July 26th, 2005

VM - smile

Weekend update

... I know I was going to write something on my thoughts about women and poker, but I still don't have a coherent block of thoughts for it. So what I wrote Friday will have to do for now.

I seem to be taking after April in more ways than one: my iPod has to go in for battery repair as well. We didn't tell the technician that this is because I spilled my diet soda into my purse on Saturday which is where she was hanging out. I say she, because that's what the tech support guy called her, though she's still nameless.

So, Friday I headed out to the boats, and the $400 / $1000 game was seriously like playing on Party Poker. There were two major polliwogs hanging out at the table, and it was fantastic. I had the drunk really horrible player LAG to my right, and when I raise the straddle ($20 to go instead of $10) $100 to $20 total, everyone else at the table folds, because they play with me often and this is a signal that I have one of two hands: AA or KK. The drunk guy says, "I'll give you a loose call..." and tosses in the money, and he's got $300 behind. The flop comes out 10 high, and I bet enough to put him all in, which turns out to be a mistake, as he shows me QJ offsuit! Daaaaaamn. Had I known it was THAT loose, I'd have just bet $125. And it was nice that my AA held up to KK and JJ, even with a flop of 884. To show you the kind of table image I have, I bet what I think is the pot (but turns out to be a bit of an overbet at $300 instead of $240), and the KK and JJ fold with overpairs to the board. ChaCHING. So, that was a pleasant +$1500 night.

Saturday was the birthday tourney, which I was debating even playing in. I decided to play a $20 satellite, and got sucked out on twice and I Go to the Cash Game Now. I don't do much there because I play for 20 min, and then the tournament starts, which breaks the cash game. After a horrible first deal which includes misdealing, and then dumping my soda into my purse, I manage to take 8th in the tourney, which of course, doesn't pay anything because only the top 4 play. Alas. So, off to the cash game for me, which is a $100 max table, playing shorthanded. Normally I hate playing shorthanded, but I managed to run over the table on this one - I bluffed someone out of a $150 pot because I could tell he hated his hand, and I wasn't going to win with my 24d any other way. I even showed the bluff, and the guy said, "uh, so what's on the board?" while Mike just looks at me and smiles, knowing I made an excellent move. It's one of the rare girl bluffs, I tell you.

Then a few seats opened up at the $200 max table, so I took my $300 and moved over there. I was forced to lay down what was probably the better full house when an A 6 A flop turned a 9 (to my pocket 9s) and then the 6 came on the river. I should have called the $25 bet into the $100 pot, but I was stupid. Needless to say, after that I had it out for that guy, who is SO not a good player, and played a couple crazy hands in the hopes of hitting him where it hurt. One of those lovely hands was J3d on the button, and the flop came down 8 3 3. The guy bets into me for $25, I smooth call. Turn is a 6, he bets $75 which would put me all in. Point in case that he's not that great of a player - what did he think I was calling that flop with? I perk up at that point, and Mike puts down the river, another three. He then says, which makes me laugh, "What do you say, Heather?"

"Them's QUADS, bitches!"

Then at the last hand of the night, Glenn kills* it for $6 ($1/$2 blinds here), Max raises to $20, I look at 2d4d, and decide what the heck, and call. Flop comes down Kd 4s Qd. Alex bets out $30. I raise to $100, prepared to go all in on this if I have to do so. Max looks consternated, and I flip over the 4d and this puts him even further into the tank. He asks me if I have a set, I tell him it's possible, but at the very least I have a hand I'm willing to put all the chips in with. I tell him, if he wants, I'll give him the $30 back since it's the end of the night and we'll leave it be.

He continues to ruminate, and finally says, "I don't think you'd offer to give me my money back if I have a set" (totally untrue, I just wanted to go home and take the pot, but anyway) and he pushes all in. I call, and don't hit, and IGN, +75 in the cash game instead of +375. Boo. Of course, before this, Ray played Max's chips drunk and crazy, and managed to beat me anyway. Sigh. But it was a fun evening.

I even managed to win $46 at the HOE game last night too, so that's not so bad.

* they play this really in-freaking-sane kill in NL where you can kill for any amount, and to play, you need to bet double the kill. The kill must be double the Big Blind, so the initial bet is going to be at least 4xBB. Plus, if you put in the kill, you're the very last to act - even if there are raises, re-raises, etc. All the other players' action finishes before you decide what to do with your hand. Supposedly this is normal in California, but what the HELL???
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My thoughts on women in poker

All right, after a heated (mostly on my part because this is one of my hot buttons) discussion with AL on IM today, plus a link from the poker blogfather, I figure I might as well clarify my unorthodox view of women in poker, and the women tournaments.

First, a little primer of where I stand here.

Then, I need to state for the record, that I absolutely LOVE being a girl at the poker tables. I love that my skills are underestimated, leading everyone to overestimate my hand when I lead the betting into the pot. I adore being soft-played by the guys who don't want to take my money. I snicker to myself when I am given bets back on the river by men. I am thrilled when LawyerMark comes by my table and asks the boys, "Why does the GIRL have all the chips? Did you guys get beat by a GIRL? Man, that must SUCK!" He, of course, knows I am amused and pleased when he does this, which is why this goes on in the first place. I am also very keen on the idea that I get lessons from better players, because I am an intelligent, funny and generally nice GIRL.

I have also come to just recently realize that I am a much better player than most of the guys that sit at my table; there are few players that I think are better than I am that I play against with regularity. I play in the 2nd biggest limit in the casino on a regular basis (enough that everyone there knows me by name), and I've even sat in the larger limit game and held my own (except in the PLO portion, but we won't go into that).

So, when I say I'm a good female player, I think I've got enough evidence to back this statement up.

Now, to the point of my post - my thoughts on women in poker: While I think women have a distinct advantage in being able to read people, their patience, and the fact that ego is not a huge factor in a woman's play, I think they have a huge disadvantage due to a lack of natural aggression, in general. And from here on out, I'm going to drop the in general part, because obviously there are women who are aggressive, but I think we can all agree that in general, women are less aggressive, even when their reads are right.

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That's why I stand by my opinion that out of 100 males, x will become good/great poker players, and out of 100 females, y will become great poker players, and x > y for quite some time.

Which, you know, is okay in my book: more men for me!
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