Sunday, November 28, 2004

45 minutes of poker with the elephants

So I played poker at Brad's house on Friday, and I have to say, if it weren't for accidentially showing up an hour early and sitting around watching Master and Commander, I'd have been out of there in 50 minutes. On a positive note, my father-in-law must have been playing the exact same hands, as he finished up about the same time. We played with two groups of six, half of us "younger" and half of us "older" (Brad's Dad and his friends who went to school/work with him, near as I could figure - lot of old union guys).

Some notes:
1.) I'll be interested to hear where Brad ended up because I think he should have been out fairly quickly - he seemed to actually be playing aggressive-tight, like his book recommends, which I don't think works so well with a table full of old guys who will call anything. I also think he got a fortunate break when I called his all-in with an A-6 suited and had outs for the straight, the flush (from the flop) and the high pair - that's a lot of outs. I probably should have also taken him for a bit more money when he was playing against my three kings earlier in the game, but pushing harder seemed inappropriate so early - I guess if it's about winning that shouldn't be an issue (although it would have just been more money I lost later, but then maybe I wouldn't have lost so much to him on the A-6). He was playing quite a bit better than me in aggressively playing against the junk the other side of the table was playing and picking up a lot of stray (though small) pots. He's got a pretty good sense of when someone is going to cave.
2.) Elephants suck. They really do. An elephant is someone who calls you pretty much no matter what's out there if they think they have anything that vaguely looks interesting in their hand - at one point I pulled two aces in the hole, half my stake went in and the other guy just kept tagging along on the hope of a straight (which he pulled on the river). One could (rightly) argue that I should have raised harder to force him out, but I think the result would have been him calling all my money and me being out in 30 minutes.
3.) Do not, do not, do not, play anything less than a perfect hand against the big stake in the out position. Whatever I threw in, he matched, after all, it was only a portion of his stake, so what did he really care. That was the one that got me out.
4.) $800 blinds in a $10,000 (fake) stake is pretty steep after just 40 minutes - I had a bigger stake than I thought when I pushed hard at the end (about $4000), but the $800 blind was making me think I was ponying up about a 1/4-1/3 of my money at at that point which made me feel like I had to push to get a better stake when I should have let it ride.

All in all, however, I think I learned some important poker lessons. Primarily, I learned that by reading a book, I can now get a pretty good idea of the playing types of the rest of the players and determine exactly how they're going to beat me, not just if they will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ended up taking 1st place. I flopped the nut flush, checked to my oppenent, he went all in and I called him.