Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Full Tilt Poker - Beware of monkeys offering advice :)

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I've been playing fake money online poker at Full Tilt Poker under Corgi Yoshi's name and he's been doing quite well. You get to pick an "avatar" to represent you so his is, of course, a chicken. FTP is one of the few online casinos that have a Mac version of their program available.

You also can chat with the other players and that's just as much or more fun than playing the game. Especially that Yoshi is getting more well known in the tables we frequent (5/10 No Limit CAP Hold 'em). Calling a game with a $300 maximum per hand "No Limit" is something of a misnomer but the Cap keeps him from losing a ton of $ at a time, but when he wins he can still do very well (unlike in Limit games where we just seem to get slowly poor.)

He can also keep notes on other players so he can remember them when he seems them again. But people remember the chicken now (probably because the chicken does win often). But the chicken is learning to play poker properly so he folds a fair bit - probably not as much as one does in real money mode, but frequent enough to be noticed.

So last night we were playing, and in comes this monkey saying "I'm taking over now Yoshi" I didn't have any notes on him, but he was familiar and clearly knew Yoshi the chicken. Next hand I folded and he was saying "You folded!" "Er, well I had a bad hand." I folded the next one and the monkey started saying things like "Come'on play." The next one I had a playable hand (KQ) so stayed in for the flop and he was saying "Stay with me Yoshi." The turn card came up and it became immediately apparent that a much better hand was possible (more than one - there was clearly a possible straight on the table and the cards were low and not face cards) and I would typically have folded, but Yoshi had over $30k in "savings" so could afford to lose some for entertainment. I said "I am going to lose." He said "Stay with me Yoshi." I replied "I'm making a donation." Sure enough someone all-in'ed and just to humor monkey I called (and so did he). River card appears and someone else wins.

I told him "I'm sending you a bill for that" which amused several people at the table. He said "I saw your hand, it was good" "Yeah in a different universe." (One gets the impression that monkey isn't the best poker player). He said "you have to believe in yourself" I ask "what do belief and poker have to do with each other?" He said "idk" (I don't know). Thanks monkey some inspriational speaker you are (should have told him that.) This continued this way for the next hour or so. He called Yoshi a chicken and I said "Well I am a chicken" Someone else (I think a lizard who is a pretty good player) mentioned that other parts of the world consider monkey brains a delicacy (this is in reference to people threatening to eat the chicken), so monkey (we used his username actually) became known as Monkey Brain, and we continued to razz each other while we both lost money. I think I lost 1K total - actually it was considerably more until I got tired of it and started playing more correctly and gained a lot of it back.

Monkey Brain doesn't actually know that Yoshi has over $30k (I only play with $2k or so, as $30k kinda gives lie to the chicken image). Maybe I'll tell him next time. He implies that you can't win if you don't take chances. I do take chances, but ones where I'm likely to win (choose your battles). And Monkey Brain is clearly taking the wrong chances.

One hard poker lesson I've learned is that you have to be willing to walk away from what would normally be a decent hand if it's clear someone else has a better one. Over time, you can learn if someone likes to bluff or not.

It occurs to me that a fun user name would be "poulette merde" with a chicken avatar, but FTP probably wouldn't let you have a name with merde in it. They wouldn't let me have yoshitrek as it contained "shit" which I didn't even realize until it told me.

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