Saturday, April 29, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 1:43 PM
Thanks to Kleckner for this link on "bots." I believe that there are a large number of Party Poker players that are either entirely automated or at least assisted by computer programs. But the reason I don't lose sleep over it is twofold:

1) I am playing poker as we speak. There are 53,000 people playing at PP right now. If even 500 of them are "bots", that is less than 1% of the players. And yet I know that about 10% of the players are real humans that are terrible at poker. I may lose to that 1% but I am scoring off of the 10%, and I like that math.

2) I believe that bots largely play limit poker. I base this on what I have read and also on common sense: The way to win in limit is by eking out money when you have tiny edges - tiny edges a computer could calculate better than a human. In NL, the math keeps you afloat, but you win or lose in the long run based on how well you read your opponent - a skill that humans should have more so than computers.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 11:15 AM
This is a pretty fun list of the Poker Boom's Top Ten Best and Worst. Personally, I would have put "Having a Porn Star get second place at the World Series Main Event" as #1. Don't know what I am talking about? Dallas' own David Williams is a porn star. Read all about it. You can't make this stuff up, guys. David evidently was in a "foot and a$$ worship fetish" movie. I heard CCM has it downloaded on his PC. Let's all hope they don't find an old porn with Greg Raymer.

Scroll down to April 19 on the Kick A$$ Poker Blog. It seems that another poker player, Gavin Griffin, is in the news. Evidently, he was duped into forking over $6,500 to a guy pretending to be a girl. Really, you can't make this up.

(1) comments

Friday, April 28, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 8:37 PM

Not only have they pissed off all of the fans who wanted to draft Vince Young (but most of whom would still shrug and say, "well, Reggie Bush isn't a bad consolation prize") they have also managed to piss off the rest of the fans who weren't married to drafting Vince but who were excited about the possibility of at least using the first pick to get someone who could electrify the crowd and make crazy plays on the field. Now they have a combine star who can run the shuttle run really fast and bench press 225 pounds multiple times but who was at the very least unremarkable during his senior year in college and at the very best a preseason All-American. Charlie Casserly is a moron.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 8:37 PM

Not only have they pissed off all of the fans who wanted to draft Vince Young (but most of whom would still shrug and say, "well, Reggie Bush isn't a bad consolation prize") they have also managed to piss off the rest of the fans who weren't married to drafting Vince but who were excited about the possibility of at least using the first pick to get someone who could electrify the crowd and make crazy plays on the field. Now they have a combine star. Charlie Casserly is a moron.

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Posted by Johnnymac 8:37 PM

Not only have they pissed off all of the fans who wanted to draft Vince Young (but most of whom would still shrug and say, "well, Reggie Bush isn't a bad consolation prize") they have also managed to piss off the rest of the fans who weren't married to drafting Vince but who were excited about the possibility of at least using the first pick to get someone who could electrify the crowd and make crazy plays on the field. Now they have a combine star. Charlie Casserly is a moron.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 4:03 PM
Some days you are the dog and some days you are the fire hydrant. Today I was the dog. This is indicative of the luck I have had lately:

I flopped a set of Tens:

(The dialogue box was quite busy after that one.)

Then, three hands later, I flopped a set of 7's. There is no picture of that.

And then on the very next hand, I flopped a set of 9's:

I think I am going to go buy a Lotto ticket...

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 10:38 AM
I'm not so sure that I would put up with a girl who looks like this and doesn't appear to be that smart or wise to the ways of the internet. She's not altogether ugly, but she's damn sure not a genius, either, if the whole thing is for real.

UPDATE: When I received the link yesterday around 1:00pm it was at something like 57,000 hits. Once iit hit the energy trading sector, where guys like me have nothing to do but stare at computer screens all day and pass long links when they're not working, it was bye-bye for the hit counter. As of 6:15 this morning they're at 3,00,000 hits. Wow.

(4) comments

Monday, April 24, 2006

Posted by Junelli 6:39 PM
Truly brilliant.....


From: The Sports Guy
Subject: Rounders II

We're in the middle of a poker boom, you guys wrote the definitive poker movie that came out four years too early ... so why the hell can't we have a sequel? Come on, like "Rounders 2" wouldn't make $200 million? I know Matt Damon is crazy-rich at this point, but how could he resist the chance to bring Mike McD back to life? Plus, you have all these celebrities who love playing poker and would love to be involved, like Ben Affleck, who would probably kill himself if you didn't ask him to be in the movie.

Here's my pitch: Mike McD (two-time runner-up in the World Series of Poker in 1999 and 2003) is living at the Palms Casino in Vegas and making a living playing in televised tournaments, running his own online Web site and ripping off celebrities and athletes whenever they come into town. He's a multi-millionaire, a success by any measure; he even hangs out with the Maloofs and Ron Artest, owns a 5 percent stake in the Kings, and dates a former actress (played by Heather Graham) who gets naked with him in a torrid sex scene in the first 10 minutes. And just when he's preparing for the 2007 World Series of Poker, Worm shows up in his life again, along with Worm's brother, Gerbil (played by Ben Affleck, who was available). They're in some deep trouble, the Russian mob is after them for stealing a suitcase of heroin or something.

Being the loyal friend that he is, Mike McD gets dragged into the situation and ends up having sex with Famke Janssen and her sister, played by Anna Kournikova (in a torrid three-way in a hot tub at the "Real World" suite in the Palms) to convince Famke to call off the Russian mob. But Famke slips him the date-rape drug, and before Mike McD wakes up, she's transferred $3 million of his money from his computer to Teddy KGB. Plus, Heather Graham walked in during the three-way (unbeknownst to Mike McD) and decided to move out. Now he's broke and single. When he wakes up, Teddy KGB calls to tell him, "I have your three million, you have to play me for it, I want revenge for the last time we played."

But Mike McD says, "You know what, I'm not playing this game. I don't care about my $3 million any more, and I don't care about Worm or Gerbil -- kill them both, they were crummy friends, anyway. I'm winning my three million back in the World Series of Poker, and then some. But first, I have to go to Cheetahs for the next 20 hours and spend my last $5,000 on lap dances."

So that's the next 15 minutes of the movie -- Mike getting lap dances and drinking Rolling Rocks in the Cheetah's champagne room, followed by the shocking revelation that Gretchen Mol is working there after getting fired from her law firm. He gets her number, but not before she gives him the obligatory, "You're wasting your life" speech. From there, Mike McD goes right to the World Series of Poker, where he ends up at the final table facing Phil Ivey (played by Tiger Woods), Ron Artest (played by O.J. Simpson), Teddy KGB (Malkovich), Worm (Norton), Gerbil (Affleck), Johnny Chan (playing himself) and the Cinderella story of the tournament, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons (played by George Clooney in an unbilled cameo).

And Mike McD gradually knocks everyone out until it's just him and Gerbil, setting up the Damon-Affleck scenario that everyone has been waiting for ... and even though the script calls for Mike McD to win, Damon ends up ad-libbing from the script and letting Affleck win because he feels bad about everything that's happened to Affleck since "Armageddon." But he still made enough second place money ($3 million) to replace what he lost, so he's happy, and the movie ends with a torrid sex scene with Mike McD and Gretchen Mol, followed by him breaking up with her and telling her that he never liked her in the first place. The end.

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:38 PM
Charlie Sheen is one messed up dude.


Paris Hilton lost her Bently playing Hold 'Em.


The guy who started Party Poker has the worst last name in history.

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Posted by Junelli 9:15 AM
I would've settled for the clothes.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 9:52 PM
I sure did enjoy that Amir Vahedi article. It helped shed some light on the 83o hand about which I wrote and also discussed with Anonymous. Most of the time you lose, you should blame yourself for failing to read the guy's hand rather than worrying about how stupid he was to play that hand. This weekend, I took that thought a step further...

We are all used to chalking up losses to this old gem, "Well if he keeps playing K3 before the flop, he will eventually get his due. The negative EV associated with that is just terrible." Well, try this one on, "If I keep failing to read my opponent's hand, regardless of how 'bad' a call it was pre-flop, I will eventually get my due. The negative EV associated with not reading your opponents hand is the worst negative EV out there in NLHE. You will lose it all quickly doing that."

Thank you Amir, and thank you, Anonymous.


Jane had a friend in town, so there was plenty o' peace and quiet in Dr. Fro's office all weekend. Ergo, I played a lot of Party Poker this weekend.

I kicked butt. It felt nice. I have been playing the $200 buyin $1-$2 NL game primarily. I always buy in for $100, and that has worked out well. I cash out +$30 to $50 regularly, and occasionally lose the full $100. It seems like buying in for only $100 saves me $100 everytime I bust out. That is, I tend to bust out on hands where I am going to lose 100% of my stack regardless of how much I have (e.g. KK vs AA, etc). On the flip side, I never have been in a hand yet (since this new money mgmt strategy) where I wished I had more money. I don't get a lot of all-in calls from people with $200 stacks, so whether I have $100 or $200, I am going to win the same amount. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it, so this is what I have been playing and the shoe has definitely fit.

I also took Padilla's advice and played some heads-up SNGs and went 3-0. Thank, Padilla. I hardly have to adjust my game at all for heads-up. It is all about well-timed aggression, the one aspect of winning poker that comes naturally to me. That darn 'patience' thing that always alludes me at the full table is not needed at the heads-up SNGs. In fact, inpatience is a virtue heads-up.

Now that High Stakes Poker is done with new episodes, I caught up on some of the 2006 WPT episodes. That Courtney Friel is no Shana Hiatt, but I do like her. I watched the Doyle Brunson North American Championship, which was pretty entertaining. I thought Action Dan misplayed a few hands (if I read his book correctly) and was lucky to still be in it at the end. I bet Dan is losing a lot of sleep waiting for my approval of his play.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 10:16 AM
This guy gets the Genius Award.

(2) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:20 AM

I am most flattered!

A chap named William Dowie emailed me from the UK telling me that he had created a short 3 minute video of their poker table building process...using my plans. You've got to check this video out. It's great, and you can actually see them using my printed plans!

Here's the email...


Hi Mark,

After viewing your site I was inspired to build a poker table with my
mates. Check it out here. I'm based in
the UK and have worked really hard on the site. I've included full
instructions and pictures and will have the full costs & suppliers
updated by the weekend.

We also recorded the whole build and produced a full 3 minute video
which I'm guessing is a first!

You can view from the URL above or go direct to here. I've even uploaded it to
google video and if you search for "Poker Build" you'll find it on

We had really great results and a lot of the work was based on your
instructions so thank you very much for those.

I hope you like the site.


(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 7:32 AM
Parker busted out last night with 20 minutes left to play. He had KK and ran into AA. Bad luck.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Posted by Junelli 6:47 PM
At the end of Day 2 Level 2, Parker has 228,000 TC. That puts him in the top 10 in chip position.

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Posted by Junelli 4:28 PM
Excellent insight from Amir Vahedi on the importance of having faith in your reads and the guts to act on them:

by Amir Vahedi

IN ANY POKER HAND, OBVIOUSLY YOU START by collecting information, analyzing your hand, and coming up with possible hands that your opponent can have. After you make a judgment based on the information you’ve been getting, here comes the test: Are you willing to act on it? Are you willing to put your money on your read? When somebody bets the flop, will you raise back? Or if you put the guy on some hand and you have a beautiful hand—but you know you’re beat—will you let it go?

Nine out of 10 mediocre players would contradict themselves, because they’re not able act on their judgment. That’s where the guts come in. It’s not about jumping in a fire. It’s about acting based on your judgments. Over a period of time, you might be wrong sometimes; but sooner or later you become so good, that nine out of 10 times, you’re right.

If you don’t act on your reading, you become a very confused player. The only way you can get into a pot is by having a monster hand. That’s what I call lazy poker, when you just sit down and wait for the hand. I can assure you, even if you get pocket aces every 20 minutes in a tournament, it doesn’t guarantee you winning the tournament, because one of those is gonna be cracked.

So why don’t you create your own situation? After all, it’s a game of skill. If you want to play a game of luck and want to sit down and wait for the dealer to hand you two cards, you might as well go play blackjack. This is a game of intelligence, and the people who play it that way are using their intelligence to benefit. You want somebody from outer space to come tell you what to do? No. You’re the boss. So you better have faith in your own judgment.

If you see your judgment is wrong too often, that means your information gathering is not good. The advice I give my students: Get out of that dark black hole that’s called your own hand. Stop paying too much attention to that. The fact is, you never know the value of your hand, unless you know who you’re going against and have a preliminary idea of what your opponent is holding. Let me give you an example:

If a guy half your size comes running to pick a fight with you, if you’re a smart person, you think, This is way too easy. But it’s not about running away from a fight. You have to know what the other guy’s abilities are. If he’s a karate expert, you pick up some type of weapon and go fight him. It’s about balancing the skill—and always making sure you have an advantage.

That’s how it goes in poker. Before you even focus on your cards, “squeeze” the other guy’s hand. Try to figure out what you’re going against. Try to figure out if it’s likely the guy’s playing A-K this way or a big ace, pocket pair, or a middle pair that way. That way it gives you an idea of what you need to go against them.

I try to get a feel for the table in the first five or 10 minutes. Some of these guys are pros. I know how they react under pressure, what they do, how they like to play, what types of hands they like to take advantage of or get into the pot with, what type of raise they make. For people you don’t know, you have to be a good people person. You have to be interested and know what type of personality you’re dealing with.

Try to find out what kind of background the guy has. Especially in a cash game, any wrong decision can cost you big money. Talk to them, create contact, or listen to them talk to somebody else. There is so much information you can use. If the guy is behind on his rent, it means he would not put his money on the line with bad cards. Another guy doesn’t care, he’s drinking left and right, he’s talking to the other guys, he’s not paying attention. So with this guy, you have to be extremely careful, have a hand, and make him pay.

Ninety-five percent of the game is about the actual opponent, not the hand that you’re holding. I’ll get into the pot with any two cards if I know what my opponent has, because now I know what I have to catch and I take advantage of those opportunities. I work harder than my opponents. I sit down and pay attention and then cash in on that information.

How you make your money in poker is important. Do you do it blindly in any business? No, you don’t. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to know your surroundings. If you don’t have enough information from somebody, you’re not paying enough attention. You’re trying to make a perfect read, and you say, “Wow, it didn’t work. I’m very unlucky. The guy’s crazy.” He’s not crazy. You should’ve figured out that this guy’s not laying this hand down.

In the meantime, you may catch a real hand. But that’s your bonus. You’re not depending on that. You’re depending on cashing in by isolating and grabbing somebody that you know how to deal with. If you find out that there are three people at the table you know how to deal with, stay away from the other guys! There’s no gun to your head that you have to play with every single person. Try to focus on those three until you get information about the other guys. Use the information you have to your benefit, and don’t let the information you don’t have hurt you.

(2) comments

Posted by Junelli 4:13 PM
I just got a text message from Parker. After the first level of Day 2 his chip stack is about even for the day (171,000 TC). The current average is $73,780.

Here are some other player's positions...

Tony Bloom $244,575
Chip Jett $208,500
Evelyn Ng $184,800
Doug Lee $178,800
Parker Binion $171,000
Mark Seif $167,050
John D'Agostino $150,675
Alex Jacob $148,275
Josh Arieh $140,800
Huck Seed $134,225
Hoyt Corkins $123,725
Vanessa Rousso $116,725
Paul Darden Jr. $114,675
Vinny Vinh $110,000
Tony G $109,475
Scott Fischman $108,025
Jennifer Harman $107,300
Kathy Liebert $105,125
Men Nguyen $104,625
Anh Van Nguyen $101,300
Erick Lindgren $100,250
Lyle Berman $95,875
Alan Goehring $92,875
Juha Helppi $89,525
T.J. Cloutier $86,350
Carlos Mortensen $85,500
Lily Elviro $85,375
Todd Brunson $82,775
Phil Hellmuth $81,875
Chau Tu Giang $80,125
Steven Zoine $78,050
Michael Mizrachi $75,825
Doyle Brunson $74,525
Dewey Tomko $69,775
Barry Greenstein $67,050
David Williams $66,050
Tony Ma $65,600
Erik Seidel $65,400
Dan Harrington $64,900
Minh Ly $64,125
Johnny Chan $62,375
James Woods $61,050
Daniel Negreanu $56,725
Freddy Deeb $56,350
Bill Gazes $56,150
Fabrice Soulier $55,075
steve Dannenmann $54,425
Humberto Brenes $52,125
Arnold Spee $51,975
Antonio Esfandiari $50,000
Greg Mueller $49,550
Martin De knijff $48,400
Mimi Tran $48,300
Amir Vahedi $45,400
Michael Gracz $38,250
Victor Ramdin $35,475
John Myung $35,300
Michael Simon $32,825
Chip Reese $29,100
Mike Matusow $29,050
Tuan Le $26,500
Young Phan $25,225
Marcel Luske $24,325
Robert Varkonyi $15,550
John Phan $15,000
David Singer $8,775
Hasan Habib $8,575
Phil Ivey Busted Out
Ilari Sahamies Busted Out
David Plastik Busted Out
Scotty Nguyen Busted Out
Liz Lieu Busted Out
Stephen Zolotow Busted Out
Maureen Feduniak Busted Out
Phil Laak Busted Out
Jennifer Tilly Busted Out
Andrew Black Busted Out
JC Tran Busted Out
Joe Sebok Busted Out
Brian Wilson Busted Out
Nam Le Busted Out
Sam Farha Busted Out
Gavin Smith Busted Out
Gus Hansen Busted Out
David Pham Busted Out

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:40 AM
The WPT Championship has completed both "first day" heats. Parker (who had a rest day yesterday) is now in 14th chip position. There are 473 players left of the 606 who entered the tournament.

The payout structure is:
1 $3,766,350
2 $1,907,100
3 $1,026,900
4 $660,150
5 $440,100
6 $293,400
7 $264,060
8 $234,720
9 $205,380
10 $176,040
11-15 $146,700
16-20 $117,360
21-30 $88,020
31-40 $73,350
41-50 $58,680
51-100 $44,010

Here's the blurb:

Date / Time: 2006-04-20 05:45AM
Title: Day 2 of the 2006 World Poker Tour Championship Event
Log: After two flights, totaling 606 entrants, the 2006 $25,000 World Poker Tour Championship event will continue with 473 finalists going into Day 2. The numbers are in and you can click here for the latest results.

Simon Moussa leads with pack with a staggering 269,925 in chips, but Gregory Fondacaro, Tony Bloom, Thanhdat Tran, and Steve Sung are closing in. Chip Jett and Patrik Antonius teeter over the 200,000 mark, and Evelyn Ng experienced an amazing run on her first day of competition, leading the woman; Jennifer Harman, Kathy Liebert and JJ Liu by almost fifty places. Bruno Fitoussi, Barry Greenstein, David Williams and Erik Seidel are some of the players sitting on average stacks going into today's action, along with Minh Ly, Johnny Chan and James Woods who are just below the mark. Daniel Negreanu, Andy Miller and Bill Gazes are barely trailing, while Marco Traniello, Arnold Spee, Alex Brenes and Thor Hansen are still within strong contention. It's veteran Tom McCormick, "MIA" Ted Forrest (for much of flight 2) and Can Kim Hua who will need to double up or fall prey to the taller stacks and rising blinds and antes. Defending champion, Tuan Le, is still in the running, but comes in severely short stacked, along with Jeff Shulman, Max Pescatori and Darrel Dicken, who was hit hard right before yesterday's end.

Players have been assigned new random seat assignments and are six levels deep into the the tournament, with the blinds at 400-800 (100 ante).

Stay tuned to Card Player to bring you the live updates, beginning at 12 p.m. PST.

Photos of many of today's competitors are available by clicking on the "Event Images" tab above.

(0) comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 10:55 AM
Mrs Johnnymac does not normally contribute to the blog, but today she sent me a link to a news report on a study by British scientists and her subject line was, "How is this news?"

I have to say that I agree with her sentiments.

Men are often distracted by sex

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 8:43 AM
Holy shit!!

Parker is sitting in 10th chip position after Day 1 (with 173,685 TC).

1 Simon Moussa 269,925 Chips 0
2 Gregory Fondacaro 260,150 Chips 0
3 Tony Bloom 244,575 Chips 0
4 Thanhdat Tran 215,550 Chips 0
5 Chip Jett 208,400 Chips 0
6 Brad Booth 199,150 Chips 0
7 Raymond Davis 195,850 Chips 0
8 Jamie Ligator 194,900 Chips 0
9 Aaron Scott 178,025 Chips 0
10 Parker Binion 173,685 Chips 0

Here are the current chip positions of other notable pros:
12 Mark Seif 167,050 Chips 0
16 Josh Arieh 140,800 Chips 0
20 Hoyt Corkins 123,725 Chips 0
31 Robert Mizrachi 107,075 Chips 0
39 Erick Lindgren 100,250 Chips 0
43 Lyle Berman 95,875 Chips 0
44 Alan Goehring 93,875 Chips 0
54 T.J. Cloutier 86,350 Chips 0
57 Todd Brunson 82,725 Chips 0
60 Phil Hellmuth Jr. 81,875 Chips 0
67 David Benyamine 79,475 Chips 0
72 Mark Gregorich 76,400 Chips 0
78 Dewey Tomko 69,775 Chips 0
81 Jim McManus 68,700 Chips 0
83 Barry Greenstein 67,050 Chips 0
85 David Williams 66,050 Chips 0
86 Dan Harrington 64,900 Chips 0
88 Minh Ly 64,125 Chips 0
102 Daniel Alaei 59,375 Chips 0
113 "Miami" John Cernuto 53,500 Chips 0
134 John Juanda 45,925 Chips 0
151 Maciek "Michael" Gracz 38,250 Chips 0
158 John Myung 35,300 Chips 0
178 David 'Chip' Reese 29,100 Chips 0
179 Mike Matusow 29,050 Chips 0
194 Jeff Shulman 23,400 Chips 0
198 Phil Ivey 22,000 Chips 0

(1) comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Posted by Junelli 10:10 PM
For those that may not know it, our own Parker Binion is rocking the tournament circuit. First he recently finished 5th in PokerStars $500,000 Guaranteed tournament (out of 3,725 contestants).

He scored another huge victory 2 weeks ago when he played in the Oklahoma Johnny Hale Open (307 entrants at $500+50 each). He won first place and took home over $20,000 in cash in addition to winning a seat in this week's $25,000 WPT Bellagio 5-Star Poker tournament.

The tournament started today and Parker survived Day 1 and has about 65,000 in chips (average). Every pro you've ever heard of is playing in this tournament (which will be the season finale of the WPT).

You can follow Parker's progress on

(1) comments

Posted by Junelli 5:34 PM

(3) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:45 PM
I don't want to jinx myself, but April has been one of my most profitable months ever. This was a welcome change after a brutal February/March and an equally bad November. I still have a pretty good way to come back, but am finally making progress.

The other day was particularly interesting. I played $5-$5 NL, and bought in for $300 at 9pm. I played well and generally folded for an hour as I tried to win small pots and concentrated on tangling with the weaker players and/or those with short stacks. I used to mix it up with anyone and everyone, but time has shown me that certain people are best avoided, if at all possible.

Everytime I play there is a good mix of players: rocks/squeezers, maniacs, predictable players, etc. Out of 10 people at the table there is almost always 2-3 fairly decent players, and often 1 or 2 is significantly better than me. I recognize that I don't have an edge over these players, and am slowly learning to avoid getting involved in hands with them (which are almost always very expensive).

Instead I concentrate on the weaker prey: complete morons with no concept of the game, loose players who cannot get away from a hand, player who play AK like it's a Royal Flush.

I also try to play against players who are steaming and have recently lost a lot of money. In my experience, a player like that (myself included) will chip off the rest of his money in no time flat. I like to be the one to send them home.

Finally, I will attack scared players. You know the ones. They're over matched and they know it, and they will fold to any indication of strength. Although those players may have read every book in the world, and only play Group I premium starting hands, they'll never win from me. I don't give them any action with marginal hands, but all the action they can handle when I hit a flop with a weird hand.

Anyway, I digress. Oh yeah, I was playing $5-$5 NL. I was doing well, and after 2.5 hours I was up about $360. I started feeling really ill at about midnight, and decided to cash out and go home. The game was incredibly juicy and there was a lot of money and action on the table, but I felt really bad. I cashed out up $360 and was home by 12:15am.

The next day I woke up and went to work. It was a Friday and I was only planning on being at the office until shortly after lunch. At about 12pm I got a text message that the game (from the night before) was still going on, and everyone left at the table was stuck very very bad. I was told that several people were down over $4,000, but that there was a ton of money on the table. They wanted new players to come in with fresh money so they could try and dig themselves out of the hole.

One catch: the buy-in that afternoon had been increased to $1,000 minimum. It seems the players stuck a large amount didn't want people coming into the game for $200 or $300.

I decided to swing by and play for 2 hours. I don't normally buy into games for $1,000, and was very nervous about this one. I didn't know what kind of play to expect, but I could only assume it was going to be wild and out of control. I told myself to play very tight and stay out of marginal situations. But I also told myself to be ready to push it all-in if I have to.

On the 3rd hand I was dealt KK on the button. A few players limped in for $5, and the cutoff seat (a very strong player) raised it to $80. I reraised it to $250 straight. Everyone folded to the cutoff seat who clearly didn't like my raise. After 20 seconds or so he decided to call me. I put him on a decent (but not great pocket pair).

The flop came 834 rainbow. He paused for a few seconds and then checked to me. I moved all-in for $750. He folded pocket tens.

A few hands later I was dealt KT in late position and was able to see a flop for $5. I flopped top two pair and won a very nice pot against AK.

About 2 hours after I started I got AKo in late position. I raised to $60 and got 4 callers (not exactly what you like to see). The flop was Qxx, and everyone checked to me. I normally would make a continuation bet here, but I decided to check. The turn brought a king and I had TPTK. Everyone checked to me again. I bet $175 and everyone folded.

That was it. 2 hours of play. 3-4 hands. Only 1 showdown, and no bad beats. I walked away with a profit of $740, and was on my way home.

(0) comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

Posted by Padilla 11:10 AM

Staying Sharp –

I had been getting to multi-final tables and the final few spots of SNG tourneys; only to find my game go stale and my stack diminish to a prayerful all-in race. There’s a big difference between 2nd place of a $100 buy-in 6-man tourney ($180) and 1st ($420). I needed to loosen up instead of letting my stack bleed, just to move up 1 or 2 spots. But I was having difficulty deciding what hands were profitable when played short-handed

Turns out, aggression and betting recognition is more important than the cards in short-handed play. Yes, I knew this beforehand, as it stands true in nearly all no-limit scenarios, but knowing when to push and when to hold back is truly an art.

When you feel lost and begin to think that the game is based on more luck than skill, I recommend heads-up contests. UB offers a lot of buy-in levels, while Stars offers a clever 2-round SNG where 4 players pay the entry fee and you play twice if you win round 1, winner-take-all-4-buy-ins. I haven’t played at Party in over a year.

It’s made a big difference in the 10-man SNG's, though I’m sad to report I haven’t been back to any multi-final tables. (Maybe I’m employing short-handed play when there are still full tables!)

I simply have a different mindset when it comes to 2 or 3 players to go. Having played a ton of short handed games recently, I’m much more confident in maneuvering my way into first rather than sitting back and waiting for a pair of 5’s to hold up in a race.

And they’re quick. You don’t need to book an hour of your night to play.

Disclaimer, if the few remaining opponents appear maniacal, I still support laying back and waiting for any small edge that you feel is worth dying for.

(0) comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Posted by Junelli 11:30 AM
In case you wondered why the UT football field is named after Joe Jamail...

(7) comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Posted by Junelli 5:36 PM
"You stay classy, Iraq"



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Monday, April 10, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 1:34 PM
We played 0.50/1.00 PL Omaha 8 in the garage last Thursday and as always it was a lot of fun. That game is starting to become fairly popular among the players, too, which is nice because it's definitely my favorite game and now it's fairly easy to get a game going. Canonico was a HUGE winner, a couple of other guys won a little bit, nearly everyone else lost just a little bit, and your humble blogger ended up close to being the biggest loser. Why? Because I didn't scoop any big pots - my big hi hands kept getting outdrawn (like the one where I flopped Broadway, bet the pot three times in a row, and lost to the 2-outer on the river) and my nut low hands kept getting counterfeited and quartered. In PL Omaha, you have to at least split a few big pots just to stay even and then you have to scoop a few big pots if you want any kind of a substantial win. Sometimes my problem at Omaha is that I play too tight and am not willing to gamble enough (ie I don't properly consider the implied odds that I am being offered for a relatively cheap call), but I don't think that was my problem. Sometimes, you just need good luck and I didn't have any on Thursday.

But it's still my favorite game.

(5) comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 8:47 AM
This form of self-defense is not recommended.

(1) comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 2:18 PM
Interesting tournament. It is free. I can't play, but maybe one of you is interested.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:12 AM
This is a pretty good read.

It is one part history, one part strategy and one part a prediction of the future (although only the latter makes its way into the article's title.)

Regarding the history, I remember going into a cardroom in Lake Charles around 1999. I had been playing a lot of limit poker, but kept reading about NL poker in my books. I wanted to give it a try. There was a game going with $2-$5 blinds. I said "Great, what's the buy in?" I was told that the average stack was around $2k and that one guy came in with $10k. Gulp. "Do you have any open spots at the $3-$6 limit game??" A lot of people were first exposed to "real poker" during the broadcast of the 2003 WSOP, and I found that the swarm of new players often felt that "holdem" was synonymous with "NL holdem tournament" I was invited to people's houses to play "holdem" which were actually a series of NL holdem tournaments, and when I pointed this out, I would get blank stares. "Cash game?? Limit??" That has gone away, but there is still the prevailing idea of NL Holdem always including a min/max buyin. This is not due to ignorance because that is precisely how the internet and B&M rooms now deal it. But it is not really NL holdem, not in the way it was played when Doyle wrote Super System. And actually, on that note, you should be very careful about applying Doyle's advice in S/S to the tyipcal capped buyin game. In today's version of NL Holdem, it is more appropriate to fire in all-in bets more often as you are not afraid of the reraise. Firing in a $200 bet in a $200 max buyin game is one thing, but it is something else when you have a stack of $2000 in front of you because the reraise is a serious threat. That being said (boy am I on a tangent now), you should adjust your strategy in a capped buyin NL game after your stack has swelled to well above the cap. Your new strategy should more resemble what is laid out in S/S. This is precisely what I don't do well. I can build up a stack well, but I don't protect it since I don't change gears. I'll change that one of these days.

Regarding strategy, I agree with her, but not for exactly the same reasons. I think that Lynn Swan took ballet to play football better. I know that what I learn in PLO/8 helps me see HE from a different perspective and teaches me new tricks. I think that mixing it up has positive benefits on all aspects of your game. Furthermore, to agree with one of the commenters at the bottom of her post, it helps the boredom factor. Sometimes I want to kill myself I get so bored at the table, and switching up the game helps that a lot.

Regarding her predictions about the future, I really don't know what to write, because I am not exactly sure what her point was. But I have the following predictions: as people either bust out and quit or improve and win money, there will be fewer games but for larger stakes. I have already witnessed this trend on a small scale here in Dallas, and I think it is a reasonable trend to expect out in the larger poker world. Poker is permanently bigger than it was 4 years ago, but it has peaked as far as participation by the casual player: players will either get more involved (more often and higher stakes) or stop playing altogether.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 10:01 PM

We went to a new place on Friday night. We all met in the parking lot of a nearby Kinkos. It was a lot like when Ocean's 11 all met up. Well, there were a few differences. They were 11 very studly, well-dressed con artists meeting in a Vegas hotel suite planning to make the biggest robbery of all time; we were 5 dorky accountants sitting around our Camrys at Kinko's in north Dallas planning on playing in a $50 poker tournament.

We caravaned to Muirfield. When we got there CCM was impressed because a player came up to me and said, "Hey, aren't you Dr Fro from" (thanks LAYGO, I owe you for that.) We got a bunch of referral bonuses just for coming. Flush with our bonuses, we felt like winners before we even sat down. Then we sat down. Out of 19 people in the 2-table tournament, we only managed to send one person to the final table (me). I represented the group well by busting out on the very first hand.

Only ARH, CCM and I played in the cash game, a $1-$2 NL Holdem game. Early on, I lost $200 to ARH with AK to his KK. Last week, Adam and I were trying to figure out who had the best of whom over our many big all-in hands against each other, and I think the edge now easily goes to him. ARH left early and CCM and I played until 2am. I rarely stay up past about 11pm, so I was having trouble staying awake for the last few hours.

The table was unbelievably tight for the first several hours. I was doing everything in my power to loosen the table up: table talk, straddles, showing rags when I won, etc. I don't know if my antics worked, if the change in opponents was the difference, if the passage of time did it or just what, but the table loosed up significantly over the 5 hours we played.

I have rarely been as happy with my play as I was on Friday night, even though I lost. I lost $200 on AK, $300 and $250 on AA and $320 on a hand I'll describe later. That makes about $1,100 in losses on quality hands. Plus I was dealt AA 4 other times that I could not get a pre-flop call. That sounds like a terrible string of luck, but I manage to lose only $250.

So here is the hand:

I am dealt 83o in the BB and see the flop for free. The flop comes K83 with 2 of a suit. I bet and get raised, and I reraise. He calls. Turn is an Ace, no flush yet. I check, he bets and I raise again. He calls. I am thinking that he flopped a flush draw and that ace just made him a pair. River is a blank. He bets, I go all-in and he calls. He shows K3. We both flopped two-pair, but his was better. These hands drive me through the roof.

I can handle a bad beat. I can rationalize to myself that in the long run I will win those more often than not.

I can handle making a stupid decision. I don't like it at all. But, I am good about analyzing the mistake, and turning it into a lesson learned.

I can handle making a bad read. Junell is very wise about NL, and he is the first to say that sometimes you just have to take a point of view on a hand. So you read a guy for trips and it works out that he had a boat. Sucks, but if you had a solid thought process for your point of view, you shouldn't sweat it.

What drives me completely nuts is having a hand fall into your lap in the BB, betting it up and losing like that. How in the hell can I put him on K3? Who plays K3? Even I don't play K3. I play just about every hand there is, but I don't ever play K3. Ug.

So, anyway, I was quite proud of my performance of losing $250 given the $1100 in losses above as the result of some very creative play. I have never stolen as many pots in my life as I did on Friday. Only once was I caught bluffing and the price was small (and the recipient was a friend). I was also reading opponents well and making good laydowns. Several times that I laid down a pretty good hand, I watched the bettor on the showdown show an absolute monster. And (the ultimate high for a gambler!) I twice called a guy that I put on a bluff even though I had barely enough to be the Bluff Police (once with A high and once with bottom pair). I have never had such a read on a table as I did that night; everyone was completely transparent. If only I had won that stupid 83 hand, I would have been up huge.

So that was Friday night. Saturday afternoon, Jane went upstairs to take a bath and played in the $200 ($1-$2) NLHE game on Party Poker. After 12 hands, I was up $250. The put a little extra bounce in my step for the rest of the weekend. I have spent a decent amount of time playing that $200 game this weekend, and I have come to a conclusion: The $25 NL game is easier than the $50 NL which is easier than the $100 NL game, but dude, the $200 is really soft. People come to that table to freaking gamble. For whatever reason, my results at the $100 game suck, but I have won the most at the $25 and $200 tables. I think I win at the $25 table because it is full of beginners and guys that are stuck and steaming. I think the $200 table is full of guys that love the thrill of gambling. In between are some decent players. Your thoughts?

(4) comments

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 7:58 AM
St Patrick's Day in Alabama. I think that Bub Rub knows the guy wearing the Camo.

On a personal note, I drove through Mobile late one night and took a wrong turn and that was just as scary as anything Houston might have to offer. That pot of gold would make a lot of grillz, you know.

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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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