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July 27th, 2003


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2003.0727.0116::Poker Journal
[ ]
Down $40 dollars in regular poker. I came to the conclusion tonight, on my way home that many of the games we play regularly, Kiss of Death (5-Card Razz), 727, Itsy-Bitsy, even Screwy Louie for the most part, are far more games of chance than games of skill. Sure, there's the betting and bluffing portion of it, and the reading bets, people, and patterns, but honestly, I think most of the players at the table just play to see where cards fall.

In contrast, I played a $10 dollar buy-in tournament with everyone there today where nine people went at one another with an equal amount of chips. I ended up getting knocked out fifth, after I raised all-in with the A-Qs. Jason, who would ulitmately win the tournament had pocket ladies. But I played Texas Hold'Em for what I imagine was going on four hours.

I know khubli tends to find Texas rather boring, and really, it's not the most exciting game, even when a lot of us are playing blind or playing off-suit rags. We might see some interesting showdowns, but it's not like betting huge sums of money on a spin of the Roulette wheel. Ultimately, though, it's a fascinating study for me, to be able to watch players, put them on cards, and develop skills beyond watching random cards go to players.

And I think this partly is why I'm growing more and more dissatisfied with our weekly wild-card games. Of course, the other part is losing money all the time.
Current Mood: [mood icon] contemplative

9 comments | Leave a comment )

Comments:


xopherg::2003.07.27.04:23 am
[User Picture]That is pretty much the reason our game changed to mostly 7 card, hi-lo, hold 'em & omaha.
thepeopleseason::2003.07.27.09:32 pm
[User Picture]Yeah, it gets a bit better if the games in question are played pot- or no-limit, but with the number of rounds of betting that some of these games have (Louie, Bitsy, and 727), one would be a fool to play without nut hands.

Pot Limit Kiss of Death is actually a pretty good game, but it still ends up a chuck of the dice, especially with Jeech and Earnie calling everything.
batnandu::2003.07.29.08:17 am::chance vs. skill
[User Picture]Screwy Louie is ALL about skill--just about any hand can win. And I don't see how Kiss of Death involves any less skill than Hold 'Em. I think you're just bitter over losing money. :)
thepeopleseason::2003.07.29.08:53 am::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]Screwy Louie is ALL about skill--just about any hand can win.

I know. I've taken the low hand three times with a low pair just to see if I could (twice with a pair of aces and once with a pair of deuces). I know how much skill is involved in Louie.

But in all honesty, bluffing isn't the most important skill you need when you're playing poker. Everywhere people are talking about poker they're talking about bluffs and tells because that's the "cool" part of the game. People who don't play poker place so much emphasis on it that think that it's the key to the game.

Most of the hands that people win (and not just in our weekly games) are hands which people play straightforward. The most important skill in poker is reading people--reading cards, reading betting patterns. I've folded middle boats when I knew my opponents had bigger ones, and I've folded the nut boat to four of a kind on Third Street.

But I've been bitten by Louie, too--there's the always-remembered losing four 9s to four Aces, and losing wads of money because of middle boats is rapidly becoming a cliché. When you're dealing with a game where full houses are the rule rather than the exception, the cards you get still carry as much importance (more, IMO) than how you play them.

And I don't see how Kiss of Death involves any less skill than Hold 'Em.

If, in a heads-up game, I had A23 showing and 5K in the hole in KoD, and Jeech had 8JQ showing, and I bet two dollars, do you think he'd fold? When we play at quarter-2 limits, the only significant skill involved is folding the bad hand. If we were playing pot limit, and I bet 30 dollars, do you think he'd fold? Fifth street is a crap shoot. Very little in KoD is about putting someone on a hand, it's about seeing everyone's last card.
batnandu::2003.07.29.12:26 pm::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]But in all honesty, bluffing isn't the most important skill you need when you're playing poker.

I'm not sure I (ever--but certainly not here) claimed that it was.

The most important skill in poker is reading people--reading cards, reading betting patterns.

No argument.

When you're dealing with a game where full houses are the rule rather than the exception, the cards you get still carry as much importance (more, IMO) than how you play them.

Recognizing that full houses are the rule is the first step. You have to account for that and play accordingly.

If, in a heads-up game, I had A23 showing and 5K in the hole in KoD, and Jeech had 8JQ showing, and I bet two dollars, do you think he'd fold?

You're talking about betting limits here. In a heads-up game of Hold 'Em, if you bet two dollars on an A23 flop (say you're holding 45), do you think Jeech is gonna fold? Playing no-limit, would he fold against a $30 bet? (Remember, we're talking about Jeech in the context of reading people.)
thepeopleseason::2003.07.29.01:02 pm::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]You're talking about betting limits here.

Indeed, I am. At the lower limits, luck is far more a factor than at pot- or no-limit.

In a heads-up game of Hold 'Em, if you bet two dollars on an A23 flop (say you're holding 45), do you think Jeech is gonna fold? Playing no-limit, would he fold against a $30 bet? (Remember, we're talking about Jeech in the context of reading people.)

That really depends on what he's holding. In two-dollar limit, he'd likely call with anything, even 72 or 94 (if he hadn't folded pre-flop). In no-limit, he'd might hold suited 65, perhaps even raising, especially if there's two of his suit on the flop. About the best hand I can see him dropping to that $30 raise is 66, and that's pushing it.

10-7 off-suit, however? Probably not after that flop.

Because we're playing with the lower betting limits, more people are going to be staying in, and the more need for you to actually have the nuts when everyone shows the cards. Raising the pot pre-flop 2 dollars at a time with pocket Aces won't help you against someone who rivers the nut straight playing 69 on a whim.

But even pot- and no-limit games get into some trouble within the context of our own group. Kiss of Death is one particular example.
batnandu::2003.07.30.02:41 pm::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]Raising the pot pre-flop 2 dollars at a time with pocket Aces won't help you against someone who rivers the nut straight playing 69 on a whim.

This is what I'm trying to say.
khubli::2003.08.01.01:03 pm::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]But even pot- and no-limit games get into some trouble within the context of our own group. Kiss of Death is one particular example.

How so? Are you saying that I will call a $100 dollar raise on a whim if I have a King showing in Kiss of Death? Well it may be a whim, but it's also my instincts putting the remaining player (usually in this case) on a pair. I've been burnt doing that in both situations, but that my friend is what Amarillo Slim would call gambling. It stirs my blood, but if you know that the other person is trying to bluff you? why not call it if that's what you feel. The only person that loses in that situation is the one playing the gamble. If you're not comfortable losing your bet, don't place it. I know it's arrogant to say in a game that is supposed to remain friendly. But it's true in 2 dollar limit games. If I know for certain I've got a losing hand, I'll fold it in the wild card games.... even in Hold'em if the pre-flop raise get's out of control. Really depends on how the cards have been falling and what kind of mood I'm in.

I'm on a trend of hot cards, hell yes, I'm gonna call crap hold cards until the cards start falling differently.

my $2 worth. (raise)
thepeopleseason::2003.08.01.01:47 pm::Re: chance vs. skill
[User Picture]How so? Are you saying that I will call a $100 dollar raise on a whim if I have a King showing in Kiss of Death?

Not $100 on a whim... Even you have limits.

Earnie, however...

Ultimately, what I'm saying is that KoD is all about who has 1) the cards and/or 2) the money.

Well it may be a whim, but it's also my instincts putting the remaining player (usually in this case) on a pair. I've been burnt doing that in both situations, but that my friend is what Amarillo Slim would call gambling.

Yeah, that's what I was saying--a lot of times, I can tell you're playing for the blood-stirring action--playing hands blind, calling near-losers at KoD. It's not anything against the way you play--like I said on Wednesday night, your unpredictableness is a huge asset when it comes to the table.
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