So here we go for part 6 of 7 of the graduating from free online poker to playing poker online with real money…in the hope of winning more than you lose!
In this chapter D.M.Vadnais will cover Bad Plays, what he terms ‘D’ Codes and the hardy annual subjects of pot odds and implied odds in the context of online poker real money gameplay. Read on…
Part and parcel of the rationale for playing quality pockets, premium pockets, lies in the rationale for not playing garbage pockets.
And, to make that very point, a brief description of the ‘bad plays’ made by some of the competitors at the ‘real money’ Internet gaming sites are about to become known to you.
Additionally, the high level of poker mayhem, perpetrated by the incredibly dumb people making ‘bad plays’, brings our understanding of the game ‘front and center’ to an often repeated set of words: “It’s harder to beat bad players than it is to beat good players”.
Yet, regrettably, as you quite possibly suspected, the dreaded Rectal Cranial Inversion (RCI), a substantive factor in the mayhem, a principal factor regarding the dumb players, is not solely limited to just ‘PukieDumbo’ and her/his friends; its’ symptoms are readily noticeable, and it can be diagnosed anywhere that poker is played.
Plus, a few of the total ‘bananaheads’, all suffering along with ‘Pukie’ from the very same RCI disorder, have a constant presence on the ‘real money’ Internet poker tables.
Therefore, you’re gonna’ have to use your poker skills in a ‘moment-to-moment’ environment; you’ll not be allowing your Consistency of Focus (COF) to wane for any one second, during any one minute.
Else, the ‘bad players’, the hard to beat players, are gonna’ put you in a ‘donkfest’; and, your mastery of the game will slide into a flamboyant fiasco.
Now, It’s my hope that you’ll be both entertained and monetarily rewarded by the ‘bananaheads’ routine of being ‘Stuck On Stupid’ (SOS). [An acronym that you can comfortably say out loud in public].
Or, with the thought of getting some help for these ‘Inversion’ imbeciles, possibly with volunteered tutorial tasks, maybe you’ll become a supporting member of the the ‘Fund Unlimited Cranial Kindness Educational Days Under Program’. [Once you've constructed it, please be careful to NOT say this acronym out loud in public; you might cause yourself some embarrassment.]
And, yes, it’s true that the SOS play, fairly commonplace at ‘free money poker’ NoPayPoker, is less visible at ‘real money’ Internet poker sites. But, it is visible. It exists. It happens.
And, it’s all an open invitation for the ‘solid’ players to reap rewards.
Y’all are amongst that group; you’ve demonstrated your poker playing patience and skills on a consistent basis, you’ve positioned yourselves as winning poker players, you’ve built a bankroll, you’ve expanded that bankroll, and you’ve regularly left the ‘pinatas’, ‘pinheads’, ‘pukies’, and ‘pansies’ on the gooseneck trailer bound for the ‘farm animal’ pastures.
Their self-induced introduction to the ‘Alpha Bull’ was merely given an assist by you….don’t ever think that you meant them any harm.
One of the reasons for ‘Pukie’ (PD) and his minions to have come ‘backside to snout’ with the Alpha Bull relates to both a failure to understand….and a failure to avoid….poker’s bad plays. You do not make ‘Bad Plays’; y’all know that.
Yet, poor PD, and thousands like him, have yet to collect enough intellect, and develop enough thought processes, such that they might also ‘understand’ and ‘avoid’ the absolute stupidities tied to the atrocious play that they regularly bring to the tables.
They have no ability to look at 2 pocket cards and think of the word garbage; their mindset, however limited it may be, automatically dictates the action of flinging chips into the pot.
Yet, true to form, garbage pockets, over the long-term, produce garbage results.
Garbage pockets, over the long-term, produce massive ‘real money’ loses. And, Garbage pockets, over the long-term, as are routinely played by PD and the ‘bananaheads’, are the largest cause for massive runs to the drug stores and pharmacies where creams, lotions, lubricants, and antibiotics are sold. [Could the latter have anything at all to do with the 'Alpha Bull? I honestly don't know; but, like you, I can easily speculate as to the veracity of the implication.] Maybe we should all buy some CVS and Walgreens stock !!!!
So, to keep ‘garbage pockets’ in the momentary forefront, and, to serve as a perennial reminder NOT to commit these forays into the worlds of ‘insanity’ and ‘stupidity’, here’s a brief description of some of the ‘Bad Plays’ you’ve been a witness to in the past at NoPay and some of the ‘Bad Plays’ you’ll be a witness to at the ‘real money’ Internet gaming sites
Not necessarily in order of dumbness level; however, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the dumbest, each is assigned a ‘Dumbo Code’ (DC):
—- Playing an Ace/Rag pocket – DC 9
How many times have you seen ‘Bozo’ play A/8 offsuit in early position only to be pounded into oblivion by ‘Mr_Solid’ holding pocket A/K or A/Q or A/J in middle or late position?
The ace/raggers, a commonplace name for the dummies who regularly go ‘wacko’ at the sight of an ace, belong in Poker Prison; their play, as compared to a minimal standard of quality, can be best labeled as criminal.
This gets a DC of 9. And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS (heads-up play would be an exception).
—- Playing a King/Rag pocket. DC 9
Are you laughing at ‘Bozo’? You should be. But, in that he plays A/8 from early position, his theory is why not K/7 or K/8.
However, regarding the latter, ‘Bozo’ ain’t Detroit Doug….a rock solid player, living in Las Vegas, who made hordes of cash using K/8 as his favorite pocket. And, of note, Doug only played the cards from late position. ‘Bozo’ simply flings chips because he’s gotten a pocket king; and that’s sheer stupidity.
This gets a DC of 9. And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS (heads-up play could be an exception).
—- Gut-Shot Draws to a Straight.
Pre-river, ‘Bozo’ needs a 9 to fill a gut-shot straight. DC 9
The Pot Odds are giving him 3 to 1 on his money. But, the board also shows a flush draw. So, only 3 of the available 9′s could give him the hand.
He’s about a 14 to 1 underdog, he calls, and he’s a near certainty for admission to the No Brain Institute (NBI); a long-term care facility for the terminally stupid. This gets a DC of 9. And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS.
—- Open-End Draws to a Straight. DC 8 –
Pre-river, ‘Bozo’ needs an 8 or a 3 to fill an open-end straight, and, he’s again getting 3 to 1 on his money. Plus, the board also shows a flush draw. He’s a 7 to 1 underdog, and, possibly, only half as stupid as before, he calls. Clearly, the semi-private room at NBI is now ready for him. [This gets a DC of 8.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS.
—- Flopping a Pair and Betting Into Over Cards. DC 9
‘Bozo’ holds pocket A/6, and he caught a pair of 6′s on the flop; it showed 6/J/K. Suddenly, and without warning, the ‘Duh’ microbes in his mostly empty brain forced him to bet into the pot, into the 2 overcards.
Why would he care that there’s a Jack and a King on the board? He has no idea that the chance of any one of his 4 competitors to have hit a pair of Jacks or Kings is about 40%. Plus, he has no idea that the chance of any one of his 4 competitors to catch a Queen or an Ace on the turn or river is about 30%.
‘Bozo’ is about a 2 to 1 underdog….but, he’s betting the sixes. And, his bet is pretty close to being an ‘insult to stupidity’. [This gets a DC of 9.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS (heads-up play would be an exception).
—- All-In Betting with Low and Middle Pocket Pairs. DC10
‘Bozo’ gets dealt any one of the low or middle pocket pairs (22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, TT, or JJ), and becomes a ‘chip-flinger’; ALL-IN.
He has no comprehension of how much can be won over the long-term by set-mining; he has failed to understand that set-mining produces an ROI of greater than 100%.
And, of note, he has no idea how quickly he has been labeled by all the ‘solid’ players nearby as an amateur.
Additionally, the ‘ALL-IN’ bet made by ‘Bozo’ is not ‘pretty close’ to being an ‘insult to stupidity’….it’s far worse. [This gets a DC of 10.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS.
—- Extreme over-the-top raises. DC10
‘Bozo’ holds the current ‘nuts’ hand (an Ace high flush), and a competitor makes a large post-flop bet into the pot.
Then, once again, the ‘Duh’ microbes kick in, and ‘Bozo’ stupidly pushes out a monster raise (or an ‘all-in’ raise). The competitor folds. The intransigence consuming ‘Bozo’, his inability to move away from the SOS status he holds so sacred, is mind boggling.
He clearly fails to recognize the merits of ‘slow-play’. Had he opted to ‘smooth call’, allowing the bettor, post-turn and post-river, to continue to be the bettor, he would have won much more money at the end of the hand. [This gets a DC of 10.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS. Frankly, if you ever did do this, if you ever replicated this level of stupidity, I’d find an old M-16 and hunt you down.
—- Excessive pre-flop betting with pocket Jacks. DC9
‘Bozo’ has pocket Jacks, and doesn’t realize that it’s one of the most difficult pockets to play. And, as you might expect, he tosses a very large bet into the pot.
He’s completely unaware of the fact that the chance of one Ace, one King, or one Queen appearing within the flop is, on average, a minimum of 66% while playing against 1 competitor, 60% while playing against 2 competitors, and 54% while playing against 3 competitors.
So, in all of these instances, he’s an underdog; not the favorite. And, when the overcard appears, ‘Bozo’ generally gets a quick ‘intro’ to the Alpha Bull.
[This gets a DC of 9.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS (heads-up play being the only exception).
—- Eastern European Poison Poker. DC9
Even if you are from eastern Europe, you ought not be playing like an eastern European. Their poison is the combination of pocket cards and the flop; it’s only after they’ve seen 5 cards that a decision is made as to whether they play the hand, or, they don’t play the hand.
They have no Playable Pockets Matrix (PPM), thus, they have no dictum regarding playable pockets; nor do they have any understanding of Positive Expected Value (+EV) and Negative Expected Value (-EV). [This gets a DC of 9.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS.
—- Playing suited and unsuited rag connectors. DC9
‘Bozo’ is dealt the 6 and 7 of hearts. And, he’s delighted, stupidly delighted; he automatically believes that he’ll end up with a straight or a flush.
Unfortunately, for him, the actual chance of catching either a straight or a flush is less than 2%. Which, at best, taking into account the possibility of ‘Bozo’ boarding 2 pairs, gives him about a 1 in 35 shot at winning the hand. [This gets a DC of 9.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS (not even when you’re playing heads-up).
—- No attention given to the habits of other players. DC8
‘MisterC’ is a very conservative player. He almost always folds. And, he only plays a hand when he holds pocket Aces or pocket Kings. Every ‘solid’ player at the table knows this; frankly, even the average players know it.
But, not ‘Bozo’; he never pays attention, he’s the ultimate ‘Insult to Stupidity’. So, when ‘MisterC’ goes all-in with KK, and ‘Bozo’ calls with pocket Q/9 suited, then loses, then catches the ‘dimwits’ shuttle bus to the waiting gooseneck trailer, he does so without any comprehension as to how fundamentally stupid he is. [This gets a DC of 8.] And, YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS.
Now, the above list of 11 ‘bad plays’ could be expanded to 33 or more ‘bad plays’, and, I know full well that almost all of you could easily write a synopsis of the added 22+ ‘insane’ and ‘stupid’ poker mayhem actions regularly put forth by ‘Bozo’ and the marauding band of ‘bananaheads’.
Also, I’m completely at rest with the knowledge that none of you would ever duplicate the stupidities of the marauders, and, that none of you would ever be assigned a ‘Dumbo Code’ for something you did at a poker table. Or, for something you even thought about doing at a poker table.
All of you are winners!
All of you have the words “YOU WILL NEVER DO THIS” properly matched to the 11, 22, 33, or whatever number of ‘bad plays’ exist in the game of poker.
- You do not have ‘Duh’ microbes in your head; you have functional brains and rational thoughts.
- You play the game with ‘smarts’, it’s a ‘solid’ game that you bring to the tables, your poker strategies were long ago proven to be successful, and you win money.
- Bottom line: you ain’t ‘Pukie’, you ain’t ‘Bozo’, you ain’t a ‘bananahead’, and you’ve never had the occasion to meet the Alpha Bull. Nor will you.
Yet, it’s imperative that you maintain a rigorous vigilance in your search for, and observations of, the streaming stupidities displayed by any number of ‘real money’ players.
In many respects, as was the case in my B & M (Brick and Mortar) playing days, these ‘bananaheads’ contribute a continuous flow of cash to one’s bankroll, and it would be counter productive to allow their ignorance to fall by the wayside….simply stated, you’ve got to pay attention to their inability to play poker, you’ve got to pay attention to their ‘bad plays’, and, when opportunity rules supreme, you’ve got to take advantage of the ‘knowledge base’ constructed by your clever, constant, and cohesive attentiveness.
Their money deservedly should become your money….it’s poker justice; plus, you’re the court, the judge, and the jury.
- Take their money; your judicial black robe, used as a metaphor concerning your advanced poker expertise, provides you with the subpoena and license to do so.
- Simply think of it as the marauding band of bozo’s paying court fees and big fines.
- Yet, for now, store the black robe in the closet; you don’t need it for the picture we’re about to paint.
And, the ‘worded picture’ serves a singular purpose.
In the hope of making the ‘attentiveness’ task a fun event, draw a parallel; every time you witness a stupid play.
Think of ‘Pukie’ trying to entertain the Alpha Bull while marching through a dung filled ‘farm animal’ pasture, dressed in knee-high pink tights, wearing a baby blue frilled blouse, a pastel yellow feathered hat, ankle high white socks, black shoes, twirling a baton, leading a group of 76 morons, all of whom are blowing into a child’s toot horn….then, with that picture present in your mind, laugh at PD and all of his/her ‘bananheads’ in tow.
Or, laugh now, and every time you observe a PD stupidity, remember your current laughter.
OK….leaving morons, toot horns, white socks, bad plays, and Dumbo Codes behind, let’s renew our forward progression by bringing Pot Odds and Implied Odds into a state of comprehensive understanding.
And, of significant note, once y’all have added the proper use of Pot Odds, the proper use of Implied Odds, and the ability to lay down once powerful cards (doing so when you’re not in an ‘advantaged’ position), to all of the other ‘skill sets’ you’ve already developed in your game, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT WIN MONEY WHILE PLAYING POKER.
Did you read that? I wrote the word impossible.
And, you’re 100% mandated to keep it in proper perspective. Impossible to not win money….yes !!!!
However, that ‘impossibility’ applies to ONLY low stakes poker play on the Internet. A bit more ‘info’ concerning ‘low stakes’ versus ‘high stakes’ will be presented in the final segment of this Article.
Here, then, is a brief ‘intro’ to Pot Odds and Implied Odds:
——– Pot Odds relate to the amount of money occupying the center of the table.
If, for example, there was a total of $4 in the pot, and you were considering a call of $1, your $1 would be getting Pot Odds of 4 to 1 (the $4 that is already in the pot, versus the $1 that you would need to put into the pot).
Thus, Pot Odds can be best described as follows: The current size of the pot as it relates to the amount of money that you would need to put into the pot.
——– Implied Odds relate to the amount of money that is stacked in front of the other participants who are playing in the current hand, plus the amount of money that is in the current pot.
If, for example, ‘PlayerA’ had a stack of $20, ‘PlayerB’ had a stack of $30, the pot held $4, only the three of you remained in the hand, and you needed to call a $1 bet, you would be getting Implied Odds of as much as 54 to 1 ($54 to your $1; where the $54 is comprised of PlayerA’s $20 stack, PlayerB’s $30 stack, and the Pot’s $4 (one caveat: your stack must be equal to or greater than PlayerB’s stack)).
So, Implied Odds always gets defined as follows: The cumulative total of your competitors stacks (who are playing the hand), plus the size of the current pot, less your uncovered stack amount, where the combined total of the three relates to the amount of money that you would need to put into the pot.
Next, a ‘fast-track’ summary of how you should be using Pot Odds and Implied Odds at Internet gaming sites.
- First off, make certain you understand that Pot Odds are your baseline guarantee for winning.
- Not necessarily in any one hand, but over the long-term.
- And, while the novice player might need a detailed narrative on how to use Pot odds on offense (seeking out ROI advantaged plays), or how to use Pot Odds on defense (protecting a current ‘nuts’ hand), you don’t.
Principally because each of you could write the ‘detailed narrative’.
So, any attempt by me to do so in this Article would be a waste of time. [If, by chance or circumstance, you are a novice, get out of here....immediately, you don't belong in a tutorial environment that is beyond your level of expertise; start reading the 'Building a Bankroll' and 'Expanding Your Bankroll' series of Articles.]
Also, maintain an arithmetic avenue that keeps every calculation exceedingly simple.
KISS, or Keep It Simple S@#thead (the Marine Corps version of the acronym). Don’t be using 47 unseen cards, or 46 unseen cards, when you’re in the process of determining the current Pot Odds.
ALWAYS USE THE NUMBER 50….it makes every computation easy, and it never produces an ‘out of range’ or ‘distorted’ result.
For example, post-flop, you hold 9 outs to a ‘nut’ flush.
- You’ve seen 5 cards, you’ve not seen 47 cards.
- The math: 9 in 47 gives you a 38.3% chance of catching the flush on the turn or river, while, 9 in 50 gives you a 36.0% chance of catching the flush on the turn or river.
- Who cares about the difference of 2.3%?
- It’s obvious that you have approximately a 1 in 3 chance of ending up with the ‘nut’ flush.
- And, 2 to 1 Pot Odds would make you ‘dead even’ over the long-term.
- Which, with an M16 at the ready, you have zip, zero, zilch interest in.
- What you really want would be Pot Odds of 4 to 1 or better….certainly no less than 3 to 1; but only if Implied Odds suggest that the 3 to 1 could be vastly greater.
Alternately, Implied Odds are your key to taking down monster pots.
Not necessarily in any one hand, but over the long-term.
Allow me to present just one example.
- > In late position, while holding pocket Ace/Four suited (diamonds)
- > You get to limp into a pot
- > The Small Blind (SB) limps
- > The Big Blind (BB) checks
- > And, in total, pre-flop, there are 5 players remaining in the hand.
- Remember, the suited Ace/Four in late position is a playable pocket with a +EV when all of the conditionals have been met; and, they were all met in this example.
- > Then, the flop shows 3d/5d/6s.
- > You now have a ‘nut’ 4 flush draw plus an open-end straight draw.
- > The pot holds $5, the SB bets $2, the other 3 players call, and the bet comes to you.
There is a total of $13 in the pot, and the Pot Odds on the $2 call you would need to make are 6.5 to 1.
- > Plus, each of the 4 players you’re competing against have your remaining $30 chip stack covered.
- > So, the Implied Odds are greater than 66 to 1.
- Additionally, you have 15 outs (not counting the potential for a pair of aces)….
- The 15 outs include the 9 diamonds remaining in the count of unseen cards (to make the ‘nut’ flush)
- And the three 2′s, and the three 7′s (to make the straight (the 2 and 7 of diamonds are included in the total of 9 diamonds)).
- Therefore, pre-turn, you have a 36% chance of hitting the flush, and a 24% chance of hitting the straight. Or, a near 60% likelihood of winning the hand.
In the end, not only do the Pot Odds tell you to make the $2 call, but the Implied Odds are screaming at you to make the call.
- > Yes, they’re f@#king screaming.
- > And none of us need to be graduate science students with organic chemistry as our major to understand what an incredibly advantageous position the Implied Odds have put us in.
- > Frankly, it’s even possible that ‘Pukie’ would understand that he needs to call the $2 bet.
- > We have a better than 58% chance of winning the hand.
- > Plus, we’re not only getting Pot Odds of greater than 6 to 1, we’re also getting Implied Odds of about 66 to 1.
Finally, some sage advice on a topic I mentioned earlier: more ‘info’ concerning ‘low stakes’ versus ‘high stakes’ play on the Internet.
Where, y’all must recognize that most of you have put together your bankroll while playing at NoPay. And, while that effort was both impressive and commendable, it was accomplished as a result of ‘whooping up’ on very bad players.
In all candor, it didn’t take much more than your arrival at the tables with a degree of patience, a sense of playable pockets, and a ‘player note’, or a few ‘player notes’, about the ‘farm animals’ you were competing against.
I mean, shipping players like ‘PukieDumbo’ to the farm animal pastures simply isn’t a major accomplishment. Plus, it didn’t cost you a single penny to build your bankroll, to load up the gooseneck trailer, or, to direct PD to the whereabouts of the nearest drug store….it was all free.
And, again, be mindful of the fact that your poker prowess is never meant to do ‘Pukie’ or any ‘bananhead’ harm; it’s their SOS approach to playing poker that consistently puts them in harms way….not the quality of your play.
You’ve done well, and you’re certainly prepared for poker gaming on the Internet’s felt.
Yet, as previously stated, your poker cash gaming needs to be restricted to ‘low stake’ poker play.
And, for current purposes, we’ll define ‘low stake’ as follows: cash games of no greater than $1/$2 tables, MTT games of no greater than $10 buy-in’s, and SNG games of no greater than $5 buy-ins.
Plus, all of the preceding is always subject to the 5% bankroll management rule.
Quite naturally, many of you might be asking the questions; “Why exclude ‘high stake’ play”? “Why can’t I use my ever expanding bankroll in bigger games”?
And, there are a number of very good answers to both questions.
—- First, and foremost, as the stake levels increase, the level of cheating increases (collusion, bots, and algorithms).
—- Second, as the stake levels increase, the ‘Quality of Play’ increases (more skilled players, fewer ‘Pukie’ clones).
—- Third, as the stake levels increase, the rationale for playing at a Brick and Mortar venue increases (reading tells, serious player notes, deceits, and other poker skills get added to your game; resulting in more advantaged play and higher ROI’s (please read the ‘Brick and Mortar’ series of Articles)).
—- Fourth, as the stake levels increase, the probability of slamming yourself head-first into the ‘Peter Principle’ brick wall increases (surely an uncomfortable thought, but a realty).
Last, please note that Article 7 of this series (the last Article; not only in this series, but also the last Article to be written for NoPayPoker) will not be posted until December 1st. My schedule is filled with 7 weeks of travel between late August and mid November….some of which is holiday related, and some of which is poker related; lectures, classrooms, and private tutoring. I’ll be in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Vermont, Quebec, Spain, and Mexico. And, while I’ll be both working and having fun, I expect y’all to be winning money and having fun at the Internet gaming sites
Best of Luck at the Tables,
(c) copyright, September, 2011; all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais