Monday, June 25, 2012

I gotta tell the bad stories too...and some fun facts about props and teams

So today's trip to Commerce was largely unimpressive - I lost two buy-ins, due mostly to the fact that I saw nothing better than a pair of 4's in three hours, and lost my last buy in with AQ against KJ when I shoved on a 9-Q-X-X board only to have the K felt me on the river.  However, I did glean some interesting information about games here in Southern Cali.

I was talking to the man at my right, solid player, and we didn't tangle at all, so he was pretty freely talking about some issues I was unaware of.  At one point he said " I don't play at the Bike.  They have too many house players."  It was an odd enough wording that I wanted him to clarify....did he mean just people who played there regularly, or did he mean people who played for the house, like props?  I had heard of props before, but I thought it to be largely myth, something you'd need to do to get a private club game going.  No, in fact, he said it was common out here.  He confessed he didnt know who all of them were, but once you were at a table with them, they were hard to miss.  Unlike Commerce, the Bike sometimes has trouble keeping some games going, so props come in, get some action going, and take home a paycheck.  Where can I get a job like that, I wondered.  I then probed him for more juicy facts, and when I mentioned that I had some bad luck at Hollywood Park, he said, "they play in teams over there. Dont go there."  I was flabbergasted.  Teams?  Granted, cards will win when they win, but subtle moves of the chips between team members can give lots of information to the other player about what they have.  Had I been bamboozled by collusion?  He said he had been approached by these people, which is why he knew, but he politely declined, allegedly. This was fascinating to me - and a bit unnerving,  I'm not so naive to think that things like this don't go on, but I suddenly felt like I might have been molested by my once-friendly Uncle Poker -  but the visions were so cloudy I don't quite remember what happened, or if anything happened at all.  Either way, money is going to get a bit tight for me this month and I doubt I will have much opportunity to play anyway.  I'll be doing a concert in mid-July in SF so there will be no poker for me then - though I may pop in and review a couple of rooms on my way up there and back.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Commerce streak

So, it is now three consecutive $100+ outings at the Commerce the past couple of weeks - so I think it'll be my home base for a while.

In my last post I discussed the $40 tables at Hollywood Park.While those tables are quite exploitable, you aren't really playing much poker that shallow. At 20BB, you're basically playing tight and then pounding your big hand when it comes.You basically have no fold equity with your stack so you are going to end up showing down - and you'll either get lucky, or not.  While 33BB at a Commerce $100 table is not that much better, it seems to be 'the place' where most people think of when they think of poker -to add, there is a lot more casino action here, which attracts a lot more fish.

Tonight I felt like I was in complete control.  Frequency has helped me elevate my level of play live, and I'm usually confident where I am at - and I know who to avoid.  It is fascinating to me how wedded LA people get to top pair.  Seriously.  While there are some sharks in the water, the play is epically bad.  While I could probably profit from longer visits, I leave if I double up. Tonight that took two hours.  Why do this?  Well, I want to build the roll up enough so I can take bigger shots, because the higher you go, the deeper you can play out here.  The $200 table is 3/5, so thats 40BB, and $400 is - wait for it...5/7.  No joke, east coasters. There is  $1500 max 5/5 game that is probably a table I'll investigate when I can put $500 down, but I'm not there yet.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The mystery that is the $40 buy-in

It is true, folks.  Out herein LA they have a MAX $40 buy-in 1/2 NL table.  In fact, not just one, but many.

The pit guys say it is for people with scared money to 'try out' NL.  Well, I like scared money, so for the past couple of days I've frequented a few, and have made a tidy profit.

Not that other people with my mindset haven't figured out how these tables work - but it is oh-so-much-more obvious to spot them.  People are committing their stacks at these tables with top pair, or even second pair - and 20 blinds deep, it isn't difficult to see why.  The flipside is that you have almost no fold equity at these tables, unless there are big stacks with air who will gladly fold.  We're not talking a fortune here, but of the three times I've played there this week, I've left up somewhere around 2 buy-ins every time. In all honesty, a $40 max table is probably more around what I should be playing at, given my bankroll - so I think I'll be hitting them more often.