August 2007
« Jul   Sep »



Day 14: Parlez-vous poker?

Rack your brains really hard and try to guess which faux-French themed casino is responsible for this amazing sign.

I played $1/$2 no-limit at Imperial Palace last night.  Best game yet.  Obviously winning money helps, but it was much friendlier than anywhere I’ve been so far: no locals and no attitudes present.  Lots of 7-way limped flops too, which can’t be bad.  I got lucky with a set of 2s against top two pair – it’s not exactly difficult to win when that happens.

However I’m finally starting to see situations where players are making big mistakes.  For instance, with the board showing TJQK by the turn and all different suits, the player to my right moved all in for about twice the size of the pot.  Everyone who didn’t have an ace folded round to one other player who called and a split pot looked imminent.

Sometimes you just guess wrong.  The call actually came from KQ for two pair, who had already flipped it up tournament style and then made a full house with a queen on the river for nearly $500.  Nice hand, sir.

Afterwards I turned to the player who got beat, feigned some kind of sympathetic grunt and said "but you wanted that call, right?".  "No", he told me.  "I never want a call when I’m all in, I’d rather just take the pot down than get drawn out on".

"I’d want to be called by a hand with four outs all day long", pipes up one player who wasn’t involved in the hand, but seems to understand a little about how you actually win money from gambling – it really is as simple as getting a whole bunch of money in the middle when you have the best of it.

The equity here if the other guy folds is just the $100 or so in the pot.  The equity if he calls is about $270 (roughly 90% of $100 in the pot pot, plus the $200 call).  Yes, you definitely want the call.

"It was only three outs", someone else replied. "I had a queen".

"Even better.  So he won it this time, but what about the other ninety-seven percent?".

It’s so very very close to being correct.  Indeed 97% would be spot on, if only poker was played with a 108-card deck.