By The Grinder
Decades ago, No Limit Texas Hold Em started out slow and was mainly played in southern states, until somebody decided to construct a paradise for gamblers in Las Vegas, and from then on it grew exponentially. We now have over 100 million poker players in the world today playing a totally different game, and speaking a whole new lingo.
Gone are the days when one would be content being dealt ten hands an hour, having a good chat with dealers, sharing poker stories, and naming each other classic names like Slim Jim. Poker whiz kids now play a wide range of hands, and strategies change once every few months.
The key is to adapt and improve. For example, a while back, Q7 was known as a Computer Hand. Some guy in the 70s ran a computer simulation, and Q7 happened to win most of the time, by sheer dumb luck. Thereafter, the phrase ‘Computer Hand’ was used mainly as a sarcasm by old-school live players simply because they would never play it. Q7 does have a 51.77% equity over any random hand, and while hands like J5, Q2, Q5 etc. have a close enough equity, it’s fair to say that Q7 is one of the best worst hands to start with—a good bad hand! I was recently watching the final table of the 2013 Guangdong Asia Millions. I bet that after you watched it, you’d probably have a wee bit more faith in Q7. Minutes after the start, short-stacked Isaac Haxton doubled up through Teng Zhang when his Q7 won against Zhang’s KJ-suited on a board of 7-6-A-A-9. A few hands later, Pratyush Buddiga’s 88 lost to Igor Kurganov’s Q7 when the board ran out Q-2-6-4-10. The point being simple—it’s not about playing Q7 as much as it’s about taking your chances in a tournament! No wonder Mike Mcdermott in Rounders said ‘if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a grind’. If you dream of winning a poker bracelet, you better start taking your chances at the poker tables.