Blog Wars: The Blogger Strikes Back

Pushing a button would not add greatly to a dealer’s workload, but Justin Buchanan thinks it’s just a little too much to ask.

So the first time Justin Buchanan (aka Lheticus) took issue with one of my blog pieces, he at least had the decency to say I had a cool name. This time, he said I was a “snarker.” Well if that’s the way he wants to play it, then so be it.

This time, Buchanan (aka Whine-icus) took issue with a couple of my suggestions in my column, Poker Commissioner, including that poker needs some sort of clock to keep the action moving.

Actually, he didn’t so much disagree with the need for a clock, rather, he felt the way I proposed to implement a clock was too cumbersome. I wrote that the dealer could be in charge of a digital clock, which would be positioned where every player at the table could see it, and he would activate it when he felt a player was taking too long. The clock would be automatically set to one minute and would reset each time the dealer hit the button.

Justin’s contention is that dealers have enough to do already between managing the pot, shuffling and dealing cards and prompting players when it is their turn. I suppose he does have a point there, but I still don’t think it would be that hard to ask them to PUSH A DAMN BUTTON every once in a while.

And that might be the rub with Justin’s generation. They are used to asking their phone to tell them the time or to find the nearest Starbucks so they can get the latest Mocha espresso latte with just a dollop of cinnamon in the foam and a Kale smoothie with a hint of eucalyptus. If they didn’t have their phone to tell them what to do, I’m not sure some of these 20-somethings could get out of bed in the morning.

Buchanan also took issue with my edict on player chat at the tables. I’m not surprised that Buchanan is one who favors players being able to ask asinine questions of their opponents during a hand – “Do you have pocket aces?” “Will you show if I fold?” – or thinks it’s okay to prattle on endlessly when you’re not in a hand.

This younger generation today thinks everything revolves around them and their endless circle of imaginary friends on social media. It must be a generational thing, but when I’m involved in a hand I don’t want to hear a bunch of mindless, psycho-babble. Maybe Justin’s right and I have become one of those fuddy duddies, who I used to complain about when I was his age. I don’t know.

I suppose there are a few things Justin and I agree on. Playing poker is fun. Writing about playing poker is a blast. And CardsChat is a great poker forum. Now let’s see if he can take issue with any of those statements!

Crushing the Capped Game

Most of my poker experience, live and online, has been with multi-table tournaments. I think what I like about tournaments is that there is a definite goal. You buy in, you play and when you get knocked out or you are the last man standing, it’s over. When playing a cash game, it’s sometimes difficult to know when to leave (unless you bust your bankroll), and the players seem less friendly.

Last week night, I got put onto a 10/25 NLHE “capped” table at America’s Card Room. I had never played a capped table before, and it was an eye-opening experience. The table was capped at $7.50. That meant that the total any player could bet on each hand was $7.50.

One of the first hands I played, I got A-8 suited (diamonds) in an early position so I raised it up to 75 cents preflop, what I thought was a pretty much standard 3xBB bet. Five people called.

The flop came up with two diamonds and no pair. I checked it to see if I could get a free shot at hitting the nut flush. Somebody bet $1, and two others called before it got to me, so I easily called. The turn was a glorious 2 of diamonds, giving me the nuts. So I led with a max bet of $5.75, and all three other players called! The river was a brick and I scooped a pot of about $30 after the rake.

I was really surprised by the action at the table. I figured they were playing the cap game because they were looking to minimize their losses and keep the pots small. Boy, was I wrong! It seemed like the cap made players play very loosely. Almost every flop was seen by three or four, sometimes more, players. And it seemed about half the hands that went to showdown featured a max bet. I was surprised by how many people would call max bets on speculative hands.

I ended up that night with a profit of almost $30. I haven’t returned to a capped table since, but I think I’ll give it another shot one of these nights.

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