Friday, December 31, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 4:29 PM
I won $820 in Vegas and counting...

We got to Vegas at lunchtime and ate at Mon Ami Gabi, the Parisian cafe that overlooks the Bellagio fountains. Nothing like dining in France and viewing Lago di Como...only in Vegas. Teh food was excellent. We checked in and quickly made it to the Alladin for some $1/$2 NL (which is the only game I played). The game was very easy and I picked up $275 without much effort. The best players were not very good. No pros. We went and ate sushi and then played a little BJ while I waited for a spot in the poker game at Bally's. I won a little at BJ and finally got in the game. It was nuts.

They usually don't put the NL game near the passers-by because the rubbernecking causes traffic jams. However, when the game started that afternoon, it was the only table left. We had a hug crowd watching us. It was like being on the WPT. Money was flying around like nobody's business, with pots regularly exceeding $100. Somehow I got the table image of tight experienced guy. That happens when the other guys have never played before. I got up $250 by waiting for monster hands and milking the chips out of 2nd best hands. (On a side note, this is a new skill I have developed that deserves its own post. I used to bet my boats too heavily, but now I think I have mastered the art of betting just enough to get a reluctant call).

A smart person would have either cashed out or stayed sober. I am not a smart person, so I did neither. I found myself caught up in the bright lights and the attention that my $450 stack was receiving from the crowd. So, I did what I always do when excited - drink heavily.

I am not sure if the drinking was the cause or not, but there were two hands that made me lose all $450 + another $200 buyin.

Flop was 6-8-10 and I held AT. The only other guy in the pot was the tightest guy at the table. He always raised preflop with premium hands and limped with very good hands. He had limped, so I doubted he had AA, KK, QQ or JJ. I was hoping he had KT, QT, JT or maybe 99 or 77, all of which may call or may fold. Either way, I was going to be ahead. I made a huge bet for half his stack and he re-raised. Hmmmm...a tight guy check raised me. I would have to assume he has the straight, but he NEVER played crap like 79. Call. He had 79.

I floped the King high flush. He flopped the Ace high flush. When I flop the King high flush, I tend to bet huge to force out the Ace looking for the 4th of the suit.

I bought in again and played from midnight to 6:30am to get back all but $90 of my losses.

The next day I got a $80 cup of coffee (rather than paying $2, I played Roullette to get a 'freee' cup, which ended up costing $80), made some bets at the sportsbook, met David for lunch and then we went and played more poker at Bally's. The competition was hideous and David got a kick in the nuts when the worst player called David's big all-in bet with a gutshot draw. Guess what happened?

I had better luck. There were two hands in particular that helped me out:

Hand #3
I was dealt KJs and called a raise from the utg. I had position and had been winning a lot with hands like KJs. The reason that these hands were so profitable was that although I threw away a lot of cash pre-flop, I ALWAYS got a call when I hit the straight, sometimes 2 calls. The flop came Jxx. He bets something decent like $70. I am almost certain he has QQ, KK, AA. If so, I am beat. Well, there is one way to win this hand...."I'm all in. $160." He had that "oh shit" look on his face. He did all of his thinking out loud and after a couple minutes concluded that I had JJ. He folded and I won a big pot.

The number one reason I bet that bet was that I noticed that he was a pretty solid player but not much of a risk taker. My assessment was correct and paid off. It was at this point that I reflected upon my hand the night before when I lost to the flopped straight. My greatest strength is puttung a man on a hand. I think that booze impedes that ability more than any other ability. So, when I drink, I take away my biggest strength and give myself little opportuinty to win. OK, no more beer.

Hand #4
This was a thing of beauty. I played Q4s. I can see John grimace as he reads this, but you have to understand, nobody ever raised pre-flop. We had 7+ players seeing every flop. I got multiple callers when I would hit a big hand. It would have been stupid to not give myself every opportunity possible. Starting hand requirements droppped to include "but they were sooooooted hands, too". Flop comes QQA. Bets, raises and calls build a big pot. The turn is a Q and I am money. Only if a A comes on the river and someone had AA could I lose. Bet, Raise, I call. Turn is a 4. Bet, raise, I re-reaise and the BOTH call with an A to make Q's ful of A. I show the Q and scoop about $300 in profit.

I cash out up $313 and Jane and I go back for a nap. The 2.5 hours sleep from the night before weren't doing me any good. We checked out Bellagio and the place was a circus. The waiting list was long and I didnt want to strand Jane. We played video poker and drank a pint while we watched football. We went to Tiffany's and saw a pair of earrings she liked but we couldn't afford. Then I faced the decision of playing at Bellagio or Alladin. Jane could hang out with David while Kim and I played, so we went there.

We got to the Alladin for some more poker. Kim was already playing and I sat down at a table they created after I made the waiting list 10 long. The crowd included 7 undergrads. They had all seen Rounders and the WPT on TV and had the lingo down. However, they failed to pick up much strategy. We only played for about 1.5 hours and I picked up $95. This was easily the worst quality players so far and it was very hard to get up and leave, but we had dinner and show reservations.

While I waited for the 3 others to change I played craps and won $200. My only goal was to score a free beer, but the $200 was nice. We ate at the same sushi restaurant, Ah Sin, and made our way to the Luxor for Blue Man Group. I won $5 at BJ while waiting and then we saw the show. Fantastic. Absolutely beautiful. And the music was great. My main comment afterwards was "I really didn't smoke enough crack before the show..." If you have seen the show, you understand. I knew that if I played I would be up all night, so I crashed.

I played the next day and occilated around +50 and -50. I won a bluff on my last hand to win $6. I put it all on #23 at a nearby roullette table and lost.

Seeing as how I just won enough to cover the entire trip, I went back to Tiffany's and bought those earrings. I felt like Jim McManus getting that bracelet for his wife. I met Jane, David and Kim in the mall and we eventually made our way to the airport.

I won $820. That's $200 on craps, and $620 on cards. I only had one real losing session at anything, save the $6 roullette bet. We got back to Dallas and watched the Texas Tech v the money line (+$350) and Tech v the spread come through. Now, if Tennessee beats A&M, the total will grow to closer to a grand.

Overall, the competion was soft. They weren't the crack addicts on Party Poker that call and make a 2-outer to win. They are smart enough to fold when they should, which makes bluffing a more profitable play. But they hang onto pocket pairs all the way to the river and call too many bets on the river. They also tend to give away the strength of their hand too often. I think the competition at the Bellagio (from what other players told me) are much much much better. Add in the presence of a few Party Poker crack addict types and accusations of collusion and I don't think I would have had much/any luch at Bellagio.

Let's go Rocky Top. The Cotton Bowl is a 10-15 minute drive from my house, so I may sneak in tomorrow morning to start off the new year.

Happy New Years, guys.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:06 AM
To answer some of the comments below:

- While poker does require a larger level of skill than other gambling games, there is an element of chance that is inherent even in poker that does not reasonably exist in darts or pool or golf. Ergo, poker is considered a gambling game and is illegal in public places, including bars, while these activities are not and the analogy of a poker tournament being "the same thing" as a tournament in one of these other activities does not stand up. It is not the same thing, at all, and the argument is weak. Yes, the structure is similar, but the game is not, and this argument completely misses the point. If you disagree, ask yourself if there ever was a Chris Moneymaker of pool or golf. Luck goes a lot further in poker than in these other actvities. It is not the same thing.

- Argue first why poker should be legal in a public place, then you can argue as to why bar tournaments should be allowed. I would venture a guess that public places require government regulation while private places do not, and by their nature of requiring a good deal less skill than do pool or darts, gambling games need a stricter form of regulation (eg the Nevada Gaming Commission) than do pool tables or dart boards. It is easier to catch a cheater at pool than at cards. This is why poker is legal in your home and not at the Yorkshire pub, because, theoretically, your friends won't cheat you and you don't need the government to make sure of that.

- As far as the argument that poor people will "just waste their money anyway" if they don't have the option of playing the lottery or slot machines, I cannot offer any evidence to disagree. But I don't need any evidence because my argument does not rely on the availability of these funds or the willingness of the players to give their money away. Whether or not a person engages in self-destructive behavior is his own business and is protected by one's right to privacy and is likely not affected by the existence of a government-sponsored gambling. My argument is simply that the government should not be in the business of encouraging destructive behavior and as a society we should use the power of our government to find ways to educate or encourage citizens on avoiding destructive behaviors rather than encouraging these people to waste their money and pushing to the front of the line to take it. This is why I am not necessarily a pure libertarian, because I don't think the government should be entirely value-neutral.

- Let's all admit that poker is indeed legal, even in Texas. I think the main thing that people are clamoring for is increasing the availability of games; the problem is that the only legal games are private non-profit affairs and that aren't easily organized at a moment's notice, and it's the type of games that are always available that are illegal and thus that people are clamoring to legalize.

- Now as far getting making more legal games available, I think there is a case to be made for somehow making games a little more public, or otherwise available, without criminalizing them. For instance, I think that the case currently in front of the Supreme Court about the legality of interstate wine sales, Swedenburg v. Kelly, could have a lot to do with the legality of online gambling because any state objection based on local gambling laws would be quite diminished if it could be decided that private economic transactions across state lines are not strictly subject to local laws, although I will admit that state laws aren't the only obstacle to truly legal online gambling (For example there are federal laws governing bookmaking and gambling using interstate communications wires.) Eventually, however, online poker in one's own home could thus be defined as just another economic transaction taking place beyond the reach of local regulators. Similarly, I think a slight adjustment to the current gambling laws would enable legal private poker clubs to exist, provided those clubs were truly private and selective within whatever scope the updated law would dictate. I would like to flesh this out further, but I just don't have time right now.

Have a happy new year!

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:49 AM
Blogger now provides integrated comments for all blogs on Blogspot. As such, I think that the turn of the new year gives me an excuse to turn off the "Trackback" comments. This means that all of the comments from old posts will no longer be accessible or viewable from the archives, so if you need to catch up on what Tenacious has to say about one of Junell's PL hands or my whining about pokerstars, you'll need to do it sometime today because those comments will possibly be gone by Sunday and definitely by this time on Monday morning.

(0) comments

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 11:50 PM
Since I just got back from Vegas, I obviously owe a very long post. Let me first catch up on some recent newes on the blog:

- I can't believe my very far right leaning friend John Greene posted such strong support for regulation of any sort, especially in an area that uber-conservatives consider to be paternal. Well, as a flag-burning, communist, troop hating, puppy-killing Democrat, I agree with many of John's points (althought I disagree on some minor points) in his post. And I guess that this reminds me of one of the reasons I like John - he is complex enough to surprise me with his ideas constantly. He doesn't blindly subscribe to a set of ideas handed to him from the right or the left.

- I play KT utg in limit typically, but it depends on the table. If I can count on a family pot that that is bet I'll play it.

- Junell's house was insane last week. In $1 - $2 NL, there were several players with wins/losses > $500. Several. And more than a few > $1,000. And there musta been 40 people there over the course of the night. I was deal crap all night long. When I made a hand, I ran into the wrong hand. KK v 99 pre bet bet....he flops a 9. And so on. Horrible night. Junior was drawn out on 5 different hands where he was not only ahead, he had a dominating hand. It was frustrating to sit in such a juicy game and never get a shot at winning anything.

I'll get that Vegas post together tomorrow...

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:05 PM
Straight from the TABC:

Poker Tournaments

Recently a number of establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages have begun to offer poker tournaments for the entertainment of their patrons, either by the licensee or by a third party working on the licensed premises. This has led to a number of questions to this agency as to the legality of this practice.

All alcoholic beverage license or permits are subject to suspension, imposition of a civil fine or cancellation if they are operated in a "place or manner that warrants the cancellation or suspension of the permit based on the general welfare, health, peace, morals and safety of the people and on the public sense of decency." Alcoholic Beverage Code §11.61(b)(7); 61.71(a)(17). By rule, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission has defined this statute to mean that a permittee violates the above-cited statutes if the permittee violates, or knowing or negligently allows another to violate, certain penal statutes on the licensed premises. Among those penal statutes are the Penal Code provisions prohibiting gambling in Texas. 16 Tex. Admin. C §35.31 (c)(14). These gambling statutes are contained in Chapter 47 of the Texas Penal Code.

In summary then, an alcoholic beverage licensee/permittee violates the Alcoholic Beverage Code if he/she engages in illegal gambling on the licensed premises or allows another to do so.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer general or hypothetical opinions as to whether certain programs or ways of conducting tournaments violate the Texas Penal Code. Rather, we must make those determinations in the context of the specific facts as they happen to occur on licensed premises. We advise any licensee/permittee or unlicensed company planning to conduct poker tournaments to consult the Penal Code provisions relating to gambling and, if possible, obtain private legal counsel.

Prosecutions of illegal gambling activity are conducted by local district or county attorneys who may be able to provide advice as to particular conduct that will or will not be prosecuted in their particular jurisdiction.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:51 PM
Wanna know how to build a $1,400 pot in a friendly little $2-$5 pot-limit game? I'll tell you how.

Disclaimer: "A bad beat with a happy ending."

In the small blind I'm dealt 66.
I have $270 in chips.

Middle position ("Calling Station") calls $5.
Middle position ("Agressive Idiot") raises to $15.
Late position ("Lucky Bastard") smooth calls the $15
I smooth call in small blind.
Big Blind folds
Calling station smooth calls.

Pot is $65 preflop (with 4 players).

Flop is J 6 8 rainbow, giving me a set of 6's.

I check (waiting to trap).
"Calling Station" leads out with a $40 bet.
"Aggressive Idiot" smooth calls $40
"Lucky Bastard" smooth calls $40.

Holy shit! This couldn't have worked out better. Now I can make some real money on this baby! I correctly raise the pot (First I call the $40 and then raise another $185). I now only have $30 left.

"Calling Station" calls the $185.
"Aggressive Idiot" calls the $185.
"Lucky Bastard" calls the $185.

What the fuck is going on here??

Pot is now $925

Turn is a King. Board is now [J 8 6 K]

I go all in for $30.
"Calling Station" calls the $30.
"Aggressive Idiot" calls the $30.
"Lucky Bastard" calls the $30 and goes all-in for another $225.
"Calling Station" smooth calls the $225
"Aggressive Idiot" Folds

Main pot is $1045. Side pot is $450.

We flip the cards over and I am shocked.
"Calling Station" has a J7. A pair of Jacks. No kicker, no draw.
"Aggressive Idiot" had a J8 (top two pair).
"Lucky Bastard" had KK (turned a set).

"Lucky Bastard" called $185 with an overpair, and caught his 2-outer on the turn. Any other card, and I win $1,045.

Okay, that's the bad beat part of the story. Now for the happy ending. Before dealing the river card, we start talking about making some kind of deal. I have 1 out (a 6). We discuss options for 5 minutes, and I really don't suggest anything, because I know I'm just plain beat. Already pulling my wallet out to reload.

I'm shocked when the now, "Very Nice Lucky Bastard" tells me he'll give me $200 back, and he'll take the rest....if that's okay with me. Okay with me??? He's offering to simply give me $200 of the $270 I put into the pot!!! Okay with me??? Does the Pope shit in the woods???

Thank you kind sir! You're a gentlemen and a scholar! The table freaked out and berated him for giving me $200. "Are you crazy??? He has one out!!" "I would never have done that!" "Man, you're a fool!!"

He just smiled and said that he didn't want to bust me out in the 1st 10 minutes, and "we're all just having fun, and came here to play." Besides he was very satisfied with his $1,200 pot.

And I was very satisfied that I didn't have to reload.

His good deed was rewarded with good karma, and he cashed out a few hours later with a $1,400 profit. I promised to repay the favor one day: not by giving him free money, but I may deal him 2 river cards :)

Daniel, I won't forget it.

(0) comments

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Posted by Junelli 3:29 PM
The $370,000 jackpot hit! On a $2-$4 table, Quad Jacks lost to a straight flush. The loser of the hand won $185,000; the winner won $92,500. Everyone else won $12,000.

Who says that a 78s isn't a good hand???

***** Hand History for Game 1363640529 *****
LuckShark888 has left the table.
2/4 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Wed Dec 29 16:09:36 EST 2004
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 983903 (Real Money) -- Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 1: natemower ( $171.5)
Seat 2: NicStic ( $160.5)
Seat 4: Bond_JmsBond ( $109)
Seat 5: mickdriver ( $97.5)
Seat 6: imaptone ( $91)
Seat 7: jackvonspade ( $81)
Seat 10: EZmoney4mom ( $71.5)
jackvonspade posts small blind (1)
EZmoney4mom posts big blind (2)
** Dealing down cards **
natemower folds.
NicStic calls (2)
Bond_JmsBond calls (2)
mickdriver folds.
imaptone folds.
jackvonspade calls (1)
EZmoney4mom raises (2) to 4
NicStic calls (2)
Bond_JmsBond calls (2)
jackvonspade calls (2)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Jd, Ks, Td ]
jackvonspade checks.
EZmoney4mom bets (2)
NicStic calls (2)
Bond_JmsBond calls (2)
jackvonspade folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9d ]
EZmoney4mom bets (4)
NicStic calls (4)
Bond_JmsBond calls (4)
** Dealing River ** : [ Jh ]
EZmoney4mom bets (4)
NicStic raises (8) to 8
Bond_JmsBond calls (8)
EZmoney4mom raises (8) to 12
NicStic raises (8) to 16
Bond_JmsBond calls (8)
EZmoney4mom calls (4)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $78.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ Jd Ks Td 9d Jh ]
natemower balance $171.5, didn't bet (folded)
NicStic balance $213, bet $26, collected $78.5, net +$52.5 [ 8d 7d ] [ a straight flush, jack high -- Jd,Td,9d,8d,7d ]
ycheck1 balance $20, sits out
Bond_JmsBond balance $83, lost $26 [ Ad 4d ] [ a flush, ace high -- Ad,Jd,Td,9d,4d ]
mickdriver balance $97.5, didn't bet (folded)
imaptone balance $91, didn't bet (folded)
jackvonspade balance $77, lost $4 (folded)
chase0393 balance $30, sits out
EZmoney4mom balance $45.5, lost $26 [ Js Jc ] [ four of a kind, jacks -- Ks,Js,Jc,Jd,Jh ]

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:53 PM
Matt Dean (7th place in 2004 WSOP) is playing $2-$5 Pot Limit tonight. I'll be there at 7pm. Email me if you're interested in coming.
mark@ (remove the space)

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:46 AM
In case you're interested, the bad beat jackpot on Party Poker is now up to $367,000!

Yes, that's $183,500 to the loser of the hand, $91,750 to the winner, and $11,468.75 to everyone else at the table.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 9:56 AM
A new group is being formed to attempt to legalize poker in Texas.

Click here for information.

(0) comments

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Posted by Junelli 1:36 PM
Did I do the right thing by folding here? This one hurt, but I was faced with 3 bets out of position...

***** Hand History for Game 1358733049 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Tue Dec 28 13:33:09 EST 2004
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 982927 (Real Money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: SamENole ( $230)
Seat 2: CrackYoSht ( $426.25)
Seat 3: Serotonin5ht ( $565)
Seat 4: LARio ( $247)
Seat 5: POM5455 ( $223.5)
Seat 6: FallingWhale ( $251.5)
Seat 7: junell ( $249)
Seat 8: xxLeftyxx ( $185)
Seat 9: richjbc ( $260.5)
Seat 10: KNaps317 ( $247)
POM5455 posts small blind (2)
FallingWhale posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Kc, Td ]
junell calls (5)
xxLeftyxx folds.
richjbc folds.
KNaps317 folds.
SamENole raises (10) to 10
CrackYoSht folds.
Serotonin5ht calls (10)
LARio folds.
POM5455 folds.
FallingWhale raises (10) to 15
junell folds.
SamENole calls (5)
Serotonin5ht calls (5)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 8d, Ts, Ks ]
FallingWhale checks.
SamENole checks.
Serotonin5ht checks.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 4c ]
FallingWhale bets (10)
SamENole calls (10)
Serotonin5ht folds.
** Dealing River ** : [ Kd ]
FallingWhale checks.
SamENole checks.
** Summary **
Main Pot: $68.5 | Rake: $3 |
Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ 8d Ts Ks 4c Kd ]
SamENole balance $205, lost $25 [ As Jh ] [ a pair of kings -- As,Ks,Kd,Jh,Ts ]
CrackYoSht balance $426.25, didn't bet (folded)
Serotonin5ht balance $550, lost $15 (folded)
LARio balance $247, didn't bet (folded)
POM5455 balance $221.5, lost $2 (folded)
FallingWhale balance $295, bet $25, collected $68.5, net +$43.5 [ Qc Qh ] [ two pairs, kings and queens -- Ks,Kd,Qc,Qh,Ts ]
junell balance $244, lost $5 (folded)
xxLeftyxx balance $185, didn't bet (folded)
richjbc balance $260.5, didn't bet (folded)
KNaps317 balance $247, didn't bet (folded)

(0) comments

Monday, December 27, 2004

Posted by Junelli 2:19 AM
Skim won over $126,000 on this hand. Onager won $63,000. Everyone else at the table won $7,800. Not bad time to get KKKK against a Royal Flush.

***** Hand History for Game 1342654898 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Fri Dec 24 12:39:58 EST 2004
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 982028 (Real Money) -- Seat 7 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: FoxyCoxy ( $230.75)
Seat 2: oneida1469 ( $526)
Seat 3: countryroads ( $949.5)
Seat 4: LW957RGT ( $195)
Seat 5: elwasabi ( $281.5)
Seat 6: ONAGER ( $265.25)
Seat 7: jdct12 ( $120)
Seat 8: skim01 ( $258)
Seat 9: alinach ( $541.25)
Seat 10: opheliapayne ( $252)
skim01 posts small blind (2)
alinach posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
opheliapayne calls (5)
FoxyCoxy calls (5)
oneida1469 calls (5)
countryroads folds.
LW957RGT folds.
elwasabi calls (5)
ONAGER calls (5)
jdct12 folds.
skim01 raises (8) to 10
alinach calls (5)
opheliapayne calls (5)
FoxyCoxy calls (5)
oneida1469 calls (5)
elwasabi calls (5)
ONAGER calls (5)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2s, Kc, Qc ]
skim01 checks.
alinach checks.
opheliapayne checks.
FoxyCoxy checks.
oneida1469 bets (5)
elwasabi folds.
ONAGER calls (5)
skim01 calls (5)
alinach calls (5)
opheliapayne calls (5)
FoxyCoxy folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Tc ]
skim01 bets (10)
alinach folds.
opheliapayne raises (20) to 20
oneida1469 calls (20)
ONAGER raises (30) to 30
skim01 calls (20)
opheliapayne calls (10)
oneida1469 calls (10)
** Dealing River ** : [ Ks ]
skim01 checks.
opheliapayne checks.
oneida1469 checks.
ONAGER bets (10)
skim01 raises (20) to 20
opheliapayne calls (20)
elwasabi: nice flop
oneida1469 folds.
ONAGER raises (20) to 30
skim01 raises (20) to 40
opheliapayne calls (20)
ONAGER calls (10)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $331.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ 2s Kc Qc Tc Ks ]
FoxyCoxy balance $220.75, lost $10 (folded)
oneida1469 balance $481, lost $45 (folded)
countryroads balance $949.5, didn't bet (folded)
LW957RGT balance $195, didn't bet (folded)
elwasabi balance $271.5, lost $10 (folded)
ONAGER balance $511.75, bet $85, collected $331.5, net +$246.5 [ Jc Ac ] [ Royal Flush -- Ac,Kc,Qc,Jc,Tc ]
jdct12 balance $120, didn't bet (folded)
skim01 balance $173, lost $85 [ Kh Kd ] [ four of a kind, kings -- Kh,Kd,Kc,Ks,Qc ]
alinach balance $526.25, lost $15 (folded)
opheliapayne balance $167, lost $85 [ 6c 8c ] [ a flush, king high -- Kc,Qc,Tc,8c,6c ]

(1) comments

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Posted by Johnnymac 1:57 PM
I don't guess I have ever given my opinion on the whole bar-tournament thing, but I think I am rather contrarian from most other people because I think it is indeed illegal and is rightly so. The first bar tournament I have ever heard of was about a year ago when someone told me of a weekly tournament at Sidelines Sports Bar downtown. At first I figured that it totally was a mistake - that somehow it wasn't for real money or something like that - but then I realized that they were really playing for money and having regular poker tournaments. Now, with the news of the Yorkshire bust last night, my only response is really to ask, what took so long?

Look, I love poker. And I love gambling in general and naturally, I love casinos. But I don't want them in Houston or in Texas and this is the crux of my point - I don't think gambling should in any way be sanctioned by the state, and in not cracking down on these bar tournaments the TABC would be implicitly sanctioning their existence.

I think gambling, poker included, attracts people from the worst segments of society and preys on people who the can least afford to be wasting money at a game they cannot possibly win. For this very reason, I hate state lotteries and casino "initatives", because they are, in essence, a tax on poor and undereducated people and these types of fundraising schemes are banking on the desperation and dreams of poor people who literally don't know any better. Now, some people certainly can afford to gamble for recreational purposes and they should be allowed to do as they please. But if someone can afford to waste money gambling, and really, I think we can all agree that all forms of gambling except poker and sports betting is a waste, then they can also afford to buy a plane ticket to Las Vegas. The people to whom slot machines and lotteries are targeted cannot afford a trip to Las Vegas, yet the state feels these are the people around whom to increase the tax base? This is wrong.

Now, there probably seems to be a lot of inconsistency in this post and my professed poker habit. I disagree. I think that poker is fine, so long as the "private place" and "income" rules are strictly interpretted and adhered to, because in these instances the game becomes a private transaction between willing individuals and thus the state has no vested interest. Having a poker tournament at someone's house and paying back all of the entry fees as prize money is fine. Having a private poker game in the garage is fine. But the Yorkshire Pub is definitely not a private place, and I think it's quite clear that the place would not have been sponsoring poker tournaments had they not been expecting to attract increased food and drink business. How is the TABC position incorrect?

I think that we can all agree that alcohol is dangerous in many ways, and as such, its production and distribution, and the consequences thereof (ie drunk driving), should be regulated by the government. As far as gambling goes, alchohol and gambling is a volatile mix. I think everyone reading this post knows of a time or instance or even a regular occurrence where frustration or disappointment and negative actions stemming from a poker game was exacerbated by the presence of alcohol.

Knowing this, the TABC in its duties has a vested role in regulating the safety of bars and nightclubs and is probably in no hurry to introduce such a volatile ingredient into the mix. Furthermore, just as the TABC "guarantees" the safety and purity of the alcohol being served, who can be expected to regulate the fairness of the game? The TABC certainly has no jurisdiction or expertise in regulating gaming devices. Suppose that the operator of a bar tournament was suspected of cheating. Who would the, hypothetically legal, patrons complain to? The non-existent Texas Gaming Commission?

All of this boils down to the difference between private and public activities, and as the poker boom increasingly pushes the boundary, the state increasingly has a duty to clamp down. A bar is not a private place - by definition it is a public place - and bar owners are not running tournaments out of the goodness of their hearts. Anyone who shows up can play and the bar makes more money because more people show up. Therefore, according to existing laws, these tournaments are illegal. I know this is an unpopular position on this blog, but I say the TABC was right in busting the Yorkshire Pub. Allowing the tourneys to continue would be a quasi-sanctioning of an activity that is detrimental to the general welfare of the people of the state of Texas.

I have a few more thoughts on the subject, specifically pertaining to the legality of internet gambling and cardrooms (I think they're both closer to being legal than the Yorkshire Pub), but I'll stop for now.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:32 PM
Last night the Y*rkshire Pub was raided for running a poker tournament. Apparently, under the argument that "the bar benefits by increased drink sales." The raid was clearly attributed to Channel 11's coverage of poker tournaments held at bars around town.

Because the raid was through TABC, everyone (~85 ppl) received tickets (apparently the HPD doesn't ticket the players when they raid). Tickets were between $300-$500 each.

(0) comments

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Posted by Junelli 1:05 PM
While at Vegas I learned that some of the higher limit tables don't take a rake. Instead they have each player "pay time" every 30 minutes. At the $10-$20 NL table, the casino charged each player $7 every 30 minutes (or $14 per player per hour). I'm not sure whether this is better than the normal rake, but it seems a little higher.

The casino is taking $140 per hour at the table (probably more than they would take with a 10% rake). Additionally, the rake is paid by each player not just the player who wins the hands. Thus, if you fold for 30 minutes straight, you're still paying $7, whereas you wouldn't have to pay any rake if you weren't putting any money into the pot. The flip side however is that if you're winning, you're not paying as much in rake, because it's being shared equally by the other players.

(0) comments

Monday, December 20, 2004

Posted by Junelli 11:09 PM
That post about Paypal is complete bullshit. They keep changing their acceptable use policy to make it broader than necessary. Although Dr. Fro's website clearly violated it, there are others who are on the fringe.

Here's a link to a website that provides a discussion forum for building poker tables. He also has a paypal link to accept voluntary donations to help him cover his costs. However, Paypal just cancelled his account too even though he doesn't use it for any type of "gambling activity".

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:09 PM
I went to Vegas over the weekend for a family trip. Because I was with my entire family, most of the weekend was spent walking around sight-seeing, shopping, seeing shows (the new Cirque du Soleil show "Ka" is amazing), and eating at nice restaurants (none of which I've ever done in all my previous trips to Sin City).

Although considered a "slow week" by Vegas standards, the poker culture was bustling. The WPT was in town filming the Main Event of the 5 Diamond Classic poker tournament ($15,000 buy-in, 376 Players, 5 day tournament). The TV cameras were all over the Bellagio, and everyone in the poker world was there (although when I arrived at the end of day 3, most of the pros had been eliminated and were playing in the cash games nearby).

I saw the following pros playing at Bellagio: Doyle Brunson, Greg Raymer, Chip Reese, Helmuth, Gus Hansen, Johnny Chan, TJ Cloutier, Howard Lederer, Men Nguyen, Sammy Farha, Umberto Brenes, Jennifer Harman, Daniel Negranu, Hasan Habib, Chris Grigorian, Ted Forrest, Layne Flack, Devil Fish Elliot, and that Loud Mouthed Australian from the WPT France tournament last year.

Some thoughts: I met TJ Cloutier. He is huge. Johnny Chan pissed next to me in the bathroom. He is short (in height, you fags). Jennifer Harmon had a makeover and is hot (you'll get to see her in the future WPT show as she made the final table and won 4th place). She is only about 5 feet tall and weighs about 90 lbs. She reminds me a cross between meg Ryan and Angela Allen. I also met the loud mouthed Australian (can't remember his name) in the valet line. I tapped him on the shoulder, and asked "Aren't you that guy from Australia? I saw you on TV last year." "Yeah, I just got busted out of the tournament with AK against AQ." "So, are you going to play in the cash game now?" "No, I'm going to eat dinner."

I only played poker one day. The Bellagio poker room was packed, and the line for the $200 buy-in NL table ($2-$5 blinds) was approx. 2 hours long. I knew I didn't have much time, and it would be hard to make much money quickly over there, so I decided to sit down at the largest cash game I've played thus far in my poker career: $10-$20 NL, no maxium buy-in.

The minimum buy-in was $600, but most players bought in for much more. I bought in for $1,000 and was slightly short-stacked. The guy on my left had $5,500 in front of him, but most people had between $1,000-$2,000. I saw a woman buy-in for $2,000, and lose it all on the very first hand when she was dealt AA, flopped a set, and lost to a guy who flopped a flush.

To say the game moved fast is a tremendous understatement. It usually cost $80-$100 to see the flop. Once the flop hit, the bets were usually $200-$300, increasing exponentially from there. Most pots were about $1,500-$2,500.

I played extremely tight for about 4 hours, and was not getting many playable hands. I won a few hands and lost a few until I flopped the nut flush with about $950 in chips in front of me. Middle position player (a huge asshole) raised preflop, and kept betting the whole way. I got all my chips in, and doubled up when I won the $1,900 pot. At that time I had bought in for $1,300 and was up $600.

Several hours later I cashed out with a $500 loss. No major losses or bad beats, but just missed several $100 flops.

I enjoyed playing that game, but was definitely "scared" money. The limits were above my comfort zone, and I didn't have the bankroll to afford the swings given that on every hand I had to expect to put all my chips (~$1,000) in play. I learned that it's very hard to call a $800 bet when you have top pair mediocre kicker, middle pair, or some kind of straight or flush draw). I either flopped the hand, or I got away from it. However, if you're on a rush, you can get rich in that game. The guy next to me was up $7,000 for the day.

I played a lot of blackjack (with my family), and won some and lost some, and ended the weekend down about $500. Not bad for 3 nights in Vegas. Looking forward to the next trip...

(0) comments

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 2:41 PM
If you use bonus code DECBONUS on, they'll give you 20% bonus (max bonus $200 on $1,000 deposit).

(1) comments

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 10:35 PM
This week in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, there was an article on poker legality in Texas.

To bolster his interpretation of Texas' gambling laws, Kypreos is seeking
an opinion from the Texas attorney general's office on the legality of
public poker games that use a point system.

Junell is the attorney, but I think that the basic situation is that there is not a lot of case law on the subject. So, although laws exist, they really haven't been interpreted. When interpreted, I think poker will lose. When you look at every analogous situation, gambling loses in Texas. The only form of gambling that has ever come out ahead in case law is bingo, and the reason is simple: what judge is going to crack down on a source of revenue to churches and a source of fun to blue-haireds? Do you want to be the anti-God anti-grandma judge?

We need new laws in Texas before poker (other than private games) are legal. From a few friends, I understand that lobby efforts are underway. I would be surprised if they were ultimately successful in much the same way that laws were passed to legalize betting on dogs, horses, lotto, etc. I just don't think there is any chance of these tournaments with a house rake being considered legal without new laws.


(0) comments

Friday, December 17, 2004

Posted by Johnnymac 5:41 PM
OK, losing with the nut full house against flopped quads isn't a bad beat. I still believe it. But this damn sure is, especially when the joy of recognizing and snapping off a bluff is quickly replaced with utter frustration.

"KrazyKelli" had been bullying me for an hour with a big stack and I was just waiting waiting waiting for my chance to snap off one of the bluffs that she (or he) so willingly admitted. And then I got my chance!


PokerStars Game #969337479: Tournament #4024067, Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200) - 2004/12/17 - 18:28:49 (ET)

Table '4024067 1' Seat #3 is the button

Seat 3: johnnymac96 (3140 in chips)
Seat 8: KrazyKelli (9550 in chips)
Seat 9: BB WILL (810 in chips)
KrazyKelli: posts small blind 100
BB WILL: posts big blind 200

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [Jd Ts]
johnnymac96: calls 200
KrazyKelli: raises 600 to 800
BB WILL: folds
johnnymac96: calls 600 "If I hit this hand, it will be worth a lot of money if she tries another of those bluffs"

*** FLOP *** [Jh As Td] "Here's my chance"
KrazyKelli: bets 8750 and is all-in
johnnymac96: calls 2340 and is all-in

KrazyKelli: shows [Kc 3c] "I KNEW IT!!!"
johnnymac96: shows [Jd Ts]

*** TURN *** [Jh As Td] [2s] "PLEASE GOD NO QUEEN!"

*** RIVER *** [Jh As Td 2s] [Qd] "F*CK!"

KrazyKelli said, "gg"

*** SHOW DOWN ***
KrazyKelli: shows [Kc 3c] (a straight, Ten to Ace)
johnnymac96: shows [Jd Ts] (two pair, Jacks and Tens)
KrazyKelli collected 6480 from pot

BB WILL said, "wow"
johnnymac96 said, “jesus”
KrazyKelli said, “Never mess with the big stack! LOL”

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6480 Rake 0
Board [Jh As Td 2s Qd]
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (button) showed [Jd Ts] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Tens
Seat 8: KrazyKelli (small blind) showed [Kc 3c] and won (6480) with a straight, Ten to Ace
Seat 9: BB WILL (big blind) folded before Flop

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:59 AM
Please indulge a little whining. I know no one here wants to hear it, but my wife especially doesn't care so I have no one to talk to.

I have been on the worst run of luck for the past 3 weeks or so playing Sit-n-Go's on Pokerstars. In that time I've played 16 events and finished in the money twice, with two second place finishes. And it's not necessarily the losing that's bothering me, it's how painful it has become: getting my own AA cracked and eliminated by A6 rivering trips and then an hour later getting knocked out myself by a slowplayed AA against my top pair. Perhaps the worst was last night when I made a late pre-flop move with KK and got called by an equal-sized stack with 55... and I don't even have to tell you what came on the flop.

Anyway, I know this is all cyclical and I'm going to start shitting gold bricks anytime now, but damn this is painful to endure.

(and this is just contributing to my planned post on crazy all-in calls... maybe I will get to that this weekend)

(0) comments

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 9:34 AM
Go to Ask Snoop and input our website ( Pretty funny results.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:33 AM
To: Dr Fro
Subject: Notification of Limited Account Access
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 21:41:09 -0800

Dear Dr Fro,

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion,
reserves the right to close an account for any violation of the User
Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use
Policy, you may not use PayPal to send or receive payments for any form of
gambling activities, including but not limited to payment for wagers,
gambling debts or gambling winnings, whether conducted online, in person or
through any other means of communication. This includes all casino games,
sports books and sports betting, horse and greyhound racing,
person-to-person betting, and certain games of skill. The complete
Acceptable Use Policy addressing Gambling can be found at the following URL:

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account
activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal's
Acceptable Use Policy. Therefore, your account has been closed.

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website(s)
and/or auction(s). This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment
option, but also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart. We thank you in
advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact
the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department at

PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department
PayPal, an eBay Company

(1) comments

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 10:39 AM
Frequent Flier miles comes to poker

I am still p'd that my past 2 uses of bonus codes didnt work. I used DECLOAD but did not get anything for it. I wish that if you used a code that did nothing for you that it told you so, rather than being silent.

(1) comments

Posted by Junelli 2:46 AM
Party Poker has introduced a new "Steps Tournament". This looks very intriguing because:

1. A $12 buy-in can win $9,000
2. The structure offers plenty of playing opportunity;
3. Each tournament only consists of 20 people.
4. If you play well, you could theoretically play forever on one buy-in.
5. You can play at your own pace and according to your own schedule.

I haven't played any of these yet, but plan to soon.

(2) comments

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 4:27 PM
Buying outs

In a loose passive limit game, if you are dealt Ah2h on the button, it typically makes sense to call and see the flop. If you see the flop of Kh6h8c with 5 other players and it checks around to the guy to your right who bets, what do you do?

Your first reaction is probably to call and hope to get one of your 9 outs to the nuts. Consider raising.

The guy that bet in all likelihood has a king. There may several others in the pot with A3 - AQ. These guys will beat you if the Ace comes, meaining that you don't get to count any additional outs for Aces. If you raise, then A3 - AQ would be absolutely foolish to cold call. By getting them to fold, you just bought yourself more outs. Assuming 1 ace folds, you just got 2 more outs. Rather than the 35% chance, you now have a 42% chance.

But it gets better. If he has a bad kicker, he may check to the raiser on the turn and you can check it to get a free card.

Are there any downsides to this move? Not really. I guess if you just made a guy fold with an 8, then it backfired a bit. If that miracle 8h hits, you not only made your flush, but probably gauranteed a caller with trips. Of course the same guy could fill up and really kick your butt.

So, I think that your best move here is to "bet on the come."

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:27 PM
I may have to check this out, it is walking distance from my house.

(0) comments

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 1:59 PM
I recently had a depressing realization while at work: In my November losses, I played $100 buyin $1/$2 blinds exclusively. I lost 10 buy-ins.After those losses, I played $25 buyin .25/.50 blinds exclusively. I won 10 buy-ins.Of course, even though the winnings were exactly 1/4 the losses - perfectly proportional to the stakes. While it is quite possible that I did better at the lower stakes because the quality of play is poorer, I ain’t buying it. The play might be marginally worse in the $25 game, but the play in the $100 game is pretty darn bad. I really think that 95% of the explanation is simple volatility.

What possible lessons are to be learned? I considered the following: 1. This is a good example of why changing stakes is generally a bad idea. Assuming no difference in quality of play, you should neither “move up” when winning nor relegate yourself when losing. To illustrate, take an example of flipping a coin where you start out betting $10 a toss and up your bet $1 after each win and decrease your bet $1 each time you lose and there is a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum of $20. You will lose in the long run.


Really, you will. Most people are surprised by this, so I think I am going to take the Marilyn vos Savant approach and not explain why…yet.

2. Since changing stakes is generally a bad idea, you should always have sufficient bankroll (and stomach) to handle the bad swings at whateer level you are playing. If you can’t handle getting beat 10 times in a row, you are probably playing at the wrong level

I had the bankroll to continue at $100, but I lost the stomach for it when the losses escalated and Christmas was knocking on the door and property taxes were due and Mrs. Dr. Fro was still looking for a job and the Camry needed new tires and the stock market was down and I was headed to Vegas in a month. I simply didn’t want to lose at that level again, so I relegated myself.

I am going to stay at the $25 game on PP for a while. I have built my (re)deposit of $100 to $325 since late November at the $25. I’ll coast along for a while and see what happens. But I won’t move up until I know I can handle big losses and can ride them out.

(0) comments

Friday, December 10, 2004

Posted by Johnnymac 5:03 PM

I just made it back to town after my business trip to New York this week. I was in town for the annual Coal Trading Association annual meeting. It was a week filled with entertaining and dinners and socializing with counterparties and brokers and as always was a lot of fun. On Tuesday night some guys and I skipped the parties and took a trip to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

As you might recall from an earlier post of mine, I used to go to Foxwoods when I was in college in Boston and I had not been back since I moved to Houston 10 years ago and began playing poker. I was anxious to check it out and I have to say that it definitely beats the pants off of the Friendship Social Club, and in fact, the poker room is probably better than any room I have ever played in besides Mirage or Bellagio - it's HUGE and there are many limits available in a lot of different games. Perhaps my only complaint would be that it was very very loud in the room at times, but other than that, the decor, the service, and the quality of the room was just excellent. I wish I lived closer.

We decided to go on Tuesday night to play in the weekly $150 NL rebuy tournament. What a tournament! Unlimited $60 rebuys and either a single or double add-on after the first hour. I budgeted $330 for the tourney, but there were plenty of players who probably dumped $600 or more by the break. My strategy in a rebuy tourney is to play very tight for the first hour and allow the bad players to build the pot and only to start gambling for real after the break. Unfortunately, this strategy means that I need to catch cards sooner or later right after the break because I likely won't have a large stack to outlast the rapidly escalating blinds and unfortunately I never made a hand to get me started towards a successful result. Noentheless, I still think my $330 was a good investment because the winner was paid $24,000 on Tuesday and I'll gladly take those odds.

After I got busted out of the tournament, I found a seat in a very nice and juicy $5-10 limit game with a full kill. I am not ashamed to admit that playing medium stakes limit games is where I think my talent lies, anyway, and this particular structure was the "big game" at the FSC for a long time so I knew how to play it.

I won a couple of big pots early in this game and after a couple of hours I was in sight of attaining my goal of winning back my tournament money and getting to even for the night. Unfortunately, the hand that I thought would be the big winner to get me there turned out to be the big loser that took most of my profit.

I was dealt KK in early position and raised into a player at the end of the table who had won a large pot and was in the kill blind. He and one other player called my raise and the flop came 8-8-4, not great but at least there was no Ace, which is typically my luck with KK. I checked to see where I stood and the board checked around. I caught my third K on the turn and filled up (woo woo!) and then check raised when the player in the middle bet. The Kill Man just called my raise and the initial bettor (a good player) folded. The River came up blank and at this point I was sure I had the best hand so I bet and was then surprisingly raised by the Kill Man. I then reraised and he in turn reraised me again, so I stopped and thought about it.

When he initially raised me I wasn't really surprised because I figured that my hand was sufficiently disguised enough to where he he likely thought I was holding only one King - say, AK or KQ. And if he was holding trips or even K8, a reraise would be understandble. But the way he had quickly reraised me the second time made me nervous, so after a little reflection, I only called his raise and completed the $100 bet.

"You have 88, don't you sir?" I asked. He nodded his head and turned over his cards.

He had flopped quads and played it so expertly that when I thought I was luring him, I was only setting a trap for myself. He was lucky that I had made a hand strong enough to play with him, but nothing else about it was bad luck or what I would call a bad beat. He had a playable hand and was defending his Kill Blind against what looked like an obvious attempt at a steal from me. Then, when I was trying to either slowplay my hand on the flop or at least give myself a chance to get out if someone had the third 8, he had his brake pedal floored trying to give me a chance to catch up. He played it very very well. After the hand was over I wasn't really all that upset because honestly, there was nothing to be upset about. It wasn't a bad beat because the other player played his hand correctly and I never really had the best of it, despite the strength of my hand.

(an actual bad beat in that situation would have been another King on the river, but it would have been a bad beat for him)

I have been playing holdem now for more than 5 years and many times I have had the hypothetical conversation with someone about how a PP full house (as opposed to a 1 card FH) isn't technically the nuts but that the odds of being up against case quads is so unlikely in that situation that the possibility can effectively be ignored. I had never seen such a thing happen until Tuesday night and I just happened to be in the pot and not simply an observer.

So to wrap up, Foxwoods was great. And as far as that specific hand goes, as TJ would say, "That's just poker!"

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 11:44 AM
Tonight:Friday: 6PM $100 NL Holdem Tournament Avg. $1500 1st place. 3-5 places paid.Call ahead if you are running late.

Friday: 7PM $1/$2 Pot Limit Holdem - Ring Game Friday 7PM $10/$20 Limit Holdem - Ring Game

Saturday: 5PM $50 (+1 Rebuy or addon) NL Holdem TournamentAvg. $1500 1st place. 3-5 places paid. - HoustonSaturday: 6PM $1/$2 Pot Limit Holdem - Houston

Sunday: 4PM $50 (+1 Rebuy or addon) NL Holdem TournamentAvg. $1500 1st place. 3-5 places paid. - HoustonSunday: 5PM $1/$2 Pot Limit Holdem - Houston

Please let me know if you are coming!! RSVP
Questions?Email: John@PokerCampus.comJohn Smiley: cell 936-537-2777
And don't forget to visit and support:http://www.PokerCampus.comHouston's Only Poker Forum

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 11:40 AM
More charity tournaments.

I know a big one in Austin that gives a seat to the WSOP as the grand prize. It is in January; if you want more details, let me know.

(0) comments

Posted by Morris 8:31 AM
Christmas Gift

Just received the news from my Dad that as my Christmas Gift he taking me to the Rose Bowl. I am very excited about this gift, as I will not only get to go to the game, but play poker in the LA poker casinos. I know the Bicycle is a must see, any other casinos I ought to check out?

(0) comments

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Posted by Junelli 1:18 AM
Interesting blind stealing experiment.

(0) comments

Monday, December 06, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 9:28 PM
After 3 disaster weeks to start of November with a streak of losing sessions at $100 $1/$2 NL, I relegated myself to $25 25c/50c NL and have absolutely destroyed the games I have played. Partially this is just the luck pendulum swinging, but I have to think that the quality of players is a factor too. But tonight was not the quality of players:

I just finished playing and did as follows:

Yeah, when you win 27% of the hands (in 6 person max, you win, on average, 16%) and have the cards to see 59% of the flops, you know you are getting some serious cards. Oh, and winnin 92% of the showdowns doesn't hurt either.

I have won 9 of the past 11 times in the $25 game and placed in the money in 2 of 5 Sit and Go's. Many of those wins have been $75+. So I am back, but dang I wish I had this success at my $100 game...

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:11 PM
This seems like complete bullshit to me.

1. They asked permission and got an "OK" from TABC.
2. Local police never responded to their inquiry.
3. House received no money.

I guess it's because it was held in a nightclub, but I have to wonder why TABC weren't the ones who busted it. My money says this guy gets a full acquittal, but he still has to go through the aggravation of being charged with a Class A Misdemeanor.

Another reason may be because the bar owner made fun of the cops name, "Sgt. Rex Spotted Bear"

(0) comments

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 11:41 AM

***** Hand History for Game 1258760176 *****
15/30 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 7651030) - Sat Dec 04 15:50:05 EST 2004
Table Table 13805 (Real Money) -- Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: smootha (429)
Seat 2: phreaux (1115) - chip leader, now I can see a few more flops w/o material jeopardy to the stack
Seat 3: BigFlirt (800)
Seat 4: BigMac2222 (785)
Seat 5: TEEKOSS (875)
Seat 6: sdsmith (785)
Seat 7: midwaybrown (730)
Seat 8: Mrboost21 (881)
Seat 9: Kamalie (760)
Seat 10: drubbing (840)
drubbing posts small blind (10)
smootha posts big blind (15)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to phreaux [ 5c, Ac ] - exactly the type of hand I will play with a big stack but not a small stack
phreaux calls (15)

BigFlirt calls (15)
BigMac2222 calls (15)
TEEKOSS calls (15)
sdsmith folds.
midwaybrown calls (15)
Mrboost21 folds.
Kamalie calls (15)
drubbing calls (5)
smootha checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 3c, 7c, 2c ] Oh my. flopped flush, draw to the straight flush.
drubbing checks.
smootha checks.
phreaux checks. Not only am I not afraid to give away a free card, I want to give a free card. I would love for someone with Qc or Kc to get a 4th club and almost catch-up!
BigFlirt bets (30)
BigMac2222 folds.
TEEKOSS folds.
midwaybrown folds.
Kamalie folds.
drubbing folds.
smootha folds.
phreaux calls (30) - still slowplaying
** Dealing Turn ** : [ As ] - OK, I have seen this hand before. A person w Ac-rag is waiting around for the 4th club. When the Ace comes, he wakes up and says, hey I just might have the best hand. I decide to portray that guy.
phreaux checks.

BigFlirt bets (75)
phreaux raises (150) to 150
BigFlirt raises (150) to 225
phreaux raises (150) to 300
BigFlirt folds.
** Summary **
Main Pot: 705
Board: [ 3c 7c 2c As ]
smootha balance 414, lost 15 (folded)
phreaux balance 1475, bet 345, collected 705, net +360
BigFlirt balance 530, lost 270 (folded)
BigMac2222 balance 770, lost 15 (folded)
TEEKOSS balance 860, lost 15 (folded)
sdsmith balance 785, didn't bet (folded)
midwaybrown balance 715, lost 15 (folded)
Mrboost21 balance 881, didn't bet (folded)
Kamalie balance 745, lost 15 (folded)
drubbing balance 825, lost 15 (folded)

Did I screw this up? Should I have called and hoped the river brought a 4th club? I have to say that I was very surprised he folded. So, my guess is that he was on a steal with a scary board. I really can't think of what else he could have held. If so, it seems I eked out all there was to eke out.

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Friday, December 03, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 5:24 PM
Junelli () @ 12/03/2004 12:27:
Was this the qoute? "When I was rich, I had a yacht & a mistress. After I lost my money I had a row boat and a whore. Nowadays, I have an innertube and a hard-on, but both of those are going down."

Yes, that is definitely the quote. Genius!

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Posted by Johnnymac 9:11 AM
I found a link to these last night as I was perusing 2+2:!

(My only complaint is that even if I lost 40 lbs, an XL t-shirt still wouldn't fit my chest and shoulders, so I can't wear any of these!)

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Posted by Johnnymac 9:09 AM
Hat tip to Iggy for this one: Proof that online poker is rigged!

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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Posted by Dr Fro 11:16 PM

From time to time you have probably read some subtle and some not-so-subtle references to Don Murphy on this website. We have never taken the time to explain who he is to those out-of-the-know. Let me try to explain the man that is Don Murphy before I tell my Thanksgiving Hallmark Moment story about him.

Don Murphy is about as funny as it gets. I think he is a riot. As a young man, he was a stand-up comedian, and had quite a bit of success. Proof of that success always hung on the wall of the Friendship Social Club in Houston in the form of a picture of a young Don Murphy chatting with a very young Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. Like many people blessed with the gift of the gab (by the way, in case you didn't know, the gift of the gab originated in Cork, from where the Murphy clan other words, the odds of a Murphy being funny is equal to the odds of a Ferruzzo being a crooked mobster thug), Murphy had a lot of success in the world of sales after his entertainment career peaked. He cashed in on his ability to sell with Don's Western Wear.

It was a perfect storm - not only was he a hell of a salesman, he was selling western wear in Texas at the time Urban Cowboy was huge, Gilley's was nationally known, the price of oil seemed to know no limit, and the carpet baggers and scallywags were flocking to the sunbelt. Bidness was good. Don made a ton of money. Anybody from Houston surely knows Don's Western Wear as well as Pilgrims Cleaners or James Coney Island. Of course, two of those three business still exist.

Don liked to gamble. Alot. Don bet on anything and everything. Like most people whose financial trajectory seemed unlimited in Houston in the 1980's, Don's fortunes took a turn for the worse. I imagine that there were many contributing factors, but there were two well cited factors leading to Don's financial demise, both of which he willingly shares with friends and non-friends alike.

Don went to Vegas and I think at one point during this trip he was up a decent amount. At some
point, his luck turned sour and over the course of about 45 minutes he went from approximately even to down 7-digits. Yes, that is over a milliion dollars. I forget the amount, but I seem to recall $1.3 million over the course of 45 minutes at craps. That hurts.

Following a familiar pattern for compulsive gamblers, Don soon ran into trouble with the IRS. They were of the opinion that Don's Western Wear did not pay enough taxes. The difference that he owed was difficult to pay back in light of the marker he owed a casino in Vegas.

Don no longer owns Don's Western Wear or much of anything. Don has spent almost all of his time in Houston's underground card rooms playing mainly low-limit Holdem. I have seen him play Omaha 8, too, and Holdem at higher stakes including $2-$5 PL. But most of his time is spent at the tables where the action is so wild and the rake is so high that nobody wins. Don has spent on average 16 hours per day 7 days a week for 20 years losing at poker.

Don is still a business man, and although he never quite figured out how to play poker particularly well, he has found revenue at poker. He spends a lot of time calling guys and convincing them to come to "this new game on this side of me the action is good". Still the salesman, few cardroom decline his service. I think he shills as well. I know Don well, and the money he makes promoting games does not pay the bills. It subsidizes losses at best. And he doesn't care.

I wish I could remember his quote well, which is both witty and poignant, but I can't. So, I will just convey the message: Don has never been happier. When he was rich he wasn't happy, and now that he is broke, he is worry-free & very, very happy. Although a grumpy old man at table most times, he has truly learned a lesson that we should all learn. It is a lesson that is Biblically sound and commonly accepted, but rarely folllowed - happiness in life is not found in material riches. Unfortunately, or perhaps ironically, those who understand that truth suck at poker. The best poker players are greedy SOB's like me that would check-raise their own grandmother. Since Don is more concerned with the entertainment associated with action than he his is with winning, he does not have a lot of success at poker.

I met Don Murphy in 1998 at a game that no longer exists. He and I have crossed paths again and again at the Friendship Social Club, Ace-Kickers, the Top-Hat and one other place whose name escapes me. Don and I get along well, but many people don't care for him. When I spotted him $200 one night on his promise that he would pay me "next time he saw me" everyone called me a fool. He payed me. He also said thank you and made me a pot of coffee.
I am on a short list of people that is in love with Don Murphy.

Don called me over Thanksgiving. I told him "Hey, Don, I know you want me to play cards with you, but I gotta tell you, I moved to Dallas. I can't play cards with you anymore". His response surprised me, and it went something like this:

"I don't want to play any damn cards with you, I called you to tell you Happy Thanksgiving. Hell, I ain't played no poker since probably the last time I saw you many months ago. I ain't exactly quit, but I just don't really play anymore. I got other things going on. There was this boy that worked with me at Don's....he wanted to go to Seminar (seminary) and I thought that was great so I paid for him to go and that's what he did. He graduated and didn't have a job, so I kept helping him. I didn't help him because I believe in all of this-and-that, but I just knew he needed help and I was loaded. One day he found himself this old church of kooks and that was that. Twenty years later, he calls me up and I decide to visit him. Hell, what else am I going to do on a Sunday? Can't play no cards till noon anyway. I had myself a real nice time. I was thinking...all these people are real nice. They actually care about me. So, I just keep going."

And then I said, "Don, are you a Christian?"

"Oh Geez, this place is off-the-charts-koooky.... they believe in all sorts of heeby-jeeby. Craig, I can't go pee without somebody praying for me. They are all completely crazy. But, Craig, I thought about something, and I really want you to know this - those people I played poker with for 20 years are crazy too. The difference is - just about none of them ever gave a damn about me. Not at all. Nobody gave a damn about old Don Murphy. At this church full of Kooks, every single person is concerned about me. Every one. They always tell me how they pray about me and my crazy wife. People call me just to see how I am doing. Craig - I really like spending my time with the churchy-wierdos over the poker assholes... do you understand?"

Don, I do.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:17 PM
I was very surprised to find fellow blogger John Greene in the news. The most surprising aspect of this story was his ability to work in Houston, fly to Detroit for a game and fly back to Houston in time for work the next day.

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Posted by Junelli 2:09 PM
I wanted to add to the great articles provided by John & Craig. When I play I watch for the following things:

1. "Over" acting when the cards come out. You can usually tell if someone liked the flop by subtle moves (shake of the head, frown, etc.), but the key word is subtle. If they're obvious about their unhappiness, it could be that they're actually very happy. Make a note of the people who act and are deceptive, and remember who they are. Then when you're in the hand, ask yourself, "is he acting?" and if so, "what does he want me to do?" Then do the opposite.

2. Double or triple checking hole cards (especially before the flop). I've noticed that when people get monsters hands like AA or KK, they tend to double check their hole cards (I've caught myself doing it too). Maybe because they want to make sure they saw them correctly before they go crazy betting, and/or maybe just because looking down at AA or KK is a beautiful thing. Beware the guy who checks his hole cards more than once before the flop, and then comes out swinging.

3. What are their "draw" habits? Do they raise when they're on a draw (to get a free card)? Do they just call? This will help you later determine if you're up against a made hand or a drawing hand.

4. What's their magic threshold amount for a bet? Most people get comfortable with betting/calling/raising within a certain amount (i.e. less than $50). Make a bet over their comfort zone, and it's that much tougher for them to call. For instance at Northside, I notice that a $25 and $50 bet is nothing and hardly gets noticed. Therefore, if I want a fold, I need to bet more than that. $100 or more seems to be the magic number in that most people (in that game) aren't comfortable calling a $100 bet (unless they're very strong). For others the bet may be lower. Pay attention and always keep in mind what a player's threshold is.

5. Avoid the guy on the rush. I know this isn't really a "tell" to watch for, but it is still something to consider. Pay attention to who's hot. I know you're likely pissed off because that idiot is winning, but don't make the mistake of wanting to go up against him when he's hitting his cards. You should try to avoid these people and wait until their cards cool off (they always do). Instead set your sights on the short stacks, the people who are tilting because they just lost a big pot, or the people who are stuck and having a miserable night.

6. I like to watch their eyes when the flop comes out. It's not definite, but I've found that if a player sees the flop and then immediately looks down at his chips he's strong. If he looks to the other players he's weak.

7. Re-checking hole cards. Obvious one here. If there's a 3 flush on the board, and he re-checks, it's because he remembers that one of his cards matched up, but the other one didn't. He hasn't hit his flush yet. This also can apply to straights. They might be trying to figure out how their cards fit into the board for a straight.

8. Reverse tells. If someone contradicts any of the items listed above (re-checks hole cards when he already has a flush, etc.), I'll remember that player as being deceptive. Beware a strong player who throws off these tells.

9. Fast-Playing a monster. Most players will slowplay a strong hand like a set or a full house. However, I've come across some players who are first to act, and fire out a big bet when they hit their hand. If the player is weak, he's doing it because he doesn't know any better. If the player is strong it's because he's making an advanced move and expecting that no one will give him credit for hitting his hand. It's a risky move, but can pay off quite well.

10. I don't really watch preflop hand selection too much, because most people can play any two cards (myself included). Instead I pay attention to players "Raising Hands" and hands they'll call raises with. Most times it's Sklansky Group I, II, and III hands. I notice if it's anything less.

11. How do people check? Sometimes people with strong hands, waiting to trap someone, will check their hand a little differently than if they're hand was weak. Do they say check louder? Rap their hand harder? Check with extra interest in the action? Check while acting entirely disinterested? If they subseuqnetly check-raise, I try to think back about how they checked in the first place.

12. Recreate the hand when you get to a showdown. Johnny Mac discussed this in more detail, but anytime you get to a showdown, and get to see cards, it's helpful to try and recreate the action and see how the hand developed.

13. Size of bet. See Friou's post about varying betting amounts. I always pay attention to how much a person typically bets.

14. Is the person trying to buy the pot and get me to fold right here? Are their actions, conduct, bet sizes, etc. all signs that they do not want a call? If so a raise might be in order.

15. How does a person play middle or bottom pair? I like to be able to know whether or not a person will be a calling station with middle or bottom pair. That way I know my hand is good unless they come alive when: the board pairs, a high card comes off hitting their kicker, etc.

16. Who raises preflop? Some people hardly ever do. If those people are to your left, you can limp into the pot more often. If they do finally raise, respect it and fold.

That's all I can think of right now. I hope this was worth reading.

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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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The Doctor is IN

Dr Fro
aka "slow roller"

Which one is the fish?

aka "Sunday Stroller"

You go now!

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aka "Chop Suey"

You got to know when to hold em;  Know when to Mo' em ...

aka "Mo roller"

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