Friday, February 6, 2009

Hat in hand…

…and heart on my sleeve.

I’m a moody guy. Can’t help it. Call it my artist’s temperament or some such malfunction. Add a little scotch to the equation and this blog sometimes becomes, at best, therapeutic. It is during these mealy-mouthed expositions that I begin to wonder if I should be playing poker, or more precisely, if I have an overall attitude suited to the game. Even though I can summon the competitive spirit, I am not very sports-minded, let alone exhibit any traits of those mouth-breathers one encounters at the poker table. Not that I think an overly aggressive manner is conducive to playing one’s optimal game, at least in poker.

Clearly, a cooler head prevails, just as an objective look for leaks improves one’s game. All the while I am bitching and moaning about bad beats and runs, a little voice persists, saying, “Maybe you’re doing something wrong.” So, while it may be that I am initially looking for a shoulder to cry on, I don’t really expect it to be forthcoming from my readers, at least those who play poker. Instead, what I receive is advice and encouragement, two gifts ultimately more beneficial than sympathy. Indeed, for there is always more to learn about this game, and adjustments to be made, whether they be in strategy or emotional state.

So, back on the horse. But not before I did a little reading. As James suggested, I googled “PLO strategy” and found a rather detailed analysis of starting hands and betting strategies. It wasn’t long (I just can’t help myself) before I was sitting at a couple tables of $10 PLO. Based on previous experience, $10 PLO is not only a buy-in I can afford, but it seems to match my overall skill level (beginner) so that I can take advantage of the clueless or reckless player that occasionally wanders into a room. I settled in and got comfortable.

The evening plodded along and not much happened. I won a few small pots and managed to limit my losses on draws, whether they were my own or were completed by another player. I made two mistakes all night, once not bluffing when I had an opportunity to do so, and calling when I was almost certain that I had a underfull on the turn. Still I managed a little bit of a profit (50% of a buy-in) when the latter scenario was to my advantage in another hand.

As evening turned to night and then to early morning, the tables loosened up. A player from Jamaica (I don’t know if it was the island or in Queens) was playing very aggressively. On one table he was experiencing wild swings, while at another table he was killing it with a stack six times the buy-in. I had what I perceived to be the disadvantage, for I was to his immediate right at both tables. However, I knew that tight, strategic play should prevail, especially when, eventually, his aggression turned erratic.

(Again, I apologize for the format. I have yet to figure out how to convert these text files.)

PokerStars Game #24645219023: Omaha Pot Limit ($0.05/$0.10) - 2009/02/06 4:15:29 ET
Table 'Amor V' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: Asais ($28.55 in chips)
Seat 2: shrimp&wwine ($17.10 in chips)
Seat 3: 5Girl ($16.70 in chips)
Seat 4: Jake75s ($6.30 in chips)
Seat 5: PhanTomas30 ($27.30 in chips)
Seat 6: Kinkku69 ($7.50 in chips)
Seat 7: bastinptc ($13.05 in chips)
Seat 8: supaman247 ($16.70 in chips)

Supaman247 is the Jamaican. He had over $60 just a short while before this. He had pushed with bottom sets a couple times and lost, which must have tilted him something fierce.

Seat 9: Mr. rucky ($9.30 in chips)
shrimp&wwine: posts small blind $0.05
5Girl: posts big blind $0.10
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bastinptc [Ah Tc Ad 4d]
Jake75s: folds
PhanTomas30: folds
Kinkku69: folds
bastinptc: calls $0.10
supaman247: raises $0.35 to $0.45
Mr. rucky: folds
Asais: folds
shrimp&wwine: folds
5Girl: calls $0.35
bastinptc: calls $0.35
*** FLOP *** [Ac 6d 7h]
5Girl: checks
bastinptc: checks
supaman247: checks

I slow-played my set with the expectation that Supa would bet. I wanted to check-raise. I didn’t happen.

*** TURN *** [Ac 6d 7h] [7s]
5Girl: checks

Now I have to figure out how to bait my trap.

bastinptc: bets $0.10
supaman247: raises $1.55 to $1.65
5Girl: folds
bastinptc: raises $1.55 to $3.20
supaman247: calls $1.55
*** RIVER *** [Ac 6d 7h 7s] [8d]
bastinptc: bets $4.70
supaman247 said, "lol"
supaman247: calls $4.70
*** SHOW DOWN ***
bastinptc: shows [Ah Tc Ad 4d] (a full house, Aces full of Sevens)
supaman247: mucks hand
bastinptc collected $16.40 from pot

I think it was a good value bet. I don’t know if I could have gotten mush more from him, despite his apparent state of mind. An astute player is not going to get too excited with trip sevens (as opposed to a set) with nothing else going for him, and with his “lol”, I think he knew that. It didn’t matter in the end, because of the very next hand.

PokerStars Game #24645235945: Omaha Pot Limit ($0.05/$0.10) - 2009/02/06 4:16:50 ET
Table 'Amor V' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Asais ($28.55 in chips)
Seat 2: shrimp&wwine ($17.05 in chips)
Seat 3: 5Girl ($16.25 in chips)
Seat 4: Jake75s ($6.30 in chips)
Seat 5: PhanTomas30 ($27.30 in chips)
Seat 6: Kinkku69 ($7.50 in chips)
Seat 7: bastinptc ($21.10 in chips)
Seat 8: supaman247 ($8.35 in chips)
Seat 9: Mr. rucky ($9.30 in chips)
5Girl: posts small blind $0.05
Jake75s: posts big blind $0.10
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bastinptc [8h 9d 6c 9s]
PhanTomas30: folds
Kinkku69: calls $0.10
bastinptc: calls $0.10
supaman247: raises $0.45 to $0.55
Mr. rucky: folds
Asais: folds
shrimp&wwine: folds
5Girl: calls $0.50
Jake75s: folds
Kinkku69: folds

He has been raising almost every hand for quite some time now. His range is so wide that any sort of coordinated hand is going to have an edge.
bastinptc: calls $0.45
*** FLOP *** [7h 6d Ac]
5Girl: checks
bastinptc: checks
supaman247: bets $0.10
5Girl: calls $0.10
bastinptc: calls $0.10
*** TURN *** [7h 6d Ac] [4h]
5Girl: checks
bastinptc: checks
supaman247: checks
*** RIVER *** [7h 6d Ac 4h] [Tc]
5Girl: checks
bastinptc: bets $1.40
supaman247: raises $4.85 to $6.25
5Girl: folds
bastinptc: raises $4.85 to $11.10
supaman247: calls $1.45 and is all-in
Uncalled bet ($3.40) returned to bastinptc
*** SHOW DOWN ***
bastinptc: shows [8h 9d 6c 9s] (a straight, Six to Ten)
supaman247: mucks hand
bastinptc collected $16.70 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $17.55 | Rake $0.85
Board [7h 6d Ac 4h Tc]
Seat 1: Asais folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: shrimp&wwine (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: 5Girl (small blind) folded on the River
Seat 4: Jake75s (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: PhanTomas30 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Kinkku69 folded before Flop
Seat 7: bastinptc showed [8h 9d 6c 9s] and won ($16.70) with a straight, Six to Ten
Seat 8: supaman247 mucked [Kd 3d As 5d]
Seat 9: Mr. rucky folded before Flop (didn't bet)

The article I read last night clearly stated that one should not give free cards in PLO. (I had done just that when another player turned a higher boat than mine just a bit before this hand.) The Jamaican had the hand on the turn with a smaller straight. A pot-sized bet would have sent me packing. He had already busted out of the other room, and now there was no reason to remain at the table.

So, yes, dear friends, again I thank you for your encouragement, advice and indulgence as I work through my little tantrums. It is with your help I find much-needed perspective.

3 comments:

El Forrest Gumpo said...

I was railing that table and saw your "amazing" comment at the end before pocketing your winnings. You played patient and eventually won their monies. Nice work sir.

bastinptc said...

Thank you, sir.

Memphis MOJO said...

Now that's the bastin we know and love!! I'm happy for you.