In honor of Hammer Day (7/2, thanks April), and having slept till noon with no real plans for the day, I decided to play a no-limit Hold ‘Em tournament today.
For the last few months, possibly longer, poker and I haven’t been the best of friends. I’d keep going to its house (Full Tilt) for a nice visit, and it would rob me blind and beat the shit out of me. And as Ma and Pa Brady always said, a friend that robs you blind and beats the shit out of you isn’t really your friend. (By the way, if you decide to join Full Tilt, tell ’em PLATKAT sent ya!)
It seemed like no matter what I did in efforts to improve my play, nothing worked for me. Normally, I’m a decent tournament player. When that went south, I started playing limit more often, which was okay for awhile. But then that started to suck and going back to tournament play didn’t help. This made me say, “Fuck” many times… at least as many for each dollar I lost.
I decided to put down the game for a little while and picked up Hold ‘Em for Advanced Players again, as I could clearly benefit from a more thorough reading. Then I tried playing as I got further along in the book and that still didn’t whip my game back into shape. So I’ve been kind of putting it all off even though I need to finish the book so I can start another book. That’s right, when I procrastinate, it’s a full-blown non-effort.
But anyway, it’s Hammer Day. I actually went to Full Tilt this afternoon looking for a cheap Omaha game. Why cheap? Not just because I’m near broke, but also because I can’t play Omaha. I know the rules and I can tell the difference between a good hand and a bad hand, but I know a lot less about the odds that go with it and the type of play I should expect from my opponents. (But the games I play are so cheap, they attract enough crazies to make any style of poker game volatile for awhile.)
I’m not sure if it’s Hold ‘Em’s fault or not, but I’ve had a small fascination with Omaha lately. So many damn cards, so many more possible hands! And away we go!
Small problem: It’s not easy to find a cheap Omaha game in the middle of the afternoon. Everyone wants to play Hold ‘Em. Most of the people who play Omaha know what they’re doing, so they don’t mind paying a little more for a real tournament.
So I found myself in a 45-person dollar no-limit tourney. A couple of hours later I found myself winning it. Hooray! I have to hand most of it to getting better cards though. I wasn’t sucking out (I’m not that bad!), but my big game-winning hand was something so obvious, like AK against A8. Still it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I’d lost a big part of my stack earlier in the game with an AK to an AQ that rivered a queen. But that’s how it goes.
Having won enough money to buy a pizza, I decided to play a one-table Omaha Hi tournament for a little more and ended up taking second place. Pretty cool for having only the expectation that I’d make it to the first break. I had the hand history window open the whole time though, trying to figure out why a certain hand prevailed over another and what constituted a starting hand strong enough to bet pot pre-flop (or bet pot at all for that matter).
This brings me to a point I must ponder. I’m sure there’s a logic/mathematically-charged explanation for this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. I originally planned to play Omaha Hi/Lo. In fact, given my luck at Hold ‘Em and inability to catch a hand to save my life, playing any Lo game was looking pretty attractive to me. Anyway, all the Omaha Hi/Lo games on Full Tilt were strictly limit. Not pot limit, just limit. I hate, hate, hate limit tournaments (you can’t bully anyone and they last forever), which is why I opted for a pot-limit Omaha Hi game. I still prefer no-limit, but there’s no such thing as an Omaha no-limit game on Full Tilt. Why? In smaller tournaments like the one I played, the blinds go up a little and the number of chips in play is so limited that you can often bet as much as you would if you were playing no-limit anyway. But still… why?
This goes out to you poker bloggers (the one or two who have more than a snowflake’s chance in hell of coming across this post), with whom I casually aligned myself with for all these years but surely disappointed and eventually alienated with week-long diatribes about my hair and pictures of my dog. I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m sure someone I know can tell me. And I’m sure I’m too damn lazy to do the necessary research to find out on my own. Come on, let’s see some Hammer Day spirit!