Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Before I start on the poor old eggs I'd like to point out that it's not really stupidity that I'm mocking here (and everywhere else). It's primarily laziness. A lot of clever guys play poker badly. Some of them (Clive Sinclair springs to mind) genuinely don't care and consider poker to be entertainment. They play for fun, and when they're not playing they have better things to think about. That's fine. As a corollary, there are some excellent players who have worked very hard on their game to bring it up to a good standard even though no one would call them math whizzes. The people I call eggs are the people who just don't put any effort in even though they play a lot of poker. I hate to kick a man when he's down, but Bluescouse is a great example. He can't be arsed to learn the ropes, build up a solid game over time and work up through the limits ; he just ploughs ahead playing as high as he possibly can, with the inevitable end result. I'm talking about the guys who can't be bothered working up a bankroll sufficient to play bigger tournaments - instead they just try to spin it up in satellites. The guys who never learn from their mistakes because it was always bad luck or the other bloke's fault. The guys who watch a bit of TV and think "who needs all this math bollocks when you can look into someone's soul". Books ? They're for nerds. Unfortunately this is poker, not high school, and the jock/nerd hierarchy has been reversed. Welcome to our world, buwahaha. Anyway, this is why I prefer "eggs" as the mot juste, especially ahead of "donkeys". Because donkeys are slow but hard-working, and it's primarily the laziness that makes bad players what they are.

OK, rant over. Eggs come in many shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, with the lack of Internet qualifiers, there weren't too many of them on show in Tunica. The vast majority of them are satellite qualifiers one way or the other, but before I start on them there's one other type to be aware of and that's the ten-grand-so-what-I-wipe-my-ass-with-ten-grand rich guy. I'm pretty sure we had one of these at the table on Sunday. He tried to start a conversation with Vinny Vinh along the lines of "Hey Vinny remember that hand we played in Atlantic City". Vinh of course said he didn't remember, whether he actually remembered or not the clear subtext was "shut up egg, you suck". This particular guy went broke in an unraised pot with 76 on a flop of T98 when his straightforward opponent gave him every chance to get off the hand. And this is one problem that eggs of all varieties have. If they flop a big enough hand, they just won't stop to think about whether it could possibly be losing. I had a straight, what could I do ? Now you don't necessarily have to put down a near-nut hand but there are definitely times when even half a player will slow down and try to save some chips in the event that they're behind. Eggs will just plough ahead regardless. If you make a nut hand against an egg, resist the temptation to slow-play. Keep betting and if he raises you, raise him back (but don't over-raise, keep him on the line). Sorry, mixed in a fish metaphor there. Keep him, er, in the pan. Sunny side up.

So against a weak-tight egg you basically can call a small raise or limp behind him hoping, as Lindgren says, that he has Aces, so you can felt him on the right flop. Again, it's not just that they won't fold Aces on the later streets, it's that they'll keep betting and raising when it should be obvious that they're behind and most players would at least slow down. Then you have the loose egg. We had a guy on Sunday who was just all over the place. The biggest and quickest giveaway is bet sizing. In the Main Event here, virtually everyone raised sort of 3-5 times the big blind pre-flop. When someone regularly doubles the blind, or puts 8 blinds in, it sticks out like a sore thumb. This guy was doing crazy stuff like minimum raising on the river giving his opponent 8-1 to call, on a bluff. Sometimes it's tricky to balance the patience required to pick up a hand to bust him with against the need to get his chips before he murders them to someone else. Generally you call him a bit looser pre-flop and try to induce a mistake post-flop, which is often going to be him smashing all-in with an overbet. Don't set this up and then pass top pair top kicker ; these guys rarely have the wit to bet big with a big hand as well. In fact, watch out if an inveterate over-bettor suddenly gets cute. I once saw a Luton regular on mad steaming tilt go all-in 7 hands in a row during the rebuy period. Next hand he just called - with Aces.

When there's only one egg on show, a lot of the time you just have to hope you get them before someone else does, and not push it too hard. Don't forget that in multi-way pots you have other people to deal with, who might be trying to trap the egg only to inadvertently bag you. If you're lucky enough to have two or more filling out the table, then happy days. I wasn't so fortunate this time. Just remember that sometimes the rabbit has the gun and he'll stack you with a hidden big hand or an outdraw - but there's not much you can do about this apart from take it like a man. Observation is key as well - you can't just lump all bad players in together. There are many, many ways to play badly and people usually employ some of them but not all. Also remember that people have reasons for the things they do, however absurd these reasons might be to a thinking player. They might be paranoid about being outdrawn or they might think everyone's bluffing them all the time. If you can work out what strange thought processes they are using, you're one step ahead of the people who just think "Idiot !".

And you mustn't forget, don't keep all your eggs in one basket!

(sorry Andy I couldn't help myself)
Shit, you just summed up my game. I guess I must be one of those eggs you have identified. I hope not to find myself at your table. Best wishes, Humpty Dumpty
looks like youve got my number.
best wishes, Humpty Dumpty.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?