08 June 2006

Table Hopping

Almost got to play in the Mookie last night, but didn't get permission until it was too late to register (had to deposit and all that stuff). Congrats to Waffles for going out in second place, as well as all the gang for letting me railbird a bit (Mook: no Googling here by the way; Pauly, TripJax, mowenemdown, miamidon, gcox, smokee, jjok, hoyazo, drizz, highonpoker, et al). I should really play if I can clear it. I ended up writing the wrap-up for Day4 at the Mandalay Bay WPT tourney, so Linda will have that when she gets in from the Bellagio.

I had a nice upturn late while Sweetie was at a church meeting and I watched the boys (?). Up $234 playing $5/10 on Party, so it was nice to get that done. I did something I rarely do; table hopped. Here's what it looked like:
  • 36 hands +$42
  • 24 hands, +$122
  • 8 hands, +$13
  • 5 hands, +$47
  • 16 hands, +$10
The cause of the moves was sharks in the water. It didn't take more than two known villains to show up for me to run and hide. I was stuck early at the first table until I limped with 9d7d in the CO with another limper in front of me. Four of us saw a flop of A56d with one diamond; it was checked around to me, so I made a bold play and checked as well. 8d came on the turn. I've seen people make gutshots, but I'm not sure if I've actually caught one myself. I've chased about a hundred of them, but I figured my straight with a straight flush draw was good, so I raised it up and took the pot vs. A8. I switched tables, caught 9h7h in the big blind, there was a raise and the button three-bet it, so I called (heck, this was my lucky hand I figured). Flop comes Th5h7d, so I was never going anywhere, button raises my bet and I call. Jc and I check/call, then an Ad comes on the river. He checks as well and shows 66, then proceeds to blast me for about ten hands of rhetoric. Caught a boat with AT then flopped Broadway with the same hand. The spewer got QQ cracked by another guy's 7 on the river by 77, so he went crazy again, got knocked out, then brought more sharks, so I split again. I posted and caught 8s4s at the next table, checked for five of us to see the flop, then had a board of K4984, with KJo paying me off.

I never, ever, ever table hop. Should I hang with the sharks when they come? Maybe not so much, but I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Matt Matros agreed to be interviewed, so I'm looking forward to that. He's also suckered me into donating twenty bucks for a World Cup pool. After reading the scoring, I think I'd rather just give him $20, but I'll probably do it. The Braves are sucking wind, which is actually good. The ATL is an absolutely horrible sports town, I'm sorry. It is really a Braves (read not baseball) town, as well as an SEC football town (read UGA or school you went to/lived near). Having lived in New Jersey (baseball and NFL country), Detroit (Pistons), Phoenix and New Orleans (OK, bad analogy with those two), the ATL just is not much for fandom. It's great for sports as you can see anything except soccer, it's just not a very intelligent sports crowd.

One of the problems with staying up until 2:00 and not playing in the Mookie nor playing any poker is that I have in essence consumed poker hands during these last four hours. Sweetie is going to be OK with me playing x hours/hands. Telling her I railbirded these knuckleheads and typed fart in the chat box a few times won't really resonate with her. It cost me probably 300 poker hands this week to work on the tourney article and railbird. That either saved me $600 or would have scored $800 for me.

I'm planning to address the following questions next week, and I'd be interested in any initial thoughts folks might have:
  • What is the state of poker on a ten point scale, with 10 being thriving and 1 being in decay?
  • What are the greatest unmet needs of the poker playing community?
  • What are the greatest challenges confronting poker businesses in the next three years?
  • What are the keys to long-term growth and sustainability in the poker economy?
A bit of work, but I hope to get some good stuff out. Have a good day today. PS, I must confess I am a comments junkie. I just hated the Blogger derail where no comments could work; just horrible stuff.


Blogger F.J. Delgado said...

The thing that sucks about Atlanta in terms of sports is that Braves fans don't sell out playoff games. I know they make the playoffs every year (and bomb every year), but not selling out is pathetic. I would kill to have another playoff game here in Baltimore.

I would say the greatest need for poker players is to have more legal poker rooms accessible to different parts of the country. There are millions of players who can't legally get anywhere close to live game (most of the Southern States and many other states on the East Coast), creating home game scenes which can be sketchy and inconsistent.

It would be nice for states to legalize poker rooms since casinos are trickier to establish in general. I would also say that the future of internet poker (will it be outlawed, how will it be regulated, funding options, will U.S. casinos finally have online poker sites, etc.) is also extremely important.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Sloejack said...

Table hopping can be good from the perspective of having a clean slate at every new table so you may (or may not) be able to get away with playing some hands you normally wouldn't thanks to the blinds or lack of table image.

I think however it can also hurt since you're also less likely to know who you're up against and you are handicapping yourself somewhat in not having any history against some number of your opponents.

On the other hand, to your point, too many sharks in the water means less opportunities to really do well and finding a new table isn't neccessarily a bad thing since in general this falls under the area of increasing your edge and winning big requires having the biggest edges possible.

10:17 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

Thanks for coming by to rail last night. You have to get in early, cause us fish don't last too long.

Looking forward to your posts next week on these topics.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

I believe the key to table selection is not to move whenever one or two good players show up, but not to leave whenever a/multiple known bad player(s) are still at the table. I'd rather sit at a table full of sharks and one bad player than a table full of average players. The money is won from the awful players moreso than losing to the good players if you are fundamentally sound.

12:49 PM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

I've often thought you shouldn't swim with the sharks unless you really want to improve your game. If you're goal is making money, then I wouldn't? Would you enter the Gladiator ring with Maximus (sp?) if you could battle to the death with, er, Phil Hellmuth?

OK, here are my thoughts:

What is the state of poker on a ten point scale, with 10 being thriving and 1 being in decay?

I say 8. There are signs it's not as hot as it once was (gimmicky stuff like Poker Dome usually means that, when you have to add excitement to a game it usually means people are bored with the game, like an old couple trying a strap-on for the first time)

What are the greatest unmet needs of the poker playing community?

Live games. It's still hard for me to find a convienent, live game near Greeley, CO, and yes I do have poker-playing friends. The nearest casino is three hours away.

What are the greatest challenges confronting poker businesses in the next three years?

Obviously just keeping the flame alive. Fads run in cycles; is poker a fad or is it a activity that will last for years? Hard to say; I'm leaning fad but one fad that will still grab lots of faithful players for life. Those Web sites, for instance, aren't going away, there just may not be as many fish on them in a couple of years.

What are the keys to long-term growth and sustainability in the poker economy?

The problem is the fish will lose money at first, and keeping them in long enough before they start winning and stop playing will be difficult. I'd say, other than the fact that poker needs to stay on TV, the competition between Web sites needs to remain fierce so they offer bonuses and other goodies that will keep the fish playing.

1:18 PM  
Blogger FloppyJT said...

I'll take a shot at question #2:

I just finished reading a bunch of 2+2 posts, so my like of thinking is undoubtedly a little distorted right now.

I find myself table hopping frequently at the larger sites when the 2 or 3 seats on my immediate right get inhabited by tighter more aggressive players. This assumes that I am up, as I am usually too stubborn to leave if I am down - but usually an hour or two later when I am way way down, I wish I had moved on. Often I am too lazy to bother switching tables, but when there are so many to choose from, I think it is a good idea to put ourselves in the best position possible.

5:27 PM  

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