Monday, January 31, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 6:18 PM
I am currently catching up on episodes 2 and 3 of Tilt that I had saved on the Tivo. My opinion of the show has improved quite a lot - the acting still sucks, the writing is poor, and the story is quite contrived and cliched...

So why do I say the show is better? Because the Matador's daughter is F*CKING HOT!

(0) comments

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:07 AM
This is great. According to the bad-beat-o-meter, the wet noodle I beat up on a co-blogger with was a 5,742.

(2) comments

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 1:04 PM
The company that owns PartyPoker is going public. Surely the conspiracy theorists that think the site cheats or in any way manipulates the deck can now realize that PP has much more to gain by being honest.

Here's a calculator that fits on your screen while PP is open.

I think Johh should buy this shirt since he is a peace loving hippie poker freak.

If you want to impress Dutch with your chip tricks, check this site out.

(1) comments

Friday, January 28, 2005

Posted by Junelli 11:42 AM
7 more cashouts since my last post. That's $3,350 in less than 3 weeks.
I've finally started to figure this stuff out.

All my winnings have come from the Limit tables and an occasional sit-n-go. I keep $1,000 in the account so I can weather the swings, and I only withdraw the "cheese" over $1,000. I primarily play $5-$10 limit, but have jumped into a $10-$20 game once and a $15-$30 twice. I sometimes play the $30 and $50 SNGs, but primarily limit poker. I'll write a post later about my strategy.

(3) comments

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Posted by Junelli 4:00 PM
Stealing the Blinds
by Dave Rogers
from Two Plus Two Internet Magazine

There are players, very good ones, who make many final tables using a very simple approach. They accumulate a decent amount of chips and then use them like a club to keep hammering the blinds once the blinds get meaningful. You'll see them steal blind after blind, then sooner or later someone will call or raise. The blind stealer may fire out a shot on the flop or just look to see as many free cards as possible. They might fold if raised before the flop or bet out into the flop if checked to. The cards don't really matter for them, because they're just playing their stacks and position. Yet they succeed even though you and most of the other players know what they are doing, because for every time they are thwarted, they steal enough to cover. And then, just as the table is collectively trying to get the nerve together to put a stop to them, they get a legitimate hand, someone plays back at them and gets knocked out. That will usually be enough to put the table back in line.

That is the trick to the blind stealer's game. Sometimes they have the cards and are essentially playing them just like the standard ABC player. Sometimes they have rags but then hit the flop. Sometimes they've got nothing but pick up the blinds because of their aggression. Then at times they have nothing and have to lay down to a resteal or missed flop. Unlike the typical opponent, it is much more difficult to put the blind stealer on a range of hands. No one wants to be the one to look them up and find that they picked the wrong time to defend. So the blind stealer's aggression wins many uncontested small pots.

What lets them get away with this is the steady stream of chips they pick up. When they get played back at, they can either get away from their hands if they need to or see the flop as a significant dog because the pot is still laying them odds. Even as a 4-to-1 dog, a skilled blind stealer knows when he has either the odds or the implied odds to try to suck out. If he doesn't, he just folds.

Most players who study the game in order to improve know all of this, but aren't able to put it into practice successfully because it goes against the very first thing they learned once they decided to stop playing their "lucky hands" and actually think about their game. It is counter-intuitive to the starting hand requirements they've learned. It seemingly risks chips without the goods. Yet it works.

Here's why: Lets assume blinds of T200/T400 with a T50 ante 9 handed. Each pot starts out with T1050 in it. Obviously, you can't steal every blind. That becomes too obvious and you will get defended too often. What if you try to steal 3 blinds in a round and get caught once? Two times you make it T1,200 to go and take down the pot. So you're up T2,100. The third time your opponent pushes and you have to fold. You're still up T900. It's costing you T1,050 a round yourself, so even if you have both your blinds stolen, each round is now only costing you T150. Some times though, you'll actually get a hand or see a flop when you get called or raised. This is where you'll earn chips. You're essentially free rolling for the times that you hit your hand. The other players are simply waiting for good cards, so most rounds cost them the full T1,050. Sometimes they'll catch their hands, earn some chips and continue on. Other times they'll bust out because they haven't padded their stacks with other player's blinds.

Online, you can take it further. If you play a lot of tournaments at a particular level, you'll notice the same people playing the same way. You can create notes on those players who will play back at you, what they defend with and also who you can just push over. Armed with just this information you'll find yourself going much further into the money in the tournaments you play.

For many ABC type players, players who are probably earning money in tournaments, but not making it deep into the money often enough, this can be a tough transition. There is risk involved and there will be tournaments were everyone seems to call your steal attempts, or you finally hit a ragged flop only to lose all your chips to a better hand. If you keep at it, though, you'll find it works very well in the long run, especially when you've had more practice at it. This may be a very drastic transition from your normal game. You might want to try dropping down to lower buy in tournaments until you feel comfortable with moving back up to your normal level and beyond. You'll also start to see others using this style and understand what they are doing. You'll notice that these people who used to prey on you, now leave you alone and that you'll start to see them at your final table often.

(1) comments

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Posted by Junelli 4:04 PM
Interested in taking notes about your opponents online?
Don't know what to write down?

This page illustrates a good format

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:04 PM
The link from last night got me thinking. He made a good point that the "rule of thumb" to call a pot-sized bet on the flop with 9 outs is bad advice. It is good advice if you or your opponent is going all in. That is, since you won't have to make an additional call on the turn, the pot odds on the flop are the only consideration. While this is good advice, I think it is incomplete. What we need to know is, "What sized bet is ok to call?" See this chart below for your answer:

The third column is the one that bad players refer to when they incorrectly call a pot-sized bet. If you make the assumption that your opponent will bet the bejezzus out of the pot on the turn, then your only consideration in pot odds is the likelihood of turning your card (Column 1). Based on the above chart, a bet of $31 to a $100 pot is worth a call. Always. Can you call a bet > $31? Yup, if:

1. There is a possibility that you could get a free (or very cheap) river. However, this is so rare, that I would only factor this in if you are last to act and you know your opponent very well and have seen him check (or under bet) on the turn, or

2. You think that if you make a bet once you make your hand, you might get a call.

Items 1&2 involve a lot of speculation, so I would not raise the bar of what sized bet you may call significantly above $31.

If you find yourself on the turn needing a draw, then it becomes a bit simpler. Use column 2 and only consider the following for calling greater than $32:

- You think that if you make a bet once you make your hand, you might get a call.

The below chart is for open-ended straights:

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 2:34 PM
The site Friou mentioned below is a great site. I'd also recommend looking at the Party Poker "Replayer". It'll replay your hand histories, so you can evaluate your mistakes.

There are also sample hand histories from other players that you can watch, read their commentaries, and learn from. It's a very nice tool.

You can access it here.

(0) comments

Monday, January 24, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:25 PM
I like this website. The advice is hardly novel, but the examples/illustrations are excellent. He warns:
In summary, go on flush draws in no-limit or pot-limit only if you know your opponents will not be making substantial bets on the turn that make your pot odds incorrect to draw on. Most players have no clue how to properly play no limit and pot limit, so they tend not to do this, but you've been warned.

In addition to advice on traps, he has this to say about table selection:

When selecting a table on Party Poker, the biggest thing to notice of course is the average pot size listed for the table. Most people automatically select the table with the biggest average pot, but this is usually the wrong move. Example: In a rowdy 3/6 game with 10 players, the average pot is shown to be $80 while the other 3/6 tables show average pots around the $45 range. It's true that the $80 table will be getting the most action, but that is a double-edged sword.

True that. I have often wondered whether bad beat complainers are actively seeking out 'juicy' games.

Last, I love this analysis on big blind stealing.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:51 AM
I just found this joke. I have no doubt that it is very old, but it made me laugh.


It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the hell the weather was going to be.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be

But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.
He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked,"Is the coming winter going to be cold?"

"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the Meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.

One week later he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" he asked.

"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.

Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely," the man replied. "It looks like it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.

The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy".

(0) comments

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 6:14 PM
We just celebrated our Silver Anniversary! (25k hits)

I also just lost AK heads up to KJ when the flop came KdJd4c and I made a big bet and he called. Putting him on the flush draw, I went all in on the turn and he called. The river was no help and I lost to 2 pair.

I have to say that these sorts of hands are actually more frustrating than a "bad beat" to a bad player. I was right to raise pre-flop. I was right to bet when I flopped top-pair, top-kicker with flush and straight draws. I can't think of one thing I would do differently if faced with AK and that board again.

This hands stands in stark contrast to one I misplayed yesterday. I flopped 2-pair and he turned a higher 2-pair. Bet, re-raise, re-raise, re-raise. Hmmmm, surely he has me! Honestly, I do know better than that, but I was terribly distracted by things going on around the house at the time. This is one of many reasons I am going to change my online playing habits. I am often distracted at key moments and make decisions I would not make in a live game. Ugghh.

(0) comments

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:39 AM
Thanks to Adam for pointing out this old post from JD at CheapThrills. JD used PokerTracker and had some interesting statistics:
Interestingly, using the PokerTracker filter to show only hands where I had suited connectors, I have lost $6.50, or an average of 10 cents each time I'm dealt them (this includes the hands where I fold them). The most profitable suited connector by far is AKs, for $17 ($4.25/hand). So far KQs (-2.71/hand) and QJs (-.19/hand) are both costing me money.
This is quatitative (albeit a bit circumstantial) proof of what John was posting the other day. KQs and QJs suited are overrated. Although he does not mention JTs, he shows JTo as a profitable hand. It should be pointed out that not everyone agrees on the value of JT.

JD goes on to say that he has a "$41 loss from the big blind (which is less than the approximately $80 I would lose if I just folded every big blind). " So, this means that the big blind is only unprofitable to the extent that you are forced to play bad cards. When he subtracts out the "sunk cost" of posting the big blind, it is a profitable seat. This makes sense b/c looking at it that way, he can see a lot of free flops.

Notice that the profitability of AKs is close to AA and above KK. I think this goes to Doyle's advice that the beauty of AKs and AKo is that it is really easy to release them on an unconnected flop. Not so with AA and somewhat not so with KK.

All of his analysis is on limit poker, so the results will differ on NL (in particular, suited connectors go up in value, and the distribution of profits based on position becomes more tilted.)


We played a quickie tourney and then Dealers Choice at Adam's last night - mainly 25c-50c NL Holdem and PL Omaha 8. I lost $10 in the Sit&Go and then won $90 in the cash game. Cameron pointed out that the guys who fared best in the tournament did the worst in the cash game. The results were largely inversely proportional, and I might initially say that some players styles are better suited for tournaments and others are better suited for cash games. Take me - I rarely do well in tournaments but consistently win in cash games. That was going to be the point of this post.

But then I thought about it and realized that we all play different in tournaments than we do in cash games. Personally, I become both tighter and more aggressive. Either it is an over-adjustment, an under-adjustment, or an adjustment in the wrong direction. Either way, my EV is much worse at a tournament.

I used to chalk this up to variance, but the sample size is large enough that I don't think that can explain it.

Anyway, on the cash game, there was 1 hand that was huge for me and another that was very bad for me. Both times, I had AcTcXX in O/8 to make the nut flush. In the first hand, the board didn't pair and the Tc was necessary to make the str8 flush. So, I knew I had the nuts. That river card (the Jc) was the perfect card. I probably won around $65. The second time, I made the nut flush on the turn. Bets everywhere. The river paired the board, and I lost the main pot and the side pot to boats. The side pot was around $50, as was the main pot. Absent that river, I would be $100 richer.

The reason I mention these hands is not to complain about a "bad beat". Rather, I am hoping to illustrate exactly why we shouldn't complain about bad beats. I was in a nearly identical situation with nearly identical cards in the same night. Once, I scored. Once, I lost. Net, I came out ahead (I was in for nearly $33.33 in the lost pot and won around $65 in the won pot). This is why I try not to complain about bad beats. The come around. But so do miracle cards.

I identified a leak in my game late last year that I have been fixing. I was overbetting monster hands. In situations where either:
- I had the nuts on the river or
- I had a monster so big on the flop/turn (usually a boat),
I would bet too big and scare the customers off.

The cause for this is simple. We all start out in poker thinking that the way to win is to lure people into your pot with tiny bets when you have the goodies. After suffering many bad beats and draw outs, you eventually pick up a poker book and learn to not slowplay your big hands. Bet when you got it, they say. So when you progress to 'novice' you always bet it up with big hands. How many times on Party Poker have you seen a guy slow play a hand, get drawn out on, complain, and then get bombarded with comments like "that's what u get. u shoulda bet. ur fault, scker!!!"

Once you get into the proper habit, it is easy to overapply. The best example is the flopped or turned boat with 2 of a suit on the board. Check it, let him hit his flush and catch up. Then kick him in the nuts.

It should be extremely obvious that you shouldn't bet too much on the river with the nuts and scare off your customers, but often I did. Typically it was a quick reflex that I regretted as soon as I finished throwing the chips in.

There is an exception to this strategy I am espousing. If you are against a somewhat advanced but slightly loose player and he thinks you are overbetting the pot on a bluff, he may call you. However, even then, you probably make more money in the long run with a "come over here and kiss me" bet.

So, for the most part, I have rid myself of this disease. Now I convince people to kiss me.


I have been meaning to post my Poker New Years Resolutions and I promise to try to get those up on Sunday.


Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit you are shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.
-- Crandall Addington, Texas oil millionaire

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Reply-To: "John Smiley" <>
To: Dr Fro
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(0) comments

Friday, January 21, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:08 AM
Party Poker is running a special.

Or, you could use Bonus Code TAF15 and get $25 for you and you could probably negotiate with me to get part of the $50 bonus I would get. (see bottom right of our website).

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:48 AM
Did I mention that J8 is my new favorite hand?

(1) comments

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Posted by Junelli 1:54 PM
Don't I win a jacket or something?

***** Hand History for Game 1464336093 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Thu Jan 20 14:17:54 EST 2005
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 989727 (Real Money) -- Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 4
Seat 5: LadyLuckI ( $162)
Seat 6: cab1996 ( $319)
Seat 9: junell ( $290)
Seat 10: ramaolyne ( $175)
LadyLuckI posts small blind (2)
cab1996 posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Kc, Qh ]
junell calls (5)
LadyLuckI calls (3)
cab1996 checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Ah, Ts, Kh ]
LadyLuckI checks.
cab1996 checks.
junell bets (5)
LadyLuckI raises (10) to 10
cab1996 folds.
junell calls (5)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Th ]
LadyLuckI bets (10)
junell calls (10)
** Dealing River ** : [ Jh ]
LadyLuckI bets (10)
junell raises (20) to 20
LadyLuckI calls (10)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $94 | Rake: $1 | Jackpot Contribution: $0
Board: [ Ah Ts Kh Th Jh ]
nasso balance $220, sits out
LadyLuckI balance $117, lost $45 [ Ac 3c ] [ two pairs, aces and tens -- Ac,Ah,Kh,Ts,Th ]
cab1996 balance $314, lost $5 (folded)
junell balance $339, bet $45, collected $94, net +$49 [ Kc Qh ] [ Royal Flush -- Ah,Kh,Qh,Jh,Th ]
ramaolyne balance $175, sits out

(4) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 9:47 AM
Rather than making multiple posts, from now on I'm just going to keep updating this one with Tilt reviews. I enjoy reading and posting these because everyone sees the same things that are wrong with the show, just with subtle and humorous differences.

- This one is good. I focuses on the bullshit/bravado aspect of the show and I like two things here: 1.) the observation about the three characters being the same person in three different bodies and 2.) the line that the only thing more unrealistic than a lack of Asian sharks is the lack of Asian fishes. Good lord, this is so true - the standard deviation surrounding the ability Asian people at poker tables is huge. Excellent observation.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:19 AM
I saw this at the bottom of the Jackpot Jay article John linked:

HEY, IRS: HOW JAY IS DOING IN HIS NEW PROFESSIONLast week: lost $193 playing
Online total: minus $4,743.
Career-to-date: plus $14,246.

I just found this interesting because my career to date is plus thousands as is my brick & mortar for the year each year for many years. Yet, my online is negative cumulative. I don't get it. I have some theories and that will be the subject of my post over the weekend

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:26 AM
I found Jackpot Jay's review this morning - it's pretty harsh, too, and says a lot the same things that have been said here and elsewhere.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 6:09 AM
Few more points I thought of about Tilt:

- If the "Matador" is so good, then why does he need to cheat some guy from Iowa? And if he doesn't respect $8,000, why did he cheat to get it?

- If the guy from Iowa knows he's a cheat, then why did he still play with him? Is this a sting operation gone awry that we haven't been told about yet?

- If the brother was a cheater in his own right, and knew HOW the Matador cheated, then why did he too sit down in a game and lose all of his money?

- I think Junell made a point about the table talk in a comment to one of my posts below. I agree. The table talk is completely unrealistic. No one talks that much and no one I have ever played with or seen is that good at it or that willing to provoke someone with it, or, frankly, that rude. If someone started using canned lines like that on me, I would have thought that I was either being punk'd or cheated or in the middle of some bad poker TV show. POKER IS NOT PLAYED THAT WAY.

- One of the reviews below refers to there not being enough "dumpy Asian guys". That is correct, everyone in the entire show either looks like a model or a gangster.

- Why are people playing in back rooms... IN VEGAS? And what was the point, exactly, of the Jim Crow card club scene? Is it that black gang members aren't allowed in casinos? Last I saw, this wasn't the case. And besides, what kind a gangbanger plays poker in a backroom? Ask Dave Chapelle, if anything, they would be throwing dice. Perhaps they are trying to make a point about the ubiquity and popularity of poker, but in Vegas whay would anyone want to play anywhere other than in a casino, much less in a dark backroom with no free drinks (or waitresses - I love Bellagio), bad lights, and barely enough room to move around?

(0) comments

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 5:28 PM
OK, I finally got around to watching 'Tilt' this afternoon (I looooove my Tivo) and I have to say it's just about the worst shit I have ever seen on television. I kind of expected it anyway, as soon as I heard about it almost a year ago, but it's worse than I expected:

- The poker scenes are entirely unrealistic (it doesn't take "a pair" to draw to a gutshot straight, it takes a moron, which, there appears to be plenty of in this program because every hand that's shown on screen comes down to someone catching a middle card right in the midsection).

- The characters are worse that caricatures, especially the chick who was supposedly playing no limit holdem when she was 12.

- Michael Madsen is just awful. The 'Mr Blonde' character was great back in 1994; not so in a show about poker, where watching this I half-expected him to douse TJ Cloutier in gasoline and start dancing around the poker table.

- The dialog is awful (see the "No, I have a pair" line)

All in all, this dogshit is perfect for every 18 year old moron on Pokerstars who lives to be the next Dutch Boyd, but for the rest of us, who know something about the game, it's unwatchable crap. If my wife were to watch this I would never get to go to Vegas again because it would just reinforce all of her negative stereotypes that I've done such a good job erasing over the past couple years.

I don't blame ESPN for trying to come up with something that will keep the WPT crowd in front of the TV after they've worn out all of the tapes of Chris Moneymaker and Fossilman, but then again, I generally don't watch the tournament broadcasts, either. Maybe I'm just not the target audience, but I don't get it.

How is Rounders so good and this so bad and they both come from the same writers?

(1) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:58 PM
Pocket Aces 3 times in 17 minutes. Lost all 3 pots which totaled $373.50. The money doesn't sting (I only lost $155), it's that all 3 were lost to a donkey of the first degree who won the pots with Q4, J4, K4. Be on the lookout for "bielski1" know I'll be.

Hand 1
***** Hand History for Game 1460312819 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Wed Jan 19 16:37:20 EST 2005
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 988303 (Real Money) -- Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: donmc ( $238)
Seat 2: kuriousg ( $352)
Seat 3: bielski1 ( $122.5)
Seat 4: ojisan ( $214.5)
Seat 5: Azhrarn ( $267.25)
Seat 6: junell ( $444.5)
Seat 7: prince61 ( $289.75)
Seat 8: JOHNMACLEOD1 ( $394.75)
Seat 9: dideyewin ( $182)
Seat 10: Nautilus60 ( $125.5)
kuriousg posts small blind (2)
bielski1 posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ As, Ac ]
ojisan folds.
Azhrarn folds.
junell raises (10) to 10
prince61 folds.
dideyewin folds.
Nautilus60 raises (15) to 15
kuriousg folds.
bielski1 calls (10)
junell raises (10) to 20
Nautilus60 calls (5)
bielski1 calls (5)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2c, 8h, Qc ]
bielski1 bets (5)
junell raises (10) to 10
Nautilus60 raises (15) to 15
bielski1 calls (10)

junell calls (5)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qh ]
bielski1 bets (10)
junell calls (10)
Nautilus60 calls (10)
** Dealing River ** : [ 4h ]
bielski1 bets (10)
junell calls (10)
Nautilus60 calls (10)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $163.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ 2c 8h Qc Qh 4h ]
donmc balance $238, sits out
kuriousg balance $350, lost $2 (folded)
bielski1 balance $231, bet $55, collected $163.5, net +$108.5 [ Qs 6s ] [ three of a kind, queens -- Qs,Qc,Qh,8h,6s ]
ojisan balance $214.5, didn't bet (folded)
Azhrarn balance $267.25, didn't bet (folded)
junell balance $389.5, lost $55 [ As Ac ] [ two pairs, aces and queens -- As,Ac,Qc,Qh,8h ]
prince61 balance $289.75, didn't bet (folded)
JOHNMACLEOD1 balance $394.75, didn't bet (folded)
dideyewin balance $182, didn't bet (folded)
Nautilus60 balance $70.5, lost $55 [ Ks Kc ] [ two pairs, kings and queens -- Ks,Kc,Qc,Qh,8h ]

Hand 2
***** Hand History for Game 1460371199 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Wed Jan 19 16:52:05 EST 2005
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 988303 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Hoodwinku ( $445.5)
Seat 2: kuriousg ( $406)
Seat 3: bielski1 ( $166)
Seat 4: ojisan ( $194.5)
Seat 5: HailMary16 ( $120)
Seat 6: junell ( $317.5)
Seat 7: prince61 ( $310.25)
Seat 8: CloakedOne ( $240)
Seat 9: dukle ( $215)
Seat 10: candokaz ( $113)
kuriousg posts small blind (2)
bielski1 posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Ad, As ]
ojisan folds.
junell raises (10) to 10
prince61 folds.
CloakedOne calls (10)
dukle folds.
candokaz folds.
Hoodwinku folds.
kuriousg folds.
bielski1 calls (5)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 9s, 4h, 4c ]

bielski1 bets (5)
junell raises (10) to 10
CloakedOne folds.
bielski1 raises (10) to 15
junell calls (5)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9d ]
bielski1 bets (10)
junell calls (10)
** Dealing River ** : [ 7s ]
bielski1 bets (10)
junell calls (10)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $98.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ 9s 4h 4c 9d 7s ]
Hoodwinku balance $445.5, didn't bet (folded)
kuriousg balance $404, lost $2 (folded)
bielski1 balance $219.5, bet $45, collected $98.5, net +$53.5 [ 4s Js ] [ a full house, Fours full of nines -- 9s,9d,4s,4h,4c ]
ojisan balance $194.5, didn't bet (folded)
HailMary16 balance $120, sits out
junell balance $272.5, lost $45 [ Ad As ] [ two pairs, aces and nines -- Ad,As,9s,9d,7s ]
prince61 balance $310.25, didn't bet (folded)
CloakedOne balance $230, lost $10 (folded)
dukle balance $215, didn't bet (folded)
candokaz balance $113, didn't bet (folded)

Hand 3
***** Hand History for Game 1460381091 *****
5/10 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Wed Jan 19 16:54:34 EST 2005
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 988303 (Real Money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Hoodwinku ( $445.5)
Seat 2: kuriousg ( $404)
Seat 3: bielski1 ( $251)
Seat 4: ojisan ( $144.5)
Seat 5: HailMary16 ( $115)
Seat 6: junell ( $272.5)
Seat 7: prince61 ( $310.25)
Seat 8: CloakedOne ( $248)
Seat 9: dukle ( $215)
Seat 10: candokaz ( $113)
HailMary16 posts small blind (2)
junell posts big blind (5)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Ad, Ah ]
prince61 folds.
CloakedOne folds.
dukle folds.
candokaz folds.
Hoodwinku folds.
kuriousg folds.
bielski1 calls (5)
ojisan folds.
HailMary16 calls (3)
junell raises (5) to 10
bielski1 calls (5)

HailMary16 folds.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Jh, 6s, Kc ]
junell checks.
bielski1 bets (5)
junell calls (5)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8h ]
junell checks.
bielski1 bets (10)
junell raises (20) to 20
bielski1 calls (10)
** Dealing River ** : [ Kd ]
junell bets (10)
bielski1 raises (20) to 20
junell calls (10)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $111.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ Jh 6s Kc 8h Kd ]
Hoodwinku balance $445.5, didn't bet (folded)
kuriousg balance $404, didn't bet (folded)
bielski1 balance $307.5, bet $55, collected $111.5, net +$56.5 [ 4s Ks ] [ three of a kind, kings -- Ks,Kc,Kd,Jh,8h ]
ojisan balance $144.5, didn't bet (folded)
HailMary16 balance $110, lost $5 (folded)
junell balance $217.5, lost $55 [ Ad Ah ] [ two pairs, aces and kings -- Ad,Ah,Kc,Kd,Jh ]
prince61 balance $310.25, didn't bet (folded)
CloakedOne balance $248, didn't bet (folded)
dukle balance $215, didn't bet (folded)
candokaz balance $113, didn't bet (folded)

(0) comments

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 9:48 PM
KDGE is having a tournament in Dallas

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 5:16 PM
It looks like things are finally starting to look up!

(0) comments

Monday, January 17, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 7:02 PM
Fellow Americans, Happy Martin Luther King Day.

To the non-Americans that read the site, happy Monday.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 11:44 AM
It's a boring "holiday" today here at work - the NYMEX is closed and the brokers are all gone - so I figure I'll babble about connectors. My boss and I were talking about the "sweet" hand in the post I wrote below (he was there on Saturday and witnessed it), so it got me to thinking that maybe a short blog post is in order.

First, the obvious - the reason we always talk about suited connectors relative to unsuited connectors is because of the additional flush value. This extra value is a bit tricky, though, because suited connectors should be played in the hopes of making a straight, not a flush.

How does this makes sense? It took me a while to figure this out for myself, but the flush value doesn't necessarily come from the value of the highest card in your hand (ie a 7 high flush still isn't that good), but rather, it comes from the fact that it's less likely for someone else to be holding two cards of the same suit as for them to be holding one card better than yours. In other words if the board comes three of your suit and you hold two cards, your 7 high flush (for example) has a better chance of being the best flush if it's made with 2+3 cards than 1+4, because it's more likely than someone else does indeed have at least one higher card of that suit. With suited connectors you are playing for the straight, but you might get lucky and make a small flush that's still the winner. In most circumstances you should not draw for this flush, it's just nice to have, and thus suited connectors have more value than unsuited connectors. My thoughts below are on connectors in general, just remember than suited is better than unsuited.

(I hope that longwinded explanation makes sense, because it's hard a hard concept to verbalize succinctly. Reread it a couple of times if you can't follow it and if it still sucks post a comment and I'll try and do a better job.)


So that gets us to the discussion of which suited connectors to play. Remember, we are playing these cards for their value in making straights, so the higher cards aren't necessarily the best cards. Here's my list of suited connectors in their order of perceived strength (at least the way I see them), plus my thoughts. I'll go through this quick and maybe elaborate on specific Groups (ala Sklansky) in separate posts down the road.

(Also, the standard disclaimers apply - these values are presented in a vacuum - even if I say that 45s has more "value" than 9Ts, that doesn't mean you should aggressively play the ignorant end if the flop comes 678. I assume more sophistication on the part of the reader.)

AK - Duh. This isn't meant as a treatise on big slick, so I'm not going to elaborate, but really, AK's value comes more from its top-pair-top-kicker and nut-flush qualities than as its value as a connector. (If I wanted to completely honest in an academic sense, I would rank it below QJ in the list below because it there are only three ways to make a straight with it.)

JT - Any straight is the nut straight, either high end or low end.

65, 54, 76 - I like 65 and 54 because if you catch your straight in the right spot you can beat the hell out of someone overplaying an Ace on a board with all small cards. Also, if you do flop a draw it's probably going to be cheaper to see additional streets because it's less likely that someone saw the flop with middle and low cards than with face cards and thus they don't have a pair and are less likely to bet the flop. Both of these factors led to my big hand on Saturday night.

87 - If you make a straight here, even on the low end, it's likely the best hand because because other players are less likely to be in the pot with T9 or J9.

KQ and QJ - Kind of like AK - if we are talking about "connectors" and making straights, then the value comes from the number of outs, both on the top side and bottom. Unfortunately, there is less top pair value from KQ or QJ and fewer straight-draw outs on the top side for these hands. (although like JT, any straight you do make is the nut straight) TJ Cloutier and Doyle both advise against playing these hands strongly and refer to these hands in non-shorthanded play as sucker hands. I concur.

T9 and 98 If you catch the low end with these hands it is more likely that someone could have chosen to see the flop with the high end because they are face cards. Similarly, if you catch a gutshot draw you are in bad shape because your gutshot options are face cards and thus more likely to have been taken to the flop by another player. Doyle specifically speaks to this point in Super/System when he talks about why he likes playing 87 over 98.

43 and 23 - Similar to KQ and QJ, your outs with these hands are limited, but they are limited on the low side. There are two things to point out here - there are more outs towards the ignorant end of any strauight possibilites than to the nut end, and to make the nut straight you have to catch an Ace, which means that unless you also flop cards on the top end you are likely behind the guy with an Ace in his hand.

("Great," you say, "but wouldn't I still be behind if he just has Ace high?" Sure, except that if he catches that Ace you are likely going to be committed to draw, but since he now has top pair, even if you pair up on 4th or 5th streets it's not going to be enough to win the pot by accident. Ergo, value is lost relative to another suited connector hand that doesn't need an Ace to make the straight.)

2A - There are no nut-straight possibilities and any straight you make is on the ignorant end and can be beat by a higher straight. Similarly, if you catch that Ace you are still in kicker trouble and if you make two pair (like my friend on Saturday night) you are in very real danger of losing to the guy with the straight.

Thoughts? Fro is an expert at playing little cards in certain situations, so I am sure he might have something to add.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 6:14 AM
I played in a small 2-table home tournament Saturday night that was almost just like a live SnG: a fairly quick blind structure (22 players were done in 4 1/2 hours) and some good players combined with some not-so-good players.

One thing that was great about this tourney was that most of the players, even the better ones, were quite happy to play lottery-style and see a lot of cheap flops. There were very few pre-flop raises, but lots of action after the flop, especially if there were aces or face cards. This put a lot of implied odds into drawing hands, because hitting any flop with trips or better was usually profitable because anyone else with top or even middle pair on the flop was quite willing to play his hand to the end no matter what. The lack of preflop raising also enabled me to to steal quite a few blinds - especially from early position - because most of the other guys interpretted all pre-flop raises as indicators of strength (ie AQ or better) and no one wanted to call a raise without seeing the flop.

I also took advantage of the prolific limping to win what was perhaps the sweetest hand of the night for me: just before we consolidated into one table I limped into a 6-way pot from UTG with 45d (by this point I had built a small stack and was loosening up a bit). The flop came 923 rainbow - a monster draw for me, especially if I could see the turn for free, which is exactly what happened (apparently no one had a 9 or an overpair). The turn was an Ace - probably just the card at least one of the other players was hoping for, and before I could even start drooling, the guy next to me, who had been seeing a LOT of flops and drinking a LOT of beer all night long, announced he was all-in. I quickly called, and the other players all folded.

He smugly turned over A2 (two pair), I turned over my straight, and the look on his face was priceless when he took a second look at my cards. I wish I could win every hand that way! This was deception at it's finest because he clearly was surprised that I had called preflop with anything other than big cards.

That hand put me into the chip lead for the final table, which allowed me to start abusing other players right away after the break and build up an even bigger stack. I stumbled after a while though, when twice I managed to get players all-in with underdog hands to my big pairs only to get outdrawn and lose big pots. This depleted my stack enough to where when we ended up playing heads-up I was the short stack, which is where I finished for the night - 2nd place.

All in all though, I can't think of very many things that don't involve my wife that would be better ways to spend a Saturday night. It wasn't a lot of money, but poker is always a good time.

(2) comments

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 3:14 PM
I altered my strategy today and figured that if it is worth a raise, it is worth going all in. It worked for 2nd place.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:47 PM
There were two articles in the Dallas Morning News today on poker. The first is about a fantasy camp led by Howard Lederer. Evidently the next session is while we are in Vegas for th big bachelor party.

The second one provides a decent resource for Vegas card rooms. It notes:

With so much proliferation, gamblers have their choice of setting and stakes. Most rooms, however, are dominated by Texas Hold 'Em, the variation that has all but taken over poker, in many cases crowding out 7-Card Stud and Omaha, the next most popular games.

I have to say that I was very surprised at the dearth of non-Holdem games. The other surprise to me was that all the NL games that I played in had a max buy-in. Before the current proliferation of the game, NL not only meant that there was no limit on your bet (other than your and you opponents' stack sizes of course), it also meant that there was no limit on the buy-in. It was therefore common to see a $2-$5 or $5-$10 NL game with guys looking over a mountian of ten thousand chips. The online poker rooms, always on the cutting edge, instituted the maximum buy-in to encourage more participation. It worked, and the casinos followed suit (no pun intended). What I find most interesting about this is that the online sites were intended to be an imitation of the brick and mortar casino. But the tide has turned and we now see casinos imititating the online sites. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Sit & Go's become common in brick and mortar rooms, and why not? After all, it was clear that easily 1/2 of my table had extensive online experience and zero B&M experience. Thus, places like Party Poker have set their expectations of what a casino should offer.

So what else will casinos borrow from their online brethren? Will a chalkboard be put up next to the table where, after I win a hand, a guy names JerseyBoy69 be able to write, "How did you call that bet, you idiot??? Geez, you suck. I will take all your money before it is over, BIOTCH!!!"

I hope so.

(0) comments

Friday, January 14, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 4:00 PM
I was reading Iggy and came across a review of "cheating" software that I wrote about a few weeks ago (emphasis added):

Hold 'Em, Fold 'Em, Cheat 'Em
Tricks, scams, and crimes for winning at online poker.
By Jonathan M. Katz

Software cheats. The marketers of "Cheat On Poker v.1.2" promised "special tracking software that helps you to track the hand of every opponent at your e-poker table!" In the interest of journalism—and since none of my friends would collude with me—this was the method I chose to test.

Guess who got cheated. For $29.95, I got an unwieldy odds calculator bundled with useless shareware. My attempts to use it in fake-money games got me closer to arthritis than a seat on the World Poker Tour. It took so long to log my hand, community cards, and opponents' possible cards that I nearly missed two betting turns. If tricking your opponents into believing you're fading in and out of a coma constitutes an advantage, it was lost on the half-dozen anonyms siphoning off my fake money.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 11:43 AM
What would you have done?

Last night I played $2-$5 pot limit and booked a $200 profit. Though 30 minutes before I left I was up $800. I lost a big hand and am interested to see if you would've done anything different.

I am the commanding chip leader at the table with approx $1,200 in chips (more than twice as many as 2nd chip position who is directly to my right). I have been playing well all night, catching some hands, extracting money when I am in a dominating position, and bluffing at the right times. The table is fairly loose/aggressive and typically 3-5 players will pay $15-20 to see a flop. There are several poor players, but the player to my right has seemed patient and fairly tight. I haven't even noticed how he got his chip stack up to $650 (in fact, I practically didn't even know he was there).

On to the hand...
I am dealt 68o in the BB. No one raises, and 5 people see the flop. The flop is beautiful for me: 79T with 2 clubs. I have the straight to the ten. Small blind checks. I check. Middle position bets $20, we all smooth call. The turn is an A of diamonds. The small blind checks again, and I check again (waiting to pop it when the bet comes back around to me). Middle position bets $40, late position calls $40. Then the small blind raises the pot $245.

I go into the tank thinking to myself, "What the hell?? I have the 2nd nut straight." He hasn't demonstrated any strength thus far, and because he's in the small blind it's impossible to put him on a hand. He could have a set, two pair, flush draw, bluffing (not likely). The only hand that beats me is J8 (nut straight). He looks at me and very confidently says, "I have a monster." I ask him if he has the "nuts", and he doesn't answer. He repeats again that he is "very strong."

I believe him that he's strong. He was a very nice unassuming player, and the game was very friendly. I assumed he was telling the truth.

But what did "very strong" mean? In my mind it meant either: (1) he had top or middle set; or (2) he had the same straight I was holding (a very good possibility); or (3) he had the nut straight.

Of course, distant possibilities also existed: (1) trying to make a move; (2) top two pair (and didn't see the straight possibility); (3)nut flush draw.

Another scary fact is that he had approx $300 in chips left (after his raise of $245). Therefore, I could assume that if I called his raise, those chips were going in on the river. I also had two other people in the hand who may call. The pot was big ($500) and likely to get much bigger. And I had a straight dammit!

The last thing to cross my mind was the fact that for me, it was all "cheese". In other words, even if I put him all-in and lost, I would still be up $100 or so for the night.

"Fuck it. I can't get away. I raise the pot." (making it ~$600 to go). As expected and desired, the other two players went away.

He turns over J8...the only hand that beats me. I have 3 outs to chop the pot, and no chance at winning. He is kind and let's me save $100 while he saves $800, and we play for the rest. He wins of course.

I wasn't upset after the hand, and definitely didn't feel like I took a bad beat. Unfortunately, it was one of those unfortunate circumstances where I was on the "business" end of two monster hands meeting at the same time, against the two chip leaders at the table. And if I had to play it over again, I don't know if I would've been able to lay it down (considering all the variables that went into my decision).

What do you think?

(8) comments

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 9:42 PM
I'm not really sure who played this worse. If I had to pick, I would go with the caller, because at least the original bettor got his chips into the pot first and put the decision on the other player... but for crying out loud, he raised 12x the big blind and all he had were pocket threes. Maybe instead I would say it was a draw in the stupidity department


PokerStars Game #1074310703: Tournament #4587420, Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (100/200) - 2005/01/13 - 18:44:02 (ET)
Table '4587420 1' Seat #6 is the button
Seat 3: bigj2311 (1237 in chips)
Seat 5: johnnymac96 (1470 in chips)
Seat 6: JP'sJack (6041 in chips)
Seat 9: LukaD33 (4752 in chips)
bigj2311: posts the ante 25
johnnymac96: posts the ante 25
JP'sJack: posts the ante 25
LukaD33: posts the ante 25
LukaD33: posts small blind 100
bigj2311: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [Qs 4c]
johnnymac96: folds
JP'sJack: folds
LukaD33: raises 1000 to 1200
bigj2311: raises 12 to 1212 and is all-in
LukaD33: calls 12
*** FLOP *** [2d 5d Ts]
*** TURN *** [2d 5d Ts] [8s]
*** RIVER *** [2d 5d Ts 8s] [3d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
LukaD33: shows [3h 3c] (three of a kind, Threes)
bigj2311: shows [2c 2h] (three of a kind, Deuces)
LukaD33 collected 2524 from pot
johnnymac96 said: "Jesus"
JP'sJack said: "holy ****"
johnnymac96 said: "I'm speechless"
JP'sJack said: "ummm....."
LukaD33 said: "wow"
Luka D33 said: "LOL! He got lucky and then I got lucky!"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2524 Rake 0
Board [2d 5d Ts 8s 3d]
Seat 3: bigj2311 (big blind) showed [2c 2h] and lost with three of a kind, Deuces
Seat 5: johnnymac96 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: JP'sJack (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: LukaD33 (small blind) showed [3h 3c] and won (2524) with three of a kind, Threes


Here's the funny thing - I don't think LukaD33 had any idea whatsoever that I (and I assume the other player, JP'sJack) wasn't commenting on the lucky draws. I was commenting on how stupidly they both played.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:46 PM
The writers for "Tilt" are same guys who wrote Rounders, and one consistent point among all of the reviews below are that the dialogue and poker details are rather accurate. For instance, check out this pic:

Gold watch, large rings on multiple fingers, a bracelet... I say that they have the look of a poker pro (or at least a cardroom/casino regular). If I were to sit down in a game with this guy, his jewelry would be the first thing to tip me off that this guy is someone who has played before and to therefore to be wary of in whenever we're in the pot together.

You may also notice that he's wearing a "pretty shirt," but he's too old to fit that mold. This guy is a real tough guy and not some young buck looking for some fun before he looks to get laid.

All in all, the costume is good, but like the Slate review below, I think he still needs dress more dumpy, but keep the jewelery, to really look the part.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:02 PM
Keeping in line with my usual disdain for everything on television having to do with Poker - or really anthing having to do with poker that was created in the past 2 years - I'm not particularly eager to watch the premiere of "Tilt" on ESPN tonight. I was planning on tivoing the show tonight, anyway, and I guess I still will, but the reviews don't look that great:

Sports Illustrated:

...As far as the big gun of the show, Madsen is asked to out-Madsen himself in the first episode. Don't blame this terrific actor, who does what he can with just a couple of scenes and some silly dialogue ("If I run out of toilet paper at home, I wipe my ass with eight grand. Nine, if I've had chili.").

The hope here is that future episodes show more sides to The Matador. What makes Madsen so great in Quentin Tarantino's films is that his characters aren't merely pure evil. He brings a charismatic complexity to the bad seed role.

The show has some promise. But when it comes to Tilt, I'm going to need a couple of more hands before I'm all-in.


But the big disappointment here is the characters. Anyone who's watched professional poker knows it's filled with nothing but fascinating, superintelligent weirdos. These folks are blessed with the sort of mind that could calculate Wall Street futures, but are cursed with the sort of soul that longs for late-night Las Vegas card rooms. None of this contradiction is captured in Tilt.

Granted, I've only seen the first episode—perhaps in time these boring central-casting toughs will show some hidden depth. But they still won't look the part. Poker players come in every age, shape, and nationality. That's part of why I love televised poker: It's the one place on the dial to see dumpy Asians. Yet Tilt centers on a trio of stylish, slim, attractive young Americans. Haven't these writers watched World Poker Tour? Don't they know that real poker players have awkward facial hair? That they wear satin jackets with casino logos and chew on unlit cigarettes for hours at a time? That they are frequently Vietnamese?

...By the way, Michael Madsen—as always—is excellent in Tilt. As poker legend Don "The Matador" Everest, Madsen hauls out his usual shtick: shiny eyes, gravelly voice, sudden and violent eruptions. He points at someone every time he speaks a line, just to kick up the intimidation factor. If only he were pointing at dumpy Asians in satin jackets, we might have a show here.

(Editors Note: This author obviously is spending too much time at the Friendship Social Club with Chen and Garr)

Pittsburgh Tribune:

The show depicts poker as an intense game that features more trash talk than a football game between the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. That's part of the problem. There's a lot of talking and not much action.

Madsen does his best to be slimy, but he's been better.

To make things more interesting, "Tilt" focuses on the corruption, which is rampant in the fictional Colorado Casino. This is an aspect that may offend many in the world of championship poker. "Tilt" promises a lot, but delivers very little. The premise would have been better as a two-hour movie, not a new series.

Boston Herald:

Structurally, the writing is interesting. It's a continuing story line that unfolds the histories between the characters slowly while drawing parallels between them. At least we know HBO's ``The Wire'' is a good influence.

But the debut episode spends more time on its perfect-cheekbone leads exchanging trash talk than on anything intriguing or original.

These sexpots look and act as if they could barely count their toes, let alone count cards. Especially lead hunk Eddie Cibrian of ``Third Watch,'' who seems like a Coleman lantern that somehow sprouted a three-day beard. (He plays a character helpfully named Eddie so he won't get confused.)

There's lot more reviews linked at Google. It seems like most legitimate TV reviews are mostly ambivalent or negative on the show and most of the 'DutchBoydAces943' high-school crowd are over the top excited ("Tilt RULZ!!!")... but that's to be expected.

I'll watch it and give my review in the next few days, too. Feel free to leave comments if you have anything to add yourself. Like I said, I'm not particular excited or eager to see this, but the line about the chili is kind of funny.

(0) comments

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 3:57 PM
Best of the Web
1. We got a shout out in Novemeber and I missed it.

2. This is funny.

3. Jackpot Jay asks “How many people actually make a living -- even a modest one -- playing poker? ”

He says the answer is difficult due to three simple little words:
Poker players lie.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 11:06 AM
In case you're interested, the games at Northside have been incredibly soft lately. If you haven't been, you're missing out. It's popularity is surging as a result of the poker craze and the friendly atmosphere, and there are new fish almost every night.

Apparently the word has caught on with young college students at Rice, and there are always several players who are 18-21. Most of them are relatively new to live poker and don't have the bankroll to handle the swings. They'll buy in to a $1-$2 or $2-$5 game for $100 (mistake #1), and then short-buy for $75 if they get busted (mistake #2). I'm amazed at the new players coming in. Nearly every night there are 1-2 new people who've never been there before.

The action is slower (less raising pre-flop and/or with the nuts), but most of them are smart enough to fold when they're supposed to. As a result the game is tight/passive most of the time. Bluffing is much easier, and they're very predictable so it's easy to lay down a hand to a raise.

They play $1-$2 pot limit nearly every night (I usually buy in for $300), but Wednesday & Thursday the blinds go up to $2-$5.

(0) comments

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:21 PM
I am skeptical.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:09 PM

Yes, that really happened.

(4) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:39 PM
I recently wrote this to an aspiring poker player looking for advice on Omaha 8. I have to caveat the following advice by noting that my O/8 advice is not worth the same as my hold’em advice in absolute terms. Relatively though, I think I have quite a bit to say. Huh? Well, I think that most people that read our site have the fundamentals of Holdem down. On a scale of 1 – 10, if they are a 2 and I am a 5, then I have something to teach them. In Omaha 8, I am probably a 2.5, but I suspect that most of the readers are close to a 1.

I started playing O/8 before I played holdem. I had read a book on holdem and was invited to a cardroom to play O/8. I figured, “how different could they be?” The answer is “Very” and my massive losses in late 1998 prove as much.

It has been said that while Holdem is a post-flop game, O/8 is a pre-flop game. Too many people can’t accurately assess good starting hands in Omaha. If you can master that tiny piece of the game, you are a mile ahead of other otherwise-Holdem-players-taking-a-hack-at-Omaha types.

Lesson #1: You essentially have 6 distinct 2-card hands in your 4 cards.

Take Hand #1: 2h3hKcKs and
Hand #2 Ac2cKdTd

In Hand #1, you only have 2 hands that are worth playing, the 23 and the KK. That is not to say that the hand completely sucks, it has potential, but you want to see the flop for cheap, since you have to connect well with the flop. Four of your 6 hands don’t do you much good.

In Hand #2, you have four hands that could help you out.
Ac2c AcKd AcTd KdTd

Lesson #2: High is better than low.

In Hand #2, not only do you have four hands, but three of the four are shooting at the high hand. High hand always qualifies and sometimes doesn’t split the pot. Low hand sometimes doesn’t qualify and always splits the pot if it does. High is better than low.

Lesson #3: Counterfeit-protection is a good thing

Let’s say you have A23 and the board shows 87K. Now you have a nice draw to the nut low. The beauty is that if an A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 hits, you win. A guy holding only A2 can only hope for 3, 4, 5, 6 because if a A or 2 hits, his hand is counterfeited. Thus, Hands 1 and 2 have no counterfeit protection on the low.

Lesson #4: The Super Draw (aka the high end’s answer to counterfeit protection)

With Hand #2, if the flop comes QJ you hit a draw the Broadway straight, needing A, K or T. Compare that to a turkey with only AK in his hand. Only a T on the turn or river help him. You are 3 times better off with your 3 draws on the turn and river
Also with Hand #2, you hit a draw to the Broadway straight with flops including QAx, QKx, QTx, JAx, JKx, JTx. So 6 types of flops give you a draw to the Broadway straight. Compare that to a guy with only AK. Only the flops of QJ, JT, and QT give him a draw to the Broadway straight. You are twice as likely to see that draw on the flop.

Lesson #5 Hedges are good

Hand #1 has a special property that Hand #2 doesn’t have. Lets say a flop comes 78Q. Great, you have top pair and a draw to the low. Ordinarily KK hate to see an A, but in this case, that A gives you the nut low. Conversely, if the A never comes, you have an overpair. It is a nice hedge. Although this is a characteristic you should look for in a starting hand, it is very difficult to spot it pre-flop.

Those are my lessons on starting hands. After the flop, I just focus on the most sound piece of advice I know regarding O/8 which is oft repeated: If you don’t flop the nuts or a draw to the nuts, fold. Remember, O/8 is a game of the nuts. And when it comes turn and river time, remember that if you are using A2 to make a nut low, you will likely quarter the pot. Play appropriately.

Most of my strategy comes from Steve Badger and Rolf Slotboom. These guys know what they are talking about much more than I do, read their articles (not just the ones I linked). Now when it comes to Holdem, I have some real nuggets I have been too busy to post, but I’ll get you the goodies soon.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 2:04 PM

That above is “It ain’t gambling” in Chinese. While in Hong Kong, I learned that many moons ago, there were many competing dialects/languages in China. The emperor wanted a standard written language which really didn’t exist at the time. So he rolled out the written language that still basically exists today. He did not take the Latin, Arabic or Germanic approach of having the written language represent the pronunciation of the word. Rather, the symbol represents the actual word (or idea represented by the word).

To put it plainly, if I give you an English word you have never seen before, like “apodictic” you can somewhat ascertain how to pronounce it. However, you would have almost no clue (short of prefixes, suffixes and Latin/Greek roots) as to what the word actually means.

Conversely, if I gave a Chinese word/symbol to a Chinese reader, they may well be able to ascertain the meaning of the word (although not as easily as we ascertain the pronunciation) but would not have the first clue as to pronunciation.
This becomes interesting because Cantonese and Mandarin speakers can’t have a conversation with each other any better than I could converse with a Swede. Unlike me and the Swede, though, they would be able to read the exact same book without a problem.

So due to all this, my Chinese co-worker gave me a puzzled look when I asked “did you write that in Cantonese or Mandarin?” It is written in both.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 1:40 PM
"Having the Discipline to Fold"
by Nolan Dalla

***side note, I don't know if I could've folded here.***

One of the skills that separates average poker players from tournament professionals is developing the competency to fold a "strong" hand when facing adverse circumstances. Most novice tournament players get "married" to big cards and then have tremendous difficulty folding when faced with the actuality that their strong hand is no longer the best hand.

An example of this occurred recently at a tournament in Mississippi. After this hand occurred, I discussed the situation with the player in question (who shall remain anonymous). His bust-out was quite typical. In fact, this is the kind of hand that eliminates a lot of poker players from tournaments. He was dealt a good hand, then saw a favorable flop. His mistake was, that he failed to process all the information that was available to him -- which indicated he was beat (at worst), or would win his money back in a split-pot (at best). So, he lost the hand and was eliminated unnecessarily from the tournament because he played the hand poorly. Here's how the hand developed:

(Note: This is a no-limit holdem tournament during the middle stages. Both players have average stack sizes)

The HERO is in late position. He is dealt A-K. One player (we'll call him the ADVERSARY) limps in from middle-position.

The HERO makes a standard raise of three times the size of the big blind. All fold around to the ADVERSARY, who calls.

Head-up action.

The flop comes K - 8 - 4 (rainbow). This is a very good flop for the HERO. The ADVERSARY checks. The HERO makes a pot-sized bet. The ADVERSARY check-raises "all-in."

If you are the HERO, what do you do in this spot?

I suspect that if you are like 95 percent of all poker players, you would probably call this bet. In fact, most players would call instantly. After all, you have top pair, and top kicker. How can you possibly lay down this hand given what I have described?

Let's look more closely at the situation.

First, the ADVERSARY is a conservative player. This player is not overly aggressive in tournaments. This player makes a fair number of final tables, primarily by playing solid cards in mostly a straightforward style. This is NOT the type of player that throws chips into the pot freely and takes a lot of chances. Now that you know more about the ADVERSARY, what does his "all-in" check-raise mean?

With this additional information, we can probably eliminate several hands, including the following:

It's highly unlikely the ADVERSARY has two pair. No player in this profile would play a hand like K-8, or worse.

It's possible the ADVERSARY has flopped a set -- perhaps 4s or 8s. However, most opponents would trap on the turn and try to maximize their gain. There is little to be won by check-raising the flop with a set in this situation. Therefore, we can say with some confidence the ADVERSARY does not have a set.

We can probably eliminate any kind of drawing hand. There are NO DRAWS with this flop. No flush draws. No straight draws. The ADVERSARY is not betting on the come.

We can probably eliminate a pair of 8s (assuming the ADVERSARY called a pre-flop raise with a hand like A-8 suited). Most players in this profile would not make such a bold play to raise with second-pair against an opponent who has shown strength pre-flop, then caught a King on the flop.

We can certainly eliminate a pair of 4s. Under normal circumstances, only a bad player would be in a NLHE hand with a 4 in middle position, catch a 4, then play it by moving "all-in."

We can probably eliminate any K-x (where x is Q or a lower rank), since the opponent is unlikely to play K-x from middle position, and if he did -- he would most certainly BET the hand when he caught a king on the flop. K-Q is possible, but not very likely since most smart players must fear they are up against A-K. Few players in this profile would re-raise with a hand like K-Q in this situation -- which basically puts them in a situation to be called ONLY if he is beat.
That essentially leaves two possible hands for the ADVERSARY. One of these hands is a tie (a split-pot). The other hand is a huge favorite over the A-K.
That's right, the ADVERSARY held A-A.

The ADVERSARY check-raised on the flop with A-A. The HERO made a knee-jerk call -- and lost. He was eliminated from the tournament because he failed to add up all of the facts which suggested (at best) he was drawing to split the pot and get back his money. At worst, he was up against A-A or (worse) was up against a set.

Given this was the middle stage of a NLHE tournament, there was absolutely no reason to lose all the chips in this spot. Had the HERO thought this entire thing out and added up the facts, it's clear (in retrospect) that folding to the check-raise was the proper play.

Wait, there's more. The HERO made at least one more mistake. When facing an "all-in" re-raise, it's almost always prudent to STOP and THINK. Unless you hold the stone-cold nuts, you should freeze the action and think things through before acting. Most average poker players call quickly, without carefully contemplating all the particulars of the hand or the implications of losing the pot (which is often elimination). Haste makes waste. Speed kills.

Of course, there are situations where folding to a check-raise with top-pair, top-kicker would be a huge mistake. No player can hope to win a poker tournament by repeatedly folding to an opponent who shows strength. Nevertheless, there are situations which literally scream out, "YOU ARE BEAT! FOLD IMMEDIATELY!" This was one of them.

SIDE NOTE: One of the most interesting things about this hand is the notion of slowplaying A-A, that is, not raising with it pre-flop. In the HERO's defense, since the ADVERSARY did not raise pre-flop, it is difficult to put the opponent on pocket aces.

However, the table was playing tight at the time and the ADVERSARY must have thought his pre-flop raise would win only the blinds. When faced with a raise to his left, the ADVERSARY played the hand very creatively (e.g. deceptively) by not re-raising and immediately giving away the strength of his hand. This strategy proved effective, although it's certainly risky to slowplay pocket aces in most situations.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:17 AM

Someone here at work just brought up a very good point that I want to share about the Astros and Carlos Beltran.

Two words: Randy Johnson

Now, it was 6+ years ago and I was just getting to be an Astros fan and my memory may be fuzzy, but I don't remember there being nearly as much bad feeling about his short stint with the team and subsequent departure. Randy Johnson was honest. He said, "I like the fans and I appreciate the welcome I have received, but I don't want to play here permanently."

Certainly, if the Astros had offered him enough money he might have reconsidered, and thus on those grounds maybe the fans had a little room to grumble that the team was not willing to pay enough to attract star players, but no one was misled or duped. Everyone knew where everyone else stood and it might not have been fun, but it was reality and both sides moved on after the season.

Contrast this with Carlos Beltran, who, on the other hand, seemed to genuinely want to play for the team and seemed to enjoy his experience here. He publicaly said that he would like to continue his career in Houston and the fans lapped it up that he might possibly become a permanent addition to the team and not just be the next all-star player to earn himself a big contract from New York.

Now it's beginning to look like there really was no chance that Beltran was going to resign with the Astros unless they offered the biggest contract, and that really all of the "I like Houston" crap was just a negotiating ploy to get one of the New York teams to pay as much as possible, which, by definition is always going to be more than than the Astros can afford to offer. This is why I think Astros fans are more upset about this situation than they were about Randy Johnson - Beltran and Mr Evil apparently were negotiating in bad faith all along. Why shouldn't Astros fans be just a little bit upset?

Like I said in my last post, I can't necessarily blame him for taking the money, but now that some of the details of the negotiation are coming to light - and I believe Drayton's side more than Mr Evil's, who already has a reputation for this type of thing - perhaps it might be appropriate to note than one can be a good businessman and not an asshole.

I am already planning on getting tickets for the weekend of Friday, July 29, when the Mets make their annual visit to Houston, and I think I'll pay just about anything to get them.

(0) comments

Monday, January 10, 2005

Posted by Junelli 4:39 PM
The largest pot I've won online...

I have been running good lately on Party Poker (turned $60 into $1,200), so I decided to sit down and play a few hands at a $15-$30 table.

***** Hand History for Game 1417841469 *****
15/30 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Mon Jan 10 17:36:37 EST 2005
Table Bad Beat Jackpot 985011 (Real Money) -- Seat 8 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Ederno_11 ( $604)
Seat 2: catamite ( $470)
Seat 3: the_perks ( $735)
Seat 4: no1tksmymony ( $1081)
Seat 5: Bumbu ( $1223)
Seat 6: bigwind668 ( $488)
Seat 7: FUBARAGAIN ( $750)
Seat 8: Giinji ( $979.5)
Seat 9: junell ( $886.5)
Seat 10: TianTianYing ( $400)
junell posts small blind (10)
TianTianYing is sitting out.
Ederno_11 posts big blind (15)
FUBARAGAIN posts big blind (15)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Qc, Qd ]
catamite folds.
the_perks folds.
no1tksmymony folds.
Bumbu calls (15)
bigwind668 calls (15)
Giinji calls (15)
junell raises (20) to 30
Ederno_11 calls (15)
Bumbu calls (15)
bigwind668 calls (15)
FUBARAGAIN calls (15)
Giinji calls (15)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7d, 3h, 6s ]
junell bets (15)
Ederno_11 raises (30) to 30

Bumbu calls (30)
bigwind668 folds.
Giinji folds.
junell raises (30) to 45
Ederno_11 raises (30) to 60

Bumbu calls (30)
junell calls (15)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qh ]
junell checks.
Ederno_11 bets (30)
Bumbu calls (30)
junell raises (60) to 60
Ederno_11 calls (30)
Bumbu calls (30)
** Dealing River ** : [ Th ]
junell bets (30)
Ederno_11 folds.
Bumbu calls (30)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $596.5 | Rake: $3 | Jackpot Contribution: $0.5
Board: [ 7d 3h 6s Qh Th ]
Ederno_11 balance $454, lost $150 (folded)
catamite balance $470, didn't bet (folded)
the_perks balance $735, didn't bet (folded)
no1tksmymony balance $1081, didn't bet (folded)
Bumbu balance $1043, lost $180 [ Ts 9s ] [ a pair of tens -- Qh,Ts,Th,9s,7d ]
bigwind668 balance $458, lost $30 (folded)
FUBARAGAIN balance $720, lost $30 (folded)
Giinji balance $949.5, lost $30 (folded)
junell balance $1303, bet $180, collected $596.5, net +$416.5 [ Qc Qd ] [ three of a kind, queens -- Qc,Qd,Qh,Th,7d ]
TianTianYing balance $400, sits out

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:49 AM
There is indeed justice in the world

Postscript to the post about the unpleasantries on Saturday night:

1.) After I wrote the post, I called the host of the game and told him to apologize to the other guy for my behavior and wish him good luck in the tournament. The host, Alex, was a little confused by my request but he said he would do so. I hopped into the shower to get ready for going out later in the evening with my wife and when I got out of the shower I had a voicemail from Alex that pretty much said, and I paraphrase,

"That guy was already gone when you called earlier and I didn't realize that you two were arguing. The rest of the guys told me about the whole thing and I want to apologize to you. I don't know that guy that well and let me tell you, if I had known he was being such a d*ck I would have said something sooner. He is actually a friend of a friend but if things went down the way they were explained to me, he is certainly not going to be welcome to come back to my house to play cards again. This was my tournament and I don't want that kind of sh*t going on here. I'm sorry that it happened and I hope it doesn't keep you from playing with us again in the future."

Now, this was greatly comforting - because it showed that the other players at the table apparently agreed that the kid was being a dick and the host was gracious enough to apologize to me - but it was also slightly frustrating because I only held back at the time out of respect for Alex. After all, it wasn't my house and if the situation were turned, say, Alex had come to our tournament back in November (which he did, actually) and then had insulted one of my friends - Fro, Canonico, Junell - I would have never invited him back to my house, regardless of who was actually in the wrong. When I kept my mouth shut and walked out, I was mad as hell, but I was trying to be gracious and respectful to their relationship and not ruin my chances of being invited back. Had I known he was "just a guy" I probably would have invited him to step outside, although even then it was probably better that I didn't, for the obvious reasons that fistfights usually cause more trouble than they solve, even when justified.

2.) My boss - who finished in the money, btw - told me this morning that the general attitude around the table was that we were both being jerks the first time around, but that once the kid spoke up at the end and continued to talk trash after I had graciously accepted defeat and left, the table pretty much called him out for it and seemed to agree that the guy was a genuine asshole. This must have been the story that Alex heard and thus I am glad that I took the high road.

This is one time that it actually paid off to act like an adult!

(4) comments

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 2:59 AM

It looks like the Astros have missed out on Carlos Beltran and I can say that I am rather disappointed but not necessarily surprised. However, unlike most situations involving the Astros and free agency, I can't really get upset with the Astros' management on this one. Drayton offered to pay up - and probably stretched the limits of his pocketbook to do so - but it looks like Carlos and his agent, the "evil" Scott Boras, are chasing every last dollar and thus are likely going to choose to sign with the Mets. I hope getting every dollar is worth it, because the Mets suck and will not be making the playoffs, or even enjoying a winning record, anytime soon. Like always, I guess it really was about the money.

The Astros message boards (yes, there actually are some) are humming with the usual "Scott Boras is evil and Carlos Beltran is a greedy liar" sentiments, but despite my use of scare quotes in the first paragraph, I can't realy get upset with those two, either. They're just doing what the system allows them to do - get more money from big market teams than from small teams. I think that if pro baseball had the same type revenue-sharing deals as the NFL, the league would look much different than it does now and, among other things, the Astros would have likely been able to resign Beltran because the difference in relative contract size would not have been as large and the intangibles would have mattered more. I believe Carlos when he said he liked playing in Houston and wanted to continue on here if he could, but I also don't blame him for taking the money, either. I love Houston, but if someone offered to pay me an extra $1 million per year for work, I would be happy to fly in for the weekend if I wanted to go to the Galleria.

Despite that, it's not the greatest system for the fans and it's rather unfair sometimes that the rich get richer and the poor make do with what they can find. The Mets aren't exactly a great team right now, but they, like all of the other big-market teams, will still have successful years more frequently than the smaller market teams by virtue of the fact that they simply can afford to pay more to get those years. There's a greater element of luck involved for the smaller market teams, whose winning years will be less freqent and easy to come by, and I am afraid now that the taste of success that the Astros got in 2004 is going to be all there will be for a long time now.

What's even worse, imagine how it feels to be a Kansas City fan! With all of the Astros fans whining about not being a big enough market to sign Beltran, it's easy to forget that he was the KC fans' hometown star first and that the Royals are such a small market that they didn't even have a chance to even make a respectable offer to the guy. At least the Astros got to dip their toe in the pool a little bit before the sharks moved in.

Nonetheless, with the pennant run last year, I lost a little bit of my jadedness and was reminded of how much I used to like baseball and just why it's so fun with games that occur every day and a season long enough to induce multiple emotions from high to low to high again over a span of six months. But now in the off-season, with the cold truth of money and economics showing itself again, things are shaping up to remind me of why I ended up getting sour on it in the first place.

(0) comments

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 7:45 PM
The post I am about to write is more for me to blow off steam than for anything else - there is certainly no academic value to it. And really, I guess you could say it's somewhat therapeutic. So if you don't want to read anymore, you are dismissed. I will be quick about this.

To preface it all, something that is really annoying to me are people who are sticklers about the quality of shuffling and dealing in a self-dealt poker game. Ask Fro - if there is a misdeal somewhere, so long as no one has looked at the cards I am of the belief that it doesn't really matter in what order or how you deal the replacement cards. Similarly, I am not a stickler about cutting the cards because unless you are playing with absolute total strangers there should be at least a slight element of trust involved and the traditional cutting of cards is an expression if institutionalized distrust. If you are playing with people you consider to be your friends, or to be friends of your friends, I think that being afraid of cheating, or assuming someone else is cheating, should not be a big concern. I know that properly dealing and cutting the cards is a courtesy to the other players, but it shouldn't be hard and fast and automatic over which you should get especially upset or become otherwise discourteous unless you sincerely feel there is a reason to assume there is cheating going on. Fro and I have spoken on this on many occasions in the past and he doesn't feel as ambivalent as do I, and I understand exactly why the cards should be cut and dealt properly, I just don't think it's a big deal in the long run if you are playing with friends. If a player notices a discrapancy, by all means I think he should speak up about it, but immediately belligerance is not called for, at least in my opinion.

To illustrate my opinion, many of you know that one of my favorite things to say in a misdeal situation is, "we all went to college, we should all agree it's random unless someone looked at his cards". I sincerely mean this and anyone who disagrees on the grounds of "that was his card you gave to me" while the cards were still facedown is also someone who probably complains about how someone else's bad play at a Blackjack table affects their own success. It's the same concept and anyone who can sincerely disagree is ignorant.

The point is, I understand why it's done and why there are certain courtesies that should be extended to the other players, but none of it really makes a difference unless you are either ignorant of basic probability theory or suspicious that someone is cheating.

Anyway, in the poker tournament I played in this afternoon very soon after we had sat down at the final table, I mishandled a deck of cards that had been cut to me and another player at the table became very vocal that the deck should be shuffled again. And indeed, I do admit that I mishandled the desk, but only because this particular table was a small octagon table with no padding at all beneath a felt surface and with 8 people crowded around it was very hard to pick the cards up. Everyone was struggling with the cards and what I did was not out of the ordinary.

Now, if he had been a little nicer about it, perhaps along the lines of, "I know it's hard to pick up the cards, but could you try and be more careful next time?" or something a bit more courteous like that, I would have apologized and tried to be more careful the next time I handled the cards. Instead, there is no other way to describe what happened except to say that this guy was quite a *prick* in pointing out that I had screwed up the deck. His attitude caused me to react in kind and we entered into shouting match of curses and belligerance with me asking if he thought I was cheating and he insulting my intelligence for somehow not agreeing that I was incompetent and accusing me of being an "asshole" for taking exception to his taking exception to my deal. This got me rattled and caused me to misdeal two more times which only generated even more snide comments between us until another player at the table (my boss, actually) spoke up and told us both to cut it out. So I finally dealt the cards right and tried to forget about the incident. I thought he did to.

Unfortunately, barely 15 minutes later I was dealt AK and made a large preflop raise. He came over the top of my short stack in a move that I figured was more vengeful than smart, and as I was already shortstacked relative to the blinds I called and he turned over 88. I caught an Ace on the flop, which was nice, but an 8 came on the river and I was eliminated. I congratulated him and pushed him my chips at which point he commented, "of all the people here I am glad I did that to you especially."

I clinched my fist and wanted to punch him in the nose, but instead I only said, "nice hand" and thanked the host and left.

And now, an hour later, I still want to drive back over there and punch him in the nose. I fully agree that we were both equally to blame for the initial shouting match, but the comment at the end was out of line and not gentlemanly. I tried to be a gentleman and let the whole thing slide, but he clearly did not, and, coupled with his essentially accusing me of cheating, sincerely pisses me off.

But I'll get over it and maybe someday I will play cards with him again and I will humuliate him and not say a word out of line. That will be the best thing of all.

Like I said - talking is therapeutic. Rationally, I know that I am bigger person than to pick a fight over a card game, but irrationally, I am quite a testerone-driven caveman and always have been.

Anyway, it's over. On to the next game.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:20 PM
Here's an example of something else

I post this hand not so much to tell the bad beat story as to wrap up the tournament in the post below. This is an example of what I call the "Pokerstars Special."

This hand would have propelled me to the top of the chip lead and an in-the-money finish. I was fortunate that this guy was stupid enough to call a preflop raise with AQ. I was unfortunate that he caught the "Special".

(Although I will be fair and admit that unlike the previous posts about bad calls, I don't think this call with AQ necessarily qualifies as the same type of horrible call... it can be defended. Although I personally wouldn't call with AQ for half of my stack, I would probably do it for 20% or less of my stack if it meant eliminating a player I knew to be wild and loose, which is not necessarily an image I think I was projecting in this situation. Anyway...)


PokerStars Game #1053093960: Tournament #4476564, Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200) - 2005/01/08 - 13:56:36 (ET)
Table '4476564 1' Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: FLJen (4232 in chips)
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (1900 in chips)
Seat 4: L8Bloomer (4398 in chips)
Seat 9: minkins (2970 in chips)
johnnymac96: posts small blind 100
L8Bloomer: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [As Kc]
minkins: folds
FLJen: folds
johnnymac96: raises 1700 to 1900 and is all-in The odds are very high that I have the best hand right now. If someone calls me, I will be the favorite. A big bet will not scare anyone off preflop, especially the two players who have a majority of the chips. With this hand in this situation, being the short stack and one spot out of the money late in a tournament, I need to be taking chances. Therefore I will either win the blinds, double up, or go home.
L8Bloomer: calls 1700
*** FLOP *** [3d 6c Qh]
*** TURN *** [3d 6c Qh] [5s]
*** RIVER *** [3d 6c Qh 5s] [Ts]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
johnnymac96: shows [As Kc] (high card Ace)
L8Bloomer: shows [Qs Ah] (a pair of Queens) I guess that's just poker... or more accurately, that's Pokerstars!
L8Bloomer collected 3800 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3800 Rake 0
Board [3d 6c Qh 5s Ts]
Seat 1: FLJen (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (small blind) showed [As Kc] and lost with high card Ace
Seat 4: L8Bloomer (big blind) showed [Qs Ah] and won (3800) with a pair of Queens
Seat 9: minkins folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Johnnymac finished the tournament in 4th place.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:01 PM
Here's a better example

I wrote a post earlier this week about stupid all-in calls in SnG tournaments and Fro somewhat took exception to my example of a player with 22 calling an all-in bet from a player who turned out to have nothing more than A8. Fro's point was that 22 was actually a favorite to win in that situation and my response was that A8 was about the only hand he could have hoped for the all-in to be holding and still be a favorite to.

I am currently wrapping up a SnG right now and just doubled through a player (who has subsequently been eliminated since I started writing) who made more of the type of bad call of which I was speaking. This particular hand is a better example of a player making a "cheap" bad call that helps the all-in player much more than it immediately harms the caller.


PokerStars Game #1053031567: Tournament #4476564, Hold'em No Limit - Level IV (50/100) - 2005/01/08 - 13:38:13 (ET)
Table '4476564 1' Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: FLJen (3607 in chips)
Seat 2: randy626 (3033 in chips)
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (950 in chips)
Seat 4: L8Bloomer (3150 in chips)
Seat 5: RJ415 (1250 in chips)
Seat 9: minkins (1510 in chips)
L8Bloomer: posts small blind 50
RJ415: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [Ah Jh]
minkins: folds
FLJen: folds
randy626: calls 100
johnnymac96: raises 850 to 950 and is all-in
L8Bloomer: folds
RJ415: folds
randy626: calls 850
*** FLOP *** [Js 4s 3d]
*** TURN *** [Js 4s 3d] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [Js 4s 3d 4d] [8s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
randy626: shows [Jc 7c] (two pair, Jacks and Fours)
johnnymac96: shows [Ah Jh] (two pair, Jacks and Fours - Ace kicker)
johnnymac96 collected 2050 from pot

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2050 Rake 0
Board [Js 4s 3d 4d 8s]
Seat 1: FLJen folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: randy626 showed [Jc 7c] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Fours
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (button) showed [Ah Jh] and won (2050) with two pair, Jacks and Fours
Seat 4: L8Bloomer (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: RJ415 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 9: minkins folded before Flop (didn't bet)


The point of my post is this - what could he possibly think I was holding that was worse than J7?

(1) comments

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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