Thursday, July 28, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 6:12 AM
For each person we know, we know them to different degrees, and we are always certain we know people better than we really do. Think of a person you know very well and think of another person that knows that person not as well as you do. I will take Jane as the person I know very well and the dude in the mailroom at her office as someone that does not know her very well.

The maildude and I can both accurately note that Jane can often be quiet. We can also observe that she is attractive. Maildude doesn't know much beyond that; I do. The void in between what one does know is inevitably filled with speculation. Maildude says to himself that as surely as 1 + 1 = 2, the fact that Jane is quiet and hot must mean she thinks she is too good for him. A reasonable deduction this is, but it is altogether untrue. I, on the other hand, know that Jane is often simply shy, and this is a result of being the youngest in a family that talks just to hear their voice. His conclusion was based on speculation; mine: on experience and observation. Consequently, I will be much more effective in dealing with Jane. Much is the same with poker.

We all know that one of the most important parts of our game is the ability to read other players and adjust accordingly. This is particularly true in live games and in big bet games such as NL and PL. One good read per night can be the difference between winning and losing. If you play $1-$2 NL and are good enough to have an EV of 3 BBs per hour, then in a 4-hour session, you can expect to win $24 in the session. Compare that to an otherwise equivalent player that also makes one great read per session. It is not unreasonable to think that at least once in a 4-hour session, both players will see a $50 pot into which their heads-up opponent fires a $50 bluff. Holding nothing but bottom pair and a busted flush, Mr. Nonobservant Three Big Blinds Per Hour may fold. The other player, having keenly observed his opponent's habits, calls the bluff and takes in $100 more. If you could expect to make $124 per session rather than $24 per session, would you start paying more attention?

There are aspects of poker we can positively state whether or not we do: Either you play 72o or you don't. Either you drink when you play or you don't. Either you show your hole cards after you bluff or you don't. Whether or not you observe your opponents as much as you should is difficult to determine. Just as maildude was certain he had a good read, you may have a false sense of how much observation you are doing. I have fallen victim to this, too. So how do you know if you are filling the void in between what is known with speculation or maximizing the value of keen observation?

If you have been playing for a while at a table, quiz yourself. Ask yourself what observations you actually have on each player. I did this to myself toward the end of my poker funk last March and was surprised that I had painted 1-dimensional characters of each player that were thinner than a character in a typical Fox sitcom. For instance, after a 4 hour session, I came up with:

This table is loose. Bob is really loose. Isaac is REALLY loose. These people will play any hand.

Contrast that with the type of analysis Dan Harrington has in the 2003 WSOP hand discussed at the beginning of his book. I should have been able to say:

Dan will play a lot of bad hands from the button and is prone to make cheap calls from the SB with bad hands. Otherwise, he has high starting hand requirements. He always limps except when it is only the SB and BB, in which case he has raised every single time to steal the BB. Then there is Isaac who plays bad hands from any position. As a matter of fact, he seems oblivious to position, as evidenced when he lost money playing 56s from early position and cried bloody murder when another player on the button won with the same hand. In fact, when I made a big raise with KT on the button, he chastised me for overvaluing my hand, completing missing the value of my position. Now the guy two seats to my right seems to only raise when I am in the BB and he is on the button. In fact, the raise seems automatic. I should consider defending my blind more.

I take it you see the difference. So, I have really been focusing on coming up with a way to gather this intelligence. The questions I want to be able to answer for each player are:

1. How do they play the button?
2. Are they willing to fold the SB in an unraised pot or the BB in a minimum-raised pot?
3. How much is their preflop raise? Standard or varied? When varied, is there a pattern?
4. How often do they run away from the flop vs sticking around?
5. Do they ever bet on the come?
6. Do they ever get caught bluffing? If so, what was their raise as a % of the flop? If so, is it always in a specific situation like when it checks all the way around?
7. Do they ever fold when re-raised?

I don't mean to simplify a complex subject, but I believe the short list of questions above is good bang for the buck as far as covering most of what you need to know in only 7 questions. You only have to update the answers for a small number of people at the end of each hand. Sure, people change gears, but not as much as they should. Even if they do, your analysis will catch up with them again.

I still occasionally find myself not fully paying attention. I sometimes force myself to add 1 new observation every 10 minutes. It's arbitrary, but it keeps me alert.

I think that the appropriate adjustments are intuitively obvious for each possible answer to the above questions. If not, perhaps you should go read Theory of Poker.

Well, I have been feeling quite good about my poker game for the past 3.5 months. Excluding our trip to Shreveport, my results have consistently proven that I should feel good about my play for the past 3.5 months. I have been playing with the same guys a lot, and the reads I have on them have started to pay off. (It should be noted that my biggest loss was in Shreveport where I played with very few people for long enough for reads to factor in too much. Two reads in a game recently are noteworthy:

A guy was caught bluffing a few times. I noticed that regardless of the pot size, he would bet $20 - $25 when bluffing and approximately pot sized when not. (see question 6). I had 44 and completely missed the board. On the river, I checked and he bet $25. I said "call" a nanosecond after he bet and he cussed. I won $75.

A guy made a big pre-flop raise. We were heads up and saw a flop of rag-rag-rag. I had an overpair with JJ and figured he probably had QQ or higher. This guy was very disciplined and was willing to throw away AA when re-raised on the flop (seen it twice, refer to question 7). He bet $50 into a $75 pot and I re-raised all-in (about $200 more). He thought long and hard and released his hand, telling me that I had made a set, which of course I did not. I won $125. He had QQ.

Over 4 hours, I made $200 extra on two reads. Sure, occasionally, you make the wrong call due to reads, but even so, the value of making your decisions based on reads in NL holdem probably has a bigger impact to your bottom line than simply playing otherwise "by the book" or based on shallow observations of your opponents. So why do NL players spend so much time obsessing with "by the book" play rather than observing opponents and adjusting? I don't know. Maybe it is because until very recently, 99% of all poker played and written about was limit poker, where that approach makes more sense.

Understanding others and adjusting appropriately is at the core of every book on being effective (e.g. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). It is clear that Dan Harrington spends much more time than the average player making observations, undertanding his opponents and adjusting accordingly. I don't know why I went into a several month haze where I stopped being attentive to this aspect of my game. Was it becasue I was pre-occupied with non-work worries? Yes. Was it because online play turned me into more of a robot player? Wouldn't count that out. Was alcohol an influence? Don't ask stupid questions.

I can promise you that the new Craig won't fall back into his bad habits. So watch out. After all, I'm watching you.

(4) comments

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Posted by Junelli 9:31 PM
I haven't written anything, because it's been one of those months. I've been on a bad run of cards, and can't seem to put together successive wins. I had a terrible run in Lake Tahoe, and it hasn't improved back in Houston. Last week I booked a large loss in a game I normally dominate.

I've even dumped off most of my Party Poker account: forcing me to play the microlimits (much different than the countless hours I've logged at $5-$10).

Anyway, I figured no one would want to hear my whining, which would essentially consist of: "my game sucks, my bankroll is wiped out, and I feel like Mikey and Trent (in Swingers) right after they lost at the Blackjack table."

On Friday I'm headed back to Oklahoma for a deposition. Afterwards, I'm going to play at the poker room in Lawton. Last time I booked $900 in 4 hours, and hopefully it'll be a similar night.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 4:55 PM
I'd like your opinion on how/where I misplayed this hand. In my opinion, I should've raised on the flop to define my hand. For some reason (re-raise preflop), I put him on an overpair, and couldn't bring myself to raise him when I should have. Anyway, I deserved to lose this one...

***** Hand History for Game 2433904639 *****
0/0 Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) - Wed Jul 27 17:51:14 EDT 2005
Table Table 37013 (6 max) (Real Money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 4
Seat 1: burz79 ( $21.01)
Seat 3: Hoekzef ( $24.45)
Seat 4: junell ( $21.90)
Seat 6: jager333 ( $32.24)
jager333 posts small blind (0.10)
burz79 posts big blind (0.25)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Td, Ac ]
Hoekzef folds.
junell raises (0.50) to 0.50
jager333 raises (0.65) to 0.75
burz79 folds.
junell calls (0.25)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Ts, 4h, 8h ]
jager333 bets (2)
junell calls (2)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 6s ]
jager333 bets (4)
junell calls (4)
** Dealing River ** : [ Jh ]
jager333 bets (8)
junell calls (8)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $28.30 | Rake: $1.45
Board: [ Ts 4h 8h 6s Jh ]
burz79 balance $20.76, lost $0.25 (folded)
Hoekzef balance $24.45, didn't bet (folded)
junell balance $7.15, lost $14.75 [ Td Ac ] [ a pair of tens -- Ac,Jh,Td,Ts,8h ]
joust888 balance $25, sits out
jager333 balance $45.79, bet $14.75, collected $28.30, net +$13.55 [ Kh Qh ] [ a flush, king high -- Kh,Qh,Jh,8h,4h ]

(7) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:11 AM
How I bluffed Kim Hock out of... just kidding

We played 50c-50c NL last night in my house. For real, inside the house and not the garage! (Mrs Johnnymac relented!)

Good group of guys (and girl, Kim) and just about the perfect stakes, at least for me. Compton and Canonico were the big winners; no one was a really big loser. I won a little bit and I think Morris won, too.

My boss came over and played NL for the first time last night and he did pretty well - he won a little bit and didn't get run over as I suspect he was afraid of. This morning st work we replayed a few hands and he pretty quickly came to the conclusion on his own that NL requires a little more optimally-timed aggression than the limit and PL games that he normally plays. "Fold Equity" is important in NL and building that equity requires a good sense of timing. He'll be better next time, I am sure.

(1) comments

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 3:41 PM
Do crickets play poker? There seem to be a lot of them around here the past few days. Quiet. Hopefully something post-worthy will come up soon, I guess.

(0) comments

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Posted by Junelli 9:58 AM
From the mailbag:

To: Binions
From: Barry Greenstein
Re: "Ace on the River"


It's actually been scary how well people who have read my book have done in
tournaments. (Just recently, for example, **** who had maybe one
cash in her life begged me for help. I gave her my book and she has had
three straight in the money finishes in big tournaments.) And I'm talking
about many famous players. If I wrote who read my book and then immediately
went on to big wins, people would make fun of me.


Binions writes:

> Barry -
> First, it was a pleasure to meet you at the WSOP.
> Sorry the the last 2 tables of that Stud tourney
> (6/24) did not go like you wanted. I busted 125th out
> of 1000 in the $2500 NLHE event, missing the money
> line by 25 spots. Ran into Aces twice on the bubble.
> Once I had TT, once I had QQ. That's poker.
> Second, just got your book today from Amazon, and read
> most of it. I have enjoyed it tremendously thus far.
> Then, tonight, lo and behold, I won the $10+Rebuy
> NLHE tourney on PokerStars! Pocketed $9K, my biggest internet tourney
> cash. You mentioned that several players performed exceedingly well
> after reading a draft of Ace on the River. I guess you can add me to
> the list!
> Regarding the book, I had never realized that drawing
> hands with the same number of outs in holdem could
> have such different chances to win. That chart at the
> end was illuminating. At some point, I might e-mail
> you some questions about other parts of the book if
> that's OK.
> Take care, and may all your rivers be kind.
> Binions


Junell's Aside:
This book gives a different and unique slant on the subject of winning money at poker. The project was born when Doyle asked Barry to write a chapter for Super System II on the subject of making money at poker. Barry found that he could offer much more than a single chapter, so he decided to put it all into this book. The book is filled with beautiful color photos on almost every page and could easily be described as a "coffee table book."

You can find the book here.

(0) comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 11:15 AM
Byron sends an email asking for advice in his first pot-limit Omaha hi tournament. I told him I would respond on the blog, so here goes -

First, it's a tournament, so you should adhere to whatever existing tournament strategy you know or like to use. Pay attention to the blind structure and the number of people in the tourney and at your table and keep in mind that you're not going to win the whole thing in an hour. Likewise, if you make it to the end, you have to eventually be willing to take smart chances if you want to win.

Second, it's Pot Limit, so remember that position is MUCH more important than in No Limit. Although I am not a fan and don't have much experience playing PL Holdem, a lot of people these days do and any stategy adjustments you might make for PL Holdem would be just as relevant for PL Omaha Hi. I have to admit, though, that PL Omaha Hi is a weird choice since there is no Lo component. One thing that differentiates PL from NL is that it makes pot management, and consequently, later streets, more important, because you can't necessarily go all-in and freeroll your draws whenever you decide to take a shot. This gives the decision to draw a more strategic implication and thus since there are "two" winners in each pot of a HiLo split game, Pot Limit makes for a better game. But this is Omaha Hi only - there is only one nut hand in each pot - and thus No Limit would seem to make more sense. Whatever, the structure is what it is, so just keep it in mind. It's Pot Limit and that plays different than No Limit. I would venture to say, though, that this structure is closer to PL Holdem than it is to PL Omaha HiLo, so that makes your proper strategy pretty simple.

In fact, it's simpler than Holdem: try and limp a lot and if the flop doesn't hit you square between the eyes, fold. The implied odds are huge, and you see 7/9th's of your hand on the flop. There is no need to draw in most circumstances because if the flop doesn't help you it's very unlikely that two more cards will, either.

Now here is the controversial part of my advice: almost any hand you're dealt has a chance to be a winner, so if it's a passive game you should be willing to see the flop with just about any hand if you can see it cheaply. But, if you don't flop the nuts, you should fold and try again on the next hand. Drawing is usually a bad idea.

Drawing is a good idea, though, when you are drawing to the nuts and are getting the proper pot odds. This is the standard advice for HiLo and it's good advice for Hi only, too. For example, the only straight you should ever draw for should be Broadway and the only flush you should draw towards should be the Ace flush or the nut flush after higher cards on the board. Another thing to keep in mind is that flopping a small set is not nearly as valuable in Omaha as it is in holdem - there is a better (albeit still small) chance that someone else has a bigger set - and if the board pairs and you fill up it could be a VERY expensive full house unless you have the nut full house. Similarly, If you have "three pair" and the board pairs one of your lower cards, be careful.

So what are good starting hands? Well, I say that any four cards can be a winner, but just like holdem, certain hands are winners more often than others and those should be played. Good starting hands are hands that have high suited cards (big flushes), pairs (sets and full houses), and face cards (broadway).

One thing to keep in mind about the broadway straight is that it cannot be counterfeited. Once you make that hand, its a winner provided there is no flush or full house out there, and thus you don't necessarily have to protect for the same reasons as you would the nut low hand in HiLo. You might end up quartering the pot, but it doesn't go from winner to loser like a counterfeited low hand does, and luckily, you don't have to worry about that, anyway.

Good individual hands to start with are hands like AAKK, AAQQ, AAJT, AAKQ, AAJJ, AATT, KQJT, TTJJ, etc, and obviously double suited is better than single suited which itself is better than rainbows.

The other big rule is that a good hand is a hand where all 4 cards work together or otherwise contribute. AK72 is not as good as AKJT even if both hands have AK. What I said about 7/9th's of your hand is important - and 7/9th's is better than 6/9th's or (gasp) 5/9th's. Playing all four cards versus indvidual combinations is the mark of a skilled Omaha player versus a novice. Similarly, you need to have the discipline to throw bad hands away, especially hands that look impressive but really aren't. 2222 is the worst hand you can have in Omaha, because it can't improve at all from nothing but a pair of deuces (you have eight of them, though!). Being dealt trips is bad for the same reason - you only have one out - and three or four suited cards, especially if they are connectors in some way, should also be thrown away. It may look nice in your hand but if there's no way to improve there is no way to win.

Interestingly enough, aside from clear examples like A2sAKs or A234 or AA23, the exact same hands I list as good for Hi only are also good hands for HiLo, assuming it's 8 or better. Proper HiLo strategy is to only play hands that have a chance of scooping the pot, and since there is always a hi hand it's proper to go after them, especially for the times when the low doesn't qualify. Combinations like AK and JT are good for the exact same reasons as in holdem, too, but combinations like KJ and AT aren't necessarily as bad in Omaha by reason of the "exactly 2 cards" component. (Notice that I said "necessarily" because they're still not quite as strong... it's just that the bad effects are a little bit dilluted.)

One final thing - a guy I work with loves to play Omaha HiLo and he swears by this calculation. He has the whole system memorized and dilligently acts according to the "requirements". There is also a system for Hi only, too, but I am not quite as sold on its value as, like I said, good starting hands should be pretty obvious.

So that's all I have for now. I am sure others have advice to share, too, but there's my part of it. Good luck, Byron, and let us know how it turns out!

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:43 AM
I guess we've all been busy. More posts soon, hopefully.

Also, Mrs Johnnymac will be out of town next week so the garage game will resume on Tuesday night at 7:00pm. NLHE 50-50c blinds. Room for one player if anyone is interested. Email me.

And if you are concerned about the garage, I am installing an air conditioner out there this weekend. It will be fine.

(1) comments

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 9:28 AM
Padilla is in a picture in ESPN's WSOP "Poker Faces" special on the web this morning. Unfortunately, it's a flash presentation and thus it can't simply be right-clicked and saved like most pictures. Hell, I can't even link to it, but it's in the gray box in the middle of the page next to the "E Ticket".

I don't have a screen-cap app here at home but if any of you have one, I would be much appreciative if you could go capture that picture and email us a copy here to we can post it. It's on a page opposite a picture of Cloney Gowan looking like she's about to cry because her tits aren't being effective enough versus the internet guys in the WSOP. Padilla is the guy in the Poor Aggy t-shirt and hat. Thanks.

UPDATE: Byron comes through!

(6) comments

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 8:33 PM
Here is a bathroom update for those of you who dream of crapping at my house someday:

First, the pipes (my plumbers did a good job):

Then that gets filled in with dirt and covered with a vapor barrier and rebar and other stuff:

And then comes the poured concrete floor. Jordan Jalbert helped me this afternoon with the concrete and I am much obliged.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 12:24 PM
Joe Hachem, an Australian, just won the main event. I have never heard of him, but that doesn't mean anything as you probably know. Congratulations to him. They started the final table at 4:00pm yesterday, Vegas time, and finished at 6:45 this morning. That's a hell of a grind and after 7 days of poker he definitely earned it.

(0) comments

Friday, July 15, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:51 PM
see ya

I am outta here - headed to Seattle for 8 days. I spent my last night in Dallas winning back the money I dumped at J's earlier this week (plus a little lunch money). The difference came down to the fact that I was playing with the same guys and now I have a read on them. I am going to mull over the dim lightbulb that has been flickering over my head during my vacation, but look forward to an essay on reading players. This one has been brewing for a couple months, so it will be good.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:07 AM
A tie...Yeah! We all win!

Fantasy Poker result:

As luck would have it, the most picked guy won. Actually, that wasn't luck because he went into the tournament as the favorite (according to many.)

According to the original intended rules of a "draft", I would win. But I will call it a tie. There are too many people for me to buy a tshirt for everyone (I'm not a hot shot attorney like you-know-who), so I owe these people a pint of beer:

Dr Fro

* denotes halfpint of beer for kinda following the originally intended rules.

KTL - I can get yours anytime after work. For the Houstonites, don't worry, I travel to Houston for work quite regularly. The only firm plans now are for the Big XII Championship game in December, but I bet I will be there 5-6 times before then. I will keep you posted.

(8) comments

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 8:49 PM
I take it back. It turned around very quickly.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:10 PM
Raymer just got eliminated. On the crippling hand, he apparently went all in preflop with KK and got called by QJs who then made a runner runner flush. That's rather disappointing but he earns $300k for his efforts.

In the meantime I am playing microlimit PL Omaha on Pokerstars and getting it shoved up my ass by the guys who play any four cards. For example, in one of my few hands that have held up, my Ace high flush came over the top for the max on the river and was called by a non-nut straight and the 9-high flush. I scooped and it was nice but they'll go to the end with anything and I'm usually not holding the nuts and can't justify staying in the pot. Ugh.

(Yes, I know it's a great situation to be in, but my patience is being tested.)

At least it's a good lesson in how not to steam.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 5:06 PM
Last night I played $1-$2 PL at the Zebra. Man has that place taken off! There were 3 full tables running by 7:30pm. The games were $1-$2 PL, $2-$5 PL, and $1-2 Omaha Hi/Lo. If you haven't gone, you really should check it out. It's the nicest place in town.

I sat down at the $1-$2 PL game and bought in for $400. Normally I prefer the $2-$5 game, but my bankroll took a beating last weekend in Tahoe, and I only had a couple of hours to play.

Within the first 30 minutes, I was dealt KK, JJ, AK, AQ, TT. I quickly went up a few hundred dollars, and started playing very loose and agressive. There were 4 beginners at the table, and I wanted to push them around.

One of my biggest hand came when I was dealt A8 on the button. I was able to limp for $2, and saw a flop 6 handed. The flop was A87 with 2 diamonds. It was checked around to me and I bet $10 to build a pot for later (plus I didn't want to give the diamond draws a free card). I get 3 callers, and the pot is about $45. The turn is a 2 of diamonds. I felt certain someone had hit the flush, so we all checked the turn. The river was an 8 giving me a full house (888AA). The 3 players once again check to me, and I lead out for $35, hoping to get a caller.

The next guy was an unknown player. He raises me $80 more, making it $115 to go. I'm overjoyed with this raise and hoping to get action from the two remaining players. If not, I'll at least all his chips (he has about $140 left in his stack).

The other 2 players fold, and I take a moment to act like I'm thinking about my decision. I look confused, and then reraise him the pot, putting him all-in. He immediately folds his cards face up, laying down a Jack high flush. I don't show my hand.

The other players at the table can't believe he laid his hand down. They critize him for folding his flush. He calmly replies, "What? Do you think I'm going to call when he has a full house? He hit two pair and then rivered a full house. I'm not stupid."

That's when I knew he was a strong player. Incidentally, a few minutes later he moved to the $2-$5 game and won about $1,700.

For the next several minutes I thought about what I might have done to give away the strength of my hand. My betting: I limped preflop so it's entirely possible I hit two pair against a board of A87. I bet the flop, but checked the turn (when the flush came). I could've been slowplaying the flush, but not likely. It's more likely that I originally bet a hand that cannot now beat a flush. Checking the turn clearly shows that I don't like the diamonds out there. Then when the board paired on the river, I all of a sudden came alive. I led out for nearly a pot sized bet, and then re-raised a player who clearly had the flush. I guess from my betting it was obvious I wasn't afraid of a flush (or at least had the nut flush).

Tells: I probably gave a tell on the river. I was acting concerned and confused and took a long time before I raised all-in. I was clearly acting weak. I'm sure this was a signal to him of my strength. I see players acting all the time, and it's usually a dead giveaway. I didn't realize that I was doing it until his laydown last night. If you've watched Phil Ivey play, you'll see that he doesn't act at all. He makes his bets the same way every time, and shows no emotion. He never looks strong or weak.

On another hand a very good player made a big laydown against me. I was dealt KK on the button. I make it $30 to go, and am reraised by UTG who makes it $90 straight. It's folded around to me and I re-raise him $150 more. He lays down QQ without seeing a flop. "Damn, that's twice. Do I have a sign on my head??"

The luckiest hand of the evening came towards the end of my session. I was up about $220 at the time. I was dealt 56 on the button. The loosest player at the table raised to $10 UTG. 5 people call before me (does that say anything about respecting his raise?). I decide to try and make a move. The pot is $60 right now, and I know if I can narrow the field a little I can take the pot away on the flop or turn.

I raise making it $50 straight. UTG calls along with 1 other player. The pot is now $210 (certainly worth fighting for). "Now I just need to have a good flop. C'mon rags! Give me some low cards." The flop is 789 giving me the 2nd nut straight. Wow. That hit me right in the gut, and they're never going to put me on this one. They check to me and I bet $75. One guy doesn't believe me and calls. The turn is a rag, and he checks and folds to my $125 bet. I immediately went to the restroom and pulled the horseshoe out of my ass.

All in all it was a good night.

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 2:04 PM
Talk about a murderer's row. They're down to 27 players and here's the top nine. The final table should be set by the end of tonight.

1 Mike Matusow 5,140,000 Chips 0 117 1
2 Phil Ivey 4,635,000 Chips 0 118 6
3 Steven Dannenmann 4,300,000 Chips 0 129 8
4 John Barch 3,900,000 Chips 0 129 4
5 Greg Raymer 3,840,000 Chips 0 118 1
6 Brad Kondracki 3,160,000 Chips 0 117 9
7 Joseph Hachem 3,125,000 Chips 0 118 7
8 Scott Lazar 3,025,000 Chips 0
9 Michael Kessler 2,700,000 Chips 0 117 2

I didn't watch one second of last year's TV coverage, but I might have to this year. Personally, I would rather see Phil or Raymer win this thing rather than Matusow, but it really doesn't matter. What a game. And forget Dan Harrington - if Raymer makes the final table in a field of 5,600 we will have a new "greatest achievement" in poker, for sure. I love it.

(3) comments

Posted by Padilla 10:02 AM
A few of you have asked about the time issue. Tired, adrenaline, sleep deprivation?

--Started Saturday at 11am (though everything started late), finished at 2:30am. Waited in cab line 'til 3:15am, bed by 4am.
--Woke up dead tired. Got a call telling me I was in 25th place.....was wide awake 2 seconds later.
--Played another 12 hours on Sunday. Home a bit earlier though, in bed by 1:30am, but couldn't fall asleep as I ran through all the "what ifs" from my bad beat, and not knowing where I stood with respect to the money.
--Got phone call Monday morning telling me I was in 367th out of 568. Not worried about moneying now.

The grind got pretty bad on Saturday, even though I had money the whole day. I can't imagine being short stacked for 6 hours. Our table was pretty even until I knocked out our first player 7 hours into the 12 hour day. Then the flood gates opened. The last 2 hours presented my toughest competition of the tournament. Even with a decent stack, these guys were whipping me mentally. I rivered 2 pair and took a big bet from a guy to achieve my stack goal for the day and quit playing anything risky. I've sat in long sessions before, without taking breaks every 2 hours, so I was pretty fresh mentally until that last group. There's something about achieving a goal that probably contributed to me getting tired that last hour or so.

Sunday was totally different. I started way ahead, so I used the first 2 hour sessions to buddy up to the table. I didn't want them scared of me, and we were losing a few of the short stacks, so I knew the competition for the day was yet to come. It's always easier to play when ahead, but once I got knocked down before the dinner break, I knew I had (2) 2-hour sessions to either build my stack back over 100K, or at least see how close to the money I could get. I went from 40K to 59K, so I was happy. Yes, I was all-in a few times. One time my opponent took forever to call, only to find out we had the exact same hand, AQ. I received a few comments that I played a short stack very well, so that felt good.

So basically, if you're concentrating, it goes by quick. If you're stressed, it probably goes by even quicker, cuz you want your next hand. All I thought about was the game, the table, and patterns. Total focus isn't difficult when you're scared of being eliminated. On rare occasions I allowed myself to walk around the table, talk to Byron or Jessica, and relax. But as I said, 2 hours isn't much to ask. Maybe it'll get old in a few years, but not when it's your first time.

(0) comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Posted by Junelli 10:32 AM
The 2005 WSOP
by Mike Padilla

"The Show"

I was to play on Saturday, but arrived Thursday night around 11pm thanks to a lengthy delay at IAH due to a sick kid and stormy weather.

I went to the Rio anyway to check in and register in order to avoid the massive lines I had feared.

Nothing. I was registered in 5 minutes. I guess that’s what midnight will do for you. (The Thursday night tournament players were still in action) I start wandering around the tournament room and am amazed at how many players I recognized. Naturally, there’s the Shannon Elizabeth sightings, then Scott Fischman, Greg Raymer, and Gus Hansen. Matt Dean was sitting behind David Grey, but short on chips. The stars are everywhere.

Friday, I returned to find the WSOP Lifestyle Show in an adjoining convention room. Like any other convention, there were booths, displays, videos, games, give-aways, raffles, etc, etc. All poker or gambling related. After all, this is Vegas.

I gathered hats, shirts, software, magazines, raffle tickets for a Hummer, trips to Costa Rica, a Harley (what would I do with a Harley?) and generally took in the entire experience, as a 2nd set of 1800 players were battling it out next door.

You were just as likely to walk by a celebrity or TV famed poker player as you were a stranger. Hey there’s TJ Cloutier, and there’s Greg Raymer signing autographs, and Cindy Violette, and boy those Moneymakers sure looked a lot taller on TV. Add 100 pounds to “Spanky”, and you’ve got Mr. Moneymaker. Vince Van Patten had just busted out and was about to get drunk, he said.

I head into the tourney room to get a feel for the tension, and to meet my uncle-in-law & wife. I spot Dan Harrington and want to walk up and thank him for writing his books, but he’s a bit involved in a hand at the time. Ken and Cheryl are watching Daniel Negraneu and Sam Farha battle it out at the featured table. Then they break. Cheryl says she wants Daniel’s autograph, but he’s mingling around the table, so here comes Sammy. Done. Next, we chase down Daniel after an interview. Great, thanks. Then Cheryl says “If I could just find Annie Duke, I’d be finished.” Hmmmm. I turn around and she’s 2 steps in front of me, walking towards me. “Miss Duke…..” Nicely done. We’re happy, and we head back to the show.

"All In on the Bubble"

560 players out of 5619 get paid at least $12500. The closer to 1 you are, the more you get paid.

We’re currently sitting at 561. This is what is termed the “bubble”. There’s one in every tournament. The room has been a roller coaster of anticipation, then boredom, as playing hand-for-hand with 64 tables can take quite some time.

Again, 561 gets $0.00……….560 gets $12,500.00

Surely, with 60,000 in tournament chips (no cash value), I would have the discipline to fold every hand until at least 1 of the stacks that has less than 5,000 in chips gets knocked out.

The antes are taken in, the blinds are posted to my immediate right, and I’m first to act.

I think about not even looking at them and just sliding them right back to the dealer as he deals them to me. Then I figure I’ll want to know what I have on the hand when I cash in my 1st World Series of Poker Main Event.

Action is on me. There’s nothing I can have that would be worth the risk of $12500 at this point.

Dealer: “Action is on you, sir.”
Me: “All-in.”

The table explodes. “WHAT!!!” “ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?!”
Dealer: “Are you all-in sir? Verbal statements can be taken as action.”
(it’s a friendly game at this point, so if I wanted out, I could have folded)

Me: “I’ve got 60,000 in front of me, and I’m all-in.”

There are 8 people left to act behind me, and I dare say that all but 1 had enough chips to eliminate me on the “bubble”.

Everyone folds, and I toss my A-A into the muck facedown.

The small blind in the hand, Tom Santori, first thought I should have played the hand if I actually had A-A, “the beans” as he calls them. I quickly corrected him that any basic raise on my part could have welcomed a call and a flop, which could have provided all the luck one person needed to eliminate me. There were 2 plays, fold, or all-in. I still had my sights on bigger things, so I wanted the 5400 in tournament chips from the blinds and antes and really didn’t expect a call with anything but K-K, which I would have dominated.

We all had a good laugh, then exchanged congratulations as the bubble burst on one unlucky player. (Actually, player 561 received a $10,000 entry into next year’s tourney, poor player 562.)

"Most Profitable Semi-Bluff"

We’re in level 2 of Sunday’s action. My first 2 hours flew by as I simply nursed my 93,000 chip stack. I’ve won a few in level 2 to get me over 100,000 now. Table leader.

I’m dealt Q-10 clubs, on the button.

UTG: Folds
UTG +1: Folds
#3: Raises the 400/800 blind to 2400 (New player at the table, but appeared loose)
#4: Calls the raise (Tight player on marginal stack)
#5: Folds
#6: Calls the raise (Another big stack, but not quite in my league)
Me: Call, with expectation of being re-raised out of the pot.
Blinds Fold
#3: Original raiser calls

Flop: A-diamond, J-heart, 10-diamond

Original raiser bets 2500, Seat #4 raises to 5000, #6 folds…pot is pushing 20,000, so I have to consider what the original bettor might do. I take my shot by calling, as my tall stack of $5000 chips looks really inviting. My nut draw is worth playing in position against a tight player that surely has an ace, and maybe even A-K. I actually take my time here, recalling the quick-bet tell that exists.

Much to my pleasure, #3 folds, and I’m heads up with seat #4.

Turn is a black 9. A-J-10-9
#3 checks.
I quickly decide that I have to show strength quickly to have a shot at the pot. Weak players don’t like to be pushed, but in my haste, I bet out a woeful 5000. If he’s on A-K, I may fold him with what appears to be a straight. The flush hasn’t come, so if he’s on K-? diamonds, or something like that, he’s probably not playing any further. But 5000 is too little…I didn’t think fast enough about the pot. This guy had been folded to power poker, but would an incorrect 5000 be enough?

He stews forever. He grabs his entire stack (another 20,000) on numerous occasions. I think it’s coming in. He studies the board endlessly, and his image is cemented in that this type of player is looking to see what can go wrong instead of right.

After 3 solid minutes, an eternity for my stone face, he folds A-10 face up.

In hindsight, it looked like a trap bet to him, but I don’t recommend that trap on that particular board. Too much money in the pot, and too many draws open to play around with an offsuit K-Q in that spot…if that’s what I had. Of course, I told him I had the straight and “I thought I priced you in for all your chips…….good fold” routine.

"The Hand That Rocked The Cradle"

After increasing my 93,025 stack up to 149,100 in a matter of 4 hours on Sunday, we went on break. I was probably in the top 10 (remember, we started the day with 1884) at that time if you figure that some of the previous 1-24 had dropped even a little. I returned from the break to run face first into 2 full-houses for my opponents on the first 10 hands. So much for nursing my big stack. In one instance, I limped and the big blind flopped a boat with 3-3 in hand and a board of 5-5-3.

I’m down to less than 110,000 in chips and tilting bad. I try to push around the table unsuccessfully and am down to 90,000. In one hand, Gabe Walls says “Easy man, it’s a friendly game, as he flashes A-K suited and pushes me out of another pot.” He knows I’m on edge.

As poker goes, it takes just a single hand to turn your fortunes, and for me, I thought my next hand was the one.

I hold J-J and raise a standard amount. This could be a steal, as my last 10 pots have appeared that way, but I only get 1 caller.

Flop is J-9-2. Hmmmm. My opponent had been playing tight, so a check would have been just fine here. However, I had been betting every pot that I had raised, so I put in 2000 to keep from raising suspicion. My opponent, whom I had covered, came over the top, sensing non-existent weakness. He’s all-in, I knock him out and approach 130,000 again. All is well, until…

Not very much later, I win another hand without showing my cards. And then I win another without showing. I’m hitting a rush that nobody wants to believe. Next up, I’m dealt Q-Q right after taking the blinds with A-K that nobody gets to see.

I make the standard raise to 3500. The button calls 3500, mistake #1, making the pot 10,000.

Flop is J-7-3. I bet 10,000, the size of the pot, as to prevent any draws from having any type of odds.
I get raised 15000 on top of my 10000 by Gabe, mistake #2. He’s playing table police, but I’ve got my stack back, so he’s biting off more than he can chew.

TJ Cloutier once said “the best players come over the top”, and I had used that strategy on Saturday to chip-up. I go all-in, which puts Gabe’s tournament life on the line. He gets a blank stare on his face. Our table hadn’t been pushing like this. This was an odd bet. It didn’t fit my pattern of milking my opponents. He asks if I have a big hand, which means I really want him to call now, as he doesn’t have a set or an overpair. I figure him for A-J, but not a lower pair, or he would have re-raised pre-flop in my opinion.

He puts me on a stone cold bluff and calls, mistake #3. I flip my Queens, he taps the table and begins gathering his things as he flips J-9-off for top-pair, NO kicker.

Turn 2

River 9

Pot of…500+1000+8*(200)+3500+3500+10000+25000+15000+71200+71200 = 202500…goes to him.

(I have less than 50,000 remaining, meaning I would have been up to nearly 250,000)

I know it happens to everyone, but this was a particularly bad beat, as outlined by the multiple opportunities my opponent had to release his mistake filled hand.


We are now down to 418 players, and in the middle of the $16,055 payout field. I just have to outlast another 18 players and I’ll receive more than $18,000 for my weekend’s work.

I’m not really thinking of just hanging on though. I still feel that one double-up will get me back to a position of leverage at nearly 85,000.

Less than 10 hands ago, a pot in excess of 350,000 took place between one player with 10-10 up against another player with A-K. A 3rd ‘10’ hit the flop and table power shifted to a player closer to my right, a good thing.

I look down to find the fortuitous 10-10. I raise the 1200/2400 blinds to 7000. At this point, not a single raise of mine had been called yet, but I had shown A-K to a player during hand-for-hand.

A player named “Ray” thinks it over, asks me how much I had left, and decides to put me all-in for $32000 more. Everybody else folds.

On just the information given, I think a fold may be in order here. The argument against a fold is the opportunity to blind down to make the next payment level. However, I was chatting with the guy to my right before & during the 2 or 3 hours we had been there and he had played with Ray the previous day. “He doesn’t like seeing money shifted elsewhere. He loves action.”
Anytime you hear that, you know you just need to find a hand to play against the seemingly loose player. I had my hand.
Ray had already played a hand with 5-5 against a board of J-9-Q-4-6 to the river and won a pot against the biggest stack at the table by calling a 20,000 bet on the river. Big stack showed A-8 diamonds on a bluff. So the idea of him only having a group 1 hand were out the window, so I shoved ‘em in.

The previous 10-10 glory may have (mistakenly) had something to do with it, but not much.

He flips up A-K, and catches an A-7-9 flop.
Turn is an 8, so I regroup to a gutshot straight draw and 2 tens.

Not to be. I’m out, and the hopes and dreams of 65 other players die with me.

(4) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:29 AM
"Action Dan" Harrington shows Jessica Padilla how he got his name.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 9:02 AM
With Helmuth already eliminated, ESPN must be overjoyed that Mike "The Mouth" Matusow currently sits in second place. When he suffers the inevitable "blow up" (as he surely will), it is certain to be an epic meltdown. ESPN is licking their chops.

You can view Matuzow's Video interview here.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:59 AM
From the Mailbag

To: Junell
From: McAndrew
Subject: Breaking out the Vagisil

This hand reminds me of folding KK preflop.


I only admit to this hand because otherwise I had a good night playing at the Montrose Game ($1-2 PL) on friday night - I spent the majority of the night up around $300-450 and ended up +$150 for the night due to a suck out on a monumental scale - we'll save that story for another time.

But here is the hand where I couldn't find the balls to call:

I've got K-9h in late position. Early position raises to $15 preflop (max preflop raise at this joint without reraises). I honestly don't pay attention to who all calls because the guy running the game is talking to me - I call.

Flop comes 3 - 4 - 5 hearts. So I flopped the 2nd nut flush. I think there's four guys in the hand - button folded as well as other late positions so I'm last to act.

First position was the pre-flop raiser - he bets out 40. Next guy folds and following guy goes all in for about $180.

At this point, I thought there were only four of us in the hand (including the folder) - so while the bet was what appeared to be some sort of protection bet, it was enough to make me think that the all-in was either a made nut flush or at least Ah-x with a draw still on. the guy was a mouse who had barely played all night.

So I fold - - - all of a sudden, some guy who apparently was hiding his cards in his pocket goes all in for $220. First position now goes all-in for less (about $175). The pot is hovering somewhere in the $650 range.

The reason this bothered me so much was the fact that I didn't see the guy with his cards. I acted out of position - after thinking about it for a good minute - apparently the magician who pulled the cards out of the hat was thinking as well. If I had known he was gonna call - all of a sudden my K-9 is looking pretty good with all the people mixing it up.

I figured first to act had an overpair (wired jacks or queens), but I was pretty mystified at this all in move from the quiet player.

so everyone turns over their cards - first position had jacks (1 heart)
the mouse who went all in first had 10-6h giving him a flush with a straight flush draw. the david blaine of the poker table had bullets (1 heart) so he was on a nut draw the entire time.

turn and river come up rags - my K9 would have held and I would have taken down a $900 pot. I almost vomited. I can't believe I didn't see the other guy in the hand -

I am ashamed and disappointed in my play. I made up for it when I busted the magician out of the game a bit later when I flopped a set of 7s to his set of 3s - I swear to god I thought he was gonna flip the table. good times.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:58 AM
Fantasy Poker Update

Dr Fro, of the Fro family of Houston

1 Phil Ivey
2 Clonie Gowen
3 Mike Padilla

Heafy, he from Down Under

1 T.J. Cloutier
2 Dan Harrington
3 Phil Helmuth Jr.

Preflopraise, ?

1 Tomer
2 Dutch Boyd
3 Jesus Ferguson

Junelli, builder of things

1 Daniel Negreanu
2 Phil Ivey
3 Howard Lederer

khockster, layer down of aces

1 Jennifer Harman
2 Annie Duke
3 Evelyn Ng

dhock, layer down with khockster

1 Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi
2 John Hennigan (Philly Boy)
3 John Juanda

mcandrew, he who knows not how to go to bed

1 John D'Agostino
2 Sam Farhah
3 Phil Ivey Phil Hellmuth, Josh Arieh

superj, he who eats not unleaven bread

1 Howard Lederer
2 Phil Ivey
3 Dan Harrington

KTL, the giver of life

1 Phil Ivey
2 Gus Hanson
3 Daniel Negreanu

IAGchamp, who is playing in the Main Event

1 Mr. Greenstein
2 Mr. Cunningham
3 Mr. Ivey

Johnny, who must poop outside until he fixes the can

1 Ben Affleck
2 Johnny Chan
3 Mike Marx

(0) comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Posted by Junelli 1:23 PM
From the MailBag:

To: Junell
From: Michael Marx

I busted out of the tourney on day one. Ran into a couple of tough situations:

Had pocket fives and raised in position. The SB called to make us heads up. Flop comes Q/7/5 with two hearts. Things are looking good at this point. The other player checks and I put in a bet of $500. The other player calls. Next card is a 2 of clubs. The other player checks and I put in a bet of about $1,000 (make him pay if he is on a heart draw). Again, the other player calls. The final card is a 10 of clubs. Looks like a good card for me -no flush and no straight.

The other player checks and I bet $1000. At this point, the other player comes over the top for another $4,000. I'm fairly stunned. I hadn't put him on a big had. I consider folding, but I decided to call thinking he might be on a bluff (having missed his flush) or hit two pair (since he got in for a discount). He turns over a set of queens.

My final hand of the tournament was a pretty bad beat. Mel Judah put in a small raise from an early position (the blinds were 100-200 and the bet was about 450). I have around $2,000 in chips. I have AQs and decide it's time to try and double through. I push all in, but the BB calls my all-in bet. This represents almost a third of this guys chips. Mel Judah thinks for a long time and then folds. The guy in the BB turns over A3s and Mel Judah lets out an audible gasp. Looks like a great situation for me. Unfortunately, the guy in the BB hit a 3 on the river and I'm bounced from the tourney.

Maybe next year.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:18 AM
There are 185 players remaining. Here are the current leaders as of last night:

2004 Champion Greg Raymer- $1,064,000
Rod Pardey Jr.- $1,041,000
Brad Kondracki- $1,000,000
Bob Larsen- $796,000
Farzad Bonyadi- $724,500
Phil Ivey- $722,500
Gabe Walls- $655,000
Tom Sartori- $574,000
Howard Lederer $541,000
Minh Ly- $530,000
Mike Matusow $440,000
1994 Champion Russ Hamilton- $365,000
John Juanda $230,000

A very well earned congratulations to Mike for finishing in the money and earning over $16,000. To do that well in a field of over 5,600 poker players is a great accomplishment. Well done!

Side note: My two racehorses, Phil Ivey and Howard Lederer are still going strong.

(0) comments

Monday, July 11, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 6:44 PM
418th place out of 5,600. Went $40k all-in with TT, got a call from AK.


(3) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 6:05 PM
Outraced to the computer again! Byron just called with the same info that Mark just shared. Let;s hope he keeps this up after the break and catches some hands soon!

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 5:49 PM
I just talked to Padilla. He's still alive and in about the same shape he was this morning.

There are currently around 461 players remaining, and he's already guaranteed to make $14,135. If he can survive the next 11 eliminations he'll make $16,055.

He has ~$50,000 and the blinds are about to be $1,200-$2,400 with $300 antes. Cardplayer states that the average stack should be about $122,000 right now.

Interesting hand from earlier this morning:
With 561 players remaining, they're right on the bubble. Padilla is dealt AA UTG. He decides not to see a flop and pushes all in. Nobody calls and he picks up the blinds and antes. When he pushed all-in everyone looked at him like he was crazy.

He hasn't gotten any playable hands yet this level.

Another hand he told me about:
Johnny Juanda moves all-in preflop against Paul Darden. Darden calls with AK. Juanda has QQ. The flop is Axx. Turn is A. River is Q giving Juanda QQQAA.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 5:36 PM
Byron messaged me 20 mins ago with the news that Padilla had $69k when the bubble was burst. That means he actually played some hands and won during the hand-for-hand. I am glad it worked out.

In the meantime, Card Player now says they are down to 477 players. Almost 100 are gone in an hour. Crazy. But I haven't heard anything from Byron that Mike has been eliminated, so I hope that's good news and not just a delay from the messenger. Not in my wildest dreams did I think he would do this good... and I don't mean that as an insult. This is quite an accomplishment!

Keep going Mike!

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:43 PM
The bubble boy that "won" 561st place, Carl Ygborn, started today with $74,900 in chips (150% of Padilla's stack!). When he got top pair top kicker, I bet he didn't think he would be eliminated.

(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 4:35 PM
Fro beat me to it...


(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:22 PM
IN the money! Confirmed by Byron who is onsite!


(2) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:50 PM
Nine people need to get eliminated to get to the money. Five have been eliminated so far, one of which, Andria Thayer, seems to have been at Padilla's table (140)

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 12:01 PM
Fantasy Poker Update

Dr Fro, of the Fro family of Houston

1 Phil Ivey 89,600
2 Clonie Gowen 64,400
3 Mike Padilla 59,100

Heafy, he from Down Under

1 T.J. Cloutier
2 Dan Harrington
3 Phil Helmuth Jr.

Preflopraise, ?

1 Tomer
2 Dutch Boyd 103,800
3 Jesus Ferguson

Junelli, builder of things

1 Daniel Negreanu
2 Phil Ivey 89,600
3 Howard Lederer 127,800

khockster, layer down of aces

1 Jennifer Harman
2 Annie Duke
3 Evelyn Ng

dhock, layer down with khockster (current leader)

1 Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi 294,800
2 John Hennigan (Philly Boy)
3 John Juanda 141,100

mcandrew, he who knows not how to go to bed

1 John D'Agostino
2 Sam Farhah 173,600
3 Phil Ivey 89,600, Phil Hellmuth, Josh Arieh

superj, he who eats not unleaven bread

1 Howard Lederer 127,800
2 Phil Ivey 89,600
3 Dan Harrington

KTL, the giver of life

1 Phil Ivey 89,600
2 Gus Hanson
3 Daniel Negreanu

IAGchamp, who is playing in the Main Event

1 Mr. Greenstein
2 Mr. Cunningham
3 Mr. Ivey 89,600

Johnny, who must poop outside until he fixes the can

1 Ben Affleck
2 Johnny Chan
3 Mike Marx

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 9:09 AM
A quick review of some notable professionals still in the tournament:

Greg Raymer (currently 9th place)
Lee Watkinson
Michael Mizrachi
Olga Varkonyi
Jason Lester
Layne Flack
Sam Farha (83rd place)
John Juanda (130th place)
Howard Lederer
Mike Matusow
Dutch Boyd
Tommy Vu (is this the same guy from the old infomercials??)
Phil Ivey (259th)
Clonie Gowan (338th)
Matthew Hilger
Mike Padilla (367th)
Matt Dean (372nd)
Bob Ciaffone (472)

(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:23 AM
Also, some quick math shows the threshold for Mike to start sharing money is approximately $30,750 assuming a 35% withholding rate, which means he will need to finish in place 230 or higher to reach that mark which is worth $33,197.

The table below is a very preliminary estimate of the payouts based on the information published so far by Harrah's. The left column is the place-payout, the middle column is the final table share, and the right column is the player share. Just an estimate, but it's kind of fun to look at.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:58 AM
The results weren't up this morning at 5am, but now that I am at work three hours later Card Player has the latest chip count.

Mike's $59,100 has him in 367th place out of 566. The average stack right now is $99,313; the median stack is $80,400. The big stack is $464,000. The nine smallest stacks are

558 Marty Foth 13,100 Chips 0
559 Freddie Jones 12,700 Chips 0
560 Angeloudis Kostas 11,800 Chips 0
561 Jason Seitz 11,300 Chips 0
562 Sarne Lightman 11,200 Chips 0
563 Bill Bostley 9,500 Chips 0
564 Larry Collins 7,600 Chips 0
565 Vadim Shlez 5,800 Chips 0
566 Michael Santoro 3,200 Chips

The bottom three guys are going to get eaten up by the blinds pretty quickly, I think. Besides the players listed above there are 22 more players with < $20,000, so hopefully a few of them will but heads and attrit each other quickly. We'll see.

Mike is in the 35th percentile, which isn't terrible, but he can't afford to make many more mistakes if he wants to do better than simply finishing in the money. Nonetheless, given that he only needs to outlast nine players to at least get something, I think he's pretty much assured of being in the money. That's outstanding and better than any of us (Mike included) could have hoped for.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:02 AM
They finished last night with 569 players advancing to Day 3. Nine of those players will not be in the money. Padilla has $59,100 in chips, and the blinds are 1k-2k, so he should be ok. They will play "hand for hand" tomorrow until they eliminate 9 players so as to elimnate the Friou Aberdeen Strategy.

(0) comments

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 9:58 PM
Some bad news, but not horrible news:

Padilla ran down to $110k. He took a couple beats and then ended up in a hand with an over pair (I think KK) to a flop of Jxx. He and another player are all in and the other player had Jx. That guy hit his kicker on the river and knocked Padilla down to $40,000. That really sucks.

The good news is that it happened just before the long dinner break. He should have plenty of time to psycologically regroup and come back with a clear head. He will need that because it will be an absolute battle. I have a feeling he wil rebound. Cmon Mike.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:49 PM
Around 1.5 hrs ago, Padilla called Byron. Padilla had KT and hit a flop of TT7. Big bets on the flop and river then finally he went all-in on the river with no caller. That helped him run his stack up to $149,000. I heard the chip leaders are just north of $300k, the field is down to 1,000 and the blinds are at $500-$1,000 and antes of $200. With rounds costing $3,500, he can afford to see 420 hands, so he is sitting pretty. They will play down to a number really close to the bubble, but probably shy of it. So a small number of guys that survive today won't cash out tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Byron is up a couple hundred in a ring game at Harrah's and I lost my lunch money on Party Poker.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:43 PM
The post with the shares of Padilla is here.

Remember, this is a share of 10% of anything he wins over $20,000 after withholdings for taxes. For example, if he wins $100,000, Uncle Sam will keep $35,000 and Padilla keeps the first $20,000 of the $65,000 that's left and he shares 10% of the remaning $45,000, which is $4,500. So every non-winning seat in the first round gets 1% of that, which is $45, and every winning seat in the first round gets $450.

I think that's right.

(3) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:32 PM
I just took a break from mowing the yard to check my messages, Padilla called at 7:05 with the news that at the break he is up to $149,000 and that he's still in the top 25. Looking at the Card Player blog entry from the same time, the chip counts show that the leader has $253,000. Like a golf tournament the list only shows notable names and I don't recognize any names > $149,000 aside from Chip Reese. This is incredible.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:01 PM
Misc WSOP notes

Of the 1886 players today, 108 are from Texas.
Chris Moneymaker has been eliminated
Padilla has won another 5k putting him at $98k
Farha and Ivey have been taking a beating.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:28 PM
Fantasy Poker Update

Dr Fro, the current Fantasy Poker Leader

1 Phil Ivey 28,600
2 Clonie Gowen 50,475
3 Mike Padilla 93,025

Heafy, he from Down Under

1 T.J. Cloutier
2 Dan Harrington 20,575
3 Phil Helmuth Jr.

Preflopraise, ?

1 Tomer 33,925
2 Dutch Boyd 55,550
3 Jesus Ferguson

Junelli, builder of things

1 Daniel Negreanu
2 Phil Ivey 28,600
3 Howard Lederer 55,500

khockster, layer down of aces

1 Jennifer Harman
2 Annie Duke
3 Evelyn Ng

dhock, layer down with khockster

1 Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi 37,200
2 John Hennigan (Philly Boy)
3 John Juanda 46,600

mcandrew, he who knows not how to go to bed

1 John D'Agostino
2 Sam Farhah 156,600
3 Phil Ivey 28,600, Phil Hellmuth, Josh Arieh

superj, he who eats not unleaven bread

1 Howard Lederer 55,500
2 Phil Ivey 28,600
3 Dan Harrington 20,575

KTL, the giver of life

1 Phil Ivey 28,600
2 Gus Hanson 7,300
3 Daniel Negreanu

IAGchamp, who is playing in the Main Event

1 Mr. Greenstein
2 Mr. Cunningham
3 Mr. Ivey 28,600

Johnny, who must poop outside until he fixes the can

1 Ben Affleck
2 Johnny Chan
3 Mike Marx

(2) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:15 PM
Now there are 1,864 players left with an average stack of $29,925. Padilla is sitting in 25th place. Let's put that in perspective:

- If he finishes the tournament in 25th place, he will win $304,680 (and it should be pointed out that the 9 other IAG finalists will pocket a share of that.

- Even if he implodes and makes 560th place, he will gross $12,500. That would mean ending up in the top 30% of the field that advanced to Day 2. (70th percentile). He is currently in the top 1.3% (98.7th percentile)

- With 180 tables and only 24 other players having bigger stacks, he should have the biggest stack at his table, by far. So, that means that he can afford to go all-in and lose to a massive suckout and still have chips. In fact, if he is all-in each time against a mean stack of 30K, he could survive 3 big suckouts and still have the $10k he started with.

- Blinds are now $300-$600 ($75 Ante). That means each round cost $1,650. That will be brutal to the small stacks, but Padilla can afford to look at 100 hands and fold them all. One is dealt, on average a hand of KK or better (aka KK&AA) once every 88 hands. So, in theory, he could play only KK and AA. In theory.

- If he can just survive today (a mere 12 hour marathon), he should be in the money.


(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 9:14 AM
My cell phone rang @ 5:30 this morning. I figured it was Padilla but I didn't get up to go answer it. Now it's 9:15 and I just checked my messages.

At the end of the night last night he had $93,000 in chips. I thought to myself, "gee, that's pretty good." Then I checked the website for chip counts and saw that's good enough for 25th place in the whole tournament. That's not just pretty good... that's huge. He's ahead of Dutch Boyd, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Greg Raymer, Moneymaker, Dan Harrington, and the gay Magician (whose name I couldn't find so I assume he was eliminated). Hell, the only name I see ahead of him that I recognize is Sam Farha. Wow.

They start at noon local time today. Keep going, Mike. Keep going.

Incidentally, I don't see Mike Marx's name, so I assume he's out. Nonetheless, congratulations to him as well and better luck next time.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:39 AM
Padilla ran his stack up to $36k then down to $25k. He raised with KJ UTG and got a raise for the minimum which he called. Flop came KQT giving him top pair with a straight draw. He goes all-in. He gets a call from AA.

The suckout that he will remember for the rest of his life occurred when he got the 3rd King to win and run his stack up to $50k.

(0) comments

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:35 PM
Padilla update 5:24 CST

He flopped set of 6's to a flop of 69T. Check raised flop. Bet turn and river and guy folded river. Stack around 17K

Made a bluff and for the first time he got caught. Down to 15k. Chip leader (tied) at his table

Marx is a couple tables over and is around 3K.

Around this time, Huck Seed was eliminated on the other side of the room. Doyle Brunson was eliminated earlier. I guess Padilla is a better player than Dolly!!?!?!?!!! There are many reports on the internet about Doyle's standing ovation when he entered and left the room. It has become an annual tradition - one that I think is great.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 11:05 PM
The last message I have from Padilla was at the dinner break - he said that he's #2 at his table with $24k. Nice job.

More in the morning.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:37 PM
Fantasy Poker Update

Dr Fro

1 Phil Ivey d3
2 Clonie Gowen 50,475
3 Mike Padilla d3

Heafy, he from Down Under

1 T.J. Cloutier
2 Dan Harrington 20,575
3 Phil Helmuth Jr.

Preflopraise, ?

1 Tomer 33,925
2 Dutch Boyd 55,550
3 Jesus Ferguson

Junelli, builder of things

1 Daniel Negreanu
2 Phil Ivey d3
3 Howard Lederer d3

khockster, layer down of aces

1 Jennifer Harman
2 Annie Duke
3 Evelyn Ng

dhock, layer down with khockster

1 Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi 37,200
2 John Hennigan (Philly Boy)
3 John Juanda d3

mcandrew, he who knows not how to go to bed

1 John D'Agostino d3
2 Sam Farhah 156,600
3 Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Josh Arieh

superj, he who eats not unleaven bread

1 Howard Lederer d3
2 Phil Ivey d3
3 Dan Harrington 20,575

KTL, the giver of life

1 Phil Ivey d3
2 Gus Hanson 7,300
3 Daniel Negreanu

IAGchamp, who is playing in the Main Event

1 Mr. Greenstein
2 Mr. Cunningham
3 Mr. Ivey d3

Johnny, who must poop outside until he fixes the can

1 Ben Affleck ??
2 Johnny Chan
3 Mike Marx d3

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:37 PM
Misc WSOP notes

On Friday at the featured table ON THE FIRST HAND: Sammy Farha and Oliver Hudson (Kate's brother) are go all in on the flop of A-A-10. Sammy had A-10. Oliver had pocket tens.

I found Elmo:

Here are the same stats for Day 1A similiar to what I posted for Day 1B:
They played down to 663. There were 1,865 players yesterday that bought 18,650,000 in TCs. A 65% of the players were eliminated, making the average stack equal to 28,127. There are 270 players with an above average stack and 393 with a below average stack. Of those 393, 98 players have less than the 10,000 they started with.The median stack is 24,100. I did not calcluate the mode.

Conversation earlier today:
Fro: Travis, tell your mom why Fro likes Chuck E Cheese
Travis: MILF
Fro: And what's the word for today?
Travis: MILFilicious

(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 3:22 PM
From Padilla (I will just update the one single thread each day. Keep checking here for updates):


Mike called and said he was +450 at the break. He says Mike Matusow is a few tables over and had a big enough outburst to where he was assessed 4 consecutive 10 minute penalties, but given how small the blinds are on Day 1, I doubt it makes any difference.

He also says that he ran into Mike Marx a couple of tables over as well (lots of people named Mike) and that Marx is playing with Mel Judah, so there's a big name. Padilla says he hadn't heard of anyone playing at his table but that there are a lot of internet guys. Yup.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:59 AM
More on the Party Gaming IPO.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:33 AM
Day 2 played down to 593 players. In 2nd is Sam Farha of Houston at 156,600.

There were 1,811 players yesterday that bought 18,110,000 in TCs. A little more than 2/3 of the players were eliminated, making the average stack equal to 30,535. There are 236 players with an above average stack and 357 with a below average stack. Of those 357, 74 players have less than the 10,000 they started with.

The median stack is 24,788. The mode is 13,850, although that is not a very relevant measure of central tendency for this analysis.

Phil Hellmuth is gone. It happened at the featured table, so we can witness his demise on ESPN.

(0) comments

Friday, July 08, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:02 PM
So the unconfirmed number of entrants is 5,661. Approximately 1/3 or 1,887 play each of the first 3 days and they will play down to about 660 each day, forming a field of 1,980 for the second day of play for these guys.

Lee Watkinson was in the lead after the first day of play with $145,800. There were 662 other players that survived, all the way down to Gergory Scarsella of Hermitage, PA with $2,050.

The most notable person toward the top and bottom of the list are: Layne Flack (24th) with $69k and Jeff Shulman with $5,225 at 643rd place.

And Houston's favorite Matt Dean has $26k.

That is a summary of Thursday. Friday's action is ongoing and I'll summarize on Saturday.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:26 PM
Padilla called with a description of the scene at the "Lifestyle show" at the convention center...lots of booths for online sites like Doyle's new site, Hollywood Poker, etc. Pokerstars had Raymer signing stuff and Padilla got a (free) Tshirt signed. had a board touting who might eliminate Phil Hellmuth (I couldn't find the site, I even tried .org in case it was a charity ;-) Any help here???)

He said "Lots of chicks, um... none of them are real." I assume that the chicks were real, so I am not sure what he was talking about. Ended it with "what a sight."

Meanwhile, I am in Dallas watching Friends re-runs.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:00 PM
Padilla called and left a message earlier this afternoon. He says that it's nothing like the madhouse that people were envisioning - he walked right up and got registered (officially) yesterday with no problem and hardly no wait. He also mentioned that all of the internet sites have "hospitality rooms" with lots of free goodies for all of the players and not just the internet qualifiers. I suspect that's an attempt to fish for an endorsement deal with the eventual champion. Cool.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:33 AM
Jayson sent me a second-hand account of this yesterday, and I was waiting to find some confirmation before posting it. This comes from the blog over at Card Player:

Date / Time: 2005-07-07 16:00:00
Title: Breaks, Elmo Masks, and "Official" Numbers


There is a player wearing an oversized Elmo mask at one of the tables. This is no cheap Halloween mask, but a full-sized muppet-quality headpiece. Apparently, somebody asked for a ruling whether or not it was legal, and it was determined that as long as a player's face was visible, it would be allowed. Elmo's "mouth" is where the player looks out, and while there is a dark mesh, his face is still visible. So for the time being, the mask is being allowed. But if you've ever talked to someone who worked a theme park in costume (think Disneyland), it's not a pleasant experience for long periods of time. He'll probably get bored of the gimmick long before dinnertime.



(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:30 AM
In reference to my post from yesterday, someone pointed out at dinner last night that it was a jackpot hand (or at least it would have been had the other guy caught his straight flush). Too bad that couldn't have happened to me in Lake Charles, or even at the FSC. Ha.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:29 AM
Odds of hitting a 1-outer when heads up all in: 43:1 or 2%

***** Hand History for Game 2327218821 *****
200/400 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 13738533) - Thu Jul 07 22:15:04 EDT 2005
Table Table 11273 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 3
Seat 1: PUNISHER88 (745)
Seat 6: whitewing870 (6380)
Seat 10: phreaux (875)
whitewing870 posts small blind (100)
phreaux posts big blind (200)

** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to phreaux [ Kd, Tc ]
PUNISHER88 folds.
whitewing870 raises (300) to 400
phreaux raises (400) to 600
whitewing870 raises (5980) to 6380
whitewing870 is all-In.
phreaux calls (275)
phreaux is all-In.
Creating Main Pot with $1750 with phreaux
Creating Side Pot 1 with $5505 with whitewing870

** Dealing Flop ** : [ Ad, Kh, Kc ]
Nice - trips. I am way ahead because even if he hits his Q, my KKK beats QQQ. He can only win with runner runner straight or runner runner quads {{{Brainfart alert! - See comments}}}

** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qh ]
OK, now his only out is to hit the 1 remaining Q in the deck {{{Brainfart alert! - See comments}}}

** Dealing River ** : [ Qs ]
Oh shit

** Summary **
Main Pot: 1750 Side Pot 1: 5505
Board: [ Ad Kh Kc Qh Qs ]
PUNISHER88 balance 745, didn't bet (folded)
whitewing870 balance 7255, bet 6380, collected 7255, net +875 [ Qd Qc ] [ four of a kind, queens -- Ad,Qd,Qc,Qh,Qs ]
phreaux balance 0, lost 875 [ Kd Tc ] [ a full house, Kings full of queens -- Kd,Kh,Kc,Qh,Qs ]

If it had been a cash game, I would be pissed, but I was already in the money in a tournament and the blinds forced me to get in the situation. It was only the difference between 1st and 2nd in all liklihood.

(3) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:08 AM
Day 1 is over (or Day 1a is over) and I have tried to make a list of notable eliminations:

Josh Arieh
Chris Ferguson
Jennifer Harman
Barry Greenstein
Johnny Chan
Humberto Brenes
Mike Sexton
Ted Forrest

Funniest thing I read:

We have our first player being penalized for using the "F" word in the event so
far. He will be forced to sit out for 10 minutes and goes only by the first name

Alos, evidently Fossilman Raymer turned $3k in chips into about $40k in a few minutes.

(2) comments

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 5:40 PM
Rarely does the flop hit this hard. Geez. In my whole history of poker over the past 6 years, I've only had quads maybe twice in person and maybe twice online. And I have certainly never flopped quads before, whether online or in person, until just now. I had to do a double take when I saw the flop and then all I could do was slam on the brakes and hope someone else would make some sort of a bet-worthy hand that would let me win some money. Though based on my typical pokerstars experience, that usually doesn't happen. When I saw the flop I was hoping the preflop raiser had AK. Then when I saw the turn, I knew that someone was going to bet it big for me (AK, AQ, AT, TT, QT, or any two diamonds were all possibilities) and that I was going to double up. That's a nice feeling, even for a $10 sit-n-go.


PokerStars Game #2053143889: Tournament #9796561, Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2005/07/07 - 18:34:40 (ET)
Table '9796561 1' Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: antbri (2570 in chips)
Seat 2: bizzle03 (1630 in chips)
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (1395 in chips)
Seat 5: ebonynme (900 in chips)
Seat 6: vatech10 (2360 in chips)
Seat 7: Lunger16 (2400 in chips)
Seat 8: Gutbusta (2245 in chips)
bizzle03: posts small blind 25
johnnymac96: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [Js Jh]
ebonynme: folds
vatech10: calls 50
Lunger16: raises 50 to 100
Gutbusta: folds
antbri: calls 100
bizzle03: folds
johnnymac96: calls 50
vatech10: calls 50
*** FLOP *** [Kc Jd Jc]
johnnymac96: checks
vatech10: bets 100
Lunger16: folds
antbri: calls 100
johnnymac96: calls 100
*** TURN *** [Kc Jd Jc] [Ad]
johnnymac96: checks
vatech10: bets 2160 and is all-in
antbri: folds
johnnymac96: calls 1195 and is all-in
*** RIVER *** [Kc Jd Jc Ad] [6d]
bizzle03 said, "gh"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
johnnymac96: shows [Js Jh] (four of a kind, Jacks)
vatech10: shows [Td Qd] (a flush, Ace high)
johnnymac96 collected 3115 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3115 | Rake 0
Board [Kc Jd Jc Ad 6d]
Seat 1: antbri (button) folded on the Turn
Seat 2: bizzle03 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: johnnymac96 (big blind) showed [Js Jh] and won (3115) with four of a kind, Jacks
Seat 5: ebonynme folded before Flop (didn\'t bet)
Seat 6: vatech10 showed [Td Qd] and lost with a flush, Ace high
Seat 7: Lunger16 folded on the Flop
Seat 8: Gutbusta folded before Flop (didn't bet)


Of course, the dude actually had an out: Kd. Had that come on the river it would have been the ultimate pokerstars experience. Almost as bad as my boy Al. Almost.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 4:25 PM

How about these fucking stats!

I don't know if it's possible to play any tighter than 18%. At the $5-$10 Limit tables, these cold streaks can get expensive fast.


(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 12:00 PM
Tomorrow I'm heading out to Lake Tahoe for Richard Paddock's bachelor party. Our house is 5 minutes from the casino, and I expect to play plenty of poker over the next 3 days. I'll write a report next week.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:27 AM
We should have done this sooner, but Michael Padilla is going to be joining the blog here as a new contributor. Hopefully we can get him set up this morning before he leaves for Vegas this afternoon and then he will be able, if he can get some PC access, to blog his Vegas experience from the WSOP.

Even if he can't find a PC we will be blogging his reports ourselves via old fashined phone calls, so we'll be keeping up with him as things go along. Stay tuned.

(3) comments

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Posted by Junelli 10:28 AM
Unfortunately, my winning streak has ended. I gave back $180 last night at Northside's $1-$2 NL game. I was up as much as $375 at one point, but then caught a cold run of cards that had my big hands run into bigger hands.

e.g - I put a guy all-in on the flop with top two pair. He called with a gutshot, and caught it on the river to win about $200 from me. From there things just sort of went downhill (see previous "tilt" articles).

I did however, flop an open ended straight flush draw (J9c with a flop of 8Tc). First to act bet 1/2 of the pot, and was called by two other players. I called in position (the cut-off seat). The turn was a Qc giving me the Queen-high straight flush. I slowplayed the turn, and the river brought another club (putting 4 on the board). I got action from one player, and took down a nice pot. Plus I won $50 for the high hand. Woo Woo!

I feel very good about my game these days. I'm getting better about my money management, and my losses are much smaller than they used to be. I've finally started to understand that my poker career is one big game, and wins/losses on any given night don't really matter much in the grand scheme of things. If I can avoid chipping-off that last $120, that's an extra $120 I have in my pocket for next time. This has helped me get up and walk away when I need to (rather than wait until I'm broke).

(1) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:23 AM

My boy Lance is already dominating this year's Tour De France. He's poised to win by his largest margin ever.

If you haven't watched any of the TV coverage, it's very interesting. You can catch it just about any time of the day on OLN.

You can also view photos from the Tour here:
Graham Watson

Good news coverage:

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:46 AM
I am still alive - just not playing cards because I am working on this:

The new toilet is the pipe sticking up in the middle of the picture. The new shower is on the rear left and the new bathtub is in the front right. This weekend, after the plumbers are through and the inspector comes on Friday, I get to bore dowel holes into the side of the old concrete and pour new concrete into the trenches. Joy.

I did have a lull a couple of weeks ago and got to play cards with Jayson Baird and some of his crew. We had a great time and it was nice not to have to think about plumbing.

(0) comments

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Posted by Junelli 5:25 PM
Northside is starting a new $6-$6 No-Limit game every Wednesday evening.

I know $6-$6 sounds weird, but they had to go above $5, because Smiley has a monopoly on all PL and NL games at $5 and under (and this isn't Smiley's game).

This should be a very juicy game. If you're interested, you can call or send me an email.

(4) comments

Posted by Junelli 12:10 PM
My plans were used to make a table for Miami Heat's Mike Doleac.

(0) comments

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:09 PM
In the end, the rivers that take are equal to the rivers we make.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 5:15 PM
Junell, what do you think about this?

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:33 PM

(0) comments

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 4:35 PM
My nephew took an hour nap, so Uncle Fro got on the internet to play some cards. This was one helluva streak:

I raised just about every other flop because I kept getting dealt monsters. Eventually, they got curious and starting calling me, which helped to offset about 1/2 of what was lost in Louisiana.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:33 PM
Fantasy Poker

OK, we are going to run a little contest here. We will "draft" poker players and whoever picks the winner of the Main Event will win a prize (a token prize, like a T-shirt or a deck of cards). All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment to this post before the Main Event starts with the names of 3 poker players. You may also leave a suggestion for the prize. If nobody correctly picks the winner, then the person whose player placed the highest wins, as long as their player made the top 20 (this is like the 8-qualifying rule in O/8!).

To leave a comment, you must register at Blogger, but that doesnt take much more than filling out a quick form and giving a working email address.

Good luck

(16) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:26 PM
Wouldn't it be nice to win a WSOP, make 3 final tables and 4 in-the-money appearances? Allen Cunningham is 4 years younger than I am, and he has made a lot of money.

Of course the winner of the main event will immediately go to the top of the list of all-time money winners.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:46 AM
Kim and David just got back from Vegas. You may remember Kim from the "How I bluffed Kim Hock into laying down pocket Aces" post where Morris piled on Junell. Kim wrote up a trip report and here it is:


As promised - here's my comments on our recent trip to Vegas....

As a woman poker player, there are a couple of things I've learned about the game. Whether I want to admit it or not, there are different rules that apply. This is not true as much for the home games, tourneys, etc..., where friends and colleagues know you (at least not for the most part.) This applies to any other scenario where you are not known. My husband and I went to Vegas this past weekend and played 3 different times at the MGM - (great poker room, BTW) All 3 sessions I played $1/2 No Limit and each time was the only chick at the table.

Session 1 – Bought in for $200.00, (max buy-in), played for 5 hours, and left with $206.00.

Session 2 – Bought in for $200.00, played for 3 ½ hours, left with $462.00.

Session 3 – Bought in for $200.00, played for 1 hour, left with nothin’.

Session 1 - 10 players

1 - Vegas – local guy - aggressive
2 - Drunk guy from NC – Friendly and drunk - loose
3 – x
4 – Drunk guy from NC guy’s friend - loose
5 – me
6 – down on his luck and pissed – tight
7 – x
8 – macho man
9 – macho man
10 – WMD (English guy with a “Fear of Weapons of Mass Destruction is the biggest weapon T-shirt – tight

Most of these character/stereotypes you all know and are self explanatory. I’d like to talk about seat 8 & 9. Macho men. These guys 1) don’t believe women can play poker, 2) want women to play poker so they can take all their money, and 3) don’t give women any poker respect when playing poker. (I don’t mean I want respect because I’m a chick, I want respect b/c I’ve sat down to play.) I love these guys when the cards are coming! They call everything, they re-raise most of the times I raise, and rarely fold when I was in a hand.
My conclusions when playing with macho men -
1) No sense in calling mediocre hands – they will call or re-raise my pre-flop bet/raise.
2) Wait for a good hand and make a move.
3) Be willing to go all the way when making a move, you will most likely have to.

I wasn’t getting a lot of action – a lot of crappy cards and I was trying to establish myself at the table. JJ in mid position. 1 caller so far, and I raise to $15.00. Everyone folds but Macho man. Flop comes J-4-x. I bet $25.00, Macho calls (he doesn’t believe I have anything.). Turn – J-4-x-x (no flush possibility.) I bet $50.00, he calls. River – J-4-x-x-4. I go all-in, and he severely contemplates calling me. He folds and is now pissed. (I’m pretty surprised he didn’t call me, but it proves to me that he had nothing and just didn’t believe me.) I played a couple of hands like this with him, and it wasn’t until this next hand that the guys finally realized that I was there to stay.

Dealt A9 suited – limped in in early position. Flop – A-9-x. Vegas checks, I bet $20.00, fold, fold, fold, Vegas calls. We’re heads up. Turn – A-9-x-x (no flush or straight possibilities). Vegas bets $20.00, I raise to $60.00, he calls. River – A-9-x-x-x (I don’t remember, but the card was of no consequence.) He checks, I check. He has pocket nines making a set of 9s to my 2 pair. He was playing pretty aggressive, so I could have put him just about anything the way he played. The table loved my re-raise on the turn as well as the disciplined check on the river. Though I lost that hand ($82.00), I gained their respect, and had a no more bullshit from them any more. They saw me as a player, not just some chick. I played for a while, and had a great time even though I left with only $6 more than where I started.

“Just a little patience, yeah, yeah, yeah”
No macho men at this table, but it took forever before I saw any cards. Normally I would begin to get a little impatient, but I waited it out to make my move. I limped in on a couple of hands and flopped nothing. This time, Q9 in the BB – checked. Flop comes Q-9-x. I’m first to act and bet $20.00 (I’ll take my measly $10 from the limpers to win this thing before someone makes a straight.) Asian guys calls me. (He’s been playing pretty aggressive. I’ve seen him re-buy $100 three times in 30 minutes due to all-ins with crap.) River Q-9-x-x. I check to feel him out, b/c I know if I bet, he’ll most likely raise, and I don’t think I’m willing to risk my stack on 2 pair) - he checks. River comes – Q-9-x-x-9. I make a big bet, he goes all in, and I call. He flips over nothing. I won $150 or so on that hand. I had some monster hands after that, and did well for myself, leaving the table with $262 more than when I started.

My conclusion when being dealt crap cards – wait it out and then make a move.

“These boots are made for walking”
Saturday night, I had to wait for a table. For lack of a better way to describe the guys I sat with – they were mostly a group of young frat-daddy ass-holes from the north east. (No offense to frat-daddies, or to the yankee I married) Lesson learned - leave a table if you’re not feeling it. Call it women’s intuiton, call it whatever - I had a bad feeling about these dick wipes from the moment I sat down – not one of them even acknowledged me. I got NO CARDS the whole time I was at the table, and when I could limp in with something mediocre, the flop didn’t go in my direction. On one rare occasion, I did get something, I raised pre-flop and everyone folded. But usually, they called and raised every freaking hand I tried to play. They were out to beat up on everyone, especially me, because I was a girl (talk about major macho man syndrome), and I didn’t have any cards to call them on.

My conclusions when playing with loose macho men:

1) LEAVE THE TABLE - I so wanted to stick it to them, but never got cards to do that and instead took it up the you-know-what. When I was pretty short stacked, I made a couple of all-ins in an attempt to double up. Limped in with K8 in the BB. Flop – x-x-8. I go all in, and the other short stack goes all-in. He has A8. He won, and I’m left with about $30. Next hand – I’m the dealer and have A8. 1 caller so far, I go all in, the small blind bets $50, and his buddy raises all in. SB calls. SB has 77, and his buddy has KK. Hand ends with K-x-x-A-A. I leave miserable and pissed, and mad for not LEAVING THE F---ING TABLE earlier. These guys got under my skin and affected the way I was playing.
2) Be more willing to call occasionally in showdowns where you might typically fold, so they’ll know you’re not afraid to call. I flopped a couple of sets that I bet big on the flop and a couple of them called me, and then the turn or river came, and at least one represented the flush possibility which would have been typical for these guys – they played a lot of suited connectors. Instead of risking the loss of my stack and knowing I could buy back in, I folded to them, and they attempted to walk all over me after that. Some of my thought process in not seeing the showdown was, why would I want to buy back into that table where they had already gotten under my skin and where I was clearly not having any fun whatsoever. I so enjoy playing poker and was miserable at this point – so I folded as to keep some chips in hopes of catching some cards and then making a move – never happened.

All in all, I learned a lot about my game, and feel like I can hold my own in Vegas. That’s all from this chick’s perspective. I’d love to hear comments.



I obviously can't relate much to the woman's perspective. However, I like the thought about "Be more willing to call occasionally in showdowns where you might typically fold". At J's, all the players are 21 yr-old kids with a lot of testosterone and bravado. Once the pot gets over a certain amount, you know that they will try to put you all in, whether they have the goods or not. I, of course, fold bad hands and call with great hands; it is the mediocre hands where I adjust my strategy. I don't always call with mediocre hands, but sometimes I do (maybe 1/3 of the time). I rarely do it on the first 1 or 2 opportunities because I figure each time I fold it only decreases the quality of the hand they will bluff me with the next time. Opportunity #3 comes along and boom goes the dynamite. Then they back off.
Thanks, Kim

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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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