Wild Poker Hand

Last night, I played some Hold ‘Em, and went all-in with top pair (kings), holding AK offsuit. The problem was that two other players had AK offsuit, as well! One of them caught a K-high flush on the river, and the other caught the A-high flush on the river. Ouch. Of course, the pot was a monster.

Probability of (at least) 3 players in an 8-handed game having AK (suited or unsuited) = .000029% (1 in 3,465, 531 hands).
Probability of (at least) 3 players in an 8-handed game having AK offsuit = .000013% (1 in 7,921,215 hands).

So, that was probably a once-in-a-lifetime hand. Too bad I got busted on it.

Why I Like Playing a Short Stack

I have played a fair amount of poker, this weekend, since I’ve got little else to do; I resolved to avoid work, this weekend, and I don’t know anybody, nearby, so I might as well play some cards. I had a very good night, on Friday, and again last night (cashed out with 18x and 26x my buy-ins, respectively). Saturday night, however, was not so hot, which reinforced my preference for playing just a bit short-stacked.

Generally, it’s not such a good idea to use the minimum buy-in (10x the big blind) – it’s easy to lose all of it, without playing badly, but it’s hard to catch up to other players at the table. When I have an option, I usually go for about 40-50 big blinds (40-50 BB), which makes me short-stacked, since most players will buy in for the max (usually 100 BB). This accomplishes several things:

  • It forces me to play tight and throw away hands I might be tempted to play, if I had lots of chips
  • It forces me to pay attention to the players, cards, bets, etc.
  • It forces me to play the players and not the cards – if you’re short-stacked and not trying to read your opponents, you’re toast.
  • It means that even a modest win – say, 5 BB – is a big one, given my stack size, which makes me feel like a winner, early, and keeps me from getting in a psychological hole. If I double-up, well, then I’ve caught up to the folks who did the max buy-in… and at their expense.

I don’t always win, playing a short stack, of course, but if I look back at my play over the last few months, I have good nights much more often starting with a modest stack (40-50 BB) than with a big stack (100 BB) or a tiny one (10-25 BB).

Today’s News

Today, I received the poker chips and table top I ordered several days ago. All in all, they are very nice – the table top, in particular, surpassed my expectations. I bought both chips and table top at 5StarDeal. The downside: while I ordered 250 white chips and 200 red, I received 450 white and 0 red. The good news is that they are replacing those chips and refunding me the return shipping cost.

Meanwhile, I got very, very frustrated with Macromedia Dreamweaver; while it claims to support Find/Replace operations with regular expressions, a great many regex features (like the “limsux” operators, most special/control characters, and some others) don’t work, and the matches are not always all found. Hence, I had a client website offline for about an hour – far longer than the planned 5 minutes – while I double-checked and corrected Dreamweaver’s faulty performance. I think I’m going to build a regex-capable find/replace program for Windows, since none of the programs I’ve seen work properly. Who would be interested in such a thing? If you would, or if you know of another program I should look at, please comment!

P.S. This is the dealer button I ordered, but I don’t have it, yet.

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