Thursday, April 07, 2005

My four or five readers know that I’m basically a SnG player. I hesitate to call it “specialist” because, well, I’m not that good. My ventures into the B&M world have been horrific and laughably unsuccessful. Similarly, my ring game exploits can best be characterized as “uninspiring”. So, I languish in the world of cheap (< $20) SnGs, forever tied to the coin flips and suckouts that typically determine one’s success.

By their nature, SnGs have more bad beat stories, since just ONE bad beat can end your tournament. I’ve tried to minimize the “$&%$&^$%& fish sucked out on me again” stories simply because I realize that kind of shit is inevitable. Let’s say you’re all in three times with pocket Aces vs. pocket sixes. Odds are roughly 50-50 (51.2 to 48.8) that you’ll win all three. In other words, if you have pocket Aces three times in a row and go all-in preflop against someone else’s pocket pairs, you’re only about 50-50 to survive in the tournament. If you can’t stomach that mathematical reality you’re probably shouldn’t play in NL tournaments, SnG or MTT.

Y’know, I watched Erick Brenes get his money in TWICE last night as a 4-1 underdog, and win both times to take home a million bucks. I felt bad for Layne Flack (maybe it’s because his family was there), but didn’t feel bad at all for Matusow (can you say “Karma”?). Flack handled it well, even Matusow surprised me with his restraint. And they see about 20% of the hands per hour that online players see. For those that multi-table, you probably see more hands in a week than B&M players see in a year.

Face it, YOU’RE GONNA GET SUCKED OUT. Even with AA vs. the Hammer, you’re gonna LOSE one out of ten times! There are NO hands where you have a sure thing preflop!!! Think about that. EVERY hand has a chance to win. Literally. Any two cards… Considering how many thousand hands most of the poker bloggers play, you’re gonna see some craptacular suckouts. Of course, you’d rather read about it than experience it personally, but rest assured, your ticket is gonna get punched eventually.

OK, now that I'm coaching Little League, I'm gonna be channeling Peter King a lot this year. So.....on a more positive note, my son’s Little League team won their opener yesterday. Quick clue for those of you (present or future) Little League coaches: you can do all of the Tom Emanski fielding and throwing drills in the world, and it doesn’t help you if your kids don’t know WHERE to throw the ball. We played a team that runs all of the Emanski drills you see on the infamous Fred McGriff commercial. They practice four times a week, drilling and drilling on these things. Yesterday, they threw to the wrong base THREE times, leading to three runs for us. Conversely, we don’t run “drills” in practice, we run game situations. In practice, I’ll hit ground balls saying “Runner on 1st, what are you going to do?” or “Bases loaded, where’s the play?”. Rather than worrying about whether their feet are turned the right direction, or their shoulders were squared up a particular way, our kids were making the correct play with imperfect form.

The first run of the game? My son. Single to right, advanced on another single, hustled around on two fielders’ choice (the aforementioned throws to the wrong bases) to score our first run of the year.

The defensive plays of the game? My son. With a runner on 1st and us leading 4-2, batter crushes a fly ball to deep centerfield. Trevor raced back near the warning track, staggered a bit when the wind blew the ball back, and caught the ball, saving extra bases. Next play, blooper up the middle, second baseman raced back, and couldn’t reach it. Trevor charged the ball from center, caught it on one hop, and fired to second base, forcing the lead runner (who was caught in no man’s land).

But I’m not bragging.


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