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OILERMAN   

It's also the perfect example of why cards are always about luck no matter how good you are.

Short term this is true but over the course of time skill wins out over luck. Getting the most value out of winning hands and losing the least amount are also skills that trump luck.

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OILERMAN   

I tripled my money, got up after an epic 3 minutes of poker and drank beers the rest of the evening while my buddies begged for me to loan them a few extra dollars.

Triple your money on the first hand and leave after 3 mins... that's low Merc

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ctm   

I play pretty regularly, traditional Hold'em and Razz.

Haven't played a live money Hold'em in awhile though, as the last time I was in Tunica I got rolled with one of the worst beats I've ever taken. Didn't even really go to gamble much, but the girlfriend hit the hay early and I was trying to wind down for the night. Sat down at a table for about half an hour, and some cliched as Hell "I'm a balla" type sat down, cashed in for 500, lost it almost all within honestly 10 minutes, cashed in again for 300 more, lost it all in about 10 more, then cashed in again for 500 more right after. Dream player to win one big pot off of before you call it a night, right?

It's 5/10 No limit, I get Jacks out of position, bump up the blind to 3x, a few folks call and the this dude re-raises. Everyone folds but me. I smooth-call - nervous about having Jacks but knowing this guy is terrible.

Flop comes 2-J-8. Sexy, right? I have trips, no King, Ace, or Queen on board - rainblow flop that doesn't lead to a straight. Pretty ideal scenario for making some bank. I bet around 75, he calls. I'm putting him on either a high pocket pair or Jack-Ace (remember, he showed over the last 45 minutes he was fucking terrible, so I'm sure he would've called up with that)

Turn is a 4, I bet 125 - he calls. I'm a tad confused, because I can't put him on a reasonable hand at all. It's a rainbow board, with the only double suit coming on the turn.

Last card falls, a 6 - preventing a flush. I push the rest of my chips in and start to stand up knowing I'm leaving after this hand as I'm damn-near doubling my money. The fucker calls and turns over 3-5 offsuit. I'm not even kidding. He sucked out on a runner-runner straight that would have cost him around 500 if he'd lost - meaning in all he'd have lost around 1.5k in an hour. He never tried to get me out of the pot after his first re-raise...like he knew the whole time it would play out the way it did. Made no sense at all.

I can't even fathom how mind-fucked I was. A few hundred bucks isn't the end of the world, nor the most amount I've ever lost in a hand, but that was by far the most crushing, what-the-shit moment I'd ever had playing poker. I couldn't justify a single move he made the entire hand leading up to the last card, except MAYBE trying to bluff me off the hand preflop, and given how loose he'd shown himself as being, even that's a big fucking reach, and even thought I'm someone who likes to argue against people who rely on systems and math more than anything else (playing from your gut does count for something, though I typically only do it when the odds support it) I still couldn't believe I'd just lost a handful of Franklins to this moron.

Everyone at the table was shaking their heads like they'd just heard I'd been diagnosed with cancer or something. Could've heard a pin drop. I walked out of there to the casino bar a couple of hundred yards away and drank a double-shot of Jack every 5 minutes for the next half hour. Woke up to a nasty headache the next day, moreso because of the poker hand than the whiskey, but never would tell my girlfriend why I was in such a pissy mood the rest of the weekend because of that.

To make some luck of it, since I refused to play a cash poker game, she wanted me to show her how to play slots (not kidding...she'd never even played a slot machine before) - and I hit one for 700 on my fourth spin just showing her she could either pull the lever or push the button. Because of that, she thought you were almost guaranteed to win every 3 or 4 times and she ended up blowing through a couple of hundred (of mine of course hehe) in pretty record time.

God, just remembering that hand still pisses me off.

I also play in Tunica on occasion. I play only low limit (4/8, 5/10) cash games. It's easier on the nerves and that's generally where the suckers play.

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abenjami   

I feel like limit games take some strategy out of the game and replace it with making sure the player dealt the best cards wins every time.

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ctm   

I feel like limit games take some strategy out of the game and replace it with making sure the player dealt the best cards wins every time.

Limit games do eliminate one element of skill: bet sizing. But there still remains a strong element of skill to the game. Better players will still win more often. But limit games also reduce risk and variance in wins/losses. Ask Mercalius, he lost a grand or so on a bad beat. When I get a bad beat its usually $75 or so.

My objective isn't to win a lot of money in one session, It's to consistently win 300/400, which I have done many, many times.

Edited by ctm

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abenjami   

Limit games do eliminate one element of skill: bet sizing. But there still remains a strong element of skill to the game. Better players will still win more often. But limit games also reduce risk and variance in wins/losses. Ask Mercilus, he lost a grand or so on a bad beat. When I get a bad beat its usually $75 or so.

My objective isn't to win a lot of money in one session, It's to consistently win 300/400, which I have done many, many times.

I know. I just like the thrill of the unlimited gambling part of no limit. I like being able to make other players put a lot of chips in the pot to see the flop when I have cards in the hole and I like making that call myself when someone else puts up a big bet. With limits, it seems there is a lot more limping to the flop involved.

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abenjami   

Pot limit is the most skilled of the 3, but I just play no limit

How so?

IMO, anything that makes the best 5 card hand win the pot a higher percentage of the time means less skill is involved. When I say this, I don't mean the best 5 card hands of players who didn't fold. I mean the best hand of all players in the game, as if everyone bet until the last call.

It takes skill to win pots when you have a good hand but someone else has the nuts. It takes skill to win bigger pots when you have the nuts. It takes skill to win pots when you are bluffing.

The more people who are still in the game after the river, the more often the best 5 card hand wins. Having pot limits allows this to happen more often.

I know you know all this, i'm just curious to know why you think pot limit is the most skilled.

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OILERMAN   

Post flop play is the hardest part of Hold Em. With Pot limit you can't just blow opponents off their hands by going all in but you can still make a pot sized bet putting more math(pots odds/implied odds) into the decision making and also reading ability of the opponent into play. But you are going to have to make decisions pre-flop, on the flop, turn and river a lot of times. You also have to factor in your stack size more because you can't go all in, it might take you a few streets(turn and river) to get all your chips in.

The decisions are much more cut and dry in limit and no limit

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abenjami   

Right but you don't have to blow opponents off their hands all the time. You can still make the same pot sized bet pre-flop. You just have the option of betting more if you want to.

As far as doing the math on odds, you have to make assumptions to figure those out regardless of the limit rules. With a limit, you know the biggest expected bets are the limits. With no limit, you know the biggest expected bet you have to call is the amount of chips you have. The amount of math isn't changing. It's the same formulas and the same factors. It takes more skill to accurately predict the future when there is a wider range of possible bets that are ever changing and not the same artificial limit that applies to every hand.

I agree on the part of having to factor in your stack size to get all your chips in.

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OILERMAN   

Right but you don't have to blow opponents off their hands all the time. You can still make the same pot sized bet pre-flop. You just have the option of betting more if you want to.

But it's not about what you can do, it's about what your opponents can do.

There is a pretty popular poker book called "Kill Phill" that discusses a strategy in hold em tournaments against superior opponents. It basically says the great equalizer is the all in bet. It explains that the best thing to do is go all in and then it removes their skill because all they can do is call or fold. You do not want to be playing better players down to the river. They'll put pressure on you and call you when you don't want them to etc.... The top players gain more info every time another card comes off and you make a bet, check or call.

In pot limit that strategy is taken away.

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abenjami   

That only makes some sense if you are at a table heads up with only one other player and you are using it every hand. With more players at the table using that strategy is suicide. The player won't last long and it will be a non issue.

Even if that strategy is being used and it eliminates some skill, it adds other aspects of the game. If someone is going all in every hand, you adjust to their game. It then becomes a matter of deciding when you call it based upon your hole cards and your stack vs. his. If you have the larger stack then you can just let him keep taking your measly blinds until you get a top pair and have a high percentage chance of winning the one hand you need to end him.

I have used a similar strategy In the past when I'm heads up and way down in chips. I go all in blind every time for a few rounds without looking at my cards when the other guy is the bug blind and I let him know I'm doing it blind. It totally messes some people up completely throws them off their game. I've had times where it backfired and other times it got my chip stack back to the point I could go back to playing normal and eVentually end up with all the chips.

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