Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Third Bullet

Activate ramble powers...NOW!

It's strange, being on the brink of moving out of our current house. It's the only house ScurvyWife and I have ever lived in (granted, just for three years, but still), and I'm a little more nostalgic than I'd have thought about the whole thing, ala MeanGene. I spent most of last night priming over all the green and blue walls and other cool, funky stuff we'd painted, since, by Jebus, we could paint walls funky colors, since we owned the damn place and weren't renting. It's kind of small and doesn't get tons of natural light but, damnit, it's our house. Except, you know, not really.

The fact that we're renting it to our brother-in-law does soften the blow a bit, and I'll still be doing work on it for quite awhile. And we most definitely really, really like the new house. And we both know that the days of getting married and living in the same house for fifty years are pretty much dead and gone, and we never wanted to do that, so onward and upward, things always change, blah blah blah.

Our house, damnit.

Poker is a strange game. I sat down for a quick and dirty session yesterday at $2/4 and literally in the third hand this happens:

Folds to me on the button and I raise to $12 with 6h8h. SB calls and BB calls.

Flop is 5c 7c 9d. SB checks, BB leads out for $40, I raise to $150, SB calls, and BB calls.

Turn is Qh. SB checks, BB checks, I shove for ~$240 more. SB insta-calls with 5d 5h and BB insta-calls with AQc. River is a blank and another nice pot slides my way.

Fairly ridonkulous that within 5 hands (stretching back to the big pot detailed in the previous post, after which I played one more hand and logged off) I'd encounter pretty much exactly the same situation, flopping the nut straight against opponents with the nut flush draw and a set. Poker is so freaking rigged.

I'm feeling reasonably good about my foray into the NL games so far. And no, I'm not really even talking about hands like the above (although they're very, very nice and I'll be happy to have them to continue to fall into my lap), as I tend to basically discount and/or ignore hands like that, along with winning big pots with AA versus KK, etc., as it doesn't take a lot of skill to flop the nuts and get paid off.

This sounds cheesy, but I honestly think the watching High Stakes Poker has helped me a good bit, along with a healthy dose of vestigial LHE learnings that were finally beaten into my skull. While this is the first time I've solely played NL, I've been dabbling in it for years, so it's not like I started from scratch. In the past, though, I'd get pretty stuck in ABC pokerland when playing NL, waiting for big hands, playing too tightly to really get paid off when I hit them, and essentially treading water and breaking even.

These days, though, I'm mixing it up with all sorts of hands, especially if I'm first into the pool or in the SB/BB with multiple opponents. Especially from the SB with limpers, as I'm not sure there are any two cards that you should fold from the SB with limpers in front of you with relatively deep stacks and a BB that doesn't tend to raise much.

I'm also much more willing to fire multiple bullets, instead of making the token continuation bet and then shutting down on the turn. It's not uncommon to find otherwise "bad" players that do reasonably well at NL, simply due to amped up aggression and their willingness to push on you when you show weakness. It takes a conscious effort from me at times to not lapse into turtle mode versus those opponents (waiting for a big hand to break them with) but I think in the long run its much better to push back and fight fire with fire, as your odds of breaking them are actually much greater if you force them to back off a bit and give you breathing room, where you can play a wider range of hands.

I'm still not consistently able to fire a third bullet on the river, though, when I'm completely playing with air. And I'm simultaneously developing the bad habit of counting on that when the roles are reversed, and I have a decent hand in position against a hyper aggressive player (something like middle pair, good kicker and maybe with a gutshot thrown in) and believe my opponent didn't connect with the flop. So I call what I assume is a continuation bet on the flop, and then call the turn stab, knowing that more likely than not they'll shut down on the river and I'll get to showdown, since most players at the baby NL tables aren't able to fire the third bullet on the river. (Don't worry, I'm not talking about always meekly calling down with middle pair, and am only addressing fairly isolated spots against aggressive opponents who you think are full of it, for whatever reason.)

And that's a fairly successful line, due to the universal difficulty of firing a third bullet on the river. But it's likely a habit I need to break, as that'll get my lunch eaten up at bigger limits with better players who are more than capable of firing lots and lots of bullets, from anywhere, on any street.

Day job malaise is growing much, much stronger. Which is pretty horrible timing, due to the whole house buying thing. A co-worker just got offered a 7 week severance pay package, due to the fact that he had the gall to send a private email to his boss that was, gasp, not filled with glowing things to say about our operating efficiencies. That's a whole other kettle of platypus, though, but the point is that HyperMegaGlobalCorp appears to want to get rid of digruntled monkeys here if they can, and are willing to offer a severance package of 1 week per year of service, plus paying you out in full for accrued vacation time. So I'd basically just have to turn up the disgruntled dial, fire off some emails, and could possibly get a 6 week severance pay package. Which, umm, would be pretty sweet.

I just wish I could count more consistently on freelance work (or, you know, actually get PAID for a fairly substantial amount of work, that's over 90 days overdue now payment-wise), but that's the nature of that game. Much of that's my own damn fault, though, as I've really done nothing to hustle up freelance work, and to the hustlers go the spoils. Boo, me.

1 comment:

Jestocost said...

It sure beats turning the nut straight and getting the slow-played set of aces to call your all in only to see the river pair the board.

I also really enjoyed the poker lesson I got on the back end. Advice from someone who just sucked out after getting all their money in as a 3.5-1 dog always is appreciated.

Good. I got to post that in a semi-relevant context without adding a bad beat story to my own blog.

Oh, and sorry.