Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's the Dollars, Not the Pots

The first two days of May have been solid. I've played 6,033 hands which is 10% of my goal for this month. Yesterday I almost had a breakout day when I managed to get ahead almost $700 before I took my lunch break. But, my lunch must have been cursed (Damn those Voodoo practicing grocery store employees putting a hex on my eggs!) because I gave most of it back before the end of the day and ended up winning about $250.

Today was sort of the opposite. I struggled all morning and found myself about even after 2,000 hands. But after eating some blessed shrimp and rice for lunch today, I got crazy hot in the last 1,000 hands of the day and ended up winning just shy of $1,100 for the day.

One interesting thing that happed to me yesterday was playing against a guy who was absolutely terrible, but who won more pots over a small stretch than anyone I've ever seen. During the time I was at the table with him he played 100% of hands to the flop and about 80% all the way to the showdown. The crazy thing was he kept hitting enough hands or bluffing enough people out to keep his head above water.

Pokerstars has a feature (instant hand history) where you can look back and see what happened in every hand since you joined the table. It seemed like this guy (bison bear) was winning almost every pot so out of curiosity I checked the history. In a span of 39 hands he won 27 pots including one stretch where he won 8 straight, lost one, and then won the next 5!!

Assuming that you should win one pot in every 9 it should take you 243 hands to win 27 pots. Much more dramatic is the fact that the chance of winning 8 straight pots should be 1 in 43,046,721. If it was all about the cards, the chances of winning 27 of 39 would be about the same as getting hit with a meteor while you are being struck by lightning on the way to cash in your winning lotto ticket.

But, of course it not always about just the cards. If you're willing to push hard at every pot regardless of the consequences you can bluff your way to victory in quite a few pots. And if you're also nailing a ton of flops you're going to win a bunch more.

You'd think winning so many pots this guy would be up several thousand dollars. WRONG! He'd win a bunch of small pots with massive over bets and then lose it all back when someone else made a hand. He started with $200 and while he managed to run it up to $800 he blew it all back in a dozen hands. He was playing like he had a $2,000 bet that he could win more than half the pots for a half hour or something along those lines.

It was interesting to watch and profitable for me as I was one of the people who relieved him of his winnings once he stopped connecting with the board cards. I've searched for him a few times since, but I guess he hasn't been playing. If I do find him again I'll get into his game as fast as I can and play until I go unconscious or he runs out of money.

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