Thursday, May 26, 2005

Poker Post #1: The Litvak Masters Basics of Hold Em

I played my first game of Texas Hold 'Em less than three months ago.

You know, the game that has now permeated every aspect of our society, is on TV all day and night, whose paraphernalia (cards, chips) is now on display in the front of Rite Aid and on the shelves in Target . . .? No?

Well, until March 7, neither did I.
I had to learn the order of hands.
I had to learn that you don't split the pot when you both have the same two pair (the pot goes to whoever has the best "kicker").
Now I know the rules, and I'm hooked.

And, last night, I played my first decent game of limit Texas Hold 'Em (LTHE).

I don't even like gambling.

But the math, the strategy, the psychology . . . what a great game.

Last night I played our regular game, and I played well.

Not World Series of Poker (WSOP) well, but I was able to:
-identify the "nuts" (best possible hand) and 2nd-to-nuts quickly;
-count my "outs" for making various hands;
-calculate and use pot odds and implied odds;
-distinguish starting hands according to their strength (and their strength against many or fewer players, in a loose or tight game, &c.);
-put my opponents on a hand (occasionally);
-adjust the quality of starting hands I played to suit the "looseness" of the table;
-adjust my play according to number of opponents, my position, my cards, and my opponents' style; and
-discipline myself to fold when I knew I should and raise when I wanted to slink by . . . more or less . . .

Stayed tuned for poker action!
Or, better yet, read the poker blogs I've linked to in the sidebar, and visit this blog for a Bildungsroman (coming of age novel) of a poker player. Who'll probably never live to see puberty, but still...


Jack Roy said...

You're such a nerd.

And next week I'm totally winning all that money back.

Oh, and, uh, you're still hurting America.

The Litvak said...

A nerd?
Well, yes.
Yes I am.
I'm hurt that my only reader sees me for what I am, but still thinks I'm hurting America.
This country was built on the dreams of nerds. Figuratively. You can't build on dreams.
The dreams of nerdy Quakers. Nerdy Huguenots.
Refugee nerds. And so on.
Why do you hate God and America, JR?