I was just walking through downtown Vegas when a cover band started up with a familiar tune. Presented here so you can take the same trip down memory lane to the late 1970s that I did.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I just looked at today's installment of "+EV." I've been reading this poker-themed web comic strip forever and generally like it. But today? Stunned is all I can say.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
My friend Josie posted about a big tournament she recently played at Foxwoods, here. She says, "My modus operandi was to try to see alot of flops on the cheap and early. My guideline for these cheap flops was that I had to hit better than one pair to keep going otherwise muck after the flop."
What follows is the comment I left on her blog. But after submitting it, I decided that I might as well post it here, too, since I spent some time writing it, and perhaps readers will find it useful.
You didn't ask for my advice, but I think that is a lousy plan.
One of the best gems of poker wisdom I've ever come across is this, from John Vorhaus: "There's nothing more expensive than a cheap flop." (http://pokergrump.blogspot.com/2008/08/poker-gems-155.html)
The first problem is that if somebody raises behind you, you are faced with choosing between (A) abandoning the chips you already put in, or (B) playing a weak hand against a raiser from out of position. Not a very attractive pair of options, is it?
The second problem is that you are relying on hitting a hand in order to win. So is everybody else limping in. You have no better chance of flopping a monster than anybody else. Playing this way levels the playing field and eliminates whatever edge in skill you might have. You're turning a poker tournament into a game of bingo.
The third problem is that the great majority of the time you will not flop a monster, and you'll have to fold. This is a big leak of chips. Ever seen a water bill when you had a leaky faucet you didn't know about? Drip, drip, drip, one big blind at a time, your stack leaks down the drain. It is mathematically demonstrable that over the long run you will not win enough when you hit to make up for all the small losses you take along the way.
As a general rule, calling (preflop or postflop) should be your LAST option. There are definitely situations where it is the best route, but you should always first try to find a reason for an aggressive action (bet or raise), secondly consider folding, and only if it's clear that neither of those is optimal consider a call. You are turning that basic, sound, universal strategy on its head by making a call your first choice.
I defy you to find any well-regarded tournament strategy book or successful tournament player who advocates the approach you're describing. I'd bet you $100 you can't find one. There's a reason for that: IT'S A TERRIBLE STRATEGY THAT ONLY WEAK, LOSER PLAYERS EMPLOY!
Don't be one of them.
So, your [limping] strategy must rely mostly on making a hand and getting value for it. Unfortunately, that's the same strategy that your opponents will have. And that's the fundamental problem with overlimping; it creates situations in which you and your opponents are all playing roughly the same way. When everyone is playing the same way, no one has an edge....When I first read this, the phrase "make-a-hand poker" instantly struck a chord with me. It's one of those little nuggets that lodged deeply inside my brain. I will occasionally now catch myself playing this way (especially if I've stayed at the table for too long and I'm feeling fatigued), and that phrase will leap to the front of my mind as a self-scolding: "You're playing make-a-hand poker again, aren't you?" It will usually cause me to either return to my tight-aggressive baseline game, or decide that my A-game is gone and it's time to go home, both of which are much better choices than to stay in the loose-passive rut.
The bottom line is that when you overlimp, you're mostly hoping to make a hand and win a big pot, and yet it's hard to stack someone or otherwise win a big pot when the hand starts out limped seven ways. And to top it off, your opponents are also hoping to make a hand and win a big pot, and they're almost as good at doing it as you are. So, you just don't have a whole lot of edge....
When seven people see the flop in a limped pot, everyone is playing "make-a-hand" poker, and you don't have it much better than anyone else. But when you raise preflop and only one or two people call, often your opponents will be playing make-a-hand poker while you will be playing "I win if you don't make a hand." This scenario can offer you a much more significant edge over your opponents....
Overlimping is not at all universally bad. It keeps you in the hand and gives you some chance to win a big pot. And in very aggressive games where people are raising and reraising like crazy, overlimping can often be your best play.
But when the game is passive and many pots are being played five-, six-, or seven-handed for the price of the big blind, overlimping often handicaps you. It forces you to play primarily make-a-hand poker, and therefore it deprives you of many of your potential edges. Try raising instead. Doing so can tilt many pots to your advantage and enable you to exploit much larger edges. The bigger your edges, the more money you'll make.
To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.
Answer: Trick question! This is Casino Estoril near Lisbon, Portugal. With thanks for photos submitted by reader "VegasDWP."