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Battle of the Blah-gger Tournaments

What me suck?

Yes, I do.

I played in Event #2 of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments last night, and I really, really sucked. Once again, I started off playing well, but once Lost started, the wheels fell off.

To be fair, the wheels fell of just before Lost started. I had chipped up to about $1800, and then lost $800 playing AQ and hitting TPTK. I ended up calling down the bettor the entire way (preflop raise from 40 to 110, flop bet of 200+, turn bet of 500), only to discovery that he did, in fact, have KK. Hmmph. I don't particularly blame myself for that hand, although I suppose I could've raised his flop or turn bets (he checked the river) to find out where I was at. Instead, I figured that I'd let him bet, and minimize my potential losses, while hopefully luring in an underpair like JJ or a donk with KQ.

So much for that hand. Down to 1000 or so, I couldn't just sit out while Lost was on (if I had won that hand, or even folded preflop, I'd have enough chips to comfortably fold away), and I was soon down to 750 or so when I was dealt K6d. Put on your donkey hats, folks, because this one is a doozy...or is it? In early position, a player, I believe Astin, raises from 60 to 180. It folds around to me. I look at my stack and reason that if I push all-in, he'll have to call 500 or so. That's enough to push a lot of players off some weaker hands, like mid pocket pairs and AQ, AJ, and KQ. Of course, big dominating pocket pairs will call me here, so that is one shortcoming to a push, but honestly, I didn't consider that possibility at the time (although I should have). The player wasn't particularly deepstacked, so that also cut in favor of a push. Finally, if he had any two unpaired cards that were not a King or Six, I was in an almost coinflip situation (or so my logic went at the time). So, I pushed. And he called, AQo, without a diamond. The flop had a Queen, the turn brought my flush draw, but the river was a blank and I go home on a stupid all-in.

There are justifiable reasons why that play is not horrible. This is especially true if you believe that sometimes you need to just double-up or go home. But, let's be real. These are just excuses. The truth is, I got into an awfukit mode and decided to gamble.

I've thought about writing this before, but I could never find a decent segue. Well, here it is. I think I am all too willing to run cointosses (at times), but when I or you do that, we aren't really being honest with ourselves. In the particular hand at issues (K6d v. AQo ), I was behind 40/60. In a more common "cointoss" scenario, let's go with AKs v. QQ, the AK is behind about 46/54. In an even better scenario, AKs v. 77 for instance, the AKs is still behind 48/52.

I think we can all agree that AKs v. 77 or QQ are the typical "cointoss" situations we find ourselves in. The K6d is a different and weaker example of a "cointoss", but maybe I'm the only one who fools himself by seeing it as a modified cointoss (lord knows from this post that I'm trying to correct that perception). Well, whatever the case, in your best "cointoss" scenario, your opponent still has a 4% edge (48% vs. his 52%). Well, sir, that is no cointoss at all. In fact, it is actually worse odds than some of those table games we shun so much in the world of (smart) poker.

According to one article (which cleverly and correctly names poker as the #1 best bet in a casino), the house edge on video poker is a mere 1/2%. Basic blackjack strategy yields the house less than 1% edge. The Don't Pass/Don't Come line in craps yields a house edge of 1.41% to .59%. Hell, even playing 6 or 8 in craps offers a mere house edge of 1.52%.

So what does this tell us?! Well, it tells me that if I am willing to gamble and give my opponent a 4% edge (or, in the case of the K6o hand, a 20% edge!, discounted, of course, for the possibility that he'll fold and other factors), then I might as well go play some craps or something. I am not utilizing the benefits of poker, but rather I'm minimizing the benefits and the opportunities to use my skill.

SHIYIT! What a revelation! So, genius, you've come up with this analysis. Now what? Well, for one I'm going to reconsider stupid plays like the K6d push. For two, I've got to analyze the rest of my game and figure out why I even get myself into these positions.

Now, let's shift focus. There were other things that probably subconciously affected my decision to push with K6d. First and foremost, I felt urgency from two places: (1) my shorter stack and (2) Lost. The first one can be addressed by looking at the AQ hand. I'm still on the fence on this one. I think I needed to raise the flop, or even preflop. In both instances, I can see the KK re-raising me. Once this happens, I can probably get away from TPTK or AQ. The second issue, Lost, is the usual issue regarding distractions. You can tell from my last post that I thought I should be spending my time with wifey Kim. I decided to play the tournament anyway, but that nagging doubt and the desire to be doing something else definitely affected my play.

The solution is to not play. Yep. We are there again, folks. Online poker and I do not see eye-to-eye. I will continue to play online poker lightly, but I am going to recommit to limiting my online poker play. The Battle of the Blogger Tournaments will become an afterthought, something to do when I have free time, rather than a planned destination. I just don't have it in me, plain and simple.

This leads me to my final thought. I felt like crap when I woke up this morning. I didn't necessarily stay up any later last night or abuse my body any moreso than usual. So what was the difference between last night and most other nights. Online poker. Yep, I suffered another online poker hangover, like a subtle voice waking me up to the sound of "loser." It's not even about losing a particular tournament, but rather, that feeling of disappointment in myself that I did not play better. That I went out on K6d when I had a workable stack. It's that lingering doubt.

And I'm sick of it. So, fuck you, online poker. Fuck you right in the fucking ass! Sure, I'm really saying, "Fuck me, because I suck at online poker!" but shiyit, it is what it is. Less online poker = less online poker hangovers. Less online poker = less of a bankroll leak. Less online poker = less time with cohorts...but then again, I'll still be popping up from time to time, probably significantly more than this post suggests.

As for my sidebet, I believe that both Al and Wolf have Miami Don who currently sits in 1st place, whereas my four teammates have yet to earn points. Ah, -EV betting! At least I get what I ask for!

Final note: I'll be free Saturday early evening, so it looks like I'll be returning to NiceLook or even Salami for some live pokery action. I can't wait.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:04 PM,


At 3:22 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

As long as you realize how bad the K6 push really was, then I don't have to go nuts here. If you had a better kicker, say KT or something, then at least you could figure if he happens to be raising with a middle pocket pair like 77, 88 or 99, then you're basically a "cointoss" to win the hand, and that's not so bad when you combine it with the fold equity that Astin may lay down a hand like 7s to your push if he thinks he is no better than a race to win it.

And yeah on your other point -- you are definitely right that 40-60 is not a "cointoss", at least not in the sense that the true QQ vs AKo hand is. In poker terms, at least IMO, there is a very significant difference between 51-49 and 60-40. The numbers may sound similar, but 51-49 is basically an "even money" shot to win or lose. The 60-40 situation, on the other hand, equates to odds of 3/5 vs odds of 2/5. If you look at it that way, the odds of winning the hand are 50% greater for the 60% shot than they are for the 40% shot. That's sort of twisting the math around a little bit, but it's just a useful way of showing why I think even 55-45 is not the same as the pure "race" situations we're always talking about. A lower pocket pair against two overcards allin preflop, generally speaking (disregarding suits, connectedness, etc.) is a true race. AQ against K6 is not a race at all. That's two unpaired cards against one middle and one lower unpaired card. That's not a "race" at all, far from it in my view.

And yeah man, I told you I am worthless at blogger tournaments when you first picked me for your bet. I'm still gonna play as many of these things as I can, but geez when I got guys calling preflop raises heads-up with me with 54s, and then naturally flopping flushes with that dogshit, not sure what I can really do for ya there.

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous mookie99 said...

I'm gonna send your money from the BBall pool to your Full Tilt account. Is that OK ? Your ID on there is HighOnPoker right ?

At 4:07 PM, Blogger bayne_s said...

How the hell did someone win with KK at showdown?

At 4:53 PM, Blogger StB said...

The dreaded awfukit mode. I fight it off during many a tourney.


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