Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Michigan Poker Blogger Crossover Game II

This isn't nearly as interesting as the first game, last month. It was run as a rebuy tournament, which is a first for this crew, apparently, but it ended up going well overall.

Except for me. I just get no cards the whole night. The best pocket pair I see is 44. I have AKo once, and win with it, but it's just a small pot. I steal a pot with KJo or something, when I don't hit anything, just by making a big bet. But that's pretty much it.

Gil busts someone out early (the "Drunkie" of my last report, whom we'll nickname "Justin" for the purpose of this report, which is really rather humourous, you see, because his name is, in fact, Justin), but doesn't see much in the way of cards for most of the rest of the tournament. He lasts past the rebuy period, so he spends $20 less than most of us, but that's about all he can say about his finish. At least my night of obviously horrid cards keeps him from complaining about how bad his cards were.

BG, on the other hand, goes on to win the tournament, the cash, and the honor of not having made a dumbass all-in call to me that knocked him out of the tournament.

Gil dealt most of the later part of the tournament, and says his impression was that none of the players were aggressive enough when it was three-handed. I think he figured the tournament should have been over at least half an hour sooner.

We weren't the ringers, this time.

Da da Trump, Da da Trump, Da da Trump Trump Trump

Eventually I'll come up with semi-musical headings that aren't so thoroughly lame.

The next morning Gil and I headed for the Trump Casino in Gary, which is fast becoming our usual live-play haunt. $3/$6 is available first, so we both sit, although I move to the $5/$10 game when a seat opens.

I make a little bit at $3/$6, and lose a little bit at $5/$10, to finish up a whopping $16 for the whole couple of hours we actually play.

Gil is shortstacked lately, because his biggest customer continues to be late in paying him, and even though he's on a good table (he says) the variance hits him the wrong way and he loses $200 in a hurry. A variance of around 30BB (a kill was in play, so sometimes they were playing $6/$12) is annoying, but normal and expected at a loose table. Nonetheless, if $200 is what you have to gamble with, then when it's gone, you go home.

This ticks me off, because we drove for three hours to get there, and we spend about three hours on the tables and he wants to drive three hours back. In other words, we spend nine hours and a full tank of gas for an expected return of about $30 (in my case) and about $18 (in his case).

That assumes Gil is earning 1 BB/hr. He might not be. Online, he plays almost exclusively limit single-table tournaments, and I don't know a good way to equate PokerTracker's stats on these into expectations in a ring game. Gil does believe that he loses money on the STT's overall, despite frequent cashes, although he's unclear on whether this is due to the entry fees (an exorbitant 20% for the $5 STT's).

I asked Gil today why he is having such a bad run if he came home winner two out of three times he used to play $3/$6 at Soaring Eagle before they closed their poker room in early 2003. Specifically, I wanted to know how his play was different. He made a noise that might have been a demurring of my "two out of three" figure, but answered that since the games at the Trump are looser (entirely possible in the WPT age), he is more aggressive when he has a real hand in hopes of knocking some opponents out. Well, I can't entirely fault that unless it means he's raising with dumb hands, and I don't think he is from watching his online play.

No, I think Gil is a winning player in a "typical" game, but if the game loosens up too much, he's frustrated by the high variance of the game. Contrarily, if the game is too tight, he is frustrated by the fact that he has to wait forever to get a good hand, and when he does, he gets a small pot. In either case, he'll complain at the end of the day about "not getting cards."

In today's case, this simply means, I think, that he got the bad side of variance, and his bankroll couldn't take the swing. On the other hand, last weekend in the same game, he cashed out a $150 profit. That would be the positive side of variance, because his expected take should be only $30ish for the amount of time we spent there.

In Tournament News

The Trump is going to begin dealing tournaments. They are expecting another five or so tables to arrive in the next couple of weeks, bringing their total to 16 or 18, and when they arrive they'll start running tournaments on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Expected buyin will be $80+$10, which sounds like no rebuy. They expect one tournament in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening; and one to be limit hold'em, one to be no-limit hold'em, and one to be either Omaha or Stud.

I asked the floorman (the head floorman, I think) to post the blind structure to their website (at right), and he said "Okay," but I don't know whether he meant "Okay, I'll see that it's done" or "Okay, I'll say whatever I need to in order to stop you from talking more."

I get that second one a lot.