Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shootout Final (Part 2)

David Mosca (4th) : David is a 2+2er and was on my left so we chatted a fair bit. He was a very nice guy and an excellent player. He told me that he and Anh (3rd) had played about 10K hands against each other heads-up online, 50-100 kind of level. It seemed unfair that I was up against these two guys and Ram, seeing as I've just moved up to 5-10 limit on Stars. Still, it's a WSOP final, you can't expect a table of donks ! Outside a NL tournament anyway :-). David had a bad start but came back and started to looked very dangerous. Unfortunately for him he lost a huge pot to Ram when he bet the river, Ram dwelled for ages and finally called, at which point David threw his cards away. He was unable to recover from that and busted to Ram with A2 v TT. One thing I really liked about David's game, when he didn't have an auto-fold he would take his time and it was impossible to tell whether he was really thinking or just acting. Whenever I felt my decision was obvious (which it is in limit a lot of the time, because of course you only have 2 or 3 choices), I couldn't make myself slow down and so I was probably giving away timing tells when I actually did have to think.

Anh Nyugen (3rd) : I think that's his name. A lot of people were calling him "Van Diesel" for some reason. He was very quiet, methodical, completely impossible to read and looked a great player although I wasn't sure if he was maybe playing too tight 4-handed. Then again, you do need cards in limit and who knows what he was passing. He busted to Ram, all-in on the turn with 2 pair against Ram's flush draw, which of course obliged on the river. Had he won that pot, he would have been up to 500K three-handed and very dangerous. I wasn't really sure whether I wanted him to cut Ram in half (in that pot) or bust out so I locked up second, anyway there wasn't anything I could do about that. The only time I saw him animated at all was when he suddenly announced that I looked like some actor from "A Knight's Tale". I haven't seen that one but he's not the first person who's told me that. I have had a lot of lookalikes in my time, Essex and (briefly) England off-spinner Peter Such I think was the best one if not the most famous.

Me (2nd) : I just bet my hands. Bear in mind though, that in limited hold them, doing stuff like check-raising the flop with a gutshot is just betting your hand. Basically I have learned to play limit HE from reading Matt Maroon's book and Howard Lederer's chapter in the Full tilt book. Both these sources are fairly straightforward and heavily stress betting your hand when you have anything at all, especially on the cheap streets, and rarely if ever slow-playing. It's interesting that Maroon has said in his blog that Lederer is the only player who he really fears in a limit tournament. So I highly recommend these books. It worked for me. After winning a pot with Jacks to move up to 340K, I got chipped down to 200, then eliminated Baker and won a big pot with the Aces. From then on I just went on the most unbelievable rush. I was picking up big hands, not being outdrawn, winning multi-way pots with like second pair, having Ace high hold up unimproved heads up, everything. It was one hell of a buzz. It lasted almost exactly from eliminating Baker in 7th until the heads up match ...

Ram (1st) : Ram is Ram, a lot of you probably know him better than I do. As you can see above, he made some big hands in key pots but that's not to take anything away from his play which I thought was excellent. He was very, very focused and (for various reasons which I won't go into here but which many of you will be able to infer) not at all concerned about the money, just the bracelet. Heads up, I hate to say this but I can't put it any other way, he did get a lot of help from the deck. Let me stress that this was help he did not need. I said to Carlo afterwards, even though I started heads up 1.4-1.0, Ram was probably the favourite and probably would have won if the cards had run evenly. Once he caught me up in chips he was the clear favourite. The deck simply speeded the process. He won two pots in a row with 63 off, the first one with flopped trips against my (definitely overplayed) gutshot draw and another with a 7-high straight against my wheel. There was a hand where I had A7, he had 45, the flop was 732 and I don't need to tell you what came on the turn. In fact, luckily for me the river made a four-flush which saved me two bets. Those were the only really bad ones. The rest of the time he was just playing better than me and winning most of the showdowns, which is tough to beat. David Mosca, interestingly, wasn't quite that impressed by Ram, you can see his comments (and mine) towards the end of this thread. But I thought that Ram played really well and fully deserved the win.

What's quite interesting is that if you asked me to rank the players (other than me), I would put them almost exactly in their finishing order, perhaps swapping Mosca and Nyugen. This may be harsh on the 7th and 8th finishers, who were perhaps affected by the hands they lost to leave them trailing in the first place, and who knows how the rest of us might have reacted in the same adversity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you also look like the rising star of snooker from Oz, I think he is called Neil Robertson. Don't you think so?

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell you what, I think we have a new winner. Check out the pic in the middle especially :

Don't think the haircut suits him/me though :-)


11:43 PM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

Nice posts on the limit "chimpanzee" game, Andy. With reference to Action Jack, there is certainly a kind of player who never can and never will be able to get their head round Limit. There was a post on THM only this week where a guy asks if he should bet into a large pot when a guy is on a flush draw, because the opponent would be getting the correct odds to call.

Thankfully a respondent pointed out that, if you don't bet, you are giving him infinite odds.

But this point is really the nub of it. In limit you are often incapable of betting in such a way that your opponent has a negative EV choice. You have to bet in a way so that your opponent's positive EV choice is minimized.

The normal cry is "I couldn't bet enough to make him fold his draw", which says quite a lot about their no-limit or pot limit play as well.

So, with all that spare time, I assume you'll be clocking in at the midnight Imperial Palace tourney?


8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what, I might play at the Orleans tomorrow. I have a soft spot for the Orleans Open and it's $200 limit !


2:20 AM  

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