Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Poker Content

I was all pumped up to go to R’s house for an all-nighter Halloween cash game. I called to verify and R said he couldn’t get any interest, so no game. He and his girlfriend were going to a party at a bar. Priorities, people!

There was always Stars, where the doors are always open.

I warmed up with the $1.10 SnG Double or Nothing Turbos. Six wins and two losses, both of which I basically blinded out, card dead. Turned a straight flush once but couldn’t get any value from it. These games are so fucking easy, a sure-thing mini-grind, yet not everyone seems to get that. There was a sitter who was slowly blinding/anteing out, and with the next blinds due to hit him, he would be gone, leaving everyone in the money. Tell me why someone would go big or go home at that moment. For the glory? So short-sighted. When I get a semblance of a bankroll again, I will move up a level and see if the play is just as bad.

Since these SnGs are turbos, I can only handle so many in a row two-tabling. I have a delicate constitution and apparently some undiagnosed cognitive disorder that combine together to make me a little shell-shocked in short order. I move to cash.

I find a couple 10NL tables, double up on one in short order, but since everyone is playing short anyway, I close it out and concentrate on another with full buy-ins, a couple bigger stacks and a fair amount of action. Within an orbit or two, I have figured out who to mark and who to avoid and I’m up a couple bucks. A seat opens up on my left and my friend Stan, from Poker Academy, sits down.

Stan is the second highest ranked player on that site. He’s a solid, knowledgeable and wily player. I’m happy to see him yet not so happy he is on my left. And although we are friends, he will take immense joy in stacking me if he gets the chance. I immediately take a break to get a cocktail.

Shortly after my return, another PAer, Gus (aka Scott), comes into the room and sits two to the left of Stan. The table does not know what it is in for. To make a long story short, all three of us play a patient game (I’m playing an insanely low 6%), Gus has a hard time getting anything going, and Stan and I double up. I’m on my second scotch and, after adding 30% to my meager roll, know it’s time to call it a night.

Stan lives in Australia, so he’s not ready to stop, and he suggests we go play some HORSE. I’m not quite there yet, having never played Razz and only mildly proficient at Omaha and Stud. The smallest game is .10/.20, and in light of my limited skills, this puts it out of my bankroll range. Then Stan suggests we go play some Badugi on the Play Money side of Stars.

Stan has been telling me about this game for months. I have yet to play, but I’m game. After all, it’s play money (Not to be confused with PAX at Poker Academy, a virtual cash, of sorts, with no real value per se. Yet, I hold it dear because time does equal money.), so my roll is safe.

In short, Badugi is triple-draw, played with four cards down. The goal is to get the best low hand with no pairs and with all four suits. Pairs and suited cards cancel each other out. The nuts is A234 with four suits. I have heard people talk about how frustrating Razz can be. Badugi takes the cake, hands down. If I had Ac5d3h5s and discarded a 5, I’d draw the 5h or Kd. I was up and down, bitching and moaning the whole way. Gus wasn’t having much luck either, yet Stan the Man was cleaning up. No surprise there. Eventually, however, I started to get the hang of the game, hit a run of hands, doubled up and bid adieu. It was late.

I imagine I will play Badugi again. But more importantly, as more and more of my PA friends move to Omaha, Razz, Stud and HORSE, I will make it my goal to work on these games for a while, and then, when my skill level and bankroll are ready, enter those arenas.


Memphis MOJO said...

Is seems like the PA players choose Poker Stars when they leave the cradle of the academy. Is there a reason for that?

I ask because I imagine that there would be more fish to catch (to use a phrase that I know you'll appreciate) at some of the less well-known/prestigious sites such as Bodog or Absolute.

bastinptc said...

Actually, they go to FTP, Bodog, AB or UB as well. I write about the ones I play with on Stars. I have an FTP account as well, yet rarely use it.

For convenience sake, I will answer your question about other games at PA. Only Texas Hold 'em. The software was originally developed to help with AI, and morphed into a membership thing. PAers would like other games. It is doubtful whether they are forthcoming.

Anonymous said...


I will stay away from horse. Yeah, I know. Wait for all the hole cards to work together and only then bet out. Yah, I wait.

But the game is beastly on a limited roll.

At least with holdem you and I know where we stand at every street.

It's a bankroll issue. I suppose.