Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mood: Pissed Off

Finally got some decent time in at the tables this week, and rapidly wished I hadn't bothered.

It's been a long time since I've played Pot Limit Omaha to any great extent, and having read Rolf Slotboom's book I was interested in trying out some alternative strategies.

Which led me to fire up a couple of small buy-in games to ease me back into the action.

Within a few orbits I find myself UTG with double suited aces. Bingo. The table has already proved to be very LAG with several serial raisers.

Perfect for testing out Rolf's strategy. Albeit I'm bought in for the max, rather than a short stack.

All goes exactly to plan. I call, someone raises, several callers, and one of the serial raisers repots it from the small blind. Absolutely perfect. I manage to ship almost my entire stack in pre-flop.

Only the reraiser calls. With 9 high single suited!! Absolutely bonkers. There might be tournament situation where stack sizes, blinds, etc. make this a valid play, but in reasonably deep stacked cash its suicide.

Of course he makes a straight and stacks me. Looking back I was only 60/40 to win this hand, but if he wants to spend his life getting it all-in as a 6/4 underdog then that's just fine with me.

I can see how Rolf's strategy works - particularly when multi tabling - but it just didn't feel as much fun as playing lots of flops, and I happen to think my edge against donkeys like this is better than 60% so I don't think I'll be following it too closely.

The book is well worth a read though - if only to get inside the head of the short stackers.

I then proceed to lose several more buy-ins with classic Omaha stuff like top FH v flopped quads. Ho hum.

Next night I revert to No Limit Hold Em, and proceed to get queens outflopped by underpairs or suited aces (when I flop top set) three times in ten minutes whilst four tabling. Expensive.

Down a couple of buy-ins I claw it back to one buy-in down as bedtime draws near, and am congratulating myself on my tilt avoidance, when I pick up aces and manage to build a $240 pot and get another idiot all-in on the turn when he re-reraises me with a flush draw and gutshot. I'm roughly 3/1 on this one, until the gutshot hits on the river.

Nothing too statistically abnormal about any of this, but a real blizzard of bad luck. Not good when prepping for a big trip to Vegas.

I'm also having problems outside the poker world. I recently cancelled my Setanta sports subscription, after the mandatory 35 minute navigation of their IVR and queueing system, only to be continually harassed by SMS, emails, letters, chasing me up for a non-existent debt.

The final straw came this morning, when yours truly, nursing a monumental hangover after a big night out, and in the midst of changing a truly horrific dirty nappy, was interrupted by a call from Setanta chasing up this 'debt'.

Many moons ago, before I got into IT, I worked in customer services for a financial services company. My job involved dealing with a lot of problem cases, and I shovelled a lot of other peoples shit while doing my best to resolve customer complaints.

With that experience behind me, as a customer I always try to differentiate between the person I am dealing with and the organisation they represent. In that respect Setanta must rank somewhere alongside the Portuguese police in competence terms. They are an organisational shambles.

However the dude on the phone today was such a prick - wilfully unhelpful, and in complete denial about how they'd cocked it up - that I totally lost it with him, and gave him the full infuriated customer tirade.

Funnily enough he was from a Scottish call centre, so he actually understood everything I was saying to him. A rare occasion where an Indian might have benefited from not having a clue about my accent.

I managed to avoid swearing, or any personal insults, so he had to listen to my complete unabridged opinion on what a woefully inept organisation he works for, before I hung up on him after demanding he escalate the call as a complaint.

I think this one could run and run.

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