Luckbox | Otis | G-Rob

About the Up For Poker Blog

Up For Poker Blog Categories:

2006 WSOP
2007 World Series of Poker
2008 Belmont Stakes
2008 Kentucky Derby
2008 World Series of Poker
2009 WPBT Winter Classic
2010 WPBT Winter Classic
American Idol 2009
B&M Poker
Bad Beats
Betting the Ponies
Disc Golf
Fantasy Sports
G-Rob's Thoughts
Game Review
Home Games
Horse Racing
Internet Gambling Bill
Las Vegas
Lefty's Thoughts
Luckbox Last Longer Challenge
Luckbox's Thoughts
March Madness
Movie Previews
Movie review
NCAA Basketball
NETeller News
NFL Football
Online Poker
Online Sports Betting
Other Gambling
Otis' Thoughts
Pick 6
Playing For Fun
Playing For Money
Poker Blogger Tournaments
Poker Blogs
Poker in the News
Poker Law and Legal News
Poker Movies
Poker on TV
Poker Players
Poker Psychology
Poker Theory
Poker Web Sites
Pot Limit Omaha Strategy
Reading Material
Sports Betting
The Nuts
The Playboy Mansion
Tournament Action
Tuff Fish Appreciation Society
Tunica Tales
Underground Games
Up for Poker News
WPBT Holiday Classic Trip

Previous Hands:

December 2010
November 2010
September 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003

Powered by:
Movable Type 6.8.8
Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

June 12, 2008

Giving due the Godfather of Short-Stack Poker

by Otis

Was it really only two and half years ago? It seems like an eternity since I splashed around in a pool of my own hubris. It was as comfortable as the good Vegas beds and as dangerous as putting your money on Big Brown. Poker felt like such a sure thing. Everything made sense. The hours spent were profitable. The handle on the game was like the baseball bat owned since childhood. I remember thinking, "Damn, I could do nothing but this if I really wanted to." Blind arrogance is such a fun place to live. Every decision seems perfect, whether inside the game or out.

I don't live there anymore, for better or worse. Over the past 30 months, I've been forced to confront that I was never as good as I thought. And, even if I was, it doesn't matter. It took me too long to realize that the game changed and I didn't change with it. Like the guy who is still trying to figure out why he can't sell his warehouse full of cassette tapes, I'm forced to sit here and figure out if I can re-tool myself to catch up with two years of online poker's evolution.

Why do I think of it today? Well, a lot of reasons, I guess. But what really forced me to admit it out loud was a guy I made fun of in 2006. His screen name was one of my favorites ever: w00t4d0nks.

Back then, I was still a regular at Party's $10/$20 NL game. I'd done pretty well for myself there for quite a while and, in an act of pure cockiness, called out w00t4d0nks in public. Here in the South we call that "showing your ass." In the post Shortbuy City, I rambled on for an age about one particular guy who bought into my regular game for 25% of the max buy-in. I made assumptions on top of assumptions about the guy's MO and essentially called him a gambling dumbass. I based a lot of what I wrote on fairly limited data and a lot of arrogance. I wrote, in part:

I guess it just surprises me that with all the good poker information out there, some people are still treating poker like a gamble instead of an ATM. What's more, I'm starting to see more and more of these guys in the middle no-limit area. It's both fascinating and disturbing to watch. It's like watching Sammy Farha flip a coin for $25K. Watching gamblers can be fun. Playing poker against them can be more fun.

I'll be honest. The passing years, the end of Party, and my gradual decline into poker loathing had made me completely forget about w00t4d0nks. Over the years, I've noticed a lot more people at all levels of the game playing short-stacks. There are now scads of web sites and training grounds for the short-stack strategy. There are legions of players out there who do nothing but multi-table with short-stacks all day long. They are winning players against... well, against people like me who failed to adjust.

So, imagine my surprise when I ran into w00t4d0nks again--not at the tables, not at a bar, but in a comment on this very poker blog. When I saw the name in the comments, I immediately remembered the guy (who for some reason is etched into my brain in one particular seat at the Party Poker tables).

Here is w00t4d0nks note in its entirety:

Hey Otis. I just got a big chuckle out of one of your old blog entries and thought I'd write you a thanks. At the time of w00ts appearance on the Party 10/20 tables I was pretty well known under a different screen name as one of the big winning super regulars. I developed the short stack strategy after listening to people complain about the guys doing it(who were terrible poker players btw). I figured I'd give it a shot since I always experiment with out of the box strats.

The strategy was ridiculously successful and actually made me more $/hour than full buyin. It was at least $500/hour and I think was at about $1k/hour on nights and weekends towards the end but then party closed(i've still got the PTDB somewhere I think). There were so many regular ABC multi tablers in those days that it was incredibly simple. What noone realized was that I was using Pokertracker with a HUD and customized my push ranges to each player. I was picking up $100 with no showdown like it raining benjamins.

Anyways, I always joke with my friends about being the godfather of shortstacking and not getting credit for it so I thought this blog was a riot =)

w00t(I shove)4d0nks

After seeing the comment, I read it twice and tried to decide how I felt. After a few minutes, I knew exactly. It was if I just read, "Hey, Otis. Remember that hot girl you were dating in college? Yeah, really hot, huh? Well, here's the thing. The whole time you were dating, I was pouring it to her behind your back. We ended up getting married. She still talks about how you couldn't get her off."

Yeah, a little more than humbling.

Looking at it much later, I can still say short-stacking is not the most exciting version of poker, nor one that sounds like much fun to play. That admitted, poker is not really about having fun, is it? It's not about mainlining adrenaline and getting your rocks off on the stress. It's about making money. There are some people out there like w00t4d0nks who apparently made it work for them. Woot, if you're still reading, let us know how you're doing now. It might be instructive.

In the meantime, I'm wallowing in a different pool now. A dip in Olympic-sized Self Loathing isn't nearly as much fun, but it's a lot more real than blind ignorance. Time, I've found, is as much a magnifying glass as it is a mirror. Looking back, indeed, I can see a reflection of a very big donkey.

C'est moi.

| Online Poker , | Otis' Thoughts , | Poker Theory