Sunday, September 13, 2009

What did Malek say?

I've just logged into blogger for the first time in months and have found a draft of a post I created after a September visit to the Vic. It goes as follows:

"Nice moment tonight at the Vic. Some guy bets £10 on the river into a £50 pot. Everyone folds to Malek who dwells up for a few moments, then asks"

... and then abruptly ends.

I now have no recollection of what Malek actually said. But I do know it was very, very funny.

So I am turning it over to you, my dear reader, to make your own conjectures; to conduct, if you will, your own investigations; feel free to speculate, and so forth. I'm sure that with the power of the internet, we can solve this one together.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Vegas 12 step programme (for small Limit Holdem games)

Here are some “notes to self” that I wrote up during my 2003 trip. Played mostly 3-6 and 6-12 at the Mirage, 4-8 at the Horseshoe etc. Warning - some of this advice is not very advanced:-

1. Don’t play weak starting hands

2. Almost any suited cards are good when 6 or 7 players are seeing every flop

3. Don’t wait till the turn to check-raise when your hand was actually not very strong anyway on the flop

4. Don’t play for 18 hours straight when you have just arrived

5. Don’t play when 90% of the table is old rocks

6. Mornings and afternoon are full of tough players. Prime time is 7pm-1am

7. Do some reading on playing against maniacs before your next trip

8. Rake is proportionately less severe in 6-12 than 3-6

9. Be aware that some weak players will cost you money by raising with 3rd best hands against your 2nd best hand - get over it.

10. Don’t call so much with losing hands

11. Only bluff against players capable of folding a hand

12. Don’t check-raise semi-bluff tough experienced opponents on the turn when the pot is already huge, they’ve been making aggressive action on every street, and they are nursing personal animosity towards you


Saturday, December 01, 2007

A student’s rite of passage

Update from my University pal:-

“I went on tilt last week and lost $1,000. All profit thankfully (still up $850 on FT since July). Lost $600 in one 2 or 3 hour session - pretty impressive considering the $1-$2 blinds! Remaining $400 was lost in bad beats mostly.

After the on-tilt phase I had a period when I couldn't win with the best hand e.g. all-in with AJ on a J-rag-rag board all diamonds. I got called by KJ. He only had 2 outs as Kd would give me a flush. But he hit it anyway.

It's a funny thing about poker, I have periods where I'm winning 8 out of 10 sessions, then a period where all my bluffs are called/re-raised, I continually miss the flop, I don't get position even if raising in the cut-off, and I can't win when I flop the nuts. I can't explain it.”

(The Paper…) With experience, comes learning. With learning, comes understanding. With understanding, comes an awareness of ebb and flow. With an awareness of ebb and flow comes a tendency not to stir the hornet’s nest. With a tendency not to stir the hornet’s nest comes the occasional dinner voucher courtesy of Joe McCann. With the occasional dinner voucher courtesy of Joe McCann comes an ability to withstand comparisons of one’s physique with that of Zach from Desperate Housewives while just sitting there quietly playing one’s cards in the 8-16 Limit game at the Bellagio. This the sum total of my learning after a number of years of playing poker.

Note: The Student will be playing in the £50 freeze out at the Vic on Wed 12th Dec, and will be available for the signing of autographs and posing for photographs.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Did you mean badonkadonk?

I have been using Slotboom’s short-stack technique a lot recently in PLO.

Twice last night, on gutshot’s old skin of Scandinavian site 24h poker, I limp/re-raised a loose aggressive player on my left with KKxx, and doubled up both times. Quite satisfying to deploy this technique against those players that like to boss the table with their raises.

The fellow in question was a bit miffed, typing “nh klonkdonk” in the chat box.

I was intrigued by the epithet. It sounded like an attractive sort of insult. Sort of how a Swedish version of Stephen Fry might affectionately chastise a Swedish version of Alan Davies. Curious, I googled it.

To which, Google replied, somewhat imaginatively: “did you mean badonkadonk?”

This charming word turns out to be “a slang term for a woman’s buttocks that are voluptuously large and firm. The term is thought to derive from the imagined rhythm of a sexy gait.” (Wikipedia). It has apparently featured in rap lyrics.

Conclusion: never underestimate the educational opportunities that poker playing may present.

I resisted the impulse to type “did you mean badonkadonk?” back at my Scandinavian friend, however.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How the hell are we oldies supposed to win against newbies like this?

An old university friend of mine has recently taken up online poker.

After a few months, he has consumed several of the well-known poker books. Here are some of his comments.

“I'm currently reading Snyder's book. It's most interesting. He promotes a very aggressive position based style. You should probably read it at some point for tournament play, even if you prefer the conservative style, so that you can better recognize some of the moves that the table bullies are making and react accordingly.”

(The Paper)… Hmm, seems like you’re getting the hang of all this.

“I've tried the basic approach a small number of times and it certainly seems to help chip building, particularly from positional plays.

Snyder talks of chips, cards, and position as being weapons. In general you can get a better hand to fold when you have position by making a bet that can not be called.

In fact, Snyder suggests that your cards are the weakest weapon since premium hands come around so infrequently.”

(The Paper)… Blimey.

“I've recently finished reading Sklansky's "Tournament Poker for advanced players". I don't much like Sklansky's books, writing style, or words of wisdom and so I don't know why I keep on buying them. Sklansky preaches a highly conservative playing style (one that The Paper might like I see from the reports on your blog). His wisdom is usually based upon the strength of a two-card, i.e. pre-flop, hand. This type of information doesn't suit my learning needs nor will it make anyone a winning player in my view.”

(The Paper)… Wow! Ruthless!

“Sklansky (and other conservative style authors) will tell us that A-Q suited is better than 7-5 off for example. Sklansky will tell us the theoretical mathematical expectation of one hand winning against another, and devote pages of formulae in doing so. But Sklansky has very little advice for post flop play. And yet the chances of winning a pot strongly shifts away from card play when the flop misses both hands, as indeed it does most of the time.”

(The Paper)… You seem quite a sharp cookie, university friend.

“Sklansky's "advanced" book contains nothing at all about positional plays, and very little to nothing about chip plays. There's also nothing about spotting weakness, player styles, playing the player, betting patterns, managing and exploiting your table image, hand reading, gear changes, situational opportunities, mid-tournament strategies, pre-bubble tournament strategies, and so on. All in all it's a very poor "advanced" book.”

(The Paper)… WTF??? I mean seriously, WTF?? When did you start playing???

“Incidentally, in Snyder's book he reckons that his final table chip stack is comprised of 40% card play, 40% positional play, and 20% blind steal. It's a good read and I can recommend it to you.”

(The Paper)… Er, OK.

“I've started to read Matt Lessinger "The book of bluffs". It also looks very useful. There are some interesting things about betting patterns that I'll study more deeply. I think that it will also be useful to make some of the bluffs suggested more often (I've only read the first few bluffs so far and it turns out that I'm using them already anyway).”

(The Paper)… I’m feeling sick now.

“Even if you don't plan on bluffing much then I think that the information in the book makes it easier to spot a bluff attempt, so that you can re-raise the bluffer as necessary.”

(The Paper) … Seriously? You’ve only just started playing, and you’re talking about bluff re-raising??

“Even a tight player needs to show the table that he can't be pushed around too often or else he'll become an easy target. I realise that you wrote in a previous e-mail that there's not very much bluffing in poker. You must have been speaking for yourself since other players, me included, will bluff quite often, particularly with position, bluff-able flops, if I spot weakness, and so on. In fact, I'm pretty much always looking for opportunities to steal a pot (although I probably don't exercise my rights to do so as often as I should). And so I can recommend this book to you anyway. This is an advanced book and not for beginners in my view.”

(The Paper) … I’m feeling about 2 inches tall now.

Anyway, the point of this e-mail is that I wanted your opinion on poker tracking software such as Poker Office or Poker Tracker. They seem to dynamically keep track of player styles, your success with certain hands, and the odds of winning a pot given you current hand and community cards.

(The Paper)… Er, yeah, well, er (cough), see ya then.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Port Eliot Lit Fest 07

The Priscillas 4-piece all girl punk-pop band. Fun, entertaining show with some catchy songs.

Dulwich Ukelele Club - 10 piece ukulele band. Keen to point out they were actually from the cheaper end of East Dulwich. Lively display of all-round verve and gusto, and some fine songs. Recommended.

Louis Eliot - highly agreeable country rock from this St Germans-based singer/songwriter, who also featured in Black Friday. I was gutted I only caught a couple of minutes of this.

Black Friday - raucous celtic folk. A festival highlight.

Salt Peter - lascivious porno dub stars back at Port Eliot for more renditions of "I’m not gay but I’ll snog you anyway", "Everybody back to mine", "Oi Oi Savaloy" etc. V good.

The Bucket Boys - Cornwall-based ageing rockers of impressive pedigree (Pink Floyd etc) with their mix of blues country swing & soul. Excellent good time vibes and musicianship.

Luke Wright - Performance poet returning from Port Eliot 2006. Good.

Aisle 16 - Luke Wright’s Poetry Collective mates. Good.

Rosie Boycott - speaking on her farm and feminism and possessing a goddess-like stature approaching that of say a Martha Wainwright here in Paper World.

Anarchy in the UK - Tom Hodgkinson - editor of The Idler, reading from his book "How to be Free", sequel to best-selling "How to be Idle". Tracing a line between the 19th Century Parisian Flaneurs, through to the Beats, Hippies, Situationists and Punks, though strangely omitting any reference to the denizens of W2 gambling emporia. The Paper became attuned to some of these ideas a while ago and has even debated on Bertrand Russell’s essay “In Praise of Idleness” with a certain floppy-haired marketing executive regularly seen at HQ.

Vive La Rock! - Paul Gorman - author of style bible “ The Look : Adventures in Rock & Pop fashion”. Top NY-based fashion designer Anna Sui (weirdly hitherto unknown to The Paper) and a croak-voiced Anita Pallenberg shared the stage. Readings about encounters with Elvis’s tailor, McLaren, Westwood etc. The Paper absorbed the info presented with a certain amount of indifference.

Simon Munnery - thankfully had dispensed with last year’s bizarre Sherlock Holmes character comedy shenanigans, this was a straightforward stand-up act, and a pretty masterly one.

Joe Boyd - 60s record producer for Pink Floyd, Nick Drake etc reading from his memoirs, interspersed with excerpts over the PA of some of the more celebrated recordings he was involved in, e.g. Arnold Layne, Poor Boy. Pleasant enough to zone out to.

Jones and Barnard - Gareth Jones and Matt Barnard, who turned out to be none other than dungeon stalwart Matt “The Jug” Barnard. Act consisted of MB balancing a pint of lager on his head, drinking it through a tube, all whilst juggling 3 flaming clubs, while GJ escaped from a straitjacket. Good to see the Jug again, though no time to reminisce in any detail other than to learn that he had had 1% of BadBeat at the WSOP ME.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Port Eliot Pics 2007