[If you have a chance, go see Bradley’s rationalization about why he was right to shove $250 into a $29 pot with a 1.5% edge, a response to my analysis that this is too much volatility for his own good. Obviously, if the volatility bothers you enough to post on your blog that it bothers you, it’s too much volatility for you. I forgot the rule of discussing anything with Bradley: he’s always right.]
So last night I played at a low stakes no limit cash game on Capitol Hill here in DC. It’s not a home casino, just a friendly game that a guy (who reads this blog) hosts for a few friends. The building looks like it was an old factory turned into condos, so I’ll just refer to it as The Factory from now on.
I think the host and I are the best players, and last time I won a bunch of money right before my AC trip. This time we just played a cash game with the five of us: $20 buying, $.25/$.50 blinds. A couple of interesting things happened in this game:
- Nobody re-bought enough. People played with stacks that steadily shrank, only re-buying when they hit felt. As many have observed, this is a bad strategy.
- There was way too much bluffing. This meant you were guaranteed action when you hit a hand. In particular the player to my left would bluff any two overcards, betting to the river with small bets that wouldn’t drive anyone out of the pot. I learned this about him and would call him down with any pair, including 4’s. I won many a small pot from him this way. This also made it profitable to fold more hands than normal at a short-handed table once it grew to five players.
Partway through the evening I played Jack-Seven for a family pot and caught two pair to break a pair of Aces. I got Jack-rag three more times the next few hands and so I played them as well, folding them when they didn’t hit and showing them when I did, crowing about the power of the Jack.
Finally, when we saw a flop with two Jacks while I was holding Nine-Three, I bet at it and said, "The power of the Jack!"
Everyone folded. I kept doing that and stole a few pots I didn’t deserve until everyone else started playing Jacks. I then had to raise my standards for Jacks knowing that everyone could have one. Needless to say when I was dealt pocket Jacks and they flopped a set, I showed them as well.
That’s my first time intentionally inserting a psychological play modification into everyone’s thinking, and I was pretty happy with it. I’ll be looking for ways to setup plays like that again.