Monday, December 27, 2004

Family poker has changed. Spent most of Sunday at my sister’s house. My brother-in-law got a new poker set for Xmas. You know, the nice sturdy chips in the chrome case with two sets of cards, dealer chip, and five dice. Anyway, he’s on the Hold ‘Em bandwagon full force and despite being a pretty shitty player, suggested a family Hold ‘Em Tournament. In order to get to eight players, buy-in was limited to $5, winner take all. This was the lineup:

Me – 41 years old, tight-mostly passive
Brother-in-law – 43 years old, loose-passive
Sister – 43 years old, loose-passive, but the worst poker face in the world
Brother of Brother-in-law – 45 years old, loose-passive
Nephew of Brother-in-law – 16 years old, doesn’t know the rank of the hands
My nephew – 15 years old, loose-aggressive, actually pretty decent
My niece – 12 years old, loose-passive, confuses flushes with straights
My son, Trevor – 11 years old, tight-mostly passive. After all, who taught him?

Of course, I anticipated that I would steamroll the table, since I was clearly the most experienced tournament player and came in second in a WPBT sanctioned event. Of course, the last three players were the three YOUNGEST. Trevor finished in second and was pissed off that he didn’t win (I love that boy!) despite being down 7-1 in the final head-to-head. I won the honor of being last adult in the tournament, a dubious honor at best. In early play, six players saw almost every flop with me and Trevor being the most frequent folders. Honestly, I wanted to play, but the steady stream of 62o and 83o discouraged me from contributing to the community pots, especially with middle pairs winning more than their share, and kickers playing in most pots.

I got the Hiltons once, but the flop of AKx with three callers ahead of me pushed me out. I got AKs twice but saw flops of suited rags and brick turns that I knew made someone two pair and killed my pot odds of drawing to my high cards. I was crippled when I flopped two pair (A2) while my nephew turned a set after calling my raise with middle pair. I ended up all-in later with pocket 3’s only to run into my nephew’s pocket 4’s. Trevor busted out my niece in third with T8s after flopping two pair, and making her pay for her flush draw which hit, but also hit his full boat. I was as proud as a Little League dad when his son hits a homer when he played that one.

Basically, we were just playing for fun, although I learned my nephew knows how to play with a big stack, bullying his way through some pots very very effectively. It also pointed out some flaws in my game, since I learned that tight play is only rewarded by OCCASIONALLY getting strong hands that get a piece of the flop. Conversely, loose play can be rewarded by hitting some lucky flops/turns, resulting in some monster pots. I guess that’s what you guys call “variance”. VIAB. I’m one of those that believes if the quality of hands is relatively even, I will profit. If I’m on the low end of the normal curve, my tight style isn’t rewarded enough to compensate for the occasional suckouts. Last night, I was way way to the left of the normal curve. Put it this way, even when I folded, I never had a hand that would’ve won. Think about that. In a home game, the flop, turn, and river are fixed, they will not change no matter what the players do. For all my preflop folds, NONE of them would have hit a good hand on the flop. None. That’s how bad it was. I be back online tonight to wash the foul taste of variance out of my mouth. Hopefully, the smooth taste of victory will satisfy my palate.


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