Needless to say, when the non-farm payrolls dropped 4,000 instead of rising by the estimated 110,000, the markets, as predicted, overreacted. The dollar dropped a cent against sterling (because everyone decided that a rate cut was a certainty and a half-point rate cut was a strong possibility), the markets got spooked because everyone decided that consumers were going to stop spending money. And, generally, it swas "THE SKY IS FALLING!".
And, as usual, it took about 90 minutes for some sanity to prevail and for the markets to recover somewhat. Sterling slipped back, the markets moved back up a bit.
The farce of all this is that the figures are always revised within four weeks and this initial data is often not all that accurate. Add to that the fact that, even if it was accurate, it could easily be a blip (these shifts are well within the land of single standard deviations) and you can see what I mean whan I say that the market's close attention to it is little more than herd instinct. For example, how come the figure for M0 or M4 is no longer even mentioned? 20 years ago, a big shift in that could move markets. Now people say, "so what?"
And I guess we can all remember when in the UK the trade deficit was headline news every month. It could even be argued that the released figure in June 1970 (later revised, btw) cost Labour the 1970 election. These days the deficit for the US is so enormous that economists have to come up with ever-more inventive reasons why it doesn't matter. And the deficit in the UK is nothing to write home about, either. Per capita, it is not far off that of the US. Over there they solve it by selling Treasuries (and, now, companies and land...) while over here we seem to have some "invisibles" keeping us afloat. All that foreign money supporting the London housing market, for example.
I popped into the Gutshot last night for the first time in two years or so. Since the expansion and shrinkage back, the old area where there was seating and dining tables has been turned into more poker tables. This allowed all of the £100+£7 to be played upstairs (a good idea) but left no area for relaxation and chatting (a bad idea). In a way, it was more reminiscent of The Dungeon and less reminiscent of a "club" where you could meet people to talk. Of course, the tables might not be there if there isn't a tournament. But the sofas and the like were nowhere to be seen.
It was busyish. A fifty quid buy in game downstairs at a smallish table (a bit reminiscent of the 3-6 games in the dubgeon, while a full table of people, none of whom seemed to be enjoying themselves, occupied the corner. I guess this is the £250 table now, but I didn't ask. The final of the afternoon small tournament was coming to a desultory end.
The bigger tournament upstairs got its requisite 70 players and all the tables were dealer-dealt. I hung around long enough to see one guy get knocked out --- i.e., two hands. Then I headed back home. Having set fire to a ridiculous amount of money during the day, it was quite nice to win about 5% of it back in the evening. At least I stopped losing every hand that I played.
Here's a rough summary of a hand. I think that a couple of people made some errors, but I'll give you no more information. See if you come to the same conclusions.
Blinds are $1 - $2
MP2 has 7s 8h and $125
CO has 8d 9d and $260 (effective $200)
BB has Qd Jd and $200
One limper to MP2, who limps. CO limps. SB completes and BB checks. $10 in pot
Flop comes 6d Td 9h
MP2 bets $8 (leaves $115 behind).
CO raises to $30 (leaves $168 behind)
BB calls (leaves $168 behind). Pot size now $78.
MP2 goes all-in for his last $115.
CO raises all in for $168.
BB calls. Main pot of $372. Side pot of $106.
Turn brings Kh, River bring 2s.
BB wins side pot and main pot with a straight, nie to the king.
Back in the weary world of FMM and PLNHE, here's a hand I played this morning. I'm quite happy with the way I played it, but it doesn't seem to fit into the standard FMM style. Perhaps this makes me rather LAGgier than they are, but this doesn't seem in line with the common consensus.
Seat 1: Starr22 ($100)
Seat 2: SlimeyMagey ($94.10)
Seat 3: Villain ($17)
Seat 4: Hero ($103.65) (Button)
Seat 5: AllFel ($39.40) (SB)
Seat 6: Tiltx ($63.70) (BB)
Seat 7: PKRNUT7 ($51.30)
Seat 8: Sitremba ($102.95)
Seat 9: Tom Pion ($62.60)
AllFel posts the small blind of $0.50
Tiltx posts the big blind of $1
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [7◊ 7♡]
PKRNUT7 calls $1
Tom Pion folds
Villain calls $1
Hero raises to $5.50
The FMM line here is to limp with the implied odds, looking for a stack-off if you hit your set. The Birks line is to raise and either win the hand preflop for $3.50 profit or win it on the flop for $8. If I get called on the flop, I give up unless I improve (net loss of $14 or thereabouts). Sometimes, of course, I hit my set.
Tiltx calls $4.50
I don’t really like this. This guy isn’t too loose and he’s cold-calling with action still to come. However, people often don’t think about the implications of calling when you fail to close the action by so doing.
Villain raises to $17, and is all in
Very unlikely to be AA given his position and original limp. Probably two paint cards. If he has Pokertracker, he knows my raise on the button might be thin. Just perhaps he has AK.
Hero raises to $28.50
I don’t want this three-way. I don’t think BB has a very big hand because he has failed to reraise. Some people cold-call in the BB with very big pairs at this level (incorrectly, in my view), but I’ll take that chance. The only strong counterplay Tiltx has here is to reraise me all-in. That’s almost unheard of in full ring games at this level.
Well, that bit worked
Hero shows [7◊ 7♡]
Villain shows [Q◊ K♣]
Well, that bit worked as well.
Uncalled bet of $11.50 returned to Hero
I’m about 54% here, and I’m getting about five-to-four for my money. I’d happily run these all day; the hand has an EV of about four bucks a hand in my favour (55 hands win $21 while 45 hands lose $17). Sometimes this line goes belly-up, but most times I win pre-flop or on the flop when my one opponent misses. And sometimes I hit my set. So let’s reduce the EV slightly to $3.50 a hand.
*** FLOP *** [T♠ 5◊ 9♠]
*** TURN *** [T♠ 5◊ 9♠] [J♣]
*** RIVER *** [T♠ 5◊ 9♠ J♣] [3♠]
Hero shows a pair of Sevens
Villain shows a straight, King high
Villain wins the pot ($38.95) with a straight, King high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $41 | Rake $2.05
Board: [T♠ 5◊ 9♠ J♣ 3♠]
Seat 3: Villain showed [Q◊ K♣] and won ($38.95) with a straight, King high
Seat 4: Hero (button) showed [7◊ 7♡] and lost with a pair of Sevens
Seat 5: AllFel (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: Tiltx (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: PKRNUT7 folded before the Flop
Now, what happens FMM style? I limp. Assuming that the Big Blind doesn’t try a squeeze play (which he may well do, given that he’s cold-called my button raise and is not that loose), Eight times in Nine I miss the flop and fold. Result, minus a dollar. Let’s say one time in 10 the BB raises. I guess that I also fold, on the grounds that my implied odds are very marginal. That’s another minus a dollar. So, about 10% of the time I get in for a buck and hit my set. The question now is, what’s my average expectation? Since I’ve lost $90 in 100 hands from limping and folding, and I’m looking for an EV of at least $3.50 a hand, that means I have to make up $440 in the 10 hands remaining out of the hundred. I.E., I have to make an average of $44 a hand in profit. That could be a $85 pot heads-up or a $65 pot three-way.
If you’ve got a loose and lively game, that’s not impossible. Suppose two of the hands are stack-offs. Well, that could be $200 of your required $440, leaving just $24 profit a hand on average required from the remaining eight. In a live game, all of this is eminently feasible. So, live, I like the limping line, if the game is loosey-goosey.
But in an online game, stack-offs are tougher to hit. And something like one time in 100, you might hit your set and get stacked-off yourself (by a straight or flush or higher set). I don’t see you making up the $340 in the 10 hands. We are in guesstimation territory here, but my gut feeling is that six times in 10 you’d win not much more than you would have won if you had raised preflop (say, in the five to ten bucks region. Three times in 10 you might win another ten bucks on top of that. One time in ten you might get a turn call and win $25 on top of that, and one time in ten you might get a stack-off for an average of $60. That adds up to about $200. Subtract your $90 in losses for the hands where you limped and missed or limped and folded to a raise, and you have a net of $1.10 a hand.
At short-handed higher stakes games, the ballgame changes, because you are far more likely to face a three-bet from one of the blinds. I'd be interested to see how the raising line averaged out in a higher-stakes shorthanded game. How many times in 100 would the Small blind or Big blind three-bet? How often would the original limper (with a decent stack) reraise? More often than at this level, certainly. But would it make a big difference to the final EV? They would have to reraise a good percentage of the time (say, half of the time that they fail to fold, cold calling the other half of the time) to shift the final numbes significantly. Even a $200 pot where you (the raiser) are 30:70, if it occurs one hand in 100, only shifts the EV by 80 cents a hand. I think this is part of the error in focusing on these big hands rather than on the "insignificant" hands. Because the "big" hands are very rare, their influence on the total EV per hand is surprisingly small. It's only when you are playing in more "active" games, when all-ins are much more common, that the "big" hands start to have a significant impact on the EV of a particular pre-flop play.