Monday, 24 September 2012

Still money left yet in SNGs?

It’s early, there’s not many games going and I’m just sitting here with some free time so thought what else better to do than to blog update. I thought I’d try to mix it up a bit in this post, so let me start by talking a bit about the state of the games. I’ll post a couple of random thoughts at the end.

As I said in my first post, there’s not one ounce of denying that even just a few years back you’d really be able to take the games for a lot more money than now. And that’s not just the case with specifically 6max SNGs, every form of poker – every game/every format has toughened and it’s rare to find an exploitable niche that’s not saturated with regs these days. The golden age of poker was considered to be early to mid-2000s. However, a couple of hands I played within the last 2 days which I’ll post in a moment came as a reminder that there may still be some money left yet to make in poker. The bottom line is, yes it may be the case of working harder for a lower hourly rate now, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s a game where those who work harder on and off the tables and do it right will gain a skill edge and be able to make more money (even if that edge is small) than those who aren’t.

The so-called “poker boom” was almost 10 years ago and the games have been growing and competition has been getting fiercer ever since – people are learning/improving like nothing else and there’s so many ways of going about this from reading books to watching videos or getting professional coaching online. But who says we won’t see a second poker boom? Black Friday was the day that the authorities seized control over three of the major online sites and consequently led to US players being banned – one of the darkest days in poker. The likelihood is it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when the Americans will be allowed to join us again. Having been starved from online poker for a year and a half now and counting, I’m pretty sure there will be a fair share of hungry gamblers looking to splash some money around when regulation passes, whilst the publicity of it all certainly can’t do any harm either.

Obviously ways to combat the competitiveness of the games is to table select and fit your schedule around to play in the most profitable games. This is fine if you’re just playing poker on the side to make an extra buck or two. If you’re playing professionally though you’ll be playing with regs day in day out and will have to accept that your skill edge may be very negligible in some games which will in turn increase variance/the amount of money you’re swinging. This can obviously be made easier by having a good mentality and being realistic and disciplined – but I’ll leave discussions for the mental aspect in poker for a future post!

Anyway, let the following two hands act as a swift reminder that there is still money left yet to be made in poker J. I will refer to the villain in each hand as “champion” because well, it’s what they are. Each "champion" is a different player from a different game.

Hand one

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 1: Player 2 ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 2: Player 3( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 3: MikeyMcD45 ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 4: Champion ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 5: Player 4 ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 6: Player 5 ( $1500.00 USD )
Player 3 posts small blind [$10.00 USD].
MikeyMcD45 posts big blind [$20.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to MikeyMcD45 [  9s Qh ]
Champion calls [$20.00 USD]
Player 4 calls [$20.00 USD]
Player 5 folds
Player 2 folds
Player 3 calls [$10.00 USD]
MikeyMcD45 checks
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jh, Qc, 2h ]
Player 3 checks
MikeyMcD45 bets [$67.00 USD]
Champion calls [$67.00 USD]
Player 4 calls [$67.00 USD]
Player 3 calls [$67.00 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Td ]
Player 3 checks
MikeyMcD45 checks
Champion bets [$20.00 USD]
Player 4 calls [$20.00 USD]
Player 3 calls [$20.00 USD]
MikeyMcD45 calls [$20.00 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ 8d ]
Player 3 checks
MikeyMcD45 bets [$282.00 USD]
Champion calls [$282.00 USD]
Player 4 folds
Player 3 folds
MikeyMcD45 shows [9s, Qh ]
MikeyMcD45 wins $992.00 USD from main pot
Champion shows [3d, 6d ] 

Hand two

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 1: Player 2 ( $1650.00 USD )
Seat 2: Player 3 ( $1490.00 USD )
Seat 3: Villain 1 ( $1360.00 USD )
Seat 4: Player 4 ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 5: MikeyMcD45 ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 6: Champion ( $1500.00 USD )
Villain 1 posts small blind [$10.00 USD].
Player 4 posts big blind [$20.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to MikeyMcD45 [  Ks Kh ]
MikeyMcD45 raises [$60.00 USD]
Champion calls [$60.00 USD]
Player 2 folds
Player 3 folds
Villain 1 raises [$90.00 USD]
Player 4 folds
MikeyMcD45 raises [$340.00 USD]
Champion calls [$340.00 USD]
Villain 1 raises [$1260.00 USD]
MikeyMcD45 raises [$1100.00 USD]
Champion calls [$1100.00 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ Kd, Ad, 2d ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 5d ]
** Dealing River ** [ 6c ]
MikeyMcD45 shows [Ks, Kh ]
Champion shows [4c, 5c ]
MikeyMcD45 wins $280.00 USD from main pot
Villain 1 shows [As, Kc ]
MikeyMcD45 wins $4100.00 USD from main pot

So I know what you’re thinking…Did I read that right? And the answer is yes…yes you did. In the first hand champion called us down with 6 high when we’ve represented such strength and he can’t beat anything. Infact, that’s wrong, he can beat precisely 3-4, 3-5 and 4-5 high – maybe he had a read and went for the hero call even though we’d show up with these hands 0% of the time? Not this time son, but good luck in future!

In the second hand, we have our champion flatting our 3x UTG raise in the H-J. We then get 3bet and against an unknown have a pretty easy 4bet, but champion wants to stick around so elects to flat-call. Villain 1 then sticks it in, and I’m not going anywhere with KK against an unknown, and champion decides he wants to play too. Motherfucker!!!! champion has to have AA – no way he’d call his stack off early on with 2 players all-in before him, bastard, I’m so unlucky!!!! No. Champion has 4-5 suited – you did read that right. I suppose it was suited after all, should we let him off the hook?

I thought I’d finish this update by posting a couple of links I recently came across.

Game Theory 

I stumbled across this on Daleroxxu’s blog. I think it’s pretty cringe and the dialogue/acting sucks and they’re trying to be overly clever by using terms like “triple barrel bluff jam” when they could have just said “triple barrelled” whilst the ending is somewhat bizarre and dramatic. The guy’s reasoning in the hand they show besides being shit is full of flaws and contradictions, although it seems to be generating a good like to dislike ratio on the Tube. What do you think?

Finally, here's an interesting article I recently stumbled across:

Wow, what's that, another study suggesting poker is a game of skill?

"Players who are characterized by a tight and aggressive playing style generally perform better than their loose and passive opponents. Performance is also related to the number of hands that subjects have played over the previous period: more frequent or experienced players achieve better results."

Nothing we didn't know already, but it's always nice to see new evidence racking up to satisfy the sceptics.

That's pretty much it for now. Time to hunt down some tables!


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