Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Posted by Johnnymac 9:11 AM
I played last night in a weekly tournament at a (relatively) local dive bar called the Yorkshire Pub. Jayson had told me about it last week and said it was good so it happened fit into my schedule to go check it out and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very well run tournament – the organizers knew what they were doing and all of the dealers (as near as I could tell) were very friendly and somewhat skilled. The structure of the tournament was also good – a $30 buyin and unlimited $15 rebuys during the first hour of limit poker, then a one time add-on after the break and no-limit holdem after that. The rapidly escalating blinds and relative short stacks made for a format that required some fast play and a little early luck, but the relatively cheap dollars involved made for something a little more fun than it was pressure-packed. Jayson also promised lots of bad players and dead money and there certainly was plenty of each.

One aside – an easy way to generally evaluate the quality, or experience, rather, of strangers’ play is by taking the inverse of their propensity to drop ESPN poker lingo into their conversations with other players. When someone goes on and on about “pocket aces” and “ducks” and getting “beat on the river”, that’s usually a sign that they think they know more than they really do. I call this “first level” poker lingo because anyone can pick it up quickly, and if I sit down with strangers who start talking like this it’s usually a good sign for my chances. However, if I meet a stranger who correctly knows that “aces up” and “aces full” mean two different things or who can properly tell the difference between having a set and having trips, then I’m a little more wary when I first go up against them. There were lots of the former type at my table last night and only a little bit of the latter, so it was a nice situation. That is, it would have been nice if I had been dealt some cards.

As with all tournaments you have to catch cards to succeed and I didn’t catch any cards. In fact, I didn’t scoop one pot all night and the best starting hand I ever had in the two hours I played was J9s. That particular hand hit the flop fairly hard and ended up with 14 outs on the river against what I correct figured was KK held by the guy across the table from me, but I missed my draw and mucked against his bet and that was my only chance to really garner some chips and start rolling in the tournament. Around 10:00 I purposely threw the rest of my chips into the pot and gave up and went home.

I will say though, that I was pleasantly surprised by just how good a tournament it is and I am likely to play again someday soon.

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Posted by Dr Fro 9:01 AM
John and I were bouncing around some thoughts on NL stragey before a tournament he played in last night. I reminded him of an old gem:

Let's say you turn a 4-flush (9 outs, or 20% chance of winning or 4:1). You have $500 in chips, the pot is $50, and your opponent has $100. You opponent bets $38 and all but tells you he has a pair. If you call, (and make the assumption that he will call your bet if you make the flush*) you are getting implied odds of $150:$38, which is is worse than 4:1. This calculation is simply pot ($50) + turn bet ($38) maximum river call due to stack size ($62) = $150 versus the $38 you are currently pondering. It is bad for you to call because his short stack keeps you from getting the implied odds you need.

The corollary to this is if you are that opponent, then it is a very smart move to bet >$37 to "protect" your hand.

Moral: When making decisions in NL poker, the stack size of all players needs to be factored into the process.

* note we made the assumption that the player w the made hand would call on the river, which isnt a bad assumption. Factoring in the possibility of the fold only makes a call to the $38 an even worse move. While intuitively obvious, it is a common mistake to do otherwise.

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Posted by Johnnymac 8:36 AM
Wow – looks like I’m 10 days late with my report for my Minnesota trip.

I did indeed make it to Canterbury Park when I was in Minneapolis last weekend (Mar 19-21). I was pretty busy hanging out with friends and participating in other wedding activities but I did get in a little bit of poker for a couple of hours late on my first night in town (Friday).

The simple answer is that if we had a legal cardroom like that in Houston I would probably be there every weekend, but compared to Vegas or Atlantic City this place isn’t worth a special trip. I’m not going to say anything here about the details of the place itself – you can read all about the limits and rules and huge (huge!) crowds elsewhere. One weird thing that I did notice is that all of the chips in any particular game are all identical. There’s no coloring up or mixing denominations – a $300 buy-in gets you three hundred $1 chips. I thought this was slightly unusual and quite inconvenient, especially if you were to be a big winner.

As far as my own experiences go, I arrived around midnight and put my name on the list to play every game in the house from 3/6 to 8/16 and then wandered back to the cage to cash a personal check because I only had $20 in my pocket. When I found out that they wanted to charge me 6% (!!!) to cash that check I headed for the exit as quickly as I could. On my way out of the parking lot I decided to stop at a convenience store across the street to get a drink and happened to notic an ATM machine from my personal bank, so I took a little money out (at no cost this time) and drove back across the street and quickly got into a 4-8 game. I played for an hour with no spectacular or memorable occurrences to speak of and left after an hour with a $6 loss for my efforts.

Bottom line – if you ever happen to find yourself in the Twin Cities with nothing to do at least there’s somewhere you can go play poker.

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Friday, March 26, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 6:20 PM
My March Madness post from March 25 reminded me of a poker phenomenon. In my March Madness example, 32 other guys each filled out a bracket that, on its own, had a lower EV than yours. However, collectively, they created a situation that decreased your EV significantly. Since all EV sums to zero, they share the EV you gave up, with many/most/all of them flipping from negative to positive EV (at least one must flip).

In poker, this same situation is referred to as "the schooling of the fish" and it happens all the time in 3-6-12 no foldem holdem. It is discussed at an excellent resource that I suggest you read.

I have a mathematical example to illustrate this, which will be in my next post

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 2:53 PM
I am bouncing around the idea of poker on Apriil 2 at Casa Friou. Express your interest via comments below.

As always, 50c bb NL Holdem

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:40 PM
Off topic:

March Madness….as you know, I have been busy with my other website during March (/early April) Madness. A few interesting thoughts on filling out brackets:

One thought that is mentioned is some of these is that there is an incorrect notion out there that the odds of correctly picking a bracket perfectly (the very scenario CBS will pay you millions for) is 2^63, or 9.2 with 18 zeros. This is wrong. That is the correct calculation if all wins and losses were equally likely (like a coin toss).

Consider the simple case of 1 game. Do you believe the odds of guessing correctly is 50%? Surely if Kentucky plays FA&M, Kentucky will win 90% of the time (if not more). By using the strategy of always picking Kentucky, you will be right 90% of the time, not 50%. If you flip a coin to make your choice (heads, I pick UK, tails I pick FAM), then your odds (pre-coin flop) are 50% of picking the winner of the game. But you did not use a coin to make your decision, you used your head.

Thus, the odds of getting the bracket perfectly correct is better than 2^63. What is it? Hell if I know, but I know it is better than 2^63.

So, the way to maximize your chances of getting the bracket perfectly correct is to pick all favorites. Note that the “favorite” would not always be the lower seed, as Vegas has two “dogs” as being favored – Louisville and Western Michigan.

But that is the way to maximize your chances of having a perfect bracket. Interestingly, this decreases your chances of winning a pool. Consider a pool where 33 people enter. You pick all favorites. Each of the other 32 people pick exactly 1 first round upset (each one picking a different game, thus covering all 32 first round games) and otherwise have an identical bracket to you. As long as there is at least one first round upset, you are not in first place.

So, your only way of winning is to nail the first round perfectly. Which although you have a greater chance of nailing it perfectly than the others, it is still a very remote possibility.

This is the mathematical explanation for what most bracket veterans already know – you gotta pick some upsets, BABY!

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Friday, March 19, 2004

Posted by Johnnymac 11:10 AM
Sorry that I can't keep up with Fro's prolific blogging patterns - it's hard for me to blog from the office and I have all kinds of stuff I like to do after work instead of sitting in front of a computer.

That said, I am going to Minneapolis tonight to attend a wedding this weekend and if I have some free time I will attempt to make a trip to Canterbury Park to try out the poker room there. I have read a lot about it on Two Plus Two and RGP, so I'm interested to see for myself. A report will be forthcoming on Monday.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 2:24 PM
My blogging will be light during March Madness. If you miss my witty banter, you can read it on my March Madness site. Otherwise, try for some poker chat. My man Johnnie Mac will have some posts here and I always welcome guest blogs....just send me an email.

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 6:11 PM
A brief history lesson in poker

The original poker game was 5 card stud. If you have never played 5 stud, there is a reason why: it sucks and nobody plays it anymore. The game doesn't stimulate much action, because it is usually quite obvious who is winning. Eighty percent of your hand is exposed. So, along comes 5 draw to the rescue. Poker just got really interesting. Not only can you represent hands (and put people on hands) based on betting patterns, you could do the same with the number of cards drawn. More importantly, there was more action per street because you had no idea what anybody else had. Even with going from 4 streets to 2, there was more action. As a general rule in poker, games with more action become more popular than games without action. The other rule in poker is that games that more reward skill tend to become more popular than games that do not (as an aside, it seems that the opposite is true in home games.) Guess what? Seven stud has more action than Draw and it requires more card skills, primarilly due to the exposure of 4 cards in each hand. So seven stud was the game of choice for a while.

Then came Holdem. People were attracted to Holdem because it required some of the same skills as stud, but since the exposed cards are community property, there is a lot less to keep track of. It was basically a poor man's version of stud in that sense. However, it picked up a characteristic of Draw that 7 Stud left off: 100% of my personal cards are face-down. Thus, it was not possible to ascertain who was ahead based on cards. Bluffing became a bigger aspect of the game.

I have always suspected that the use of Holdem in the Main Event of the WSOP had quite a bit to do with Holdem's popularity as well.

Not all Holdem is created equally, there is of course pot limit, no limit and limit. Although pot limit was the norm in Europe, limit was the game in America, with only the high rollers in Vegas ever engaging in no limit. Card rooms preferred limit, because it meant the fish would lose slowly over time versus their likely fate in NL. The old adage is you can shear a sheep many times, but scalp him only once. Limit Holdem was played with antes, not blinds at first. This sucked, because if you can check around pre-flop, you will see 7/9 of your cards by the flop. Thus there was no reason to bet pre-flop without a monster. Blinds changed all this by stimulating pre-flop action. David Sklansky says that all poker starts with a struggle for the antes. Now that it is a struggle for blinds (which are proportionately larger than antes) the game got juicy.

The next big thing was Omaha, which comes in two forms: high only or "O/8" a.k.a. "Omaha High Low 8 or better to win." Of Holdem was the poker equivalent to a roller coaster, then O/8 was the equivalent of riding a roller coaster butt naked on crack without a seatbelt. There were some pockets were Holdem had all but died, including the Vic in London, Harrah's in New Orleans and a few other Mississippi river boats. Holdem's popularity in Texas was strong (perhaps due to the name) but those in the know (Card Player, Poker Pages, rgp, etc) would regularly write about how Holdem was going to die soon and Omaha would take its place. When I started playing "real" poker in 1998, it was at a cardroom that only dealt Omaha. I only learned to play Holdem when the club shut down and I was introduced to the FSC. At that time, FSC had a couple Omaha tables and 1 3-6-12 Holdem game. The Omaha tables were all booked up, so I played Holdem. I won (fyi, I had lost untold foturnes in O/8 to that date) and was hooked. But the wave of poker was clearly in Omaha's favor.

Then something happened that very few people expected. Poker became a television phenomenon. Everybody reading this knows all about that, but it was probably the single biggest boost to poker's popularity. Since only Holdem is played on TV, Holdem benefitted from TV the most. Now, it is hard to find Omaha games. The word "poker" has become virtually synonymous with "Holdem." I am guessing that all over America, young guys have walked into casinos asking to get in a poker game and when they sat down and saw 4 cards dealt they were completely confused as to what was going on.

Anyway, you all know what poker is like today, but I thought you would appreciate hearing how we got where we are.


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Posted by Dr Fro 8:47 AM
In one of Mike Caro's books (Fundamental Secrets, I believe), he starts out with the notion that:

"In the beginning, everything is even money."

In other words, if you are about to cross a street, and you have never crossed a street before, then you have absolutely no ability to assess the probability of being run over by a car. Absent any helpful information, you assess the risk at 50/50 - aka "even money." However, in time you gain experience and learn that the odds are less than even. You also learn that the odds are higher at rush hour than at midnight. By being observant, you learn more that you can apply to future street walking so that you can be more successful.

Mike Caro does not make many points regarding crossing the street, so as you have probably guessed - this relates to poker.

Absent any information to the contrary, you looking at an open ended straight would be even money. But you have done your homework, and you know that you have 8 outs out of 44. So you think you have an 18% or 4.5:1 chance of winning and so you don't want to play. But then you learn about pot odds and realize that the pot pays 4.6:1, so you decide to play. But at some point in your life, you will hit a straight and bet it only to learn that your opponent hit a flush (BOOM! Run over by a car!). So you don't have 8 outs after all. You have 6 or 6.3:1, which is not justified by pot odds. So you don't call. But, you remember that this guy bets with rags 1/2 the time, so you are actually getting pot odds when you incorporate your game theory knowledge of how his betting improves your odds to 3.2:1. Ok, you call.

It is an interesting way of viewing things. That is the reason I love Mike's writing - he sees things from a different angle. Well his point is simple and it is made, but there is a tangent (or perhaps an extention) to his point that I would like to make:

"Right now, there is something you don't know. There is information you will learn later in your career that will improve your game. Right now, your game is sub-optimal." If we improve with time based on lessons learned, then you should be able to work backwards to today to come to this conclusion.

It seems rhetorical an not insightful if you just read it without thought. But if you think about it, you probably spend a lot of time at the poker table assuming you are better than everyone else. You chalk up losses to bad cards. I have a 3 or 4 year head start on a lot of people playing "real" poker, and I can tell you that after about a year, I was certain that I knew it all. I know 10 times now what I knew then. I have learned from a variety of sources (including Mr Caro's excellent books) but there is one source in particular that is the biggest contributor: winners. I observe winners.

In Aberdeen and London, it was always the same guys at the clubs. The chairs were perfectly contoured to the shapes of their respective arses they spent so much time there. I noticed who won and who didn't. I began to emulate the winners and became one myself. Often, I imitated them not knowing why it was profitable, but just knowing that it was. In time, I would learn why raising from the button or slow playing into the maniac was profitable.

So there is something you still have to learn. And there is plenty I still have to learn. The day you look back over a year and can't name one lesson learned, you are either the best poker player in the world, or you have been a stubborn fool. I'll let you pick.

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 5:03 PM
Ask and ye shall receive

From : Morris
Sent : Thursday, March 11, 2004 4:38 PM
To : Fro
Subject : Recent Success



Here is an account of my recent success in Louisiana.

About a month ago I finished second in the Harrah's tournament in Lake Charles and scored a $7K win by letting the winner pay me off to quit. Last weekend I chopped the pot and took the winners share of the tournament at the Isle of Capri for a $5.4K payday. The tournaments were run extremely well. The buyins for both were $100 with another $100 for an add on at the beginning. At Harrah's there were unlimited buyins for the first 1.5 hours. While luck obviously plays a huge part of any tournament, there are a few areas that I have learned can make the difference in finishing higher.

The structure of the tournaments was that the final table would be the last 10 players. However, only the top 7 got money. Even of these 7, the payouts were much different. For example, the winner got $10K second place got $6K third place got $2.5K fourth place $1.2K fifth place $700 and so on.

The first trend I have noticed is that the game is EXTREMELY tight at three stages of the tournament. A)the very beginning of the tournament B) immediately after the buyin period is over and then again C) at the final table. I think this is because of several reasons. 1) Everyone is feeling everyone else out at the beginning, 2) Nobody wants to be eliminated first and finally 3) as the final table rolled on, surviving even one more person meant jumping up huge in the payout. i.e. the difference in 3rd to 4th was over $1,000.

At Harrah's I caught some cards early and was able to build some chips. I did something that many of you guys would not agree with. If I won a pot with good cards, I would show my hand to the table. I did this because I wanted to get the respect of the table so I could bluff later when it would mean more. Also, I laid some marginal hands down even though I thought they were the best hand. For example I had Ace Queen off suit immediately after the buyin period was over. I raised before the flop and got one caller. The flop came Q J 10, rainbow. The caller made out a week bet and I thought my hand was the best, but I folded. As I did, I also showed the table and said something like, "I can't beat the K 10." I did this for two reasons, 1) I may have been beat, and also 2) I wanted the table to think I would put my hand down easily. I don't know if it worked or not, but I was able to steal some blinds later in the game while holding nothing but rags. And I also double through a player who went all in against me with middle pair.

The only other thing that I did differently was at the final table. I would not try to limp in for the price of the big blind unless I was willing to call a bet for all my chips. It worked well for me in two ways. 1) When I did limp in, the action was always me versus the big blind. There was never a case of someone else limping in, as the game was tight and no one wanted to play a three way hand. 2) Players, especially the big blind and the button, think calling is a sign of weakness and will try to steal your bet. I tripled up this way. I had KK in middle position, called the price of the big blind and then the small blind (a big stack) went all in. The Big blind (small stack) called. I immediately called and sure enough the small blind had something like j10 off suit, the big blind had a pair of 6s and I hold up. Had I gone all in, or even raised, I would likely have gotten no action on this hand.

By the way, after this hand I was able to steal an enormous amount of money by limping in, then going all in after the flop, no matter what I had. This is dangerous but if you pick your spots it can be helpful in paying the escalating blinds while trying to outlast the table and into the money.

All in all it has been a blast. I'm going back this weekend and gonna try to do it again.



I have to agree with all the above. The conventional wisdom on not showing your cards applies to ring games, where giving away any EV is necessarily bad (or at least not good). However, in a tournament, any time you can trade a small amount of EV for less volatility (in CM's case, this should lead to fewer calls from others) it decreases your chances of busting out, which is the only thing that matters in tournaments - not busting out.

I like the final table strategy...rather than a check-raise, it is a limp-raise. Bad strategy in a normal ring game, but I have seen final tables at these things and those guys will run from a big raise. Seems like the right strategy in this very specific situation.

I have had some amazing rushes in my lifelong gambling episodes, but never have I won > $10k in a month. I think my best month ever was just shy of $3k.

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Posted by Dr Fro 1:47 PM
Advice from Johnny Chan

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Posted by Dr Fro 1:44 PM
I think we need a guest blog from Morris. He has had at least two big scores that I know of lately. So, c'mon Morris, send us a story on your recent tournament win(s) and I will post it.

My email is phreaux

add on to that.

(i cant post it b/c web crawlers will find it and spam me).

Send me an email, we want to hear the secret to your success in 2004.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 10:32 PM
Tonight I won $185 at $10-$20 holdem in just shy of 2 hrs, about 5 BB's per hour. As stated before, I feel as if I am a bit of a crap shoot at limit, but am quite proud of my PL play. Lesson of the day:

In big bet (PL or NL) poker or in higher stakes (10-20 and up), if heads up on the river and you check, then he bets, you should call with just about anything. It is just entirely too likely that he is on a bluff.

I made a bit of money following that advice tonight.

LW and CW were baptised tonight and I think they enjoyed it. Cards did not come their way though. I learned that there is a $25 referral bonus per person if they come 3x or more. So, if you guys go back 2 more times each, let me know, I'll collect the $50 and give you each $12.50.

I absolutely love the teetees on the long haired game girl. Not the young chick (Dee) but the hippy looking girl. She is always nipping too. She caught me staring more than once.

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Posted by Dr Fro 3:18 PM
From the mailbag
From : Mark
Sent : Wednesday, March 10, 2004 11:00 AM
To : Fro
Subject : Mail Bag

We all know about the importance of position in Hold 'Em, but I wanted to relay a story from this past weekend at Harrah's in Lake Charles on how I used position in order to hit my nut flush.

In a $10-$20 game, I was dealt A9s on the button. 5 callers (including myself) paid $10 to see the flop. The flop gave me my four flush, but I didn't pair up. The guy in first position bet $10, and he was called by the other 3 people. I raised (on the button) making it $20 to go. My raise was made primarily for 3 reasons. First, I hoped to build a bigger pot, should I get my last spade and hit the nut flush. Second, I hoped to maybe scare off somebody holding an unpaired ace, should I only pair up later. And last, and most importantly, I hoped to get a free card on the river if I didn't hit my flush on the turn.

Everyone called my raise, and the pot was now $150. The turn didn't bring my flush, but just as I had hoped, all 4 players checked around to me on the button. I checked and got my free river card, which brought me the nut flush.

However, since everyone had expected me to bet on the turn, they weren't going to check around to me again. First person bets $20. Second raises to $40. Third calls $40. I raise to $60, and everyone calls except the guy in position one. Total pot was $410, and the nut flush took it.

Looking back, had I not raised on the flop, I could've been faced with a $20 or $40 bet on the turn and might have been forced to lay down the winning hand. - MJ

Betting the flop to get a free card on the turn on the button is a great move, and is even more valuable in big bet (PL+NL) poker, as the cost of the draw would often require a laydown -cf

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Posted by Dr Fro 10:29 AM
I am taking Curtis and Lee to the TH today; we couldnt get a home game together. I aint feeling too lucky though. I feel on top of my game for pot limit, but limit games are not my strength and I always feel quite fortunate when I do well in limit.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 8:58 PM
rainbow - a turn with 4 different suits

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Posted by Dr Fro 8:57 PM
How many hand names can we come up with?

AA - pocket rockets, american airlines
KK - cowboys
QQ - Ladies
JJ - hooks
22 ducks
AK - big slick
AQ - big chick
AJ - big dick
69 - big lick
Q3 - San Fransisco waiter (a queen with a trey)
5K - 3.1 miles
K9 - dog
88 - snowmen
club flush - crabs
Aces and Eights - Dead Man's Hand
92 - Buddy Burns


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Posted by Dr Fro 8:51 PM
Poker Top 10 Check it out

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Posted by Dr Fro 8:43 PM
"When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience."

Courtesy of Poker School Club

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Posted by Dr Fro 3:51 PM
I spend a lot of time "on the bubble" in tournaments. My tighter (relatively) style of play is wells suited for 10 handed ring games, but has little chance against a field of loose-aggressive players. If a tourney pays out 6 players, I generall try to survive to the top 10 or so, and then take some shots while others tighten up. How the cards fall determine which side of the bubble I land on.

So I stumble across an article about <the bubble which apparently has no point (to his credit, Max is a humorist and not a strategist). This article did make me think about my consistent performance in tournaments (which for the past year has meant $0 in winnings).

As I thought about it over the weekend, my March Madness strategy is identical. I tend to not take many big upsets in the first two rounds, thus ensuring survival. But I always pick a 2, 3, or 4 seed to win it all, thus giving me a chance to make a push at the end. Last year, I picked Syracuse, and sure enough, I came from the middle of the field to finish a surprising 5th out of 200. Of course, we only paid 1st - 3rd.

I am not yet convinced as to the error of my ways. For instance, had I picked the Horns to make the Final Four (which they were quite a favorite to do) I would have won. For every conservative decision that cost me victory, I can find an upset that cost me as well. Same with poker - while my conservative play gave me a small to medium stack in the middle of Junell's tourney, I was knocked out bc Wilson had Aces. You can hardly blame my strategy for defeat when the big man has aces.

I know that part of my strategy is correct - that you can't take all favorites in March Madness nor only play premium hands in poker tournaments and expect to win. The question is - when and how often do you stray from the book?

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:43 PM
And thoughts on the rake

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:32 PM
More on legal issues

For those who don't know Gary Carson, he is one of the better selling poker authors. He is also a know-it-all asshole, so I take much of what he says with a grain of salt.

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:15 PM
Update on charity poker

From: Ken G
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 12:53 PM
Subject: Charity Poker Tournament Update

Thank you everyone for being patient with the details on our next tournament. We have narrowed down the dates to 2 possible, so we need to find out which dates you prefer:

April 10th: Yes it is Easter weekend, but it had the most votes so far, remember that it is only 1 day and you are not having to drive to Louisiana to play.

April 24th: This option was the second best votes.

I am leaning toward April 10th because if we play on the 24th or May 1st, we are within the 30 day advance for plane tickets. The prize structure will be a little different from the tournament in January, we are giving more prizes away this time as most of you know. We will also have a prize for first person out, and first really bad beat.

The winner of course will receive a certificate/voucher for his seat at the WSOP plus $1000 travel voucher. Second through tenth place get entry into the satellite the day before plus a $500 travel voucher. These travel vouchers will be yours to use at your convenience. Instead of just booking a trip, we want the voucher to have more value, in case your stay in Vegas is only 1 or 2 days.

IF YOU KNOW OF A POSSIBLE VENUE TO RENT FOR THE TOURNAMENT LET ME KNOW, WE ARE TRYING TO SAVE AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT CHILDREN SAFE HARBOR SAVES AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE. We are currently looking at 3 venues around Metro Houston, mostly centrally located. We will not be using a bar or anywhere that has a liquor license. Email me with details, all we need are 4 walls and a roof.

Ken Gobble

Wild West is a Platinum Sponsor of HHH

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Monday, March 08, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 9:27 AM
We got insight on the FSC from Matt (see comment below). As I have always stated, the owners of these places are taking a serious legal risk, but there seems to be no/little risk to the customers (presumably the "vicitms" of this heinous crime). However, there are other risks involved. For instance, I think your entire stack could be taken as evidence. I know someone who claims to know someone that this happened to many years ago.

This is one of many reasons I limit my time at semi-legal* clubs to only when I am bored and desperate for a game. There is enough interest among my friends to be able to organize a game at a house pretty easily. The other reasons I limit my play there is:

- steep rake
- higher quality of players
- smoke

Although, the higher quality of players does help my game in the long run.

*"semi-legal" is the euphamism we use in casa Friou.

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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 10:03 PM
We are not alone







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Posted by Dr Fro 9:36 PM
I won $80 at the Hat this afternoon, bringing 2004 total poker to $1,475. The game was $5-$10 limit holdem, with an optional $20 on the end. The game was very tight, much much tighter than the old $3-$6-$12 at the Friendship. Had I tried, I could have stolen a few pots, but the cards were good and I didnt need to play fancy.

By the way, the Friendship is under new ownership. I smell something funny. Any insight would be appreciated.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 6:32 PM
I am open to suggestions on changes in the buyins in my NL game, but I suggest you read this first. He has some good points.

You can comment below or email me - my rules are always open for improvement

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Posted by Dr Fro 6:31 PM
And I also found out about Morris big score in the tournament recently. Either he failed to mention this or I was drunker than I thought when I last saw him. If he failed to mention it, then we are very different. Had I won a few grand, I would tell everyone who would listen. I might even start a website where I have a forum to brag about it ;-)

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Posted by Dr Fro 6:30 PM
Mi amigo, Juan, played in a tournament recently and won $500 on a $10 or $20 buy in. Good for him. But if Juan was better than 49 other guys, I want to know this:

Does anybody have these guys phone numbers and know what they are doing this weekend?

(sorry Juan, I couldnt resist!)

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Posted by Dr Fro 6:04 PM
Know how to catch a cheat?

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:07 PM
My March Madness Pool kicks butt. Save the link. Tournament starts in 2 weeks

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 5:50 PM
I think that one of the first things that happens when one steps up from being a complete newbie is to become sceptical of claims as the importance of gut feelings. You quickly become a sheer numbers guy, especially if you play a lot of limit holdem, where there is no room for outplaying people. You should drop reliance on gut feelings at this point, but unfortunately, some people never pick it back up.

I think that there comes a point in your game where you know 99% of what you'll ever know about the quantitative aspect of the game. In order to continue to improve, you just need to spend a lot of time around a table and develop some gut instincts.

Doyle Brunson talks about this in the NL section of Super System and also in the Intro to SS. This guy mentions it too in this book review.

I personally havent spent much time thinking about this, but if Doyle says it is important, then it is. All I know is that I have most of the quantitative aspects of the game down. I may stray from a by the book game from time to time, but that is not because I don't know better. Anyway, I might get the book and see what there is to learn.

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Posted by Dr Fro 5:38 PM
Houston Poker League

This guy helped throw the Charity Tournament at Drink Houston that Junell almost won (and Pinion got 3rd in)

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Monday, March 01, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 12:40 PM
Saturday night I played PL Holdem and managed to turn February into a winning month.

It was heads up and he had KK on the button, and I had A9o. He called the small blind. I raise ($10) made the pot $20. He called the $10 and raised the pot ($30). I called the $30 and raised the pot ($90). I called the $90. Pot size before the flop was $180.

Flop is 9, x, x. I bet $180 and he calsl my bet of $180 and raise the pot ($540). I call the $540, and raise to put him all-in. (about $300 more).

When we flipped our cards over, the pot was about $1,400. He rolls KK, and I show A9o. He breathes a sigh of relief when the turn cards brings no help. I had an 11% chance of winning at that point. River was a 9, making my (improbable) set.

There are so many things I did wrong on that hand. With that many reraises, I should have known he had AA or KK or QQ. However, as it was late, I wasnt thinking clearly, and I had him on AKs. I got lucky.

I won $1,635. Obviously, it would only be $235 if I lost that pot. Actually, we probably would have kept playing and then who knows? Maybe I would lose. But I didnt, and I bagged my biggest winnings ever for a cash game of poker and reversed my February fortunes.

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Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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