Thursday, December 31, 2009


Having been obsessed with the game of poker for the majority of '09 (trust me when I say that I've read and re-read and re-re-read every damn article, every damn strategy forum, every pro's blog that is out there on the internet, sent a million PMs to absolute unknowns but people whose game i respected, offered a guy in Houston that I would run all his weekend errands if he lets me watch him play online tournaments on Sundays) it would be apt to end the year with this snippet from an interesting thread on two-plus-two

Here's your problem. You don't have the fortitude, nor bankroll, nor temperment, to be a casino. A casino is a big ol' building, where people's dreams might possibly come true. Especially if you own the building.

Casinos get rich, expand a whole city, and get richer, by offering bets where the casino has a two or three percent advantage. But the bets have to be offered, have to be wagered, a million times. Roulette, for instance: red or black, odd or even, high or low, the house has a 5.25% advantage on all but one bet on the layout.

Will the customer occasionally have a streak? Of course. A full third of the customers that evening will actually have a winning night. The casino doesn't care. You, of course, would be willing to walk in front of a truck. Will one drunken guy actually make several thousand dollars, having started with twenty bucks? Of course. The casino doesn't care. You, by the way, will not even walk out looking for the truck, you will put a bullet in your brain, right there at the table. The casino is right, and you are not right. "correct mathmatically" might be a better term than "right".

You think, apparently, that when you have a winning hand, and the 'customer' is drawing to a flush on the river, You've Got Him Nailed. You don't. You have only created a situation where you have four times the advantage that a casino has. You have a situation where it's 80-20 that you're going to win.

Now I want you to work really, really hard on this, because you haven't yet. If it's 80-20 for you, how many times out of a hundred can we predict that the 'customer' will hit his flush? The answer is twenty times out of a hundred. ('Grab that man. Don't let him dash toward the highway'.)

Can the 'customer' have a streak of winners? You bet he can. ('Grab that revolver'). He might hit several in a row.

Why do you care? (Because you're an idiot). No, it's because you haven't given it the appropriate amount of thought, and because you're not bankrolled well, and because you care about the outcome, and you should not care.

You should have enough in your bankroll that you can offer the 'customer' his flush draw about a hundred times a day. You want him (assuming he's dumb enough: but you're right, there are millions of 'em) to call your bet, and shoot for his flush draw. 80-20 in your favor, if he's betting on the river, 60-40 in your favor if he's betting on the turn (and, you get to charge him MORE for the river, if he's not all in).

If he wins his bet, and you're smart enough to be a casino, you should comp him: buy him a few drinks, compliment that ugly date he brought with him, buy him dinner if you have to, but keep him right there, making his bet over, and over, again.

But not you: you are involved. You are worried. You are so upset that he won one, or ten, of those bets. But the fact is, if that happens a thousand times (that bet where you are 80-20), you will be a rich man. You should be grateful, when you have put the 'customer' in a postion where you offer an 80-20 proposition, and he takes you up on it.

Here's what you should do: change your attitude. Play standard poker. Lose your emotion. You don't care about this bet, or the next one. You just want the guy to keep playing, if he's going to keep playing at the odds you're offering. Charge him for his longshot bet. He'll pay? He'll go for it? OUTSTANDING.......

Grind it out. (They call it that, for a reason). Lose your personal involvement with one hand, or one session. If you're playing right, the money, in smaller amounts, will roll in. (Not in larger amounts: you're not entitled to larger amounts. When your opponent bets his flush draw and loses, you didn't win the whole amount. You won the whole amount LESS the fact that one out of five times you're going to lose, and thus give some back. But believe me, there will be plenty left over.)

Quit caring about your results. Play standard poker. If you're doing it right, the money will roll in.

Play standard poker. If you're doing it right, you're offering the customer bets where your advantage is four times that which built Las Vegas. Do it all day long. All week long. All year long. Grind it out