Friday, July 09, 2004

Men Must be Pampered or Destroyed

YTD: +$25632.34

Thanks again to all posters and lurkers to my site. It's a real buzz seeing the feedback, especially from folks who keep on coming back. My advice is to check out the comments yourselves; I’m certainly getting a lot from them. And beside my own personal self-aggrandizement, that's what this is all about :-)

Two direct questions from old sparring partners on THM and elsewhere - Chaos and Redsimon. Chaos, I don’t keep direct track of rake except for limit holdem. And as I'm playing a lot of PLO8b (and previously PLO) a rake figure cannot be done. In limit my rake is probably in line with any ring game winning player, i.e. a lot but not quite as much as short handed. I still seem to be winning the prediction :-)

Red, I'm not playing off a huge stack by some people's standards - certainly not Aksu's :-) I have just over $35k floating around either in dollar accounts or sites and I'm mostly leaving it in them, although I am following Rolf S's secondary bankroll scheme. If P T means tournaments then truth be told, beside some SnG action, I'm mostly cash only of late. I have played less than 70 proper tournies this year, which by most online standards is tiny.

The topic for today was sparked off by a comment by Andy Ward on THM saying that cash players have to have a "...ruthless streak. Let me expand on the last one - you have to be able to take someone for everything they've got, goad them into borrowing money they don't have, and then take that as well, leaving them in the gutter, then go home, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and sleep the sleep of the just." Now Andy was exaggerating to make his point but this stereotype does exist. The Victoria Casino in London is renowned for creating the grinding pro who treats everyone as grist to his mill, treating strangers and losing players as “stars” to be mocked whilst being financially dismantled.

I can remember playing in a cash game in the Vic once, where on just sitting down in a short handed game I was check raised out of the only significant pot played in 5 minutes. Then the table charge was due and everyone sat out, talked amongst themselves and the game broke up, myself several hundred pounds lighter. It was clear that everyone else at the table knew each other and no one said a single word to me. I do not for one second believe that anything was amiss, just what a typically foolish reaction of the players there, not knowing I was the biggest fish to flop on their plates in some time, not to engage in some common, decent courtesy.

My view has always been that whilst the actions of the game should be undertaken without fear or favour, there is plenty of room for the human touch, humour, good spirit and friendliness. I try to keep the game light hearted. Many times I have told players that through their “cards spoken” that they have beat me, when they haven’t noticed it themselves, sometimes for serious money. Last year, in one of my very rare live appearances, I had a terrible run in a cash game. In a holdem pot I hit runner-runner flush to lose to a higher one. In the same game, I had the nut straight and top trips in a PLO8b hand vs bottom trips and a str8 wrap and was scooped. To be fair I had played poorly as well, but I was feeling somewhat despondent as this was a “guest” live appearance and not likely to be repeated too soon. The best part of a grand down, I had money in my pocket still, but decided enough was enough. I then went round and individually congratulated and shook the hands of the guys who had bust me, wishing them well.

The fact is that any kind of winning player, certainly in pot limit games where the pool of players and potential players is very limited, must accept that it is much better for players to “like” losing to them than to fear or dislike them. For most losing players Poker is a recreation, it must be felt to be enjoyable and they must “get something” from it. It is far more profitable, and fun for all concerned, for them to get a feeling of camaraderie and entertainment, than sly looks and “see you next time” grins.

7 comments:

Andy_Ward said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your feedback. In hindsight, this wasn't the best thought out comment I have ever posted on a forum. What I meant was that taking someone's money and then goading them into going home and getting some more is ONE of the things you might have to do to maximise your earn in cash games.

There are many others. One is making sure you don't bust someone all at once - because you can fleece a sheep many times, but only kill him once. And of course all these things should usually be done with a pleasant demeanour.

Basically you have to be quite calculating about how you can extract the most money possible from each individual. Leaving him as poor as you can. Unless you are really really good (someone mentioned Ramin Sai on the web and he had a reputation for being one of the best around) you will have to do these things to make decent money, by which I mean a lot better than paying the bills and living hand to mouth.

Andy.

PS In order to respond here, I now have my own blog ! "Andy Ward's Diary", http:://pokersoft.blogspot.com I think it is. Anyone who reads my diary should be able to read future entries here if that's more convenient.

Anonymous said...

Dave,
I'm sure its not beyond your capabilities to estimate your rake in plo, you just need say a 20 hour sample size and use as your average. The purpose for asking wasn't to see how you did in particular, but to bring the cost home and ask the question 'Is the rake value'. At least with real figures, there is a position to attack or defend on the subject as it is gepahically illustrated. Perhaps a better view would be two totals should read 'gross profits' and 'net profits' and then perhaps folk will realise they are giving up winnings to the card rooms.

I wrote extensively on this subject a few months ago at PIE and while I raised some awareness and made progress, I found it hard to stop the thread degenerating.

As for things changing - its still an expanding market and so there appears to be no need yet, but I am sure times will change and it is clear to me that the big on-line casinos are operating as a cartel. It's isn't a conspiracy theory, with what I Collective awareness and will is required.

Anonymous said...

Dave,
I'm sure its not beyond your considerable capabilities to estimate your rake in plo :), you just need say a 20 hour sample size and use as your average. The purpose for asking wasn't to see how you did in particular, but to bring the cost home and ask the question 'Is the rake value'. At least with real figures, there is a position to attack or defend on the subject as it is gepahically illustrated. Perhaps a better view would be two totals should read 'gross profits' and 'net profits' and then perhaps folk will realise they are giving up winnings to the card rooms.

I wrote extensively on this subject a few months ago at PIE and while I raised some awareness and made progress, I found it hard to stop the thread degenerating.

As for things changing - its still an expanding market and so there appears to be no need yet, but I am sure times will change and it is clear to me that the big on-line casinos are operating as a cartel. It's isn't a conspiracy theory, with what I believe are 90% profit margins its hard to believe they aren't going to get around a table and discuss strategy.

Collective awareness and will is required. I won't press you on this, I know it isn't an area that bothers you, but if you want to start a discussion on the subject, then I'd be happy to.

Keep up the good work.

chaos

(apologies if this has appeared twice)

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

Seems like you are just up and up after starting this blog. WTG.

I have quite nice database of midlimit hold'em games. Rake for a tight(ish) and aggressive player is about 19.5 cents/hand in full 15-30 and about 0.21 cents /hand in shorthanded 6max table.

Also I like to add that even if 35k tank is not considered a huge one by my standards it does not mean that I'm having a huge one myself :-)

My thinking in a PLO8 fold few weeks back was similar as you wrote later. Basically the call/fold decision was quite irrelevan and I have a limit player habit of just closing eyes and calling in these situations. One does not want a reputation as a folder in limit poker games. For some reason The Fur Coat Dilemma is one of the best remembered poker advices for me.


Good luck,
Aksu

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

P T meant Part time...seems like your cash action is going well...

Must say I agree strongly with your most recent blog. The Dealers Choice cash game locally has a very small pool of regulars and it certainly helps to keep things "happy". Generally the "bad mouthers" have only two effects, educating very cheaply the poor players and pissing off some so they never turn up again.

Cheers

redsimon (YTD not much but definitely +!!) :)

Anonymous said...

Chaos

With regards to the rake thread on PIE a while ago. You may be interested that it did make a difference to some of us at least! It was the first time I'd really thought about the rake I paid.

As a result us students came up with the idea of banding together and contacting the site most of us play at to ask for a rake rebate scheme. Obviously there were schemes out there already, but not on the site we mainly play on, and this way there is no middle man taking a cut. The site were very good about it and the student rake back scheme started last month. All money back goes directly to the player who paid it and hopefully it will continue sucessfully for years to come

Butch

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