Monday, August 13, 2007

A tell

The last visitor to my women and poker page got there from a search on "clonie gowen" cocaine. And a friend recently told me that it's common knowledge among Vegas dealers that Clonie has a coke problem. And, she exhibited some weird behavior during the tournament in Tulsa this last May that a coke problem would have explained. So I checked out that search result out of curiosity.

I ran across a UTUBE video that shows Clonie scratching at her nose in a somewhat telltale sign.

But she also shows a classic tell. Twice.

When she calls on the flop with a nonchalant flip of the wrist, and does the same thing when she bets on the turn, she's demonstrating a classic "weak means strong" tell. She's throwing the money in the pot with an air of resignation, "I don't care, I give up". It's an act of weakness.

I think Vanassa should have folded on the turn if she'd being paying attention to Clonie's mannerisms

The attempt to borrow money from Matasow is another classic indication of a drug problem.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Raise/Fold sequence

In a previous post I made light of the idea that you should make a habit of coming in for a raise then folding to a re-raise. The particular had someone had suggested doing so with was AQo.

A commenter (DMV) didn't think I was being very bright when I thought you were opening yourself up for being played back at
You're dead? Why? They are going to start coming over the top of your EP raises with weak hands? Bring it.

I thought I'd look at that in a little more detail. I'll use some PokerStove.

Let's just say that AQo is the worst hand you'll make an early postion raise with, with AA you'll push me all in if I re-raise you, with AKs, AQs, AKo, JJ-KK you'll call. You won't be raising with any other hands.

Roughly then, you're response to a re-raise will be re-re-raise 11% of the time, calling 68% of the time and folding 21% of the time.

Let's just pick a number and say I'm re-raising with the top 40% of my hands after I see you raise/fold once.

I have 100% equity those times you fold.
I have 15% equity those times you play back with AA.
I have 31% equity those times you call.

Let's just treat all raises as pot size raises, 1/2 blinds. Ignore rake. You raise to 8, I re-raise to 20, you re-raise to 52. I think I got those at about pot size.

21% of the time I have 100% equity of $11
11% of the time I have 15% equity of $107, and $52 of that I put in.
68% of the time I have 31% equity of $43. and $20 of that I put in.

Okay. You're right. I'm wrong.

But, we can't stop here. We have to find some situation where I'd be right, otherwise the world is out of kilter and we'll all die.

Let's say you'll fold not just with AQo but with any AQ (a player who'll raise/fold with any hand probably doesn't understand how much more powerful suited is than non-suited).

Okay, I ran the numbers for that and it's still not enough, you'd still be right.

I'll concede. You'd have to have a pretty wide range of hands you're raise/folding with to make it worthwhile for someone to play back very frequently.

I just hate it when I make a mistake. I really do.

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Conceptual errors

On page 14 of Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play they say
There are a variety of mistakes one can make in poker, but one of the most serious is to make a bet or call which is not correct given the pot odds available to you ...

That's just a fundamentally wrong statement that I'm not sure how a book that starts out with that idea has any credibility at all. The power of TV I guess.

The stunning error in the statement is about the idea of betting without the correct pot odds. Pot odds have nothing to do with betting. At least not your pot odds. Here's some of what I say about pot odds in The Complete Book Of Hold 'Em Poker: A Comprehensive Guide to Playing and Winning
Money odds
The concept of money odds is often confusing to beginning poker players. It's really not that difficult: At any given point in the play of the hand there are three sources of money, and each needs to be considered separately. There's money that's already in the pot. That's called "pot odds". There's money that's going into the pot in the current betting round. I call that "bet odds". And, there's money that will be going into the pot on future betting rounds. That's called "implied odds".

Past-----pot odds
Current--bet odds
Future---implied odds

All of these money sources are important, but their importance needs to be considered in different ways.

Pot odds
Pot odds are an important consideration when you're deciding whether to call with a hand that's probably not the best hand. It has nothing to do with betting. That's Harrington's major conceptual error in the statement.

Pot odds are just the ratio of the amount of the current bet to the amount of money already in the pot.

Pot odds are about calling with the worst hand. In limit poker it's often a mistake to fail to call when you're getting a good price.

In no-limit (what the Harrington book is supposed to be about) you're seldom betting a really good price. It's not unusual in limit to be getting 10-1 on a 4-1 proposition. That's a pretty good price. It's really unusual to get that kind of price in no-limit.

And how big a mistake it is to call with the right price depends on what price you're actually getting.

If, for example, you habitually called with a 11-1 gutshot draw getting 10-1 pot odds is that a big mistake? If it's not for all your money it's not even a mistake at all, implied odds certainly make up for the very slight shortfall.

Even if the call is for all your money it's a mistake, but not a very critical one.

That's Harrington's other conceptual mistake in that sentence. He attaches way too much importance to getting the "correct" pot odds.

In no limit you're not making a huge mistake if you just don't even worry about it, just focusing on making accurate judgements about when you're beat and throwing your hand away if a better hand bets into you.

Am I being unreasonably critical of Harrington?

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Online Poker v. Live Poker

I just read this post on rgp.
If I raise with AQ and get reraised, I'm dumping it, and if there's an EP raise,
I'm probably folding AQ. For me to get burned with AQ, I would need to raise in
EP with AQ and just get called, or, AK raises from MP/LP, and I would call

All I can say is that he must play poker online a lot.

You can get away with playing like that online because most of your opponents are not paying attention at all to any mistakes you're making.

But in live poker games where even the really bad players are paying attention, once you come in for a raise in EP then fold to a re-raise once you've just got a target painted on your forehead. If you do it twice you're dead.