So my trip to HORSE night was a success. And I’m going to violate the first rule of HORSE night, which is don’t talk about HORSE night.
I was correct about having an edge over most of the players there. Getting good cards didn’t hurt either. One of the players, who I’ve noticed tilts pretty easily, tilted in the first 30 minutes of play, and then would make crying calls all night long. He paid off a lot of winning hands.
I was on the Amtrak yet again the day of the game, and so I used my time to learn Razz. I dealt out 10 hands, and after reading Felicia Lee’s 5 Minute Razz tutorial for Hold’em players, I started to math out some hands.
Basically, she has summed up some very good advice into the sentence, "Don’t play paint or pairs." So I’d pretend smart players folded all those hands and then I’d see what was left. I’d take the remaining hands and compute their odds through the poker hand strength calculator at twodimes.net.
And here’s where it got weird: once you’ve narrowed down a good set of starting hands, there’s not a lot of difference. Even A23 vs 567 is still 55% vs 45%. That’s not a big edge with four cards to come. Jason, one of the Friday night game hosts said it best, when he said that "Nobody has a hand in Razz when you get your initial cards, you’re just betting your draws." And he’s right if you assume everyone’s playing no paint or pairs. But that wasn’t the game I was at.
Over and over again I saw people play paint or low pairs, not realizing that this is where the percentages really start to diverge. Also, fourth street starts to really define things well. Lots of players drew to later streets and then found themselves trying to catch runner-runner for their lows, and catching only bricks.
So Razz was profitable, but the Omaha/8 round was more so, the pinnacle of which was me knowing I had half an enormous pot ($45 or so) that had 6 people see the flop capped. When I caught runner runner quad queens, which also made my opponent his full house, I got to scoop the high and the low. My only regret is that my opponent was Jason, who’s a really smart player and was already tilting a bit.
Overall the night was profitable for me. When you walk away from a $50 buyin $1/$2 game with $150+ in your pocket, you gotta feel good about that.