Friday, November 24, 2006

Razz Variances, Ecch

Once or week or so I'm overcome by the poker version of full-moon fever, and as if by wishes of the puppetmaster above, I find myself again sitting down to a few hands of razz. Now, I'm no great shakes at the game, but I grew up playing stud games and I'm a helluva better at razz than at Omaha, a game at which I well and truly suck.

Anyhow, playing razz, especially down at the $2/4 level where you'll see stuff as what's to follow, involves huge, huge swings for a limit game. The first couple of nights I played after the influx of players post-UIGEA signing, I could not lose; the last few weeks I haven't been able to win, bricking out time and again in situations where I've had way the best of it before 6th and 7th street decided my fate.

But that's poker, of course.

Still, it's tough not to shake one's head when confronted with players such as what you'll see in this screen grab:

I'm at the bottom, having just served up another mandatory opening bet, then bowing out of the way. I'd already identified the three players to my right as people I wanted to play razz against, including one ultra calling station and two over-loose types who wanted to mix it up with door cards up to and including kings.

Take a close look at the holdings of the player at upper right, in this hand-history capture. Even assuming that he had the best possible of the two of his three hole cards --- Full Tilt randomizes these before exposing them at hand's end --- it means that after four cards the player held A-3-6-6, and after five cards the butt-ugly A-3-6-6-6. Two other players were in the hand, at least one bet was made at every stop, and he kept calling bets with trips on the board. And, oh, yes, he went runner-runner suckout to overtake both opponents and win the hand.

Ecch, indeed. I tried hard, I really did, but finally shook my head and moved on after dropping about five big bets in an hour and a half. Off to, where I sat down in a cheesy 2/4 short-handed game (actually the second-highest limit game running at the time on the site). That excursion was just as funny --- the player to my left would cold-call --- even for three bets --- with any two from the button or cutoff. He nailed me for a big pot early on, but I'll take that sort of player at the table any time, on my left, across the way, hanging from the chandelier or whatever. I clipped him back a few times and by the time he left, I was up about 15 big bets, most at his expense.

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