The poker preacher…
Sunday August 20th 2006, 1:14 am
Filed under: Bodog,Bonus hunt,Casual Play,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G

Yes, tonight the poker preacher, aka me, myself and I, held court on bodog’s low limit SnGs. Yes, I signed up with bodog yesterday and no, I didn’t sign up because of mr. WSOP Champion 2006 Jamie Gold. I signed up because I wanted to continue my bonus hunt and bodog seemed like a fine deal. As my favourite online site for free poker gifts doesn’t have a deal with bodog atm I had to look around for another way to get something extra. So I fired up PokerSourceOnline (feel free to use referral code Ingoal if you want to sign up with them) and yup, they’ve got bodog in there list.

So I opened an account and started by depositing some dough – which in term lead to a nice middle in the night phone call to Neteller as I hadn’t confirmed my identity before. Amazing that people are working 24/7 in those call centers. Even more amazing that they have interpreters around, too. Not that I really need one, but the automated phone system said that they had german speaking staff members so I asked for one. Instead of a german speaking staff member I had an english girl plus an interpreter in the line, which was quite funny 🙂

But back on topic. I only played a few minutes as it was really early, yet again, and so tonight was the real first session. I played 6 SnGs and two tabled some NL10, which was fun, although I made a tough laydown which turned out to be a bad one – QQ in the hole, flop is A73 rainbow, I lead out to see where I’m at two callers, turn is another A, I check, one player bets, the other raises. Now I gotta give one of them the Ace, at least that’s what I did. So they push each other all-in on the river and what do they show? 88 and JJ…damn, that would have been a nice pot in that spot.

But back to the SnGs, I realize pretty quickly that the easiest way to make some dough was to wait for monster hands and push with them. You wouldn’t even believe how many times I got called. In return you wouldn’t believe how often I got sucked out on in the later stages (3 handed). But that’s alright, it happens and that’s why poker is fun. You win some, you lose some. But then something happened in the last SnG that just made me go off (a little): I didn’t curse noone out or nothing, I just tried to educate some people – hence the title: the poker preacher 😉

The situation: I hold two pair in the early stages of the SnG and the board is pretty scareless for me so I bet all the way. The only hand that could beat my top two pair would be 9-10 for a gutshot. Sure enough the dude calling off half his stack was holding just that to make him the straight on the river. Alrighty, you made a “bad play” and it payed off – more power to you. But then it happened, yet again: a player at the table goes ahead and tells him what a “nice hand” that was. Excuse me? Let me get one thing out of the way first: we all know that “nice hand” (nh) and “good game” (gg) are overly used these days – because if people were honest they wouldn’t say it all the time, as there’s no need to overuse it, or am I off on this one? But even knowing that, I still can’t understand why people are saying “nh”, “well played”, “wow, …”, “whatever, you’re so groovy,…” on such hands. What’s the point? If I lose a monster vs monster hand (e.g. Kings Full vs Quad Kings, like it happened in one of the SnGs tonight) or I lose to a good hand, because I didn’t believe him/her or because I couldn’t laydown my own (good) hand, then I’m more than happy to say “nh” and I might even add a “(very) well played” if that was the case in the hand. But on such miracle/suckout/draw with incorrect odds/… hands I refuse to say “nh/…”.

Why? Because I don’t like to encourage people to play that way. I mean it’s alrighty to play happy go lucky and neither should or can you assume that everybody (or even anybody at any given table) is playing the game “correctly”, but that still doesn’t mean that everybody needs to get sucked into the “fake poker world”. I mean, new(er) players are brought into the game watching the WSOP, the WPT or poker shows like High Stakes Poker, which is fine, but an edited poker format which only shows “interesting hands” (big bluffs, monster pots, etc) is not the real deal. Why do some players on those shows play they way they play in some of the hands they show you? It might be because the know each other so well, because their observations about the play that session/night/day justifies it, because they know that the other player(s) can laydown a hand (especially out of position), etc. Information is key and knowing basic stuff like outs, pot odds, etc is the only way to make money in the long run. There’s no game without the occasional suckout (even when “perfect players” square off), but don’t let yourself be fooled by such a miracle hand. Yes, you made money with it this time, but x out of 100 times you will lose money with it. Think about it! Think!
So those new players (although I wouln’t want to exclude all the “oldtimers” who still play like shit and get payed off by magic cards sometimes) might not even know what they’re doing “wrong” – which explains why some people are so quickly offended once any player at the table says something about the miracle card or how bad they played that hand, although it’s safe to assume that many of those are just dickheads anyway who feel they’re entitled to win that hand because they made such a “brilliant call/bet”.

Which brings me back to the “poker preacher” title: Although I know that it’s mostly a waste of time trying to educate even one single player at a table at any given time, as most feel that you’re being a “wise-ass” or that they’re soooo good and/or better than you anyway, it might still be worth the time in the long run. I know, some of you might say that it’s not worth the hassle and that educating the “fish” might be a bad move as it’ll be more difficult to take their money and I hear you, but I still think that if the level of play improved just a little bit for everybody, there would still be more than enough dough to pick up, with (a little) less nerve-wrecking junk-kickings 😉
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, after all my regular readership includes many good and even some great poker players, who are more than aware of this and much more, and who are trying to both spread the good word and elevate the level of the game at the same time, but it’s what was on my mind tonight and a good topic to blog about. So excuse my long ass sentences, feel free to add your own perspective about this whole thing and remember: educating even a single player might prove to save YOU personally money, if you happen to cross his/her path, by letting him/her laydown a hand and not outdraw you with incorrect odds 😉

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