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playing poker and teaching science: Parallel thinking
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Parallel thinking

My new love is Omaha 8/b. Yes, I have a girlfriend but if you want to find something that gives so much and asks so little, play O8b. I only played for 15 minutes last night and finished ahead 12 big bets simply due to poor play on my opponents’ parts. Since I didn’t go back and look at the hand histories I don’t know what they were holding, but I honestly can’t imagine why three, count ‘em three, callers stayed in on a hand where I have the nut low, a completed straight with no draw to a flush on the board, and then continue to RAISE when I fill my boat!

Maybe that’s why it’s called “Party Poker” because it’s always a party to the good players. Note: I actually play on Empire most of the time as mr_reed, feel free to look me up.

The reason I believe there are so many poor O8b players is that everyone is stuck in a Hold Em mindset. With O8/b you have to think in two directions at once seeking BOTH the high and the low and only OCCASIONALLY venture off looking for one or the other. Hold Em players see Big Slick (AK) and immediately get into a hand when in fact these two card alone are not great cards in O8b. A big hand in O8b is AA23 double suited, but any hand that has a solid high possibility AND a good low possibility is the hand to play.

The pitfall Hold Em players get into is that they think that since you have twice as many cards you should be playing twice as many hands. In fact, you may actually play fewer hands.

That’s where your parallel thinking comes into play. You must think in terms of high and low constantly and remember you don’t have to play a lot of hands because when you scoop a pot, it’s usually a pretty nice amount of money.

I have a $25 in my PokerStars account (mrreed) and I’m going to only play Omaha 8/b on that site and see how the account grows, or doesn’t, over the next few months and see if I can move up a few levels according to the following schedule:

Level $in up @ back down @
.25/.5 $25 $75 $50
.5/$1 $75 $175 $100
$1/$2 $175 $375 $200
$2/$4 $375 $775 $450

To be honest, O8b is a little boring sometimes and so I periodically play two tables at a time, but as far as a money making venture, it seems to be a solid income producer at the low levels and I’m interested to see how that translates into the higher levels.

PokerStars: December 16, 2004 -- $25

Reed Em!

PS: I think I figured out how to post pictures. I'm the one on the left on my brand new 2005 Honda Shadow! My brother is on the right.


Blogger Kim said...

Will definitely watch for you in the games. We don't play at partypoker or pokerstars that much anymore. Found a site where the cards come out more like they do in a real game and there aren't so many kids playing and messing things up. They also have regular challenges towards the WSOP... try absolutepoker.com. But Shhh! It's a secret, we don't want all the weirdos showing up over there :)

8:32 AM  

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