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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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