Sunday, July 15, 2007

Some Observations

Observation #1
Does anybody know if there is a way to be alterted when somebody has posted a new comment on an entry, other than mentally keeping track of how many comments have already been given to a particular post and noticing when that number has increased? I read a LOT of RSS feeds, and it’s clear that reading That’s Not Poker through RSS is not the best way to go, because I don’t get to read the comments that way. That’s Not Poker has quickly become the most interesting blog I read.

On my other non-poker blogs, ones that only I post to, I get a notice in my email when somebody has created a comment on one of my blog entries. I believe only Marsh has that ability on That’s Not Poker because he’s the one who created the blog.

Observation #2
Does anybody else use Firefox on a Mac to read That’s Not Poker? I ask because the super-duper special suit HTML code that Joe started and Ryan elaborated on apparently doesn’t work in Firefox on a Mac, my computer/browser combo of choice. The suit font comes out looking like horizontal and vertical lines (as seen in this clip from the earlier post):

I guess I’ll probably have to come up with a key and start remembering what they look like for future suit posts. But wait, Joe did it for me:

So, I will from now on start to refer to hearts as “two-pixel vertical line” and diamonds as “one-pixel dotted horizontal line.” SO much easier.

Observation #3
After reading thoroughly all of the posts and comments here, it has become clear to me that I am the weakest player of the bunch. I know I play poker the least out of all of you, and I love the game as much as the next guy, but my level of play is clearly not as high as the rest of you. I’m pretty sure you all have me nailed as the somewhat weak/tight player that I am. Up to now I’ve been happy to limp through a hand when I’ve got the nuts, letting people bet into me and never letting on that I’ve got the best hand.

Every once and a while I’ll make a great bet when I flop a monster (Ryan can attest to that when a flop came ddd and I bet 40 into it when I had the nuts, and so can Martin when his QQ was thoroughly bested by my AJ that had boated up but still bet aggressively). But rarely do I accomplish such feats (and Martin’s always very kind to point out how great they are to me. Thanks Martin!).

As witnessed on Wednesday when I hit the quad jacks, I should have been on the offense when the j99 hit. And later, when the KsJs2x hit on the flop making a set out of my ducks against Ryan, Martin correctly pointed out that I should have min-raised (still a substantial 100 raise) after Ryan bumped it to 120, rather than simply going all-in (for a major over-bet), and I may have gotten a call out of Ryan. Chances are Ryan would have folded, and he has said as much upon reflection.

But my gut said, when the set of 2s hit for me, and Ryan bets 100 over my 20 bet, that I should take the money and run. Don’t try to eek even more out of Ryan (by min-raising), but go ALL THE WAY and make Ryan fold right now. I was content to take the smaller pot now versus risking the larger pot later.

And now I’m starting to see the error of my ways. I can feel an “adjustment period” coming on for me. I’m not sure how much my betting style will change (or if it really will at all), but having read everything here over the past week, I’ve learned a TON. So I guess this is my way of saying thanks. I’m glad to be one of the “TNP Warlords” even if I feel more like I’m the 1-star general to all of your 3-stars.

Observation #4
And lastly, in case you didn’t know it, if you go to your blogger dashboard (and each of the warlords has a dashboard they can go to) you can set up an email address that you can use to post directly to That’s Not Poker. Which leads to, as we’ve all seen Martin’s fabulous posts from the field in Vegas, posting from your phone. Don’t know about you, but I’m sure there will be a couple instances where I’ll be posting directly from WNP shortly after a big hand from my Treo (rather than using the analog methods of Ryan and Joe, using a pen and pad of paper to log hands).


Sushi Cowboy said...

So many observations, so little time.

#4 - Yes, I was aware of the email method (clearly) and had set it up already. Didn't know that I could do it for another person's blog but while trolling through the options I found it.

#3 - When you flopped your set, I think I may have meant flat call. Min-raising I think would show too much strength. A flat call might get the gin card to come off on the turn to give your opponent either hopefully two pair or trips. Two pair would eliminate kicker questions that they might have and trips are very hard to get away from no matter what kicker. As funny as it may seem, leading out on a J99 board with JJ is actually doing a little bit of protection also. If someone has an overpair to your Jacks, you really don't want to give them a free card to make a higher boat. Plus, you get more money in the pot. Plus, if no one has a Nine or any decent draw, you're not going to get anymore out of them anyway so might as well throw at least something out there. A bet disguises your hand too since it looks like you have Jx in your hand and are betting your two pair.

#2 - Don't know. I actually run Windows on my Mac more than I run MacOS on my Mac. At least the symbols are different!

#1 - I was wishing for the same thing. One alternative may be that we reply to each other's posts by new posts only so that the RSS reader picks up each update.

Ryan said...


Ask Marsh to hook you up with email alerts. I have that in place now and it's nice; I'm sure I haven't missed anything.


Nope, sorry that sux re: symbol screwup.


Obviously, I'm a bettor. Slowplaying is a pretty bad strategy for me because I bet when I miss. If I go around betting when I miss and checken when I hit, I become transparent and easily beatable.

I remember in one of my early cash sessions with Martinn, perehaps it was even Drunk Maniac Steve session, I had raised preflop qith QQ in early position, got a bunch of callers, and the flop was something like Q72 rainbow (it probably wasn't *that* spread, but it was the dryest of boards imaginable for my current nuts.

I led out anyway, figuring that if nobody can even just call a 25% - 50% pot bet here, I probably wasn't getting anything anyway. Now maybe if it checks around, an underpair sets up or an overpair hits, so on a board that dry that flops you the nuts, checking is certainly defensible.

At this point for me, playing against players familiar with me, checking when I'm in position to c-bet a preflop raise is actually, ironically, a good bluff for when I've missed. Everyone seems to think I'm up to something since they are expecting a bet...and for sure that's what they usually get.

But almost no move is correct in poker done 100% of the time against regular opponents. If I cbet every single time, it's way too easy for you all to flop a monster and check to me.

gotta go, heading to the beach to fly some kites, I'll check in later...

Sushi Cowboy said...

#1 - Does email alerts tell you when comments are posted or just new posts?

jtrey333 said...

#3: I liked the play then, and I still like it now. That board was potentially going to get very scary for bottom set. (Ryan posted the hand here, Hand #5). I remember the hand very well, and both the King and the Jack were spades, while the 2 was red.

Ryan definitely shows strength throughout this hand, and with an action flop like that, you can be sure Ryan has a good hand, one that he possibly will commit all his chips to. If you can get a player in when you have the best hand, there's not much else you can do but get your money in good. However, there is also something to be said for taking down an already sizable pot. Royal took down an extra 120 here with absolutely no further risk - and really, there's many different ways a set of 2s can be counterfeited here. Ryan can have any number of hands as he is likely to raise a limped pot in the blinds, so his hand range is very wide. He could have AK, Ax spades (possibly with an inside straight draw to go with it, such as A10), KJ, or even 10Q. Given that Ryan has AK here, pairing either the K or the J gives Ryan the ability to draw to a higher full house.

In this particular situation, I would compare the bottom set of 2s to a top/bottom two pair - you can be reasonably sure you're ahead, but there is a chance someone can catch you if you're slow playing it, and if I can take a sizable pot down on the flop, I'm happy to do so.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yes there is a danger of Ryan catching up but in that hand, I'm putting Ryan on hitting his King. Even if he had the As, bottom set is 92% to win. I didn't realize it was a two Spade flop. So more action on the flop would be a good idea. Not because a Spade is dangerous to the Set, but because it will put a damper on the action.

This is a similar situation to my Set of Jacks losing to runner-runner Royal Flush. I knew he'd need two cards to catch up and didn't mind pumping the pot. He caught *the single worst card in the deck* for me on the turn and there was no folding for him I don't think. But I'd play it again the same way because I was so heavily favored.

Sushi Cowboy said...

So if you are going to play this on the flop, another thing to consider is bumping Ryan's bet more. What would happen if Ryan bet 20 and instead of you popping to 40, you popped to 60? It would either a) have demonstrated too much strength and Ryan may have backed off b) Ryan would still make the same 120 re-raise which in this case would be a pseudo-min or c) Ryan would have bumped even higher than 120 and if you push you take down a larger pot.

I would classify Jason and Ryan as the two players most likely to buy information with bets. They are both willing to throw out huge bets to confirm that they are beat if someone comes over the top of them so I'd lean toward a bigger bump after Ryan's bet.

Then again, if a player like you (Royal) is raising a bet, I can be pretty sure that a single pair isn't good under most normal circumstances so a bump would need to be administered wisely based on who the opponent is.

Sushi Cowboy said...

#2 - Not sure what is going on here because Opera and Safari in MacOS both show the symbols correctly. I even tried different character encodings to try to get them to show up in Firefox but to no avail. Sigh.