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Monday, March 26, 2007

Bodog: The 37th Level of Poker Hell

Seriously. I have never in the last two years seen such consistently bad play across all games at all levels than I have the times I've played on Bodog this year... and that's just my play. There are actually 85% of the players on there playing worse than I do, which is officially ridiculous. I have learned some important things there this week though: I suck at shorthanded PL Omaha (because I apparently can't hit a draw and I have not yet mastered calling with bottom pair and an eight high flush draw to crack top set and nut flush draw with a running straight), I suck at shorthanded NL Hold'em (because I can't beat top pair top kicker when I have top set), and 8/16, 10/20 and 20/40 limit hold'em is a veritable money tree, but you had better be properly bankrolled to survive the occasional super donking session.

Unfortunately for me, lesson #3 was not followed and I was not properly rolled for those games and got groin kicked on Thursday. By the end of that ridiculous day of poker, I was working on a new theorem for limit hold'em which we'll call the Bodog Posit for now. The Bodog Posit states that after 500 hands of limit hold'em play with Bodog players, you will be reduced to such a shell of your former self, that improper play will now actually save you bets, because these players will never fold anything. Anything.

I'm pretty sure that most of these players get to the river on a hand holding some random unpaired Ace or deuces and then think to themselves, "well, Self, we've put in 4.5 BB's here with nothing good... there's a chance that our hand might be okay, what's one more bet?" On Thursday, they just happened to be right enough of the time to put a hurting on me. I personally think my favorite was when a guy limped and called two more bets cold when I three-bet with QQ, the flop comes JJ5, he calls two more cold when he check-calls my raise, check calls my turn bet on a 3, and check calls my river bet when a K comes. He turned over K6 for the winning hand. There are several more sentences that I could now add to this paragraph, but I think just rereading how that hand played will allow you to come up with a summation pretty near what mine was.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Should have gone with Plan B

A bunch of us headed up to AC for the WSOP Circuit event at Caesar's last week, but I decided that I wasn't going to play in any of the tournaments and instead would play the cash games to try and build up the bankroll a bit more and make some pocket cash.

Naturally I have been playing pretty well in tournaments leading up to the AC trip, so it was only fitting that I wouldn't actually play in any while I was up there. Instead I would get my head bashed in at the ridiculous 10-20 game at the Borgata and then get straight flushed over my Ace high flush in the $2-5 NL game there as well. I saw a glut of straight flushes happen during my three days up there. My buddy, JT, sat in a $1-2 NL game at Caesar's the first night up there and there were two straight flushes in his first four hands at the table. Someone also hit the bad beat jackpot at Caesar's the next night when QJc beat 67c on a 8 9 10 c board, ship the $83k, please.

I'm still trying to decide if there's any possibility that solid play delivers any positive expectation in the Borgata 10-20. I'm pretty certain that you can make more in the 10-20 game than you can in the 20-40, just on the sheer volume of money the people at the 10-20 will put in the pot holding extraordinarily marginal hands. The only thing I fear is that I'm letting that knowledge work against me when I sit in that game and let my play become more marginal also. I've seen the 20-40 at the Borgata get pretty nutty on occasion as well, but I've never seen 5-8 way capped action on three streets like I regularly see in the 10-20 game. I'll be spending a lot more time up there over the next couple months to see how my theory tests out, but I'm hoping to log more time at 20-40 than 10-20.

As I was saying earlier, I didn't play any tournaments even though I've been playing very well in them lately, but all my boys did. And apparently it was the right time to be a Richmond poker player in the Circuit prelims because PokerDon cashed three straight including an (unofficial) final table, JT final tabled a tournament, and Duke cashed as well. We spent a lot of hours in the ballroom at Caesar's cheering one or another of us in the final stages of these events, which was definitely fun.

The only unfortunate side effect to the trip was that I pulled most of my money offline to go, and now I have to figure out what I'm going to do about getting money back online now. This is truly a pain in the ass to deal with and I know there's no way the PPA is going to get accomplished what they hope to because of the sometimes Puritanical society we live in. So for now it'll be a lot of bi-monthly trips up to the city by the shore.

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