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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Retarded Hippopotamus

Seriously, should playing poker be this difficult? And by difficult I mean should it be this hard to get money on and offline? Low and mid stakes poker players have been out scrambling for the past two weeks or so buying up prepaid Visa cards in order to get money onto sites, paying about $5 a pop in premiums for a $100 card. This situation is beyond ridiculous and I can only hope temporary as well while the industry corrects itself out.

But for now, I was lucky enough to heed some warnings and get my money from Neteller onto the poker site I've been frequenting lately, now I just have to kill some time until I figure out what 3rd party I'm going to start using now and get my money offline again. But for the time being, I'm flat killing the $10 Omaha 8 single table SNG's. It's long been my favorite game, but I really wanted to buckle down the last month or so and get a lot of hands under my belt and try and play it more proficiently. I've booked 12 wins, 3 seconds, and a third place finish in 21 SNG's so far this month, I just wish they were more popular because it takes forever to get a table going. I've also been putting in some time playing some lower limit HORSE and Razz cash games and have been running pretty well. It seems strange to play at $1/2 limit in those games since I've moved up to feeling comfortable at $20/40 limit hold'em, but I know that I don't play these other games anywhere near as comfortably as I do hold'em, so it's probably the smart play.

I'm definitely not playing as much as I should be, so we'll see what February brings as far upping my activity. But as far as "real life" goes I'm trying to break out of a rut. I'm in year ten of confirmed fat-assedness and I've had it. I started lifting weights again for the first time in about two and a half years which has finally moved from being torturously painful to enjoyable. The weather here has turned fairly cold so I tried walking on the treadmill but it tried to kill me the other night, so that plan has been abandoned. I'm in the middle of a workout, about 17 minutes into my planned thirty minute walk, watching some UFC Fight Night while I go. I have the treadmill set at 4 mph and I'm cruising along with no problem when all of a sudden I hear the satanic machine start whirring in a high pitch and it goes from 4 mph to 12 mph without warning in about 2.5 seconds. It shoots my legs back but I was lucky enough to have reacted in time and grabbed the rails and hold myself up. I kicked a nice hole in the wall behind me since it slingshotted my leg back so fast, I disengaged the safety clip and the damn thing still didn't shut off, so I had to jump off and unplug it from the wall. I'm pretty sure I'm lucky I didn't get pitched out the window behind the treadmill. But all in all, it makes for a pretty funny story. Attempting to curb my fat ass ways and working on my game is about all I've been doing the last three weeks. I also went out with some friends and caught Charlie Murphy when he did a stand-up act around here. It was hilarious, and if he tours by you, I definitely recommend going. I stole the title of my post from his act, simply because every time I think about the phrase retarded hippopotamus, it just makes me laugh.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I seem to have forgotten something...

Oh yeah, now I remember... you're supposed to make posts to these things every once in a while.

Well, I got burned out on poker around the end of October, took a few weeks off to recharge and then started playing again. Started out running horribly and really had nothing constructive to write about, not that I ever really did in the first place, but that brings us to now. Playing sporadically, still not much interesting to discuss but in need of actually getting back in the habit of writing again.

So a belated happy holidays and new year to you all.

So when I started back playing I was completely disgusted with no limit hold'em and only moderately disgusted with limit hold'em so I started trying to play a lot of HORSE and Omaha. The seven card games I really had not much of an idea as far as proper strategy and approach, so I just tried to log as many hands as I could to get some experience, and even started playing heads up HORSE sessions with a friend of mine so we could get used to everything. In the course of doing so we came to philosophical differences over a couple of points in limit poker, so I figured I'd start out 2007 by discussing one of them.

A lot of people maintain that Razz is the biggest kick in the nuts there is in poker, and while tough, I still believe that Omaha 8 (particularly pot-limit) is really the king of disaster in poker. In any event, Dick has come to the conclusion that putting in two extra bets on 6th street in Razz when he feels he has a draw to a better hand is an optimal play. He routinely raises at this point after a bet, which brings up two questions for me:

Is this a good decision for him, and is it smart for the opponent to re-raise here?

This has definitely got to be -EV, to my thinking, because I feel like the opponent has to re-raise knowing he has the best hand here. This means Dick has to call another bet on top of his raise to get to 7th, and he's still attempting to draw to a better hand, and his opponent could almost certainly be drawing to an equally good hand. But as the opponent, even if you know you have the best hand here, is it optimal to be reraising (as I feel you should) if you feel like your hand is vulnerable to being outdrawn?

He thinks this is particularly optimal given heads up play but I think in heads up pots it makes even less sense to do so. I understand the thought process that it may leave more cards in the deck to draw to but it also makes the odds you're up against even more starkly clear, so why raise as such an obvious dog?

Another situation arose in 7 Stud, but I know I'm right about my thinking on that hand, so there's no need to call him out here on that. Hehehe.

Other than that, I've been slowly reworking my no limit game back to respectability and am finally feeling comfortable playing in tournaments again. For a while I've just not at all been following through on plays or instincts I've had and it's been costing me in terms of value I should have gotten or chips I shouldn't have lost. It really is amazing what just a little time off can do to your game.

Here's to hoping the fire stays burning well for a while to come and maybe I'll even get around to making a second post this month. That would be amazing...

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