December was a month for hair-pulling, if I had any. A lot of thoughts have come up and gone away, as my goals drifted into oblivion, thanks mainly to a complete lack of cooperation on the part of Real Life.

I played a lot of poker during the month, some of it well. Got my first cash in a 360 man SNG, and boosted my playmoney bankroll to over 700K for the first time in months. Started playing FLO8 cash games because I can play higher stakes profitably there, and have funded a number of micro HE tourneys with that, as well as getting over 30 VPPs. Should be in the money in the OSL again, but not high enough to get into the premier league.

With the holidays interrupting the training programs, I have had more time to read (and comment in) the forums, adding my free advice to the expertise of the hand analysts.

I am fortunate at my age (63) that my doctor is trying to find ways of raising my blood pressure rather than lowering it, so frustration and aggravation are actually good for me.

This title of this episode comes from som of the thoughts that have arisen during my reading of the forums.

BAD POKER

I bomb out of many tournaments because of bad poker. Sometimes it's mine, more often it's that of someone else. I can accept being beaten by somebody who has a good reason for being in the hand, it's different when there's no way they should have called my initial raise.

There is a growing tendency in the micro stakes I have to play to limp in with strong as well as weak hands. This is giving a free ride to those marginal (and poor) hands that turn into monsters on the flop. In turn, it is also encouraging those weak and marginal hands to call more initial raises to see if they can get a monster on the flop. It has gotten so I am folding many decent hands when there are a lot of limpers because my odds of winning have dropped dramaticly. Lets look at pocket aces, the strongest hand preflop. Against one opponent, they are 85% favorites. Against 2, they drop to 73%, and so on. Why would you want to encourage more people to stay in? A similar progression for AK and AQ means that your chances of winning are less than 50% if 3 people stay in against you.

RANDOM NUMBERS

There have been more than the usual number of threads in the forum started (and stopped) on the issue of the 'riggedness' of the dealing in Pokerstars. Because I haven't seen it pointed out before, and because I trust the RNG used here, I want to point out a mathematical reality. If anything, the cards dealt on any online poker site are MORE random than you will get in a live game. If the RNG is good enough to get certified, then the cards you just saw could end up anywhere in the deck. The way most physical decks are shuffled, half of the cards you just saw are likely to be in the top half of the deck, so you will see them the next hand. Standard shuffling does not 'randomise' the cards, it just mixes them up a bit. Physically shuffling the cards to achieve a more random result would take time that most live players would not be happy with.

 

I'm not reviewing 2013 because I've only been here since the end of August. Goals will be set on a monthly basis, so I'm not looking at 2014 as a whole (and hoping it won't be a hole).

Good luck for the New Year, at the tables and in RL.