Friday, November 05, 2004

The Boys are Back in Town

YTD: +$40803.31

By a strange set of circumstances that I can't explain, suddenly the 30-60 Holdem on Stars has turned into a good game. Admittedly, I am not winning in it yet, but it is far from the rock fest it usually is. How about this one:

An UTG and middle position limper. I raise in the cutoff with AA, all call. The flop comes T86, two spades. I have the A of Spades. Everyone checks and only the UTG limper calls. Turn a rag 2 - check-bet-call. River another 2. Suddenly the UTG springs to life and bets. I raise, he just calls.

And shows 32 of clubs.

I don't think this one needs analysis, rather just praise to god :-)


chaos said...

Those incidents always give you confidence. Funnily enough every once in a while it doesn't do too much harm to play in a similar non-sensical way as this guy did here. Not that flop because it is too likely there will be other callers and it may not be easy to shift the pre-flop raiser later. But say 57 on K-6-2 against a player who will keep the hand running. Hopefully you will get another caller in mid position. Chk raise the turn and the initial better might well believe you given the position you called on the flop, plus the other player in the hand may make your more play stronger. Boy if you hit runner runner does it look good. Also if you were to pick up an open str8 draw your strategy may change and you call to let the other guy in, which makes you look an even bigger fish, becasue you called 57 on K-6-2 to make a straight!

It should only be done rarely: if you image needs a booster. When quite a tough player on PS told me that he would 'Call me down with air' a couple of years ago, I knew it was time to tighten up! But it sure cheered me to read those words though: he was desperate to stop me.

His statement comes back to emotion/EV tradeoff. I'm not sure who was winning at the time of his comment, except that he had just won a pot when he said it, but clearly whether to his advantage or not he wasn't comfortable playing this way.

Similarly, I would prefer a guy to raise the button to my BB 60% rather than 100%, most would, but is that emotion rather EV talking?


Aksu said...

' a tough player on PS told me that he would 'Call me down with air' a couple of years ago '

hehe Chaos.

You had a very very wild reputation. I said to Dave after the QQ episode that 'he was a known maniac and call was good'.

So. Was this a problem in the end? You have changed your name, right?


PS. you were right couple of weeks ago. Measured with EV/time rake is of course an issue. However I do not use this aproach as it would prevent me to play any tournaments :-)

chaos said...

Sorry for the delay AKsu, I've been away again this weekend.

'A known maniac'! lol. A maniac is one thing, but a known maniac is another all together. No, I didn't change my name I just don't play there often. I do have another account but I seldom use it. I certainly wouldn't change it because people thought of me that way: if my play is more flexible than my opponents of me then I should be in business.

I made money playing cash at PS there, but not as well as on other sites. My policy when playing cash at PS was to try and encourage people to play worse than I did: and generally it worked. About a year ago I wrote an article on THM paradoxiaclly entitled 'controlled tilt' which tried to articulate this view.

The importance of such strategy is to play some hands like a fish: the memories of those hands weigh heavily on your opponents mind. They assume that you will play every hand as badly (unless you start losing heavily)Their response will be to treat you as a fish. It is the sort of strategy you want against tight players. I was raising one off the button and being re-raised by the button with 6-2o by a solid player. Once you get players in this frame of mind then you just play straight forward value for a while til normality returns.

Control is difficult though, it is hard to switch roles and sometimes you can get carried away with the image and start to justify things you want to do rather than should do under the 'loss leader' role. Sometimes I was too belligerent. In general with this image you have to open up when you are winning and tighten up when losing, but I guess that's obvious.

Re Dave's call with QQ. It's a tough one: if he knew about my image then it was nailed on the right call, but if he didn't then I'm not so sure. I only made that move because I thought Dave was capable of laying down if he thought he was up against it, unlike most players on PS (and I knew we hadn't played so didn't figure him to be wise to my image). At the time in tournies I selodom made a move like that pre-flop because I knew I wouldn't get away with it. When I played the tournies I would call a lot of -ve EV bets with a big stack, but the implied value of them was well worth it. E.g. the scenario with Dave where I've got the AA. But it was obvious often on the flops, in situations where there was precious little chance I could possibly be making a move, I would get paid off. I know why: I've done it myself. One tends to take a few crazy, inappropriate hands and use them to guide a decision in a completely different scenario: anyone witnessing that hand against Dave would have remembered it for a future hand down the track, when it would likely be highly inappropriate and irrelevant.

The games I play in now don't justify such a strategy, but it is still healthy to decide 'this hand I'm going to get creative': as say, in the one I suggested. The good thing about the hand like that is that it can end being played so passively, which looks awful: most players accept that playing a crap hand aggressively once in a while is ok, but passively?

It is very, very hard to put information like that into context. Anything we store emotionally is tough to put into context.


by the way did we play in the cash?

Big Dave D said...

Chaos, I think there are two problems with the "play a fish hand" approach. One is that you may have to push it very hard to actually get it shown, which may cost a lot of bets more than it is potentially worth. The other, fatal, imho, is PokerTracker. When I'm playing holdem, as I am now, I just use PT and dont make any notes at all because I KNOW they are unrelible. I think that the bad hand approach may work better in non-PT games for that reason - I know I have serious misjudged some people at PLO off just a few hands. Thankfully I know I'm a bad first judge of character :-)

Back to the QQ thing again. We both played it wrong. You should have decoded that my putting in 30-40% of my stack meant that I wasnt going to pass, especially as you had more information than me. Whereas I should have put in half my stack and not left room for doubt, if I thought you were a good player, or just tried to play a small pot if I thought you were a fish. As is often the case in Poker, all parties can play good or all parties bad and the Gods of Poker can decide.

BTW, what and where are u playing of late?

chaos said...

I'll get back to you on this tomorrow Dav: I can't multi-task right now!

chaos said...

ugh: another long post bites the dust. Not for the first time I accidently pressed sleep on my keyboard and all was lost.

what and where: exclusively BF, though that may change. The action has not been that great lately and I'm not too keen on playing from the same account as my sportsbook; particularly when Saturday saw my worst days sports betting ever. The limits range considerably. I don't play as often or average as high as 18 months ago, but I do play the big games (100-200) from time to time. The mixed BR doesn't help.

Briefly on PT: What you say is relevant, however, it contributes to a global rather than local opinion. We perceive people and they do us as 'locally weak', locally aggressive, locally tight, locally loose etc. No doubt in certain situations this is a much heavier influence than any global opinion. So imo, it PT far from devalues such (or some) moves.

I wrote on something on a subject I've read a little about recently: the amygdala and how it, and consequenltly we, respond. But I'm so peeved at having to re-write it, but it is a very interesting subject for us poker players imo.

QQ: I conceded that I played it wrong, but not if my handle was 'Texas Steve'. I felt that you could have got away from the hand if you believed you were up against it. The only real reason I can figure you for playing the hand the way you did was to hope that some lunatic might sense a bit of weakness and come over the top with some garbage like 5-7o! In that respect I felt as though I'd been set up and expected to see Aces, but the play is still a good one with QQ.