Anything But Hold Em

There\’s More to Poker Than Texas Hold Em

Archive for December, 2006

Chris Fargis Gives Up On Razz

Posted by pmpoker on December 29, 2006

Twenty-One Outs Twice: Happy Holidays

I think I’ve given up on razz, at least for a while. I ran well when I started playing but I don’t think I’m really any good. I make undisciplned calls on early streets when the pot is small and I know I have the worst hand. I open too loose and don’t fold when I get reraised. All of this means that I end up in a lot of hands where I’m drawing dead or slim and a lot of hands where I have the best hand but am only a 60/40 or so favorite. This is not good.

I also don’t fully understand some principles about the game. I played this one hand where we were four handed on fourth street. I had four to a 98, David Grey had four to a 7, and two guys who started with three low cards had caught paint. I jammed the pot because I thought the presence of the two guys who caught bad made me less than a 3-1 dog. After David made a 7 on fifth street and I paid him with a 9, he made a comment in the chat about how bad the play in the game was. I made some retort and he said, “I probably should’t tell you this, but you had the worst hand of the four of us.” I ran the numbers and he was right. Boy did I feel like an idiot. So no more razz for now.

The bad play that Fargis admits to following is a fairly common style that I see. It’s frustrating when the fish runs well, but if you stay focused and don’t make the same mistakes, you will come out ahead. One thing to do against these players is to consider keeping the pot small in the beginning to magnify the mistakes they make.

Mis-estimating hand values in multiway pots is a common mistake I see in stud variants (stud high, stud/8, razz, etc). It’s not just playing on when they should fold. Some players bet when they should check, raise when they should call, and call when they should raise.


Posted in Razz | Leave a Comment »

Mason Malmuth on Low-Limit Games

Posted by pmpoker on December 28, 2006

From the 2+2 archives

An interesting result that I have noticed over the years is that the easier games like Omaha 8 or better, or razz are more profitable against absolutely terrible players. While the more complex games like limit hold ’em and stud are more profitable against those who play a little better.

This is in response to Tom B, who wrote:

I think I can speak to this issue. I have played low-limit hold’em and low-limit omaha for the past several years. It is much easier to make steady money in omaha than in hold-em. There is one catch however. The catch is that the omaha games must be good.

What tends to happen with low-limit omaha is that you get two kinds of games. The first kind occur at tournaments or during times of day when the “regular” crew isn’t in the game. These games are the closest to a regular job I’ve experienced while playing poker. It’s almost impossible to lose money if you play long enough and know what your doing. The second kind of low-limit omaha game occurs when everybody has a pretty good idea of how to play the game. You can spot these games by walking by the table and counting the collective money between the players. If it doesn’t look like a lot then your probobly in a bad game. Can a really good player beat a bad game? Of course he can, but he won’t make that much money.

Low limit hold-em in my opinion is a much streakier game. But there is one great advantage. The games are almost always great. However the skills required to beat these games are much harder to learn. I can attest to this, my hold-em results are much worse than my omaha results, (but they are getting better as I gain a better emotional understanding of the game.) I’m trying in Mason’s words to “Really learn how to play well” , but it is very difficult.

Bottom line – If you need to make money, play in a good low-limit omaha game. If you want to progress up the poker ladder, fight it out in low-limit hold-em.

Additional players in multi-way razz and omaha/8 pots are often very close to dead money. Additional players in multi-way hold em and stud have a much better chance of outflopping your or drawing out. For each bet, you gain more from the 5th best razz hand or the 8th best omaha hand at the table than from the 7th best hold em hand or the 6the best stud hand.

Of course, any game should still be profitable against absolutely horrible players.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mason Malmuth on Point Count Systems for Omaha/8

Posted by pmpoker on December 28, 2006

From the 2+2 forums:

[I]n my book POKER ESSAYS, VOLUME II one of the essays is called “A Note on Starting Omamha Hands.” In it I conclude that these point counts have essentially no value for Omaha eight or better.

I haven’t read Malmuth’s Poker Essays books, mainly because I only buy books when browsing in brick and mortar bookstores in an attempt to rein in my book spending. I did once get a chance to leaf through one of them and did like what I saw.

In Omaha eight or better, I find that my starting hand requirements are based mainly on position and the quality of my opponents. Some hands are worth an isolation three-bet if the table respects my three-bets, but not worth playing in what shapes up to be a multi-way raised pot. There are hands worth limping in with on the button which I would toss UTG.

Point count systems may have a modest value in keeping a newbie from playing too many hands while learning the game, but are otherwise fairly worthless.

Posted in Limit Omaha/8 | Leave a Comment »

Perry Friedman Is a Calling Station

Posted by pmpoker on December 25, 2006

(edited to fix readability)
Hand #1472483666
7 Card Stud *High* ($2/$4), Ante $0.40, Bring-In $0.50

Perry Friedman is Seat 4

Card Stud *High* ($2/$4), Ante $0.40, Bring-In $0.50

*3rd Street* – (1.60 SB)

Seat 1: xx xx 3h___folds
Seat 2: xx xx 7d___folds
Seat 3: xx xx 9s___completes___raises___calls
Seat 4: xx xx 9c___raises___raises
Seat 5: xx xx Ts___folds
Seat 6: xx xx 9d___calls___calls
Seat 7: 7s 7h 3s___folds
Seat 8: xx xx 3d___brings-in___folds

*4th Street* – (13.85 SB)

Seat 3: xx xx 9s Ad___bets
Seat 4: xx xx 9c 6h___calls
Seat 6: xx xx 9d 5c___calls

*5th Street* – (8.43 BB)

Seat 3: xx xx 9s Ad 4d___checks___calls
Seat 4: xx xx 9c 6h 7c___bets
Seat 6: xx xx 9d 5c 6d___calls

*6th Street* – (11.43 BB)

Seat 3: xx xx 9s Ad 4d Jh___checks___calls
Seat 4: xx xx 9c 6h 7c 5h___bets
Seat 6: xx xx 9d 5c 6d Qc___calls

*River* – (14.43 BB)

Seat 3: xx xx 9s Ad 4d Jh xx___checks___calls
Seat 4: xx xx 9c 6h 7c 5h xx___checks___calls
Seat 6: xx xx 9d 5c 6d Qc xx___bets

*Total pot:* (17.43 BB – $69.70)


Total pot $69.70 | Rake $3

Note: this site shuffles the hole cards.

Seat 3: [Ks Kc 9s Ad 4d Jh Th] – a pair of Kings

Seat 4: [Qh Qd 9c 6h 7c 5h Js] – a pair of Queens

Seat 6: [Jd Td 9d 5c 6d Qc 8s] – a straight, Queen high

From the chat:
Perry Friedman: man…I have to call just to see. but I know I am beat
Perry Friedman: started QQ down
Bigseth1: had KK down

Perry, Perry, Perry. You don’t have to call just to see when someone else has called on the river and the hands are going to be shown down anyways.

P.S.: I’m one of the few player at this table who would fold on third with my hand.

Posted in Seven Card Stud - High | Leave a Comment »


Posted by pmpoker on December 24, 2006

Some guy named Houston Jim cries, “WTF David Singer put a beat on me”:

I’m just wondering, what’s up with the cap on fourth and the check behind on fifth.

Posted in Seven Card Stud - High | Leave a Comment »

Some Players Hate the Short-Stack PLO Strategy

Posted by pmpoker on December 15, 2006

See this 2+2 thread titled “I hate rolf slotboom”, referring to the author of a recent omaha book.

Some players really, really hate it.

Posted in Pot-Limit Omaha | 3 Comments »

I See Dead Cards

Posted by pmpoker on December 11, 2006

Math and Poker uses an example from razz to make this observation:

“In stud type games it’s really important to take dead cards into account. That can make computations or simulations a little messy, but the point isn’t to make computations easy, it’s to get meaningful answers. “

Posted in Razz | Leave a Comment »

Oh dear God

Posted by pmpoker on December 6, 2006

Two words: Turbo razz

Posted in Razz, Tournaments | 2 Comments »