Saturday, July 01, 2006

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Well, that was interesting. For those of you that thought I was starting a burgeoning porn empire over the last few days, I'm afraid not. I was hijacked, which was a disconcerting experience as at first, not knowing about this kind of thing at all, I thought my PC had been hacked and I went into full-on anti-virus/spyware frenzy. Several pointless hours later it dawned on me that any hackers would most likely be emptying my bank accounts, not auto-posting pornography links. Anyway, after a spot of reminding, Blogspot got it back.

On a poker front, as June was quite bad, I thought I would have a spin at a few tourneys, to magic myself into profit. No joy. However I did finally figure out what I am doing wrong. Now those that knew of me back in the old, B&M days knew me as a good tournament player. In fact an occassional reader here said he that I was very, very good indeed - I think it was just mindless flattery but it was nice :) He was also aghast at my playing cash. Which showed just how much a "star" I was in those days. Anyway, masturbatory digression aside, I think my problem is that I still play these tourneys like these good ol' days. Some examples.

I'm chipleader on a full table when a tight player just UTG raises, putting in just about 30% of his stack. With 77 on the button I decide to put him to the test and put him allin. He calls with AQ and he wins the race. Standard? Internet-wise, yes. Old school no. If he was facing a real world drive back him into the middle of the night we would say something like this to himself. It is almost 100% certain that I am at best a 50/50. And quite a few times I will be badly dominated. And its a long drive. Pass. On the Net, he thinks a bit more like, fuckit, another tourney in 5 mins, call.

Similarly, with only 10 or so big blinds I face two limpers on the button. Finding KQs I move allin, expecting to increase my stack by 30%. The real worry, the first limper, passes. After some thought, the second limper calls for a big chunk of his stack with 99. Obvious result. Again, classic Internet woolly thinking. His hand wasn't good enough to raise, but is good enough to call a massive chunk of his stack with no extra factors like hitting the bubble or the like.

Well its only been two years now since I stopped playing live. I'm a slow learner.

19 comments:

Div said...

Glad to have you back Dave.

I wa worried when the porn stuff appeared on my Bloglines feed. Your site would have been sadly missed if it had really gone.

alanj said...

Perhaps I am a woolly thinker, as I've hardly ever played offline, but that second play sounds perfectly reasonable to me. With a stack too deep to jam and several players left to act, I don't want to raise with a hand that can't stand a reraise from a tall stack. But when the short-stacked button jams for 10BB and it comes back to me, I'm getting 3:2 on the call, and there's no way I'm more than a 3:2 underdog against his range. I call in a flash.

Likewise on the first hand there's no chance that I fold any hand in my range on that action getting almost 2:1. Of course, given that's the case, I wouldn't have open-raised for 30% of my stack - I'd have shoved in to begin with.

Anyway, I'll be playing my first major live tournament in a few weeks. Perhaps the old school will rip me apart. We'll see.

Big Dave D said...

Alanj,

You are arguing my case for me. In live tourneys people just didnt make those calls before, for the metagame reasons I mentioned, plus many others. What you are basically saying is that you are prepared to play zero EV shots. Certainly the second case is almost exactly 3:2 for my range, unweighted. Would you call in a flash in the Main Event of the WSOP? Now I also understand why people take those shots...they are basically gambling to have a bigger stack vs playing in another tourney 10 minutes later. But in the old days people simply passed. For them, every tournment was the Big Dance.

gl

Dave D

razboynik said...

Hi Dave !
Glad to see that your site is back and alive & kicking.
I've started to read your blog from the very first post and have found it very enlightening.
You must be minted.
Cheers.

alanj said...

Actually in the second case I expect to be almost even money against the jammer's range. I'm a 3:2 dog against (TT+, AQ+, AJs, KQs), which is about the worst posssible range for me that includes your KQs. I expect most opponents to jam 77/88, and I would not be surprised to see hands such as AJo, KQo, JTs, or worse.

If I read him for a tight range, *and my read is right*, it's a zero EV shot. Even if this particular opponent does seem tight to me, I still call, since my read could be wrong and the call is never -EV.

In online MTTs I rarely use the "gamble to double up or play a different tournament" tactic. I usually play only the largest events, as they have the softest fields, bloated by satellite entrants - and when you bust the Stars Sunday Million, there isn't another one starting in 10 minutes.

I'll be playing in the Big Dance this year, and yes, I'd make the same call there. Perhaps I'll feel differently after my first few long drives (or flights) home.

Big Dave D said...

My "play in 10mins" thing is an exaggeration and is not meant to be a conscious thing. But it is certainly true that the emotional investment in an online tourney is far, far lower than a B&M. The point I was making, perhaps not very clearly, was that even when the maths said they should call - and it was rare that players back then would even know the maths that well - they wouldn't because of the meta-game factors. Another one, which I haven't mentioned is looking dumb. Embarrassment. Feeling you have made a tough decision. Etc. Of course this was just bad poker.

Back to the hand in question. If you feel it is zero EV with a slight plus, I think your assumption that it is never negative is wrong. Pokerstove doesn't weight the handsand if the pairs are more likely then it easily becomes -EV. So lets assume its zero EV with a equal chance of being slightly +EV and slightly -EV. Surely now you wouldn't call?

gl

dd

Anonymous said...

Yikes Dave,

"tight player just UTG raises, putting in just about 30% of his stack" and you set him in with 77, on a full table.

I must admit I'm surprised he turned over AQo, but surely your definition of him as a tight player makes you at best a coin-flip to his range?

That being said though I'm not certain what I'd do here. If I was the big stack then I think folding wouldn't have felt great, but I don't like the all-in, nor calling then just folding the flop if no 7 appears...

Tricky one, but remember you can choose your battles with that stack and get it in when clearly the favourite.

The second hand seems like it played itself for the 99 guy, I have to agree with alanj.

Keep on plugging away at the cash Dave, it seems like there's more fish around than usual at the moment (even on Party). I'm having a difficult patch too, but when people are raising all-in pf with 22 and 33 (!) it can't be long before it turns around.

Big Dave D said...

razboynik,

When you get further into theblog you will see why Im *not* minted :(

cheers

DD

Big Dave D said...

Anon,

Agreed with my reraise of 77. I wish I could have said it was more than an urge. As to the 99 thing, I think my last comment summed up my position.

gl

dd

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back Dave as its a long time since I've posted anything on here.
Online you cannot expect people to fold almost any pair never mind AQ (AQ is the preflop nuts for most internet players). You hit the nail on the head when you said "fuckit I can load up another tourney in 5 mins".
These sort of players pay your wages (in the long run anyway) so just adapt your game a little mate and leave them to it. Not really different to half of Salford jamming with A24x in padooki and drawing to crack your 7/8 is it?
ah the good old days when life was simple.

ariston

chaos said...

I have to say I didn't feel the 99's were badly played, but that testifies to very little. In your analysis though, surely you'd weight QQ's to AA's less. Even if you aren't going to get cute here, many, or A.N.Other, will in a bid to double up. I think in in these cases the difference in value between medium pairs is probably never so greater. Calling 7s, as I hopefully wouldn't but sadly certainly have, would likely be awful here as 88 thru 10s are almost certainly played this way by the short stack.

Alex Martin said...

I must be a mindless fish. Both plays that you are berating sound perfectly reasonable.
In the 1st instance the guy has come out saying "im pot comitted and not going anywhere" yet you decice to put him to the test.

I like your writing and i think you make some very insightful plays....but here i think you cannot berate your opponents plays.

To be brutally honest, your push with 77 isnt a great move IMAO.

gl at the tables (this is is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism)

Alex

Big Dave D said...

Alex, Chaos and all,

On reflection, it may be the case that I'm a little harsh on the 99 call. I still think the AQ is overplayed, my questionable 77 reraise to one side. 30% certainly isnt pot commited. But on the other hand, 2:1 isnt bad odds either. The main point, which has got a little lost, is that this wasnt the way things were.

gl

dd

chaos said...

Yes, I was going to respond to Alex's point, that wasn't really the issue. As you say, there are less soft issues encouraging players to shy out of challenges on-line and unlimately these aggressive plays are less successful on-line compared to live.

My reference to 77 btw, if it wasn't clear, referred to substituting the 9's for 7's.

Ukgatsby said...

Excellent read.
Gl

Paul

Alex Martin said...

I disagree. Playing a £25 NL rebuy comp about a month ago we were down to the final 2 tables. I was in top 6 chip stacks. There is a raise UTG form a good player (Helsinki Champ). I find KK and re-raise committing myself to the pot (holding back about 20%). Chip leader, an older player, who has been playing a very long time calls. The flop comes 10J7. I go all-in he calls with 44. There is little difference in live and online play nowadays. Donkeys seem to be breeding. Its good news.
By the way he rivered a 4 which is why it sticks in the memory.
The point is, he is old school. And he made a textbook "online" play.

;)

Big Dave D said...

Tx Paul..Alex, I guess even the old timerz get contaminated :)

dd

Anonymous said...

Maybe its just because in the 'old days' people played a lot worse, i mean if they were raising 30% of their stack with AQ and passing to a re-raise then they are clearly not very good. Likewise if they pass 99 in that spot.

The game is not full of so many super tight rocks now so its harder to win

Big Dave D said...

Anon,

As I think got a little lost in the noise, was that the main point wasn't that these were necessarily bad plays, but rather in the good old days, people simply didnt play that way. Loose players had a huge edge.

gl

dd