the quote I opened with above eventually became a common saying when someone started the hand with any pair 44-99. The other players would know you had a pair, but didn't know what card made a set for you.

Also, a few weeks after this became a common shout, I flopped a set of 8s, going on to win a huge pot, while Jay was dealing. I said to Jay, Hey, what drink did you deal me?. He responded without a pause:

You got the vodka — you got the vodka and the tonic!

It's these goofy cultural crossovers that remind me why I love poker and the poker world. (I must admit that my knowledge of post-1990 rap is sub-par enough that I had to google the phrase last August before I was sure of my suspicions that it was some sort of hip-hop reference.) Over the years, I've expanded my mind and met people I would never have met otherwise, all thanks to poker.

Footnote 1: For my less poker-geeky readers, “in the box” is a phrase used to indicated that a dealer is currently doing his job. It refers to the fact that the dealers seat is usually centered by a rack of house chips (for making change, collecting the rake or time, etc.) and that the seat is always at the same place in the center of the oval poker tables.

Good Hand?

Saturday, 11 February 2006 20:00
shipitfish: (foxwoods-stack-2005-08)

I heard this quote from one of two friends, sitting in a $4/$8 limit HE game at Foxwoods, who had got involved heads-up pot. Poker players have a strange tendency to state the obvious, as if it makes a profound statement about life, the universe and everything. Usually, it's a simple fact that anyone just learning the game knows. As the one friend had just reraised the other on turn after a cap on the flop, the other friend said:

I know you have a good hand. It's just that I don't know how good.

To the tables' credit, nearly everyone burst out laughing. One fellow nearby them responded: I think you've just made the fundamental point of poker.

shipitfish: (river-street-chips)

This little quote always makes me think fondly of River Street, of Matt (whom I miss playing against, even though he's a better player than me) and of the silliness and looseness that old NL HE game in Boston:

It's great to think that somewhere, at some poker game in the world tonight, someone is saying 'I'll straddle — all-in'.
&mdash Matt H. (aka [ profile] dankhank) of River Street

shipitfish: (foxwoods-stack-2006-01)

Heard at the Foxwoods $2/$5, $500 max NL HE game, after a face-up preflop fold to a substantial raise:

On the Internet, I'd pay to take a flop with that hand because it would always suck out.

My response:

On the Internet, nobody knows you're an underdog.

This joke amused no one at the table, except for [ profile] nick_marden. I guess you need the right mix of Internet geek and poker geek to appreciate it. Or, maybe it's just a bad joke?


shipitfish: (Default)

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