Friday's poker aka yes, virginia, this is a poker blog

It's about 5 pm last Friday, and except for a brief run to Tim's and Starbucks, I'm in the same position I was four and a half hours earlier: Table 3 ($1/$2 NLHE) in the Fallsview poker room, seat 4, with $200 in front of me.

At one point I was down to just over $40, mostly due to an endearing older gentleman in seat 7 who had a run so unbelievable that within under two hours of sitting down he had over $1,000. But please don't think he was a good player. His strategy was basically any hand with a J or better was a push...problem was the lucky beggar kept hitting, usually on the river. If he wasn't such a nice guy who was making every effort to give some of it back, it'd be nauseating and annoying as hell.

But after an internal talking-to (play to WIN dammit, don't play to minimize losses!) and thanks to a flopped straight and a rivered flush, I was back to where I started at when the three open seats (5, 6 and 10) were taken by young guys who obviously knew each other. After watching them for an hour, I asked the guy next to me "So, what site do you guys play online poker at?".

"Oh, Full Tilt Poker. Do you know it?"

"Umm, I've played there a few times", I replied.

A few more hands were played when it suddenly occurred to him and his friends to ask me how I knew they were online players. Since I'd just won a nice pot in a three-way all in (my AA vs JJ and JQ s00ted where AA actually held up) that two of them were involved in, I was feeling charitable.

"Oh a bunch of things.

One - you don't pay attention to the play, and need to be reminded when it's your turn to act, just like people who multitable and wait for the computer to buzz and tell you to click a button.

Two - you're playing text book poker. Your plays are kinda predictable based on your position, how many bets in front of you, and the amount of your bet.

Three - As in point one, you're not paying attention to the table. If you were, then you'd know that a post-flop bet of of 25x BB regardless of what's in the pot is not that unusual for seat 7. You might also know that it means that while he didn't hit the flop with his ATC, he likely still has a decent overcard or maybe a draw of some sort. You're missing an important variable in live poker by only playing the cards, not the people.

Four - Tip the dealer! You don't have to online, and it's not required in live play by any means, but I've watched you three, and in the 8 hands you've won between you, not one of you have slipped the dealer anything. You're obviously not new to poker as it's all you've talked about since you sat down, so not acknowledging the dealer is just another sign that you play mostly online.

Five - You're all doing chip tricks with your left hands, but judging by how you stack your chips and look at your cards, you're all right handed. That says to me that you fiddle with chips with your left hand while your right hand clicks away at the mouse. Ergo, online.

Now look at your cards, it's your turn to act again."

I left shortly after that in a damn good mood:
  • I'd turned around my loss and left the table with $100 more in my pocket than when I'd came with.
  • I had losses, but none were based on stupidity on my part.
  • I'm getting much better at player observation.
  • My Starbucks caramel macchiato and accompanying ginger cookie were utterly perfect. (Hey, it's not all about money and poker!)

7 Responses to “Friday's poker aka yes, virginia, this is a poker blog”

  1. # Blogger Michael Albert

    Nice story Sherlock. If I'm home for a week in October (Penetang) is it worth playing at Rama?  

  2. # Blogger lightning36

    I never play with chips, especially at the table. It gets people thinking that either I am someone who does not play a lot of poker (not bad if they think this) or I am some pro stud who does not want to reveal my complete mastery of the game (not bad if they think this either).

    I do like to play with the minds of people at b&m places, though (muttering things like "Shit -- I can't remember if I have a four").  

  3. # Blogger Garthmeister J.

    I never play with chips at the table because I suck at it.

    I do order Caramel Macchiatos from Starbucks though.  

  4. # Blogger pokerpeaker

    Remind me never to play live poker with you.  

  5. # Blogger Jules

    Hmm...wonder what you'd say about me playing live poker these days. Oh that's right, you'd be so busy paying out on the online boys with me that you wouldn't notice my mere foibles at the felt :)

    Dammit girl, posts like that make me miss you more.  

  6. # Blogger Drizztdj

    6. You're currently waiting for a PLO8 table to open up and it never will

    Well done Kat!  

  7. # Blogger peacecorn

    Odds are it's nothing serious. I go through the ultrasound routine every 6 months. Remember, cancer is rarely if ever painful. Most likely, it's a cyst. (Those ARE painful.)

    Will be sending good vibes nevertheless, kitten. Let us know what happens!  

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