Sunday, May 29, 2005

Lazy Sunday Thoughts

I saw this gem in the NY Times this morning called Card Stud written by Pat Jordan. It's about Daniel Negreanu. Here's a bit:
Negreanu says that most great players are geniuses, then lists the kinds of genius they must have: 1) a thorough knowledge of poker; 2) a mathematical understanding of the probabilities of a card being dealt, given the cards visible; 3) a psychological understanding of an opponent; 4) an understanding of an opponent's betting patterns -- that is, how he bets with the nuts and how he bets when bluffing; and 5) the ability to read ''tells,'' or a player's physical reactions to the cards he is dealt. Negreanu is a master at reading tells, although he claims it is an overrated gift, since only mediocre players have obvious tells.
I got spanked at the tables last night. The bleeding was profuse on both Full Tilt and Party Poker. I lost a huge pot in a $5/$10 game on Party Poker. Gutshot. Brutal. I took 76th in a 200+ MTT on Full Tilt. I had my Hiltons cracked by 88.

This morning on Party Poker I encountered a super fish. He saw every flop, and often called 2 or 3 raises preflop. He also saw his hand all the way to the river. Inside an half hour, he was up 30 BB. In that same span, I was down about 15BB. I lost an ugly hand to him. He had 92o and I missed my flush with ATs. With four overcards on the board he called all the way to the river. He rivered bottom pair and beat my ace high. At that point, I got my shit together. Against a guy like that at a limit table, you must have the best hand at showdown. I adjusted my play. Instead of playing looser and seeing more flops, I tightened up.

I found KQs in LP and raised. The super fish, sitting to my left, was the only called. I flopped a flush draw and hit it on the turn. If he had any suited ace, I was done. On the river he raised me and I just called. He had 84o. That's when I made a mental note. He had been a calling station the entire time. The only other times I saw him raise was when he had nothing.

That's my random online poker tip of the day: Pay attention to betting patterns.

That little bit of information came in handy later on. With AJo I raised and of course, he called I put him on ten high, at best. I flopped top two pair and I felt I had a huge lead on him. On the river, he raised me and that when I knew he had nothing. He only raised when he had nadda. I reraised and he played back at me to cap it. I pumped my fists in the air when the pot was pushed to me. He walked into my big hand.

Sure my actions are straight out of the "How to play against people who see every flop" text book. But since I had been running bad all weekend, I was impressed with my patience and discipline to sit and wait for a good hand before I attacked. I also gave myself a pat on the back for being able to recognize betting patterns... something I know I would not have picked up had I been reading poker blogs or playing multi-tables.

I ended up for the session and walked away after I properly tagged that fish.

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