Friday, August 26, 2005

Self Examination

Settle down now... I'm not checking for nut-cancer - I'm trying to deduce why my results have been so dismal over my past 75 hours or so of live play.

I had another brutal session today (5 hours of live 1-2 NL) - finished down $446, but that's not the point - nothing worked. I don't feel like my timing is terrible - I think I'm adapting to the various table compositions well - maybe I'm making more of it than I should be. I need to take my lumps and move on. The fact that I blew another 5 hours inside on my day off on another beautiful day is what's really eating me!

I have been thinking more about the flopped flush I wrote about yesterday - because although I lost the hand, I was happy to see that I had "made the right decision" and got my money in as a 70/30% favorite. Hold on - not so fast: let's look deeper at this hand...

My goal is ultimately to play perfectly according to Sklansky's Fundamental Theorem of Poker (the FT). The FT states that if you play your cards differently than you would have if you could see your opponents cards, you made a mistake. Similarly, if your opponent plays his cards differently than he would have if he could see your cards, he has made a mistake.

Now, in the hand where I flopped a flush, if I had known that my opponent had A-K with the K of hearts (for the nut re-draw) - I am almost certain that I still could have gotten him to put all of his chips in on the turn if a blank came: which means I'd be a 4-1 favorite instead of a 2-1 favorite, and I'd also save myself my stack when a heart spiked on the turn (which it did.)

So, according to the FT, I did not play the hand optimally. How about my opponent? If he knew my cards, he actually made the correct call - as he was getting the odds to call with his draw on the flop. This hand is actually a wicked deep hand when looking at it from the perspective of the FT. I certainly do not expect my opponent to fold his exact hand in this spot - and my opponent certainly does not expect me to turn over a flopped flush. It wasn't until much later, though, that I realized that calling (which I gave very little though to at the table - it was raise or fold for me) - was the perfect play.
On a different note - am I really the only one who noticed than in ESPN's premier of the WSOP coverage this week, in the opening montage, they had a little focus shot of a guy wearing The Shocker t-shirt (not the exact one in the link though), making The Shocker sign. I mean seriously...

until next time,

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