Friday, May 05, 2006

No Mas, Rain Gods

Nothing like spending quality time with the Shop-Vac last night, sucking up water out of the living room carpet, after we got approximately 172 inches of rain in about twenty minutes that the Thunderstorm Rain Gods blessed us with. Sort of an ongoing battle we've had with the French drains in the back yard, that work well under reasonable conditions but throw their Frenchified arms up in the air, screaming for help, when we get massive amounts of rain in a short time span. At least the Phoenix/Lakers game was on, so it wasn't a total waste.

Many thanks for all the comments on the hand posted yesterday. I always think it's interesting posting hands like that, as you typically get back just about as many different ways to play it as you do comments. Not much to add, as far as my take, other than what I babbled about yesterday. A turn check-raise is probably poor, and a river bet is likely better than a check.

One interesting tangent from the hand itself touched on in the comments involves the meta-gameish consideration of the effects of passively playing a hand like that in relation to future blind steals and/or raises from the button. (And yeah, I do agree that some of these discussions are silly, when you start inserting the "meta" card, and that it's usually a lot better to just ignore all that crap and just play solid poker.)

I think that prevailing poker wisdom would argue that playing the hand from yesterday passively from your BB versus the button is bad because it encourages him to run over you. The theory is that if you aggressively fire back and take charge with marginal hands (instead of check-calling), he won't pimp your blinds so often.

And that's very reasonable, and I have no real argument with it in theory. You see that logic in assorted poker literature and in forums a good bit, so there's obviously a lot of value in that line of thinking.

Lately, though, I've been questioning it, and that hand serves as a pretty good example. One thing lost in the play-marginal-hands-aggressively-and-back-him-off-in-the-future line is that you have to go to showdown, for the button to even know that you were aggressively taking charge with your A6o. Which happens, obviously, but not that often in spots like these, especially if you're going to throw a check-raise in there to back him off. If he folds to a check-raise on the flop, for all he knows you flopped a set of 4s or a junky two pair.

Aside from that, I'm not sure that I buy into the general premise that I want to discourage the button from attempting to steal. It's likely a matter of personal preference and comfort level, but I really don't playing with buttons that are steal monkeys to my BB. Not so much if they're a good, tricky opponent as was the case in the actual hand, but more so when they are your garden variety over-aggressive player that likes to steal all the time.

Those opponents are particularly frustrated by the passive check-call lines, as you can almost see the steam coming out of their ears, muttering "I can't believe you didn't bet your ace, you stupid donkey." And playing lots of hands heads-up versus a frustrated, overly aggressive opponent can be pretty +EV, despite the fact that you're out of position.

Yes, indeed, encouraging blind steals is a double-edged sword. You have to check-fold many flops when it misses you. That's not fun, especially when there's a chance that he's got 35o and you're actually way ahead. But you also stand to rake some nice pots, as many opponents stop playing solid poker, agnostic to everything else, and start targeting you individually, trying to punish you for being so passive and weak.

Another side benefit is that taking such a passive line also buys you some fold equity later, if the same situation arises and you bluff check-raise when the flop misses you but the board is scary. It's pretty hard for a good, aware opponent to continue in the hand, after watching you so passively play the first hand, as your move screams monster hand coming from someone with so much sand in their nether regions.

But yeah, much babbling about something simple. Play good poker and everything else falls into place.

My CRYP May $25 Calls are actually showing some signs of life after the commpany announced that it had renewed its contract with InterCasino/InterPoker through 2012, which is its largest customer. Ritz Club decided not to renew but they account for less than 2% of sales. Earnings are coming out on Monday which will pretty much make or break me on these options. There's a pretty hefty short position in CRYP right now, which could make things really interesting, especially if they report blowout earnings.

I'm actually thinking about buying some of the May $30 Calls, as they're currently at .30, which is obviously a reach with the stock trading at $25.07 a week into May, but not the worst speculative flyer to put a wee bit of money on, with the potential for good earnings and short covering.

I always find it fascinating that the people that claim to care the least about approval or validation are often the ones that try hardest to gain it and crave it the most, even if it means lashing out at anyone in the general vicinity, as any attention is better than being ignored.


J said...

I must have missed something, because I don't understand the where the last paragraph came from.

Did part of your post get cutoff, or is this some "inside" comment I don't have the context for?

cc said...

I crave it for what it's worth.

I'm generally not much of a blind defender as I don't think it is a +EV strategy to be one. I looked at my PokerTracker stats: have had A6o 29 times in bb on Party: folded 9 pre-flop, 6 post-flop, 1 after turn (defending a button raise with a turn raising war with K on board). Lost most money when checking and hitting an A on the flop (higher kicker and JJA flop). Overall, A6o for me is -0.16BB/hand in bb.

ScurvyDog said...


The last paragraph is just one of those broad swipe sort of things at a recent uptick in posts from assorted sources that seem engineered with no other purpose in mind than to draw attention to themselves, utilizing the age old method of approaching a bee hive and bashing it with a stick.

Which is fine, and to each their own. I just find it interesting, as there's usually a direct (and surprising) correlation to the intensity of the above stick-bashing attempts and how loudly the guilty parties proclaim, as they bash, that they don't care what the bees think of them or if the bees ever pay attention to them.

Yes, I could be much more direct and clear. No, I'm not going to be more direct and clear. It's much more fun to be all vague and uninvolved and Switzerlandy.

April said...

I like Switzerland

StB said...

I just hope that this announcement wasn't a move by management to alieve the stock from the beating it was taking. Looks like something that would normally be reserved for an earnings report. I thought earnings were the 10th? Hope you are right. I had tried to sell at 28 but couldn't. I would like to be out of my trading position.

Poor Tom said...

Fair point re the whole meta-play overthinking thing. I do think table image can be important even online, but probably only really in certain games - NL in particular, most short-handed games, and often in tournaments, at least in terms of defending blinds. But in most Limit cash games - agreed, ABC poker is generally going to be best unless there's a really good reason otherwise.

ScurvyDog said...


You're right, I'm a doofus, earnings are on Wednesday.

I guess at this point I don't really mind if management was trying to prop the share price up, as far as pre-announcing the contract extension/cancellation stuff. It does seem sorta odd timing, with earnings coming up in just a few days.

CRYP is one of those stocks that has plagued me as far as bad timing on my part entering/exiting it over the last few years. I should probably just leave it the hell alone and not chase losses but I seem to be too stubborn to do that.