Ball and Biscuit
My pimp hand is strong.
A plethora of excellent posts out there in Pokerworld. And I'm not talking about those dealing with the unbridled enthusiasm for a certain get-together a week hence. Sure, there are plenty of those too, which serve as fuel on the already raging bonfire of Vegas impatience.
Today, however, we are going to focus on some fine strategy points. The first, from -EV, is a fine treatise on the spread limit game many of us will be playing at Excalibur. The point is--at its most basic--that the spread allows the tourists to make the correct play oftentimes (in regards to pot odds), even if they don't know it. Which compels a change in the way you value certain starting hands.
I played the Excalibur $2-$6 in January and it was a surreal experience. As -EV says, there are plenty of people who will play any two suited, or even any two connected cards, and chase until the chasin's done. But you will also get the classic calling stations, with middle pair/no kicker sticking around until the end. Sometimes, they even bet into you on the River. It's comical.
A perfect example: I held KK and raised it the max pre-flop, up to $8. Two callers for a 332 flop. Checked to me, I bet and get one caller. Turn is a four. Checked to me again and I bet. Called. River is an 8. And the feller bets out! I'm sincerely thinking, "What the fuck?" Could this guy really have just put a move on me? I called and he showed 54o. While expressing my confusion, the dealer commented, "They didn't come to Vegas to fold, son."
DoubleAs has another in a long line of brilliant NL posts up. This one about pressure (or inflection) points in big stack NL play. I won't get into any more, because it will make my head hurt. He's got a big brain. Just go read it. Then head over to Poker Nerd for further analysis of the same topic.
I'm still stuck in a poker malaise, caught between past triumphs (WPBT satellite) and future decadence (guess). I just can't find the right vibe/motivation to hunker down and give it my best. I played the $20 MTT last night on Stars (while drinking Carlsberg in an empty house, but more on that later) and was actually reasonably focused for the first 90 minutes or so. Made some good plays, some good reads, but still wasn't totally "into it," a point which was hammered home at Level 8 when I made a huge donkey play. Seriously, a semi-literate chimpanzee could have seen what I was walking into before I did. But, with one eye on the WPT and half my brain dreaming about rolling consecutive Hard Eights, I just didn't get the jist.
One funny story from the tourney. Okay, not exactly funny. I could have made it funny, to me at least, but I'm fighting a batle of wills here. Lemme explain.
I was in the SB with 6h5h and I completed behind two limpers (blinds at 100/200). BB raised it up to 600, other limpers folded and I called, getting 3-1 on my call. I flopped a gunshot and a backdoor flush draw, so I fired a grand at the pot. BB called. Turn gave me no help and I checked, prepared to toss it away. But BB checked behind me. River filled my straight, I bet another grand and got paid off.
"I hate that crap."
is what the BB typed in chat. The Smart-Ass Me so wanted to respond. Something along the lines of, "What crap? Your weakness on the turn giving me the free card?" But I resisted. I like my goofy drunk table image better than my smart-ass one. Seems to work better for me. Doesn't mean I wasn't sorely tempted.
The Very. Next. Hand. Mr. Crap check-calls a flop all-in with a gunshot draw. Two others are in the hand, one with TPTK, the other with four to the (baby) flush. Crap has three outs (one eight is in the baby flush draw's hand) and catches on the River.
I was literally shaking. Talk about your willpower over-bets. A hundred sarcastic remarks sped through my head. I let them all pass.
Back to the point, I need an attitude adjustment if I'm gonna sit these online tourneys for the next week. I'll probably hit up at least one of the Crazy Re-Buys on Stars this weekend. And I have a vital live tournament on Sunday afternoon. Vital in the sense that I need to focus on a number of things regarding live play. Thanks to Felicia's generous sharing of tips and more excellent advice from Harrington, I have some definite areas to work on, some theories to put into practice.
And I did buy some new mirored sunglasses.
I still don't think I quite believe Liverpool won that fucking game. They were abyssmal in the first 45. Surely it must have come up at some point in pre-game preparation that letting Kaka run unencumbered for 30 yeards is a bad tactical idea. What a nightmare. But bringing in Hamman for Finnan, while apparently a neccessity, was a stroke of genius. It freed up Gerrard for attack. It closed down the center of the pitch with Didi and Xabi Alonso clogging the lanes.
Even so, pulling back three against a defense as classy as Milan's...you coulda got some big odds on that one.
They were fortunate. Dida should have had Smicer's shot. I have no idea how the hell Dudek kept out Schevchenko at the death (he apaprently didn't either). And considering their obvious fatigue in extra time, the Reds were lucky to get to spot kicks.
Yet, there they are: Champions of Europe. The Final was a perfect microcosm for their entire season. Long stretches of ineptitude and under-achievement punctuated by surprising and occassional bursts of brilliance.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this is Steven Gerrard's first statements in a LONG time suggesting he'd like to stay. Words spoken in the heat of victory perhaps, but lifting that Cup has to weigh on the decision.
Properly attired in my Gerrard jersey, I watched the game again last night (and tucked the tape away in my Pantheon along with The Michael Owen FA Cup Final and the US World Cup wins over Portugal and Mexico), drinking Carlsberg (not easy to find in the desert, I'll tell you what) while the dear and patient wife and AJ were off at an "American Idol" party. Seriously, they exist. The Scousers--on the pitch and in the crowd--made this Yank awfully proud.
Now, UEFA, let The Holders defend. Pricks.