Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well, well, well.... Won a $10+1 OmahaHiLo SnG yesterday to bump my Party bankroll up over $180. Followed my rules (see yesterday's post) almost to the letter, only varying once it got down to five players. I was actually shortstacked when it got to four players, hovering around 500 chips with two guys around 650 and the chip leader way up in the 6200 range. Luckily, he was an incompetent bully and failed to push anyone out of borderline pots, and enabled me to build back up to 1150 by the time we went to three hands, and 2200 by the time I busted the third placer.

After pushing about five hands at 200/400, I doubled up and took the chip lead after limping and calling with a flopped boat (tough to call it a slowplay with only two players) until I finally smacked him back on the turn to go all-in. The very next hand I had AAJ9 with three spades and began to ram and jam (i didn't want him fishing for a split with low cards). He raised me back multiple times until he was all-in PREFLOP. I was liking my odds pretty good at this point, and sure enough, the board whiffed both of us (he had crap anyway), and I took the $50.

Omaha seems to have a higher EV than Hold'Em, possibly because of the glut of NLHE literature out there, and the allure and glamour of the WPT and WSOP being televised. I think NLHE play has elevated recently, with much less dead money at the tables. Omaha has very very few serious players, and many Hold'Em players seem to be dabbling a bit without knowing the nuances of playing a substantially more complex game. Lots of people are playing KKxx with stuff like AJ9 on board. Listen, if there are four people in the pot, at least one of them has an ACE and you're an odds-on LOSER!!! It's almost like they don't realize that everyone has FOUR cards rather than two. Oh well, I like they way they keep paying for their Omaha lessons with me at the table... I will NEVER tell them that they made a dumb play. Never, ever, ever. I have kids to feed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wanted to get some of my poker philosophy onto this blog, not because I want to spread my gospel across the Internet, nor do I care if it helps (or hurts) anyone's else's poker play, but simply WRITING it out forces me to acknowledge that I DO have a poker philosophy/strategy. And by documenting it, I hope to increase my resolve to play according to it.

I'm feeling pretty confident in my PartyPoker SNG playing odds right now, whether NLHE or Omaha. If I stick to my personal rules, I'm cashing on a fairly regular basis. For Omaha-8, it's necessary for me to establish firm rules for myself to keep me from chasing hands at lousy pot odds. In fact, I don't even see flops without:

Ax of a suit, A2, A3, 32, [all three of these with one other card < 8], a pair higher than 8's, three to a straight (ie. 678, QJT) preferably with an extra connector or pair (ie, 6778 or 678T), or three face cards. And if these hands don't improve on the flop to at least a nut flush draw, a four-card nut low, a nut straight draw, two pair, or trips, I'm outta there like J-Lo after the wedding vows. Top pair is the only hand that I leave up to position and table feel.

PartyPoker is filled with enough chasers that you can play these hands with OUTSTANDING pot odds. Remember, you're only paying to see two out of every ten hands (at least initially), so you'll have plenty of free looks while you're waiting for the formulaic starting hand. Once you get it, build the pot slowly, and don't allow any free cards to go by. Since you know you have the odds on your side, you want to pot as big as possible, so make sure that SOMEONE bets after the flop. That's where notes come in handy. You should KNOW who insists on betting even when they have nothing, and let them lead the lemmings off the cliff. You'll just call quietly for the most part, perhaps raising if two low scare cards come up on the flop. For example, let's say you have KK87 and the flop comes up K32. Raising here is ideal because most of the chasers will figure you for A4, drawing for the nuts. If the board either pairs or comes up with two big cards like QT or J9, you almost definitely have the entire pot.

Of course, you'll also lose to the most spectacular suck-out runner-runner hands you've ever seen, but I'll take a nut flush or straight against the odds of drawing to a runner-runner full boat all day, every day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

OK, from a life standpoint (which, when you think about it, is the only important standpoint), this year officially sucks. After dealing with my dad's progressing Alzheimer's, my mother-in-law's death, and various minor mishaps, I just found out that my 90+ year old grandmother has decided that she's lived long enough, and stopped eating. My mother-in-law decided the same thing and passed away less than a week after that epiphany, so I'm not really optimistic about the next week. :::EDIT::: My wife just called. Her niece lost a baby after three months of pregnancy.


This is un-freakin-believable.

Makes all this poker crap seem really insignificant. But in some odd way, it seems like an area where I can take some level of control... unlike life. Played three Party tourneys yesterday, came away with two second place cashes. Did nothing really remarkable in any of them, I'll study the hand histories for more details. I'll try and find a hand that might be info-taining. I feel I need an escape right now. Maybe poker will be that escape...