Chris and Hank’s Excellent Adventure

I’m a big fan of both HDouble’s The Cards Speak posts as well as Chris Halverson’s blog. Good to see Hank was able to show Chris a good time while Chris was out visiting Los Angeles.

A few of Hank’s comments made me want to comment:

I left up $90 after only 15 minutes. Since my wife’s grandparents were visiting, the only poker I got to play were the late night sessions after everyone was asleep. Sick, tired, and often not very sober, I was happy to leave with a quick profit, although it made me feel like a “fake” poker player. I look at guys like Grubby and DavidRoss and wonder if they’ve EVER played a 15 minute session in their life.

I don’t know if I’ve ever played a 15 minute session but I do set limits at times. I know Sklansky and some other pros think walking away from a good game is one of the biggest poker sins you can commit but sometimes that’s all the time you have. I say “Hey, I’m going to play 100 hands,” and I quit at 100 (ok, sometimes I go to 101 or 102 because I hate leaving right before the blinds like some cheapskate). On 2 or 3 tables that can be as quick as a half hour. I quit, up or down, because I have no desire to be one of those people who can’t stop playing. If I’m trying to kill a half hour or an hour then I have to set a hard time limit and quit no matter how well or poorly things have been going. No shame in it Hank. :-) If it makes you feel any better I’ve read plenty of DavidRoss’ posts where he played several hours longer than he planned either because he was up and wanted to keep raking in the dough or he was down trying to get back to even. The later is a Sklansky poker sin as well.

The $2-4 game was ridiculously passive, with 7 people seeing the flop and raises occurring once in a blue moon. I completely threw away my normal, aggressive style and became somewhat of a calling station, as the game was very friendly and raises did not seem welcome.

Ha, that’s the game I usually play at HP. :-) It’s funny because even though I have yet to walk out of HP down, I always feel a little dirty because I don’t play my best game. The game is so passive that you feel guilty playing too aggressive and then you feel guilty because you could have made a lot more had you hammered the passive players. Of course, the money has a strange way of eliminating guilt so . . . :-)

Although playing at HP (or any B&M) is a bit of a pain compared to logging in and firing up Party or Paradise I always enjoy the live games a bit more. I like meeting people so when you get into some friendly chatting with a few of the other players or even the dealer it’s a great distraction while you’re throwing away your trash hands. Besides, you almost never see fist fights online :-)

When the house is raking a small bet per hand no matter what the size of the pot, the players have to be pretty bad in order for the game to be beatable.

Here’s a tip: Go in around 10pm or later. You get two types of players at the table; the drunks and the really poor playing regulars. Around 2pm that’s when more drunks show up. I don’t know why the dealers tend to play late night like that but I’ve been at the table with a few dealers and they play just as poorly as anybody.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.