Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Experiment

I live!

Surgery went swimmingly and it feels as if the nerve problems in my arm will be solved. Yay me. I mean, I have it tough. I hung out in my bathrobe and nothing else (hear that ladies?) and watched TV or played poker for the last week, and I'm (grudgingly) exempted from housework and most childcare by the Russo Family Labor Committee, of which I'm not a voting member. I can't decide if this makes me closer to Hugh Hefner or your average fat slob.*

But let's get down to brass facts, if you'll allow me the liberty of my speechification. I'm off for about a month, maybe five weeks. I'm going to read, write, get caught up on some stuff.

No I'm not! I'm going to play professional poker player!

If this is what's it like, than is there any more of a soul-killing job than grinding online? It could be that my pattern of late is this: lose thirty bucks, win some of it back, win/lose the same ten bucks over the course of a day, keep afloat with bonus and rakeback. Repeat.

This could be that Full Tilt is tough- very tight games even at .25-.50- and it's basically a battle for the blinds all day.

Or, it could be that I suck.**

Anyway, the anxiety of grinding out 1bb/hr is not for me- I'd be dead of a stroke in a month. I mean, how good do you have to be to grind out a living reliably? The only thing that could be a silver lining would be those days that you've got a ton of luck early and make your nut in an hour or so and then have the rest of the day for other things. (I'm sure this only happens when you're a recreational player though. It'd never happen with my luck!)

Now, at the risk of being seen as a dope, I'm going to offer up some actual poker theory that might be of use at FT's lower limit ring games:

"check-raising on pots that no one wants:"

I'm talking about the hands where everyone might check the flop, then check to the last guy, who throws out a bet and everyone folds. Surely, a significant percentage of the time, this guy has a weak hand like second or third pair, or a naked ace, or even two overcards.

My theory is, on occasion, when the situation is right, it may be lucrative to check-raise this guy.

What are the conditions?

1. When you have two or fewer opponents. Having more makes this play less likely to succeed-i.e.- have everyone fold to you.
2. When you have a marginal, but not too marginal, hand. Fer example, nines on a two-flush,
A-6-10 board.
3. When you see this pattern of checking, betting, and folding as listed above, without challenge.
4. When you are in early position, preferably in first position. I wouldn't do it in last position if the second player calls, as it's unlikely that both will fold to a check raise. As long as you only have the original bettor in the position of calling one bet, and the other player either folding or forced to call two bets cold, this might be a safe trick to try.
5. When there has not been a lot of action pre-flop, or any other situation that might cause you to believe you're being slowplayed.


Obviously, the first benefit is that you might steal a pot every now and then. Next, you might keep others from stealing even more pots by encourging more people to check at the end of the round, thus getting you a free card.


If you do this too often and people figure you out, you could be sunk. You may have to make a continuation bet on the turn or river, which could get pricey.

When to do this:

Because of the drawbacks, I would use this SPARINGLY. Only in games where these types of a pot are common and frustrating. Perhaps once or twice a session, unless your opponents are paying no attention at all. I wouldn't use it against the same person twice in a session either.

Knowledge from a novice- thank God I'm not charging for this crap. What do y'all think?


Pennsylvania may soon deal with a bill to allow table games in the upcoming slot parlors. I caper every time I say that because one of these ersatz casinos may be opening fifteen miles from my house.

I've tried to get some 2+2 er's organized to lobby for this bill, including a mayor from a nearby town, but interest has wanned, mainly because of problems with communication.

Anyway, I've e-mailed the future sponsor of the bill, pledging support and asking him how I can help, but I haven't gotten a response. I've had more trouble trying to get involved in politics on the local and state level. Why is it so hard?

*Suggestions from my readers not encouraged or appreciated.
** The more likely option.


Blogger Michael said...

Welcome back, CL. Glad to hear the surgery went well. :-)

11:27 AM  
Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Thanks Mike

4:37 PM  

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