22 August 2006

More on Simmons' "Bad" Beat

I woke up this morning a bit irritated. I'm not sure if I'm upset at myself, for not pushing my sarcasm hard enough, or at my friend who didn't seem to catch that "favoritest" was a cue word. Regardless, I'm in a crappy mood and now feel I must properly analyze Bill Simmons' poker beat.

First off, let me point out that although I've said before that Billy-boy is living in a dark closet, it's beneath me to use gender-based insults. From now on, I'll refer to the Boston Bonehead as "Brandon Walsh". That behind us, let's get on to the poker
-after the jump...

Anyone who's read Brandon on poker catches on that he thinks an awful lot of his game. He gives all the credit in the world to the pros, but thinks everyone else is a boob. Now, I've certainly been the fish at poker tables before. It's a crappy feeling, but the only way to get through that stage is to read and practice and get beaten. At least, I thought that was the only way. Brandon has found another: delude yourself into thinking you out-class anyone you've never heard of.

Let's look at this "bad" beat. He'd been at a table for two hours with a loose, trash-talking, "wild Internet qualifier" (WIQ) who kept showing his bluff cards. Brandon "wanted to pick him off". Quick raise of hands: who sees the fish at the table? Is it the "wild Internet qualifier" or is it the man whose ego has come into play? Is it the player who early on established a table image as insane, or the one who believed that table image? Let's move on to the hand.

With K10 suited, Brandon called a pretty hefty pre-flop raise to $550 (I don't know what the blinds were at this point, but since they were only two hours in, I'm guessing this was an approriate bet in the 4x or 5x big blind size. Maybe it was even bigger, but I don't know.) Anyway, Brandon and two other players called and saw the flop with the raiser. Flop's a monster. K-10-6. Brandon didn't mention the suit, so I'll assume rainbow. Of course, it could have been that WIQ got four to his flush.

WIQ "came barreling in for another $1,200." Wow. He sounds really aggressive. Of course, there was $2200 in the pot, so this was only a half-pot bet, but Brandon really sells it as over-the-top. When we see the cards, we'll see that this was a perfectly sized bet, by the way. So Brandon did some calculations and decided to go all-in. Again, he didn't say how much stack he had left (though he was covered by WIQ's $20K.) Still, based on the fact that he'd won a big hand and then coasted for awhile, let's assume he had $12K left. That made his all-in bet here about $11.5K at a $3400 pot.

Yeah, I'd think he was buying the pot, too.

The most likely hands one would put Brandon on for that re-raise (and the smooth call pre-flop) are QQ, JJ, KQ, KJ, A10, AQ, or AJ. In other words, all hands that were dominated by the AK turned over by the WIQ. Now, it must have been a donkey punch to see the two-pair. He'd have thought he had a dominating hand and been outplayed by an overbet at the pot. But he still had outs.

Even if he had no flush options (which again, I can't tell from the story as told,) he had three aces, and any runner-runner combination of QQ, JJ, or QJ. He was way behind, but did have outs. But, and this is way more significant, he likely didn't believe he was behind when he called the overbet.

So what was wrong with Brandon's play?

  1. He let ego get in the way
  2. He proably misread the table and thought the WIQ was the fish. Based on Brandon's earlier poker writings, he only seems to respect people in the Howard Lederer mode. Brandon could sit at a table with Phil Laak and (if he didn't recognize him) believe he was another WIQ
  3. He limped in with a mediocre hand. This early in the tourney, playing a marginal hand like K10 to a preflop raise and callers is loose. He got lucky on the flop, but he was a dog before it. That's a waste of money, and shows a lack of judgement
  4. He overbet at the flop. If WIQ was really as loose and aggressive as Brandon made him out to be, a better raise would have been to $4K. Either he'd get the pot then and there, or he'd be re-raised all-in and could call. The bet, more than anything else, most likely tricked WIQ into believing his AK was the best hand
I won't bother to continue, other than to say I dream of sitting down at a poker table with Brandon Walsh someday. I'm only a bit above average, but I'd clean him like a trout.


EarlsDonuts said...

Oh I get sarcasm.

I also get irony, whether you do or not. Which if you don't, just makes it unintentional comedy.

R.A. Porter said...

I'm sorry. Is the irony here that I'm railing against a knucklehead, or that I don't have his pulpit from which to do so? Or is it that I'm bothering to repeat and analyze his craptastic article?

I'm just not nearly as clever as you and Brandon Walsh, I guess. You'll have to explain it to me.

EarlsDonuts said...

I am much better shot than that sorry-ass drunk ego-maniac Hemingway, and I've never even been to Africa.

R.A. Porter said...

That may be true, but I've never read the Hemingway story where he complains of the lucky rhino who got away when he shot himself in the foot. I'm curious, in that story, does he "debat[e] whether to punch the jerk" who tells him he missed? :)

Brian B. said...

Oh crap, r.a. I thought you were pissed at anonymous, earlsdonuts reply struck me as just all sorts of fun.

Am I so far out of touch? Oh woe is me.

R.A. Porter said...

Oh, there was a very, very small war; we have lots of those. It was never taken seriously.