Few are able to get themselves banned from social media sites like Abe Limon, guru of west coast live poker and advantage gambling. Our last pod with Abe was a little rough on the ears, so we make up for it this time with good conversation ranging from his online arguments, why the WSOP is not meaningful for poker, his take on abortion, and even to a little split-pot strategy sideshow.
It’s incredibly funny to hear that Abe, while wandering the social mediascape in the midst of a lifetime ban from Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, found himself in Gab Social’s animism of Christianity, social conservatism, and white nationalism, one which operates under a flag of free speech. I’d really love to read those threads he speaks of and find the abuse he doled out, but it’s a hard slog and I’ll need a few more hints. Torba does seem to have absolutely scrubbed the @limonpoker handle, but what of his other ones? Censoriousness always sucks yet left and the right each appeal to its short-term utility far too often, and usually while professing the virtues of open discourse. The regrettable secret is that it’s hard to maintain and often plain bad for business. Further, as the curious “Carl Beijer” Twitter and Substack account has made clear there is a nice game-theory argument as to why the sides of a debate have a prisoner’s dilemma-like incentive to further censorship if one side is “cheating,” not to free us from it. The world may break everyone, as Hemingway wrote, but maybe their principles are what crack first.
Briefly freed under Elon’s simultaneously more liberal but messier and controversial regime, he is presently serving another short ban. Why must he do this? Why can’t we all just get along? Because lies deserve “no quarter,” Abe explains, an old-fashioned and noble answer. Yet how do we know what’s a lie? What does he get to be so sure? One way is to set terms, and to bet on it, and that’s where, agree with him or not, Limon shines. It’s a good approach and one about which we in the poker world may claim some credit.
When we close, it’s to talk about the same hand I discussed with Matt Ossi. I don’t describe it very well this time, as we talk mostly in useful generalities, but Limon bets in position and gets raised and reraised on these flops to a committing SPR: what to do. I also don’t do a complete job in describing the strategy, however. To be clearer, the flop bet is a potential mistake, but calling off now expecting better than two-to one likely breaks even or is close- we’re behind overall but have a price. Bankroll matters and bomb pots put huge pressures on financially limited players. Limon isn’t one of them – should he have gambled with his whales or is making tough decisions with a good attitude still a part of a host’s gameplan?
What additionally matters in this case is that when we do take our half we’re not the ones being quartered given our exclusive nut draw on top rather than commonly shared straights on bottom. Nuts Exclusivity is big in split pot games and is part of what makes this hand both marginal and compelling. Either way, my original point and one reason I contacted Abe is that I’d much rather not make this flop bet and instead use position against my opponents on the turn rather than have to gamble – in a way, this whole situation is about the difference between expected value and equity.
Despite what they tell you, PLO, NLHE, and their bomb pot variants are deeply linked in themes and mainly differ only in micro-level implementation. If you struggle in one but not the other, it’s possible you don’t understand either one as well as you think you do. I will be offering Bomb Pot Deliverance, my strategy seminar on the subject, later this year. The class will clear up the basics of the game, delve into misunderstandings about multi-way action in all big bet flop games, and help make anyone competitive in them.
Good luck in the series, and thanks to Abe for coming on the Zoo again.