Monday, January 10, 2011

Pot Limit 5 Card Draw - How I blew 45 minutes

I brought up Facebook tonight to see what's happening in the universe. That's a lot of silly games people play. Full Tilt has been running a lot of freerolls and overlayed tourneys lately starting from social networking Juggernaut. I figured what the hell, the kids and OhCountess went to bed early and I left the Apple TV up in the bedroom.

Tonight last minute, impulsive tournament was 5 card draw. I outlasted well over half of the field and even got a short railing from Mr. AlCantHang. I sure hope he's enjoying the weather up here in God's Country.

Um, kay. I haven't played this (5 card draw) sober since, um, since, um, since...well, I'm not sure I've ever played 5 card draw sober. A few months ago, inaugural Gambling Tales Podcast Freeroll Champion DeeBakes had talked me into playing Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. I had a good time and walked away thinking about stuff. Not life stuff, or profound stuff, but poker stuff.

I liked playing these obscurer games because the remind me of something that seems to be alluding many of the players in the tournaments. The fundamentals of solid tournament poker.

First rule: Know your position. So many players forget the value of position. I haven't found a game yet where position doesn't matter.

Second rule: Know what you are drawing to/trying to accomplish. Drawing to a gut shot straight draw is crazy gambling in any game. If there are more cards to come, have a plan, count your outs, understand what your opponents are trying to do. In 5 card draw, the number of cards a player chucks is important. Think about what kinds of hands a player stands pat, draws 1, 2 or 3 cards. If they don't shove a lot and draw 1, they are probably drawing. Again, reference rule 1 for how and why to remember this. The more cards make your hand a monster, the more valuable it is. 2233 is two pair but only drawing to 4 cards that make it better.

Third rule: Hammers are still cool and should be played like the proverbial nuts. Er, maybe not.

Forth rule: Never play a hand with a 9 in it. It's neither high nor low. Unless you have a lot of them, 9 high/low sucks in all games.

Fifth rule: Stud 8 sucks. (That's my opinion. It's another way of saying, don't expect to make money at games you suck giant monkey balls playing)

Sixth rule: luck, while a part of the game, doesn't win it. You can bet every street, shove every hand but eventually, luck loses to well timed aggression.

Seventh rule: on the word aggression. When you appear strong, raise. When others continually behave weak, bet stronger. No variation of poker rewards the weak, passive player.

Eight rule: while you can't win if you fold, folding and conserving chips can be a very valuable way to stay alive in a tournament. I remember hearing something from Annie Duke, a woman, once said about tournaments on line, (it went something like this, my memory is poor and I don't remember where this from to even look it up) "...a lot of the time, you can just let the weaker players impale themselves on your chips." While this sounds contradictory to the aggressive, not weak thing, this is also important to remember that when a less skilled player is trying to be aggressive, let them do the raising for you when your hand rocks. They don't mind and are really quite good at it.

These rules aren't colorfast and probably aren't even useful. Some (most) are just the ramblings of an overtired geek, but I think this can definitely spur on some conversation. What are your thoughts on rules that transcend games? Why is it, that the more experience I have playing poker, I find learning variations a little easier? Do you really think you can honestly say, your puppy is cuter then mine? (Shameless plug for my photoblog, almost doing the JJOK always link to yourself thing...but I'm only a D lister...)


Drizztdj said...

I am strongly in the "anything but Hold em" crowd.

When I played a mixed game in Vegas last year the whole table threw out the Hold Em' card before the dealer even got in the box.

Loved it.

There's a cheapy 10-game MTT for 2 bucks that goes off around 8pm, try it sometime.

Memphis MOJO said...

I play online poker mostly to kill time and for funsies. I sometimes, therefore, jump in a tournament with a game I'm unfamiliar as long as it's cheap. Even games I know almost nothing about are fun and you will see others who are hopeless.