Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Consequences of Failing to Listen to Your Inner Voice

Am I on tilt right now?
Am I getting too tired to play?
Should I leave this table?
Should I call this raise?
Should I play ATo under the gun?
Should I go ahead and bluff here?
Should I steal with this turd of a hand?

No matter what the question is, the answer never changes. It's always the one you least wanted to hear. Notice how the simple act of asking yourself that question gives you the answer. Also notice how failing to act on the advice given back to you is a mistake about 90% of the time. of the beauties of this game of poker. That same voice inside you that you use to consistently lie to your girlfriend, your wife, your parents, your kids, and even yourself will not persuade the powers of the universe that you are not completely full of shit. Because when you deny that inner voice, you are betraying your well-honed poker instincts in favor of your ego or your emotions, which are the least suited for rational decision making at the table. Decisions made on the fly are almost never good ones. Great decisions are planned in advance with contingencies already put into place for any card that can hit on the turn or river.

Though it is never easy, this is some of the most solid advice you will ever receive: if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Busted!! The Short Stack Hero is as Cheap as I said...

Here, as evidence to back up my previous claim as to How Cheap The Short Stack Hero is, are pictures shot by an accomplice of Lorin in all his Cheap Ass Glory!!!

This is him stealing a butt from an ashtray to smoke.....

...and here is him snagging his tip back from the bartender.....

I may be fat but I can always go on a diet. This kind of cheap lives forever!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alternative Line #1B: Defending Against the Limp Re-raise

It is undeniable that after reading the previous post on how to play AK that some short stackers out there will undoubtedly be using this play. The question is, how should another short stacker respond? Rather than come out and say it, let's just look at a hypothethical example.

A short stacker (abcy123, perhaps?) limps from early position. You are dealt QQ on the cutoff. Should you raise? No!!!

Why? Pretty simple. Mr. Abcy123 has just played his hand face-up. If you raise, you know he is going to shove and you are right back to a 54% favorite (vs. AKs), and you are essentially flipping for the pot with no real advantage, which is contrary to why anyone would short stack in the first place. Of course, your hand is clearly too good to fold, so what should you do? Break the short stacker's one Commandment and limp, goddamnit!

Why limp? If it isn't 100% obvious at this point, then I will state the obvious. The AK is 2:1 to hit on the flop. If you limp and someone else raises, you can now get all in as a favorite against one or two players. Not perfect, but certainly better than getting all in against a single player as a 50/50 proposition. Even better still, you get to see the flop in position and you can instantly bail if the dreaded A or K hits or you can even slow-play if you hit a Q and the AK bricks. What could be easier than playing a hand face-up?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Don't be that Guy: An introduction to the "Kruger Complex"

We all know that guy. Unfortunately, most of us have been that guy even if only for a moment). But let me urge you.....DON'T BE THAT GUY!!! In case you are wondering to which guy I am referring, it is the guy that bitches and complains that the game is rigged and yet continues to play anyway. He will swear that the game is rigged, speak knowingly about the "Doomswitch" and try to utterly convince you that the poker site that he plays at deliberately rigs the deck, just to keep him from bankrupting every player on the site and thus ruining their business. Their arguments are sincere, numerous and ultimately, retarded. This kind of mindset not only taxes your emotional bankroll and limits your ability to accept the realities of, and therefore improve your game, but it also proves to everybody around you that you are, indeed, a total douche bag.

Lets start by looking at their arguments and pointing out the stupidity of each in turn:

"Everytime I get all in and am ahead, somebody hits a 4 outer to beat me! This game HAS to be rigged!!!"

This is the most common one. This generally develops from two main shortcomings. One is the general disability of the people dumb enough to believe this shit to accurately figure out the outs that beat them. They also tend to believe that if they are ahead, they deserve to win. The other main reason that this theory stays around is the phenomenon of SELECTIVE MEMORY. The brain doesn't usually bother to register the 3 times out of 4 that AK holds up against AT (that's right, you should only win that 3 times out of 4 so quit your bitching. It is not a guaranteed win.) That is the expected result so your brain doesn't bother to take much notice. It will, however, go bat shit crazy when it fully expects to win and doesn't. The rush of adrenaline, mixed with shock, anger, diappointment, and then some more anger (not to mention the deep seeded psychotic, murderous rage directed at the galloping donkey that beat you) is a pretty potent cocktail of mnemonic devices. No wonder you remember every single bad beat. Of course it seems like you always get sucked out on. In your memory it is 100% true, but in reality the universe tends to work itself out as it should, and you, even in all your poker glory, are no exception.

My next favorite theory is the "deep" one that provides the motivation for the site to cheat you. I mean, every murder (especially of a bankroll) has to have a motive. The motive, the pundits say, is that the poker sites want to keep the fish around, to keep them contributing rake to the site. In order to keep the fish from going broke, they have to take money from the "good" players to keep the fish in the game. They do this through bad beats. This argument is stupid for many reasons. First of all, fish are fish for a reason. They will keep coming back. Period. Have you ever known somebody that thought that they were good at poker just give it up? No. Nor will they. They may take a break for a couple weeks to raise the cash for another deposit, but after they grab some cash from mom's purse, they will be right back. The sites know this. Another debunker for this asinine theory is that it is always the douche bag that is down to the felt that is the biggest proponent of this theory. The only problem is, he is the argument against his argument. If the sites are doing this to share the wealth and keep everybody in the game, why do they keep busting you? Because they know you will come back. Saddle up to the hook and have another worm Mr. Fishy....

Another one of my favorites is that there are just too many big hands online as compared to live. It's just not possible. So the Poker sites must be stacking to deck to make hands more exciting. My response to this is simple. You probably haven't played enough live games or you are a total fucking moron. First of all, you are going to see more large hands while playing online. Even if you are only playing 1 table online, you will still see almost twice as many hands an hour as compared to live play. So if you would see one unusual hand in an hour live, you would see one on average every half hour or so online. Now keep that in mind and factor in that most players are playing anywhere from 2 to 24 tables. If you don't see something weird pretty often, you should be concerned. Not to mention, those bumbass bad beats happen live as well. Just last week Lorin and I went to the local casino. We were playing at a pretty loose $1/2 game and on my fifth or sixth hand I raised with 99. Got 2 callers. Flop came 9 6 4 with 2 spades. I bet $25 and get one caller. The turn card is a beauty...4 of spades. I have the top full house and if that guy was drawing for a flush, he just got there. I check, he bets $35 and I just smooth call. The river is the 7 of spades. I bet, he raises, I shove, he calls and tables 44 for a turned set of quads. Fifth hand at the table. I didn't even have to work my way up to that kind of ass whooping. I just laughed. That is poker and it goes to prove that stupid shit happens live. It happens all the time (maybe someday I will tell you about Frenchy and the "one-out-mouth-piss hand").

The reason that it is so important to not be that guy is that you won't really progress in your game if you find shit to blame your results on. Variance is part of the game. As it is in life. I think that one of the things that draws most of us tho this game is that it is so similar to life. You can do everything right and bad stuff can still happen to you. As a matter of fact, it is guaranteed to happen to you. Poker should be teaching you how to deal with those things, not teach you to write it off on some imaginary admin behind a curtain somewhere who is laughing his ass off trying to get you (see pic above, to see how stupid this is). I have seen that truly intelligent and very gifted poker players that hit a wall in their development because they either don't accept the leaks in their game because they don't see their losses being due to leaks, or they live their lives in a perpetual state of TILT because they sit down at the table believing the world is against them and they are going to lose. And they do. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. So for that reason, don't be that guy. You are wasting your time trying to advance in the game if you will let yourself fall into that kind of trap. Also, don't be that guy because it is fucking annoying.....

If you have any other theories on this, we would love to hear them. Both the silly shit that people say to prove the sites are rigged, or the multitude of realities that debunk them. Personally, I could have written for another hour or two on this but I am a little tired of being sober at the moment, so I am going to take care of that.

Hope to hear from you all on this and good luck at the tables (and away from them as well.....)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Short Stack Sexiness- Low Volume/High Win Rate

The month of May was pretty relaxing. I was still working on my new website, so about 25 hours of these results came from 4-6 tabling. I have also been out shopping for a house, so I was "forced" to take several days off for that as well. Although this win rate (measured in ptBB/100) is not likely sustainable, I am certainly enjoying the current run.

Here are the totals:

Hours: 113
Short Stack Winnings: $7,987
Tournament Winnings: $205
Rakeback: ~$1,500

Total: $9,692
Hourly rate: $85.77