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Old 12-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
Cloverfield
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Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

I have to laugh though I'm a little bit in shock. A regular game we've been playing in every week for about 4 years was just cancelled indefinitely over the phone.

The host (who is still a good friend of mine) and I had a "terse" conversation where he complained about a big hand that occurred in the last game where I stacked him and another player.

Hand in question (for anyone who cares... I probably wouldn't but I was in the hand)

Hero (me) on the dealer button.

UTG = Villain #1 = weak tight/loose defy all logic plays hunches understands zero math generally terrible player is under the gun.

Host is UTG+1 who likes to raise a lot preflop and is a good player but will greatly overvalue one pair hands and most of the time tries to win it all pre-flop (as if it were a tournament) but is capable of mixing up his play. Effective stacks are basically 100X BB (we play for small stakes so I will just use BB etc.)

UTG terrrible player raises to 4X BB, Host calls, fold around to me on the button with 67 suited. I call. blinds fold.

Flop is 6 6 5

UTG best 1/2 pot, Host raises about 80% of the pot, I just call.

UTG re-raises the pot, host calls, I think of their ranges and figure if one of them has a full house they got me. (a 6 with a better kicker is not much of a possibility with the pre-flop action but you can never tell for sure what the "hunch player" has) butI put them on overpairs (maybe 10's and Jacks) so I shove. They both call, to my surprise, UTG has AA and Host has KK. For once my hand holds up (it's been a brutal year for me in these kinds of situations) we move on blah blah blah.

So fast forward to today and the host says he wants to alter the structure of the game so that people will fold preflop to raises and then said that my call in that hand was a perfect example of too many people staying in. In his mind he re-raised big pre-flop and I called with 6 7 which isn't true. I think he was waiting for someone in late position to raise so he could re-raise and things didn't work out for him. (he tends to be delusional when it comes to remembering how hands played out)

I just laughed and suggested that we just play with two cards face-up and the best two cards wins the pot and pointed out that he still would have lost that hand. He then said we don't have to play anymore because he is bored with Poker and now it's over just like that.

I'm thinking of bringing him an excerpt from No-Limit Theory and Practice showing that I was in an IDEAL situation to see a flop in position with suited connectors for a standard raise namely two players who overvalue one pair hands offering implied odds but he is stubborn and the odds are he won't change his mind or take too kindly to being told that he offers excellent implied odds.

Oh well. Just wanted to vent and share a hand that shows that sometimes the implied odds don't calculate in the odds of the game being cancelled due to angry cooler victims.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Angry host loses pot. Takes ball. [Stays] home.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

I'm not sure it was the hand so much as you laughing at him afterwards. You made him feel stupid and played like a fool in his own home. Giving him more proof that he's wrong isn't going to help.

In general, when people complain about hands you won against them, do what you can to agree. You got lucky, you've lost plenty yourself to hands like that, you know how it is, sorry bro', whatever.

"Actually, you're wrong about how the hand played, and wrong about poker theory in general," may not be what you said, but it's probably what he heard. It sounds like he was ready to shut down the game anyway, but your comments may have pushed him over the edge. :/ Do everything you can to keep the host HAPPY, even if you feel challenged. Otherwise... this.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Semi-related, my WSOP game has - pretty much - lost one of the regular donators.

He's convinced himself that he's a tournament player now, and that he shouldn't be playing cash. Unfortunately, he's just a poker player that still learning, and he's rationalizing short runs of luck in one format as a reason to not keep getting embarrassed in the other. We are gracious about shearing this particular sheep -- who has plenty of wool -- but eventually even repeated shearings take their toll.

No amount of explanation of where the problems lie has worked.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #5
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Yeah, proving to him that he is wrong will really help. It is just more of what pissed him off.

It is better to not argue about correct strategy, whether you win or lose.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Well the thing is we play for very small stakes with the understanding that we try to "play right" (whatever that means) even though the stakes are small and we actually talk about strategy and such. I've been reading more "advanced" material than him (this site, Skylanski books and other strategy books vs. his "Power Poker" and Hellmuth's book which is as deep as he's ever delved into it)

As for laughing at him, he is the biggest obnoxious bragger when he wins you could ever find. One of his main strategies is to put people on tilt.

I think the main thing is that he is a good player who thinks he is better than he is and doesn't want to learn any more and is throwing a hissy fit. (which he does from time to time) I also agree that he was looking for an excuse to end it. He's been saying that he doesn't like poker for a while now.

I will see him in about an hour so I will see if the other players have gotten him to give in. His wife is the main one... and I think she may override his hissy fit.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

I love playing with guys like that. He'll get over it, just don't rub his nose in it anymore. And don't play back when he calls you a fish
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

So fast forward to today and the host says he wants to alter the structure of the game so that people will fold preflop to raises

Just wondering how he would alter the game so players would fold to preflop raises.

If he thinks your playing wrong, then thats good, thats what you want
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Make the max BI at 10BB?
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Every year, many many people quit poker, or at least quit playing in a particular game or so often, because they just aren't good enough and don't put in the time and effort to compete.

However, probably less than 1% tell themselves "I'm just not good enough" or "I don't put in the time and effort to be competitive." They say things like "I'm a better tournament player" or "you can't be profitable at these stakes" or "it's rigged" or "my opponents are too dumb so the variance is crazy" or "proper strategy for this structure is too boring" or "people call to many raises preflop".

Host wants to quit poker, that's his decision. Don't expect his rationale to align with his motivation.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

People like the "host" in the OP are the very soul of the following quote:

"As soon as you can determine that you are in the right, apologize immediately".

Usually it applies to wives, but w/e . . .
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:50 AM   #12
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

sounds like your host needs to try pot-limit omaha.

Btw, why didn't you 3-bet pre in this spot?
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:03 AM   #13
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Originally Posted by dismalstudent99 View Post
Btw, why didn't you 3-bet pre in this spot?
Squeeze with 76s in this situation? When OP describes the original raiser as:

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defy all logic plays hunches understands zero math generally terrible player is under the gun
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:13 PM   #14
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Originally Posted by dismalstudent99 View Post
sounds like your host needs to try pot-limit omaha.

Btw, why didn't you 3-bet pre in this spot?
Now that is funny. Oh we did PL Omaha for about two weeks. He couldn't stand that his high pocket pairs were getting cracked so often because he "couldn't get people to fold pre-flop". (have you found the pattern?)


As lanyi said, UTG defies all logic and is generally unbluffable if she catches any part of a flop and once she raises, she does not fold pre. Also Host has a couple of pre-flop tells that I have figured out over the years with a good 80% plus accuracy rate when he does them (I almost always end up directly on his right during our cash game because of the way the host sets things up based on when I arrive so I pay keen attention to his pre-flop posturing and mannerisms.) Example: When he rests his chin in his hand and watches what people are doing before he acts, he is almost always going to raise. This is obviously good stuff to be able to pick up on from his right.

This week I got there earlier than normal and was able to sit on the opposite end of the table (he is the best of the other players there so I would prefer to be to his right)

In this case, he thought for a while before calling the preflop raise and then put his palms together (in sort of a "and now we wait" pose) which I've noticed he has done when he thinks he is "setting a trap". I can't say this one is as reliable as the chin-resting tell but I was suspicious.

Also the small blind (who I am surprised didn't call) is a LAG who couldn't care less if he lost 50 buy ins as long as he has the occasional big wins. He has the ability to know that he is behind in a hand (or will think he is) and will still call. Basically it's hard to be a thief in a town full of sheriff's.

Update: I didn't talk to host last night, I think he was avoiding me. He did send out an email to the players saying "will let you know when we start up again." I think that after a month off he will start it back up. In the meantime I'm going to try to get the LAG to host a game at his giant house. (I would do it but I do not have room in my current house... but I'm moving and the new place has a promising room.)
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Yeah, but can you pick up on his oreo cookie tell or his double eye blink scratch the left ear while staring off into space tell?

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This week I got there earlier than normal and was able to sit on the opposite end of the table (he is the best of the other players there so I would prefer to be to his right)
If he's one of the best players, why are you wanting to sit on his right?
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:23 PM   #16
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

Relative position? If I have a choice between a strong player or a calling station to my right, I'd rather the calling station. The smarter player is more likely to understand my bets and get out of my way. Plus, if he's playing aggressively, I can see how the entire table reacts to his bets before I consider isolating and out-playing.

Tho' I'd prefer the stronger players be exactly across the table from me, but if it's between a strong player and a calling station to my right, I take the latter every time.

(Or maybe it was a typo.)
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:24 PM   #17
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Yeah, but can you pick up on his oreo cookie tell or his double eye blink scratch the left ear while staring off into space tell?



If he's one of the best players, why are you wanting to sit on his right?
oops. Sorry, I meant left. He usually arranges it so I am on his right so I had to adapt but it definitely makes it a harder game than it should be... or should have been. (using past tense now seems odd)

Being on his right all of the time was why I have the pre-flop tells on him. I don't have any pre-flop tells on any of the other players. I had some tells (I'm sure I still have some) but they would always tell me what I had done to tip off my hand when they would make the right play against me (they noticed that if I used two hands to stack up my bet I had a hand) so I made sure to use it as a reverse tell or just try to eliminate it altogether.

Come to think of it, that probably has contributed to his "hating poker" too as I've been ramping up my trapping and 3 betting pre-flop in the past month or so.

I've been talking to another regular and he seems to think it will all blow over in a month or so and that the Host is just in his normal "I'm never wrong and every play I make is correct but all others should follow the rules as Phil Hellmuth wrote them!" mode.

For the record I don't think I'm a great player but I do read and put a little effort into trying to be a decent player so I'm better than average. (this thread reads like I think I'm King Turd on S#it Island)
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:44 PM   #18
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Relative position? If I have a choice between a strong player or a calling station to my right, I'd rather the calling station. The smarter player is more likely to understand my bets and get out of my way. Plus, if he's playing aggressively, I can see how the entire table reacts to his bets before I consider isolating and out-playing.

Tho' I'd prefer the stronger players be exactly across the table from me, but if it's between a strong player and a calling station to my right, I take the latter every time.

(Or maybe it was a typo.)
Across the table is where I chose to sit this last week when "Handmageddon" occurred. He is aggressive and once the flop hits his aggression combined with his over-valuation of one pair hands makes it hard to play most hands while oop but I was able to use relative position as well using the squeeze play when I was pretty sure he was going to raise pre. (the chin-rest tell)

But overall life was much easier when on his left or across the table.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #19
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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So fast forward to today and the host says he wants to alter the structure of the game so that people will fold preflop to raises

Just wondering how he would alter the game so players would fold to preflop raises.

If he thinks your playing wrong, then thats good, thats what you want
I am kinda curious how the host was going to go about making sure weak hands didn't see flops. Like if there is a raise pre of 2x BB or more you have to have at least a 9 high and if there is a raise of 4x the BB you must have at least a J high. etc...

Bad players tend not to think like what you wrote in the bold.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:14 PM   #20
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

What you want from the player on your left is predictability. I don't mind having the strongest player at the table on my left if he's a nit. I'd much rather have position on a calling station than on a tight player, even if the tight player is dangerous when he's in a hand.

This is why being to the right of a true maniac is good. You already know what he's going to do (raise), so being on his left doesn't give you any new information. Getting to see what the rest of the table does before you act is the genuinely useful info.

Where a player on your left will make you miserable is if he's an aggressive raiser. If he recognizes your iso-raises and comes over the top of them with anything like a balanced range, get a seat or table change. If he mostly lets you get away with it by only raising his strong hands, life is good.

[a common situation actually is for two solid players to sit next to each other and basically take turns iso-raising. It's a prisoner's dilemma situation, where if the player on the left tries to exploit the situation at the expense of the oop shark, the sharks start getting into a 3b/4b or seat-change war and just push money back and forth to each other, instead of feasting on the fish. If the oop shark iso-raises too much, obviously the in-position shark can put him in his place. -- from the "how to softplay and kill the poker ecosystem handbook."]

If you have solid tells on the player on your left, it's almost as good as having him on your right, because you already know what he's going to do!


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Originally Posted by Cloverfield View Post
Come to think of it, that probably has contributed to his "hating poker" too as I've been ramping up my trapping and 3 betting pre-flop in the past month or so.

lol! that would do it.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #21
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

I rather have position on the fish then on the better players. Maybe he thinks the same?
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:47 PM   #22
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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I am kinda curious how the host was going to go about making sure weak hands didn't see flops. Like if there is a raise pre of 2x BB or more you have to have at least a 9 high and if there is a raise of 4x the BB you must have at least a J high. etc...

Bad players tend not to think like what you wrote in the bold.
He wanted to either increase the buy-ins and blinds (because he thinks nobody cares about the money so they aren't playing "properly") or just play limit so that quote: "people don't call a raise with crap like 6-7 and beat Aces and Kings for their whole stack". He doesn't get that I think in terms of X BB and stack size not X dollars.

I am all for increasing buy in and blinds because we did do that for a month and I was loving it and doing very well but a few of the players "lost too much money" (the hosts wife being one) so it was ramped back down. Same thing happened when I tried to introduce Pineapple and PLO. Pineapple because there were "too many sets beating big pocket pairs" lol.

I don't want to play limit. I just find it boring and with the calling stations it's watching them play bingo all the way to the river while I play every 10th hand or so and hope to hit.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:54 PM   #23
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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I am all for increasing buy in and blinds because we did do that for a month and I was loving it and doing very well but a few of the players "lost too much money" (the hosts wife being one) so it was ramped back down. Same thing happened when I tried to introduce Pineapple and PLO. Pineapple because there were "too many sets beating big pocket pairs" lol.
Wow, you seem hell-bent on destroying this game. Increasing stakes, PLO, NL Pineapple... these are perfect ways to skin weak players early in the night, and ensure they stay away for a long, long time.

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I don't want to play limit. I just find it boring and with the calling stations it's watching them play bingo all the way to the river while I play every 10th hand or so and hope to hit.
Staying in a good game isn't playing what you want, it's playing what they want. Fixed Limit is a great game, and allows weaker players to stick around longer, which ensures everybody has a better time, which helps keep the game alive long-term.

What are some of the similarities between your looking down at FL as you know it right now, and your friend's looking down at NL as he knows it right now? What are you goals with this game for yourself? For your friend? For the group?

I think maybe y'all want different things out of the game. It's no wonder there's tension.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:59 PM   #24
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Wow, you seem hell-bent on destroying this game. Increasing stakes, PLO, NL Pineapple... these are perfect ways to skin weak players early in the night, and ensure they stay away for a long, long time.



Staying in a good game isn't playing what you want, it's playing what they want. Fixed Limit is a great game, and allows weaker players to stick around longer, which ensures everybody has a better time, which helps keep the game alive long-term.

What are some of the similarities between your looking down at FL as you know it right now, and your friend's looking down at NL as he knows it right now? What are you goals with this game for yourself? For your friend? For the group?

I think maybe y'all want different things out of the game. It's no wonder there's tension.
Very excellent points esteemed kitty.

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I don't want to play limit. I just find it boring and with the calling stations it's watching them play bingo all the way to the river while I play every 10th hand or so and hope to hit.
To me, this statement shows as much misunderstanding of limit poker as the host's problems with getting people to fold. Limit is a different game, but it can be a great game.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:04 PM   #25
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Re: Regular game just cancelled because host doesn't understand cash game strategy

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Relative position? If I have a choice between a strong player or a calling station to my right, I'd rather the calling station. The smarter player is more likely to understand my bets and get out of my way. Plus, if he's playing aggressively, I can see how the entire table reacts to his bets before I consider isolating and out-playing.

Tho' I'd prefer the stronger players be exactly across the table from me, but if it's between a strong player and a calling station to my right, I take the latter every time.

(Or maybe it was a typo.)
Preference I guess about right or left, but I do like the across the table spot.

A stronger player, who by nature is probably more aggressive, can make your life miserable when he is behind you and you are trying to iso weak players to your right. I don't mind a weak calling station behind me as I am confident I play better post flop and they will rarely put me in tough spots.
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