Saturday, September 18, 2004

Interlude

YTD: +$62945.48

It seems that more people read my blog during the week than at the weekend, so I will just leave a "stopping by" post before the bigger splurge of the AA in PLO analysis :-)

God I hate tournaments. I played a couple of single table sats for the 215 NL event on Sunday. Yes, sadly, I will only play the big Stars tourney if I win my way in.

I had one player all-in six times before the flop. He was a real ESPN player, moving allin on a huge variety of hands, often grossly overbetting the pot. Six times I could have bust him. And he won every one. Which was a 153 to 1 shot. 153 to 1 to survive the tourney and yet he did so. When I started moaning and whining - why do I do that? - he said "Well, thats poker". This beggars two questions:

1) Why do I whinge and cry like a baby online, behaviour which I would never do or condone in the real world? This seriously disappoints me. I don't do it often, but tourneys especially bring out the worst in me. Maybe its the arrogance of being knocked out by players I perceive, rightly or wrongly, to be "worse" than me. Also I think its the frustration of tournament-style poker, where when it's over, it's over. No more chances. I'm turning into a nit.

2) "Well, that's poker." There is probably now a huge number, if not the majority of tournament players, that think NLHE is about moving all-in preflop on semi-garbage. And that's the whole of the game now.

I'll stick to cash.

*Breaking News* just watching the US Poker Championship of 2003...ye Gods, how much worse can Phil Hellmuth play!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It will even out if you play more tournaments. Make that a LOT more tournaments. Accept that or don't play.

Separately, you asked me a VERY interesting question on the Hendon Mob forum, to which I've not replied. I don't really want to start a thread on it there so I said nothing, but would be interested in your thinking. The question was "Do you really believe that games of PLHE are more sustainable than games of PLO?". It was in reference to the revival of hold'em at the Vic.

I'm worried that you might have a point. But if you are right then I should be there every day until it's over. As things stand, there are about a hard core of five or six of us who are consistent winners at the £100 game. In my last 11 visits, I've only lost once. Another player has played almost every day this month and has won every day except once when he broke even! As we're paying hundreds a week in table charges too, there have to be some major losers participating to make this happen. And there are! I've played at least two dozen people in the last fortnight that I've never seen before in my life! Many of them seem to be able to dump £400 in a few hours without any trace of remorse. There is big money in London and poker clubs attract it when they don't focus on £10 tournament players (not a dig at Gutshot).

Just keep showing people betting with garbage on TV, that's all I ask!

DY

Anonymous said...

I'm confused, probably because I don't really play omaha. But why should holdem be less sustainable than Omaha? Is the varience that much larger in Omaha that enough long term losing players win in the short to medium term, keeping the game going longer? And if so, why ever play omaha when there are enough poor holdem players along both online and live?

Butch

chaos said...

Hi Dave,

I'll respond to question 1, even though I feel its probably rhetorical; still it gives me an excuse to ramble!

One characteristic that separates us from the rest of God’s creatures is the ability to empathise with other humans. In the real world this serves to restrain or overrides our more destructive impulses and controls our emotions. This a characteristic that has evolved over thousands of years; clearly, our brain hasn’t evolved to communicate with people in the range of ways we now do. We don’t see or feel the impact of our behaviour on others and so there is less reward or more cost to us in keeping our emotions in check. Most of the time we reason things out differently at a higher level and know that someone doesn’t to be physically in our presence to be offended – but the concept would be lost on a cavemen.

Doubtless we are more upset at hurting people in real life than we are at causing offence over the net: our brains have evolved to respond to human interaction in order to guarantee survival. There was probably a dual purpose for the empathetic survival trait: to avoid getting attacked; to build relationships. Neither of which we need or exist from a faceless player over the net. The bottom line is that its harder to restrain our emotions when people aren’t around; emotions will leak out once in a while.

The overarching question for me is how we reduce the impact of our impulses when playing poker on the net. The reason why we are, and has been written about before, is personal cost. Playing badly on-line has less personal cost, as does insulting people. The question for many players on-line is how to introduce to the on-line game the impulse-inhibitors that exist in live games; money is an inhibitor, but is not always enough.

Anyway, I’m sure you are being hard on yourself. The one time we played against each other, when I was anonymous, you took a tough beat from a lunatic play very graciously.

chaos

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dave --

First, please pardon the interruption to the good poker commentary, but I don't see any e-mail addresses so it seems the only way to contact you is through this post. Here goes...

I'm a freelance writer doing a story about people who are making their living playing poker online. Seeing as you've written about exactly that, I wonder if you'd consent to be interviewed. If so, would you e-mail me at foolwriter@hotmail.com?

Also: If there are other pros out there with interesting stories, I'd like to hear them. Just e-mail me and leave information where you can best be reached.

Thanks,

Tim

chaos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chaos said...

Hi Dave,
I hope my post didn't come across in a patronising way: I had a couple of beers last night. I meant what I said, but not from a 'holier than thou' stand point. I have had and do have my moments. All too often I've been quick to accuse people of cheating before. This used to happen at Will Hill where hey provided unlimited 'all-ins'. Nine out of ten times the all-inner was an abuser; however, the balance of probabilities doesn't justify falsely accusing/insulting someone (or does it? re our judicial system).

Also, I will show bluffs at a far greater frequency on-line: empathy just goes out the window, it seems.

chaos

Big Dave D said...

Butch,

I'm going to cover off some of DY's points in some seperate posts, but just to answer you briefly, yes the variance in PLO is much higher. And the reason that this matters more, especially in the UK, is that the sample size of people who are prepared to play PLHE is very small. The % who are happy to be bludgened to death every week with little chance of winning must approach zero. And when they are gone, they are gone.

gl

Dave

Big Dave D said...

Hi Chaos,

NP, what you said made perfect sense. I just feel embarrassed that I can let my worse side shine through simply because I have taken a few beats. Although in my defence when I am whinging I am quite funny. But I still need to get it out of my game.

gl

Dave

chaos said...

Dave,
If you're being humourous then I wouldn't worry too much. Personally I only get annoyed with the acidic, nasty, bitter comments. Mostly I have chat off. This has more to do with me going a little softer on people that I chat with than being anti social. This is a problem, particularly in live play. There is a real conflict I find, in engaging someone in a friendly conversation, while at the same time bullying them. Try as we might to believe that hand and extra-hand activities are independent, they often are not. You know that some people will understand, usually the good players, but others won't. My solution is, sadly, to disengage from on-line interaction.

At the poker table (live) I find myself envious of people who simply don't care about such things; but only in that domain. I do have an aggressive rep at the poker table, but I know that I've let opportunities go once in a while because, perhaps, of empathy. There is no doubt that some people come out to the local comp to enjoy themselves. It's hard to ignore that, through constant bullying, you are taking away that enjoyment. That aside I'm not always a great believer in putting a lot of pressure on players, because sooner or later you will head for a showdown; in some climates that isn't what you want.

As for extracting your displacement activity from your game, who knows, it may be a good thing leaving it in, particularly if you aren't upsetting people.

chaos