Sunday, December 28, 2003

Russ Gorgiev - GCA Poker Blogs

"The commonest mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; happens at the poker table all the time."
General David Shoup

Quick post of a few random thoughts.

Anyone else notice Russ Gorgiev's - GCA conspicuous absence from RGP? For the record, he sent me a nice holiday greetings email. Sorry Russ, I'm still not giving you my credit card number even if your mythical site ever goes live.

I truly look forward to reading Felicia Lee every day. I'd be happy if I could be half as interesting as her. If you aren't a member, go join her Yahoo group now - you won't regret it. She's having to deal with a significant other who isn't quite as successful as she at the poker tables. Imagine the quandry if your (losing poker playing) mate refuses to read poker books and asks you to "recap them." Yikes! A must read.

For my long-time readers, you've read my trip reports to Lexington for the monthly BlueGrass Poker Series, a no-limit tournament set up to send a player to the WSOP this coming spring. Sadly, I received this email over the weekend.

"I appreciate your inquiry about renting a room at ********* for you and your friends to play cards. Unfortunately, we cannot provide
accommodations for you until we get confirmation from the proper local and state authorities that there is no state law or city ordinance that would prohibit this type of activity."

I was waiting for this. Their setup has been TOO perfect. Huge banquet room, lavish cash bar and smoking allowed. I kept wondering how they got away with it.

I'm gonna keep alive the idea of a poker blogger sit and go. I have written PokerStars asking if they would allow us a no-limit SNG at their site. I'll prolly get shot down, but it's worth a try.

I'm gonna go sit some NL ring games. Wish me luck.

I leave you with this post analyzing (who else?) Phil Helmuth and his style of play in NL tournaments for all you WSOP wanna-be's. Hopefully, one of us lucky bloggers will win a seat in the Big One this year and can actually use this advice to knock his ass out.

Operative statement:
"Folding to reraises is often a poor pot odds decision that many allow by stating Tournament strategy supersedes pot odds."

Phil Hellmuth Question:
I am curious about the wisdom of Phil's chronic "offended" reaction /
constant belittling of players who call with weak hands against him (like
his reaction to Sam Grizzle calling his pre-flop raise when Sam held a weak K-J offsuit). If you believe he is simply unable to control himself, stop
reading (and, you might be right).

Lee Munzer's reply about Phil Hellmuth:

From Phil's perspective:

He wants to be called by players who hold weak hands. By "intimidating" us he might stop us from calling him headsup when we hold real junk like 10s-9s or 4-4. That's bad for Phil. But, I think what he really wants to
accomplish is having us fold to his many steal raises when we hold marginal hands like 8-8 or A-J and he semi-bluff/steal raises with A-x or 6-6. If he can accomplish that goal, he wins big by intimidating us (takes the pot with the worse cards). He also can *reraise* with 7-7 and wants us to fold 9-9 or two connecting overcards. Folding to reraises is often a poor pot odds decision that many allow by stating T strategy supersedes pot odds. When Phil makes us fold to his reraise, that's almost always what he wants (unless he holds A-AS or K-K). So, on balance, by attempting to bolster our calling requirements through "fear of harassment" I wonder if Phil Helmuth gains or loses equity against the average T player?

From our perspective:
In most situations we should consider calling Phil's raise or reraise more
than we should consider the average player's raise. We should also try to
put him in when the decision is close (between call and raise). Why?
Because Phil can raise and reraise pre-flop with a larger array of hands
than most (similar to Phil Ivey). In addition, Phil Helmuth lays down many coin-flip situations because he loses his self-perceived skill edge. Finally, from the other side of the equation (analyzing our opponents), Phil Helmuth is a very good (if not top ten) player, thus we should be more willing to gamble with him pre-flop as opposed to outplaying him on the flop or "gambling" with a poor player.


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