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Sunday, July 11, 2004

601 BB/100 Hands
I sat down at the $2 max buy-in No Limit game at Paradise Poker this afternoon. I've only ever sat down at NL ring games 3 or 4 times before, and always for penny blinds. I decided to try low-limit NL this afternoon for something different, but also because I'm tired from staying up too late last night and I didn't feel I was up to "serious" play.

It was some of the worst poker I have ever seen. I've read plenty of blog posts about people playing NL really badly, but usually it involves loose maniacs going all-in with lousy hands. At least those types of gambloors are getting their thrills. Not so at the table I was at today. They were loose, but incredibly weak. The average hand saw almost everyone calling the 2-cent big blind. Seriously, I saw maybe 6 or 7 preflop raises (besides my own) in an hour. If I made a hand, I would bet the pot, and generally I'd get 2 or 3 callers, at least 2 of whom would fold when I again bet the pot on the turn. Then if the river wasn't scary I'd again bet the pot, and about half the time my opponent would call to keep me honest.

Have I mentioned before that the low-limit players are really, really passive at Paradise?

I ran my $2 up to $12.11 in under an hour (42 hands). I didn't lose a single showdown, and I was pretty amazed that I didn't get at least one suckout.

By the way, the poker world really needs a better phrase than "suckout." It's some ugly imagery when players talk about how "this guy sucked out on me," "he's a real suckout artist," etc. I guess it's no worse than "the nuts," but I'm gonna start using "rivered" instead (and when the curse-card comes on the turn, well, I'll have to think on it).

I rivered an opponent only once, when my pocket 10s caught a 10 on the river to an opponent's pocket Queens. Had that opponent actually raised preflop, I would've folded to his $1 all-in on the flop. Instead he called the BB from early position. So I called his all-in on the rag-flop and hence the rivering. A third player was also all-in on that hand with J8o and a paired 8.

I think I was raised maybe two other times, and both times I folded. It was really not that hard to catch on to what I was doing: Semi-bluff a lot and back off at the first sign of aggression. The friends I play with in home games caught on long ago, to my dismay.

Anyway, I couldn't wait to import the hands into PokerTracker to look at my win rate: 601.79 big bets per 100 hands. I have no illusions that I could do 1/100th as well in a "real" NL game, nor am I going to try anytime soon. I doubt I'll be back to the micro-NL game either, because when the game is that easy it makes me start to play worse just out of boredom. But I found the 601 figure pretty amusing. As they say in chatbox-speak, lol.

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