Learn a lesson every day. Mine yesterday was that I should not try to play 'hassan-style' with the real Hassan at the table. He rulez, I suck. Yesterday was a classic example once again. We played a friendly little 10/20 blinds pot limit holdem game with a €500 buyin. Hassan as usually in seat #1 controlled the action and the table, having fun, paying all the drinks, even paying the blinds and live straddles for us other 'players' sometime (how more embarressing it could get?). I tried to apply my new 'young hassan' style that worked so well the last days when he was not at the tables but that was nothing else but blasphemy - down 4k after 30 minutes. The table almost feel onto the side due to alle the chips he got. He not only roasted me for like 5k total but almost everybody else on the table also (except Katja, she managed to win like 3k).
One of the other victims was Sebastian (who btw has a new invitation-only forum on his website) from luckbox.de. He lost the biggest pot of the day, like 7k, with K-K versus Hassans A-A after Hassan showed 5 consequtive pure -and big- bluffs in a row. Seb never really recovered from this and lost even more than I did.
What do I learn here? If Hassan is around either leave or play my usual weak-tight game (but hold the loses short lol)... or try it just another time >:-]
Poker is a skill game. Ya Ya. Sure. It is. Is it? I know allmucha lotsomethinga little almost nothing about the game but I am still in doubt.
I mean generally speaking it might really be a luck game but with an edge to the serious lucky player. Somewhere I read an interesting question: if roulette would pay 1:38 instead ofg 1:35 (european wheel) would it be a skill game (except the skill to acutally go there)? My opinion: no. I would still be a luck game but with +EV. Maybe the same applies to poker? I mean everybody knows if you play with equally skilled players there is no edge, it will all even out.
But I am not in the mood for a generall reflection about the inner strcuture of card games. I am more bothered happy about the specific events this game has in store for us. Over the course of the last 6 weeks I played a lot of poker - both live and online. Every day, many hours. Limit Holdem online, 30/60 and 50/100 and no limit/pot limit holdem live. The major conclusion I can make here is that my session, day, week and even month results are mostly affected by luck. I am a little bothered by this quite honestly although -since luckbox gave me 1% of his 'karma' for free as a birthday present last week- I am more on the reveiving end lately.
It got so far that I make my decisions now sometimes like "What would Hassan do here?" instead of calculating outs, odds, implied odds. Hassan is one the most feared players in our live games as he is fearless ("re-raise pot" - blind!), very aggressive and - blessed. He has no clue about the game, at least not like everybody learning the game today. He never calculates any outs or pot odds. You'll never hear anything about "this pot gives me 3:1 and I have 36,7% chance of hitting" from him, still he is a winner in the game. Big time. Long time. So, to get back to the point, nowadays I do make some decisions "hassan style" - and get there. Unbelievable. Is it like this those players feel all the time? Unbeatable, unstoppable, blessed, strong and lucky. It definitly feels good. Everybody looking at you with this "you lucky douchebag, I'll get ya" smile but they still lay it down to a big reraise on the turn. Impressive. So, I'll take this little conversation in a 50/100 6max game as a compliment now:
Dealer: Villain has a pair of Aces Dealer: Hero showed [4d 4s] and won ($1122) with three of a kind, Fours
Villain: hey hero
Villain: do u know who i am?
Hero: hell philmuth?
Villain: no im the master of the art of limit holdem
Hero: so two suckout masters finally meet?
Villain: no im the master of limit holdem
Hero: yeah, like everybody here
Villain: no u dont understand
Villain: im the one and only Dealer: Hero showed [Ac Kc] and won ($922) with a pair of Aces
Villain: im the holdum god
Hero: ahhh ur the ONE?
Hero: i feel very honored, thank you for allowing me to play the very same table
Villain: your very welcome Dealer: Hero showed [Jh Kh] and won ($1048) with two pair, Kings and Fives
Villain: ur the suckout king Dealer: Hero showed [Td Th] and won ($1098) with three of a kind, Tens
Hero: your higness, how well thou played that Dealer: Hero showed [Jc 9c] and won ($1122) with a flush, King high
Hero: sorry master
Villain: had st8
Dealer: Villain has a pair of Kings (was A-K on a K-4-7-Q-6 board)
Dealer: Hero has two pair, Kings and Queens Dealer: Hero wins pot ($947) with two pair, Kings and Queens
Villain: yikes again
Villain: another suckout
Hero: I told ya
Villain: i got the skill
Villain: u got the suckout
Dealer: Hero has a straight, Ten to Ace
Villain: suckout>skill Dealer: Hero wins pot ($622) with a straight, Ten to Ace
Of course, killing A-A with 8-5 offsuit in no limit game rules also - it now not longer bothers me that I was the one pushing all-in on a 8 high flop. Poor villain said quitly on the innocent looking 5 on the turn 'I think I am still ahead' - me: 'I really don't think so', lol. Also nice was rivering a 7 holding 98s on a JJT board - where the same opponent had Q9 and was putting me all-in with a HUGE raise on the flop which I called after thinking "What would Hassan do here?" - Answer: call and hit. It shows that I am a beginner because Hassan would have called in a split second while I needed about 10 secs. Like always - there is much room for improvement!
Since a week I am playing live every night. The action in the new Casino Esplanade is besides the fact that they only 2 tables very good. They spread NLH 2/4 or NLH 5/10 but those little games start rocking after some time. They good thing there is you see new players all evening, they have seen poker on TV and now try it for themself. Also, many regulars have problems adjusting to no limit (coming from either limit holdem or pot limit). A typical situation is like this: 2 and 4 blinds gets posted, UTG+1 raises to about 30 (!) and you get 6 players (!) seeing the flop. Overall I am slighly up for the last weeks but I have swings. In big pots I have some river problems, lol. And of course I am playing way to many hands, as always. I execuse this with my 'superior post flop skills' which are most likely nothing more than wishfull thinking - and even when I am right I get unlucky here and there. There are some examples of more correct preflop play (hello minimi!) but I doubt he they are sqeezing enough out of the game as many opponents simply play so so bad on all streets.
Online play was a disaster over the last 4 weeks. I played lots of hands on 30/60 and 50/100 shorthanded but after some initial winnings I got owned. I even went back to fullring 15/30 for some time (normally a sure confidence builder) but even there I lost a lot. I took 3 days off now and will get back into the games today.
In the Real German Poker Champion event I busted out in round 1 against Marten with 1:3 games. Marten played well and won some key hands, I could only win in 7card stud and even that was close. In NLH money went in with slowplayed KK vs. slowplayed AA - in PLO he won the deciding hand with QQKx vs my KKQx with a Q on the flop... congrats, good luck in round 2. Current results here.
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Katja did some more commentary for the World Cup Of Poker on german sport channel DSF. Afterwards she went to Cologne to be a interview guest in TV Total, the biggest late night show in germany, hosted by Stefan Raab.
8/12: Sorry, YouTube was forced to remove those from their servers. Leaves a bad taste about those copyright laws for me as usual - one day we will be forced to clear our brain after seeing a movie because that will count as some kind of "memory recording".
Here is the "Spiegel TV Reportage" as aired on Monday, Dec. 4th on german TV station SAT1, part 1-3:
This weekend was a deep stack tournament with 5000 starting chips in Casino Schenefeld. Buyin was €540, 63 starters, 2 day format. The event was very good organized but I could not get any further that 16. place (9 in the money).
Still, this was enough to win me a 7-way €100 last longer sidebet and also a 2-way sidebet for a brandnew Nintendo Wii (Sebastian "miamivice" was my opponent here). No need to be sad for him, he owned the NLH cashgame thereafter and took several buyins from everybody, including me, but thats another story. The tourney was good packed with known players as Michael Keiner, Thang "evelyn" Nguyen, Katja, Dr. Jalali who just won the Master Classics in Amsterdam and several strong players more (Thang got 4th, Jalali got 2nd).
Quite honestly, I don't know what to think about Jalali. He comes across pretty friendly and is incredible successfull during the last months - still, somebody wearing "poker glasses" got to be a little suspicious, right?
Poker in Germany
This was aired yesterday. Nothing unexpected. Today will see a "Spiegel TV Reportage" about Casino/Gambling, including poker and Katja.