Monday, February 14, 2005

German Sausage and SuperSystem 2

Let's just say that the decision to take every single available bet on Ray Charles in the Grammy's last night was +EV for my degenerate sportsbook activities. While I'm slightly embarassed by the fact that I've made more from betting on ridiculous things such as the Grammy's, the Academy Awards, and NASCAR (as opposed to, oh, say football, something I devote much time, energy, and thought to) it all spends the same way.

The wife and I spent the weekend at a bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg, Texas, which is touristy little faux German enclave west of Austin. It's a little cheesy but fairly cool, especially if you make it out to Enchanted Rock, which is this big honking rock formation north of town. We mainly just lazed around, hit up some antique shops, drank lots of wine, yada yada yada. I did find what I think my next welding project will be, after the rocket coffee pot:

You can't really tell from the picture but that sucker is close to six feet tall. That's what I'm talking about, ginormous scrap-metal chickens.

I also finished up SuperSystem 2. I have to confess that I never read the original SuperSystem, so I can't really speak to any improvements in this edition, etc. As far as general thoughts and impressions:

  • It's definitely worth a read, especially Doyle's section on NL. Most of the book is geared towards higher stakes games, though, despite their claims at time that the advice applies to all limits. More than a few times I found myself seeing the wisdom in the strategy being offered but shaking my head in doubt that similar plays would ever work in the lower limit online world most of us occupy.

  • If you've read any of the 2+2 books on limit hold 'em (or Lee Jones or Hilger), just skip Jennifer Harman's limit section. It's not bad at all but she covers absolutely no new territory that those books didn't cover. None.

  • The only thing I took away from the PL Omaha Hi section by Lyle Berman is that I should liquidate everything of value I have and go play Pl Omaha with him. I'm sorry but there's just some out and out horrible advice in that section. Instead of giving any sort of analysis or math to back up assorted assertions, he just falls back on anecdotal evidence from a big pot he once won, and how that partocular play in that pot backed up what he's asserting.

  • The Omaha 8 section was pretty decent, as was the Stud section. Don't have the slightest idea about Triple Draw so I can't really comment on that.

  • Doyle's NL section was the most interesting, especially as it's the first time I've read it. His main mantra is to be aggressive, steal lots of pots, and get your money in when you have the worst of it. No, really. That's obviously oversimplified, but the basic theory is that if you're aggressive you'll pick up lots of small pots, which essentially allow you to freeroll in marginal situations you'd otherwise never be involved in. While you'll often get a lot of chips in with the worst of it, you're never a huge dog to any hand, so all of those small pots give you shot after shot at breaking someone who's playing tighter, waiting for a big hand.

    Which is obviously pretty damn good advice. It's interesting as I think most of us have the idea of aggression down, and realize the value of stealing small pots, but I'm not so sure about the next step, of willingly calling an all-in re-raise with 67s on a flop of 10 6 3, rainbow. Not just making that call but wanting an opponent to push all-in at that point, so that we can get all our money in and have a shot at drawing out on them and, as Doyle likes to say, breaking them.

    But yeah, interesting stuff. I wonder if it applies as much to $25 NL and $50 NL, as I'm not sure you can steal as many small pots as you need, given the tendency of online monkeys to call with anything and the small leverage your stack provides as far as scaring people out of pots. 'Tis worth a read if no reason other than to remind you how much you have to learn about the crazy game of poker.

  • Still on a crazy tear at the blackjack tables. I need to sit down and crunch some numbers and just see how far I'm ahead of the game, as far as expected results versus actual results. The crazy/encouraging thing is that I'm not sure I'm that far out of line, as far as the numbers go. I'm in the process of putting together an uber guide to degenrate online gambling, as far as using both casino and poker bonuses to turn an initial investment of a few hundred dollars into much, much more. While individual mileage will obviously vary, there's just a ton of money on the table right now between poker and casino bonuses, and it's really not that difficult to grab your share, if you go about it in a disciplined, smart fashion.

    1 comment:

    jremotigue said...

    Dammit! Just after the Grammy's ended, I said to my wife, "I wonder if I could have placed bets on Ray." Just a brilliant move on your part.

    I'm ready to take on the Oscars.