July 3rd, 2009

Poker poll followup

I recently posted two polls about this hand:

Synopsis: you 3-bet red aces from the button in the limit holdem round of a HORSE tournament. Your opponent then goes limp, check-calling the flop and turn. On the river, the board is 7s Jh 9s 3h Td. It's checked to you.

The thing that strikes me most about this hand is that my opponent capped the betting out-of-position before the flop, and then went limp-- he check-called to the river. I asked what hands he might do this with. The results of the poll:

AA: 16%
KK: 16%
QQ: 26%
JJ: 13%
TT: 48%
99: 16%
88: 35%
77: 13%
smaller pairs: 32%
AK: 77%
AQ: 61%
AJ: 13%
KQ: 32%
some other hands: 29%

Some of these answers just don't make sense to me. If I assume that my opponent is at least a little bit rational, he's going to put in a bet at some point with AA, KK, QQ, JJ, and AJ. To me, check-call mode means one of two things-- a decently strong but possibly beat hand, or a monster that you're trying to trap with. AA, KK, and QQ are certainly going to put in a bet or raise at some point. I think smaller pairs will scamper away by the turn.

Given the way the hand played out, the candidate hands seem to be AK, AQ, TT, or maybe 88. He could also have flopped a set and is hoping to get me on the river, but slows down when the fourth straight card comes. Of those hand, the only ones I'm ahead of are AK and AQ. Do they pay me off? Sometimes, but far from always.

What hands check raise me? TT and 88, and maybe a few other sets. I don't think I get check raised by anything that I'm ahead of.

Basically, I think the hand comes down to hoping my opponent has AK or AQ. I might have considered a bet over the table, where I had body language to guide me, and I might have considered it in a cash game with linear-value chips. In this situation, it felt wrong to me.

So my analysis comes down to this: I don't think AK and AQ pay me off often enough to make it worth stepping in a mine against the other hands. The only caveat I'll put on this analysis is that I haven't played much limit holdem in the last several years, so my limit analytical skills are rusty. And yes, I might be out of touch with what a typical limit player would do.


By the way, I'm amused that only five of you thought that KK and QQ cap then go limp, but 14 of you include KK and QQ in "What hands play this way, then pay you off if you bet?"

Sarah Palin has a tell

By now, we've all heard that Sarah Palin is resigning. I'm not writing this to join the chorus of, "Hey, have you heard?"

I watched her speech today. In fact, I've watched it three times. My first reaction was, "Holy crap. She's freaking out." I watched it again,, paying careful attention to her vocal patterns. She's definitely under a ton of stress. I went off and watched a few of her other speeches on YouTube, then came back and watched this one a third time. There is something huge hanging over her had, and resigning is her only way out. She runs through that speech at breakneck speed, like she can't wait to be done with it and run away. She's also jittery, but the biggest tell is in her voice.

If you just want to watch one section, start at 3:10 and go to about 4:20.

RIP CompuServe

Via BoingBoing, Compuserve Shuts Down. This makes me sad. CompuServe was my first online service-- I got a modem as a high school graduation present, and created account 75555,767 in June of 1983. It was a shiny new world to me, a world full of information and opportunity, and nearly unlimited nooks and crannies to be explored.

I found their CB simulator (similar to IRC), and started hanging out there. Because I was naively using the handle *Patti*, every horndog and his brother would send me private messages. I quickly learned about cybersex, and nearly as quickly learned that I didn't enjoy it very much. After a while, I got wise and when I wasn't in the mood to put up with incessant private chat requests I used the handle *Fred*.

One day I got a private message that said, "Hey there. I see that we're neighbors." I ignored it until I realized I was in my Fred persona, and then I tossed back a greeting. We started chatting, and I learned that he lived across the river from me in Illinois. We started chatting regularly, and eventually decided to get together for dinner.

And that's how I met my ex-husband. We weren't the first online marriage, but we weren't too far off from it.