Monday, January 29, 2007

Remember how Raymond Babbit could count toothpicks?

The hardest adjustment for me switching from online to live poker has been figuring out a count for everyone's chip stacks.

Oh yeah and staying sober till Midnight. It's not even like I have a drinking problem. But when you eat dinner before you go to work suddenly a drink seems so good. A martini. A little wine. A beer. Maybe some champagne.

Next thing you know it's the end of January 2007.

But back to getting a count of your opponents chip stacks, this effects every decision at the table regardless of whether you're playing a tournament or ring game. Either way you need to know how much your opponent is playing with.

For example what does a 250 dollar raise mean? If you're playing 2/5 at the Wynn it might seem like a big raise. Until you see that your opponent has twenty five grand at the table. And he just made that bet into a guy with fifty grand. Now it seems like a small bet.

Playing online this crucial information is always available and perfectly accurate. Playing live I'm suddenly responsible for knowing how much each of my opponents has.

I can ask another player how much they have left if I'm in a hand with them. But oftentimes this information is part of determining if it's worth playing a hand against an opponent in the first place. And definitely how fast.

Now speaking of chip stacks- The orangish 1000 value chips used in the live tournaments at Caesars Palace look alot like Caesars orangish 100 value chips. One of them has an orange center. The other has orange on the outer rim. And it became hard for me to tell which were which in my own chip stack, let alone looking the across the table.

So of course there was a tournament hand, and this must happen there everyday, where someone bets 350 and the other guy wants to call so he throws in three orange chips along with his 50. But they were the 1000 chips instead of the 100 chips. And he quickly tried to fix it. But it was too late. The floor had to be called.

Was this a 350 call or a raise to 3500?

The best part is the guy who bet the initial 350 tells the other player that he doesn't feel he has to be held to a raise when he simply wanted to call. He then repeats this message to the floorman.

In case you're wondering why he shown such good sportsmanship, we'll later find out that he's saying this because he's on a flush draw. He wants to see the turn. I have a funny feeling that if he held top set his table manners wouldn't have been as good. And by funny feeling I mean no way in hell.

But this whole orange 1000 chips and orange 100 chips looking alike got me thinking.

Couldn't one use this to their advantage?

Like lets say I have pocket aces early in a tournament and someone raises the 25/50 blinds to 200 by throwing out two orange chips.

What I "should" do is silently "call" by tossing out two thousand dollar chips.

Then just act surprised when the dealer says I raised the pot.

The floorman will come over and tell me that I raised.

I can say something like "Okay now I know for next time."

Then I just sit back and wait for someone to reraise me. It's an easy pot to take away from me. Since it's quite clear that I only meant to call.

I'm not sure if this is good poker. Or bad etiquette?


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