Sunday, May 28, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 12:22 PM
This is a pretty cool site.

Damn, I missed this.

This is a fantastic post. I have a lot to say about it, but not enough time right now.

Oh my, something very beautiful just happened to yours truly:




(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:55 AM
KTL and I were discussing the subject of pocket pairs pre-flop. It is an area of disagreement among poker authors. I am curious as to other people's thoughts, but this is my approach. I put all pocket pairs into the following categories:
  • AA, KK
  • QQ-99
  • 88-66
  • 55-22

I play AA and KK the same way. I try to get as much money as possible into the pot pre-flop. In late position, I raise. In early position, I might call with the intention of re-raising. I'd only do this at a table where I have great confidence that a raise will come. All poker authors agree that you should occasionally slow play these hands. Varying the play of any hand of course helps you to disguise your hand in the future. However, 95% of my poker playing is against complete strangers, primarily online. There is little to no value to varying your play against people you will, in all likelihood, never 'see' again. So I almost never slow play AA or KK. When you hold KK (as previously discussed here), by the time you figure out you might be facing AA, you are very pot committed. Thus, I play the two hands the same way.

With QQ through 99, unlike KK or AA, it is more likely than not that the flop will bring an overcard. This sucks. So, for the most part, I want to get heads-up with QQ-99, That way, even if an overcard comes, there is a decent chance that my opponent missed it. Based on the hope that my opponent missed the overcard, I still bet my pair post flop. If the hand doesn't end right there, well, I'll know when to run. With QQ-99 in early position, I will call. What happens next determines how I play the hand. Maybe we get a family pot, which is just fine: I will only play post-flop if I get a set. If I get a raise from a guy, I may try to re-raise, which would all but ensure a heads-up flop. I would plan to bet the flop no matter what comes out for the reasons stated above.

I play 88-66 and 55-22 trying to see the flop for cheap and releasing my hand if I don't get a set. The only differences between the two groups are:

  • With 55-22, I probably won't call to any sort of pre-flop raise. With 22, I probably won't play without at least 3 opponents (I really hate 22). But with 88-66, I could call a raise as long as it isn't too big.
  • From time to time, I might play 88-66 like QQ-99 (that is, re-raise and go for heads-up). This would only be at a short handed table or against a player that I feel I can outplay post-flop.

That is my pocket pair basic strategy. There is a lot more to playing pocket pairs, including what to do when you get re-raised. That we can cover another day. I am curious as to other people's thoughts on basic pre-flop pocket pair strategy. Pls comment below!




(2) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:18 AM
The first online poker I ever played was on the first ever online poker site, Planet Poker. Mike Caro endorsed the site. (He may own a piece I don't know, but I do know that his name was all over it at the time). Have you ever noticed that the first product into a brand new market place always seems to go from 100% market share to almost no market share at all (e.g. Betamax, AOL, Apple Mac, etc.)? While Party Poker often has around 90,000 players at a time, Planet Poker might enjoy a whopping 700 at a time. I enjoy the benefits of scale, so I switched to Party Poker. The most obvious benefit is that I can play any game at any stake without any real wait.

I received a very generous bonus offer from Planet Poker recently - deposit $50 and get $100 free. Of course, the usual bonus restrictions apply (play x# hands by such and such date). Their math works out that you earn 50% of the rake you contribute. So if the rake in a hand is $1.00 and their are 5 players in the hand, you get $1 / 5 * 50% = 10 cents. I does not matter if you actually pay the rake (i.e. win the hand) just that you are dealt a hand. This generous bonus combined with a long expiration date (some time in late August) convinced me to give it a go.

I played for a while on Friday and Saturday. There was one hand that I wanted to share. The hand history is not in the format you are used to from Party Poker. The format is tabular and is the same one that Mike Caro uses in his books. See the hand history by clicking below.





The reason I like this hand is that I used several different weapons at my disposal. It is the poker equivalent of the great drive followed up by a perfect short iron followed up by a nice 12-foot birdie putt. I used:

A) position,
B) a tell,
C) knowledge of a player and
D) experience ("poker IQ")

It folded around to me in the button and I found myself with A8. In the button, I love to raise in this situation (A) because you likely get folds but even if you don't, you are in position short-handed, which is great. The small blind re-raised, the BB called and I thought about the fact that the SB had been playing a bit bizarre all day. The BB was a horrible fish that called anything. He had busted out several times, including four hands ago. Based on the length of time it took him to return and the fact that his previous buy-in was for $23.42, I surmised that he completely used up his bankroll and just did a re-deposit from his credit card. He sucked, so I did not flinch at his cold calling two raises. Based on their previous play (C), I surmised a call was in order.

The flop came AK3. Not great, but good. Juanny, the SB made a pot-sized bet. Derrills, the BB, paused for a while and then called. Juanny's bet was so quick, I surmised that he clicked the "Bet Pot" button without even looking at the flop. Ordinarily, this might mean that he had something like a pocket pair. However, since the bet left him with almost nothing (85 cents), I figured that he knew that his money was going in the middle of the table no matter what, so he might as well get it in on the flop and maximize his fold equity. I combined the very quick bet from the BB (B) with the loose play of the BB (C) and decided to call.

The turn brought a blank, and not surprisingly, the SB got in the rest of his chips (85c) and we all called.

The river brought a beautiful 3, pairing the board. (This solved my kicker problems by giving me AA33K.) The BB checked. Even though the BB was a loosy goose, I just couldn't imagine him cold calling 2 raises pre-flop with any hand containing a 3 (other than 33, which surely he would have bet by now). If he had just made a boat, he would have bet his set (or 2 pair) on a previous street. So I figured that worst case scenario was the we both had AA33K. Best case scenario is that I have him beat. Any time I find myself in a situation where I think that I can't be beat but it is quite probable that I have the same hand as my opponent, I go all in (D). If he calls, I am no worse for it (the rake has already been maxed out). If he folds, I just earned an extra half of the pot. No better way to get a fold than to overbet the pot!

I bet, he folded and I won.




(0) comments

Friday, May 26, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 9:28 AM

CLONIE GOWEN AND GAVIN SMITH PROUDLY PRESENT "A CRASH COURSE IN TOURNAMENT POKER"

Clonie and Gavin have teamed up to help you take your tournament game to the next level. Join them on Saturday June 10th at Pugsley's Library in Dallas from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for this all day event.

At 4:30 p.m. all class participants are invited to use everything they have learned in a free tournament. The winner will receive a corporate sponsored seat in to the 2006 W.S.O.P Main Event

Date: June 10th 2006
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Pugsley's Library 2443 Walnut Hill Lane Dallas, TX 75229
Cost: $500 (All Inclusive) See Details Below
RSVP: Phone: 214-448-5222 Email: mailto:slevy@dmsmanagement.com

She is more than just a pretty face at the tables. She has won the World Poker Tour's Ladies Night, beating out the likes of Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke for the title and is often in the thick of things when it comes down to crunch time in many of today's biggest tournaments.

Having appeared on numerous television shows including Good Morning America, Gowen is no stranger to the spotlight and is a great ambassador for the game. In addition to playing in major tournaments, she is one of the original members of Team Full Tilt and is a full time representative for Full Tilt Poker and frequently gives lectures to top businesses across the United States.



Gavin "Birdguts" Smith was born Sept. 4, 1968, in Guelph, Ontario, and has been playing poker for more than 16 years. His father taught him cribbage and rummy, but Smith advanced to poker by playing mixed games with his co-workers. In 1996 he became a dealer, and by 1998 he'd started his own poker club. His good friend Erick Lindgren helped bankroll him early in his career, and since then his cash winnings exceed $2.2 million.

Since 2000, Smith has placed in 32, or more, tournaments. Seventeen of his cashes occurred in 2005. He's made the final table in 21 events and gone heads up in six of them. His first major win was in the 2000 World Poker Finals stud eight-or-better event. In 2005, Smith won two events at the Mirage Poker Showdown, including the championship. Later that year he finished second at the Ultimate Poker Challenge at the Plaza, and third in the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship.

Smith is a representative of Full Tilt Poker.



(0) comments

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 6:48 PM
I have a long poker post that I have written and need to edit before I post, but some quick thoughts on the Enron verdict -

1.) I still don't really think Ken Lay did anything wrong short of gross gross negligence, although I certainly was not privvy to all of the evidence that the jury saw and they obviously saw enough to find him guilty. I do think Jeff Skilling is guilty as sin and was in that mess up to his neck, despite his protests of ignorance. Nonetheless, I don't have any quibble with the verdicts - Enron was a huge company and it failed because a small group of people knowingly broke the law and violated their fiduciary duty to the shareholders. That small group of people needs to be punished for tremendously profound reasons, probably even moreso than some violent criminals whom we more often think of as being "true" criminals.

2.) I also agree that for many of the ex-employees and their families, this is a just verdict. These employees worked hard and invested their money in the company stock, as all the while that same small group of execs looted the company of cash. (The basic story of Enron is this: banks loaned money, (some) employees and (mostly the) executives took that money into their own pockets and then made up earnings reports to convince the banks to lend them more money to keep repeating the cycle every 3 months. Finally the banks caught on and quit loaning them money and the charade collapsed. That's it, it's that simple)

3.) Having said all that, I am sick and tired of hearing from all of these ex-Enron employees on TV and the radio complaining about how it's Ken Lay's and Jeff Skilling's fault that they went broke and, most commonly, lost their entire life savings because the stock lost all of its value. NEWS FLASH: Ken Lay didn't steal anyone's Vanguard password to prevent them from diversifying their 401(k)'s and Jeff Skilling didn't hack into anyone's Ameritrade account to keep buying the stock after it started falling like a rock. Anyone who has 100% of his net worth tied up in one stock is a fool, and anyone who is "a couple of years away from retirement" and is still invested in ANY equities, much 100% into just one stock, is an even bigger fool. Yes, it probably makes you feel better these two crooks are going to jail, but it's not their fault that you managed your money like a moron. I wish the media would quit putting these fools on TV.

Here is what the ex-employees should be mad about and it's the only thing that they really can blame these guys for: Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling and the rest of that group caused you to lose your job, at a company as cool as Enron was for a while there, and that's the only thing that they did to you. Everything else - stock market losses, retirement losses, etc etc - is your own damn fault.

4.) And finally, one more time, for any of the news media who might stumble onto this page from Google:

Sherron Watkins is NOT a whistleblower. Get that through your f*cking thick skulls. A true whistleblower actually tells someone outside of the organization about wrongdoing. Writing a whiny memo to the chief criminal because you are pissed that you're not getting a bigger share of the loot is not whistleblowing. By this logic, Mr Pink is also a whistleblower. Jeebus. I still don't understand why people worship that woman.


OK, enough Enron. I promise an actual poker point, soon.


(0) comments

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 3:59 PM
At first I thought, "Well, that's that. Barry Bonds finally got that home run."

Then I read the caption and thought, "The Astros must be on the road in San Francisco because the Giants series is over at Enron and he didn't get a home run...... Hey wait a second, they're playing Texas at home tonight and I have tickets. WTF is this headline then?!?!"



I guess someone in the web department fell asleep this afternoon or accidentally loaded an archived headline. Funny.

UPDATE: Well, apparently he did hit that home run, just not against the Astros. Now the Chron has it right:




(1) comments

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 10:42 AM





(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 9:44 AM
"The Teachings of Jesus"

Eight things to learn (and love) about one-on-one No Limit Hold 'Em.

**Actually there are only 3 things as of today. The other ones are coming daily I believe.**


(0) comments

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Posted by Junelli 12:50 AM
One of the most beautiful hands I've ever played...

***** Hand History for Game 4281986111 *****
0/0 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 23621322) - Tue May 16 01:44:11 EDT 2006
Table 2 - Table(701532) Table 2 (Real Money) -- Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 1: yahkem (7730)
Seat 2: junell (5040)
Seat 4: drisolic (4010)
Seat 5: texastakem (215)
Seat 6: JeffBlaze (1030)
Seat 7: CarneAsda (1325)
Seat 10: pashiepooh (3210)
yahkem posts small blind (50)
junell posts big blind (100)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ 8d, 6s ]
drisolic calls (100)
texastakem folds.
JeffBlaze folds.
CarneAsda folds.
pashiepooh raises (300) to 300
yahkem folds.
junell calls (200)
drisolic calls (200)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 6h, 3s, 8c ]
junell checks.
drisolic bets (425)
pashiepooh calls (425)
junell raises (4740) to 4740
junell is all-In.
drisolic calls (3285)
drisolic is all-In.
pashiepooh calls (2485)
pashiepooh is all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8s ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 3c ]
Creating Main Pot with $9680 with pashiepooh
Creating Side Pot 1 with $1600 with drisolic
Creating Side Pot 2 with $1030 with junell
** Summary **
Main Pot: 9680 | Side Pot 1: 1600 | Side Pot 2: 1030
Board: [ 6h 3s 8c 8s 3c ]
yahkem balance 7680, lost 50 (folded)
junell balance 12310, bet 5040, collected 12310, net +7270 [ 8d 6s ] [ a full house, Eights full of sixes -- 8d,8c,8s,6s,6h ]
drisolic balance 0, lost 4010 [ Th 8h ] [ a full house, Eights full of threes -- 8h,8c,8s,3s,3c ]
texastakem balance 215, didn't bet (folded)
JeffBlaze balance 1030, didn't bet (folded)
CarneAsda balance 1325, didn't bet (folded)
pashiepooh balance 0, lost 3210 [ 6c 6d ] [ a full house, Sixes full of eights -- 8c,8s,6c,6d,6h ]


(1) comments

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 5:51 PM
I wrote some notes during the blogger poker tournament at poker.com. It is not very well written, seeing as how I was busy playing poker. I fixed a few typos, but other than that, here is my journal:

* * * * *


There are 56 bloggers registered. We all get 2,000TC.
I moved up to 14th place pretty early on, but I got cold for a long spell and have now dropped big time. Oooo, I just got QQ vs. a poor guy's KK all-in pre-flop. I flopped a set! (Damn I have flopped a lot of sets lately.)

Two hands later... I just spent a lot of money chasing a straight that didn't come. I find myself at 23rd out of 27 players left.

A desparation move (QTs allin preflop) on the next hand and I double up - 15th place. What a rollercoaster. Flops are not cheap in this game.

I just stole a pot and am in 11th place with 4,030TC. There are 23 players left.

I just stole a pot with nothing. Board showed TT3, and I couldn't imagine anybody else hit it either, so I stole it.

Now 11th place with 4,030TC. There are 23 players left.

I just hit top pair top kicker with AJ. Got bet into by QJ and I doubled up. Sixth place.

We are down to two tables and I am in 7th place. We have been playing for 83 minutes. The break is in 7 minutes. I am sitting back waiting for a very good hand. Too much tricky/aggressive/loose play out there to be trying to steal blinds. Plus, there are several guys with similiar size stacks - all at my table. I have won 14 of 90 hands so far.

OK, we are at the break. I stole the last pot from the BB when the board came up scary again (kinda my bread and butter today). I have 7,735TC and am in 9th place out of 16. They pay cash to the top 10 and give a free entry to the finals to the top 4. The winner of the finals (I don't know when it is) goes to the WSOP. Everybody is trying to figure out which player is Dutch Boyd. There is a player named "TheBigSurprise" and that is what most people have their money on. Dutch is at my table if so. Blinds are 300-600.

I just got dealt 33 and folded to a 4,840TC pre-flop bet. People are in all in pre flop mode every hand. Short stacks keep winning these heads-up all-ins, and that is making this drag on a bit.

One man down! 2/3 of us will win money.

Another down (other table)

I just broke the 8k mark when everyone folded to my BB. Nice to win with 82o.

I just went all in w A2 and won the blinds. Opponent paused for what seemed like forever. Gulp.

Just won another small one...now I have 8,635TC and am Table Chip Leader! Good to know

I can't get eliminated on a single hand right now. Five players have bigger stacks and they are all at the other table. Glad to be at the minor league table.


JUST DOUBLED UP. My TT vs his 55, and my TT held up. I have 14,590TC and am in third place now.

Players dropping. Eleven left on the bubble. We are taking turns stealing the blinds from UTG. First to act gets the pot. Havent seen a flop come in ages. Just one person calls before the flop and we can get this thing down to the final table.

Geez, it has been 30 minutes with two tables!!! Some well-timed theivery and I am up to 16,290.

FINAL TABLE!

Wow down to 7 after only three hands. One guy has 40k (won a big 3-way pot). I am in second with 16,290.

I have 18,540. Guy to my right is all-in in the bb. He doubled up. Bastard.

Guy flipped quads and knocked a guy out...down to 6.

Down goes another I am 3rd of 5 right now.

My 77 v his TT. I rivered a 7. Omigosh, this is my day! I had him pretty well covered, so it wasn't that desparate of a situation.

I just flopped the nut flush w AKs and won a ton off of a guy that made trips on the turn. I am in first place.

We are down to 3. Uh oh. Three-way all-in. I have AT, Leader has 88. Other guy has junk. I get my Ace and we are down to 2. I am doing all the eliminating lately.

I have 105,000TC and he has 5,000TC.

I have KQ and flopped QQx. I checked the flop and turn. He bet into me on turn. I Won.







(4) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 12:38 AM
OK, here is an example of what I was writing about earlier.

See what the dialogue box says ("doesn't show"):




See the hand history:

#Game No : 4255701361
***** Hand History for Game 4255701361 *****
$200 NL Texas Hold'em - Saturday, May 13, 01:27:47 ET 2006
Table Table 96166 (Real Money)
Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 10: CUOnTheSand ( $606.33 )
Seat 4: phreaux ( $343.69 )
Seat 1: olis14 ( $217.27 )
Seat 3: lescash ( $115.01 )
Seat 9: mcummings805 ( $120.30 )
Seat 5: chocnip ( $82.20 )
Seat 8: MGMTWINS ( $56.18 )
Seat 6: underhog ( $70 )
Seat 7: lennie_man ( $133.96 )
Seat 2: xxOJSIMPSONxx ( $198 )
olis14 posts small blind [$1].
xxOJSIMPSONxx posts big blind [$2].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to phreaux [ Jh Jd ]
lescash folds.
phreaux calls [$2].
chocnip calls [$2].
underhog raises [$4].
lennie_man calls [$4].
MGMTWINS raises [$6].
mcummings805 folds.
CUOnTheSand folds.
olis14 folds.
xxOJSIMPSONxx folds.
phreaux raises [$20].
chocnip folds.
underhog folds.
lennie_man folds.
MGMTWINS calls [$16].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 4h, 9d, Th ]
phreaux bets [$35].
MGMTWINS is all-In [$34.18]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Tc ]
** Dealing River ** [ Td ]
phreaux shows [ Jh, Jd ] a full house, Tens full of jacks.
MGMTWINS doesn't show [ As, Qh ] three of a kind, tens.
phreaux wins $0.82 from side pot #1 with a full house, Tens full of jacks.
phreaux wins $122.36 from the main pot with a full house, Tens full of jacks.


notice that little nugget?

There is nothing new here; this has always been available. I just spent tonight obsessing over the information rather than checking it every once in a while. Glad I did.




(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 12:03 AM
I told you sets have been doing me well lately:



I think it is going to be a great weekend...


(0) comments

Friday, May 12, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 11:20 PM
It has been a good night on Party Poker. There are a lot of things I should do on a regular basis in poker, but I am too darn lazy to do most of them most of the time. Tonight I did something regularly that I rarely do. On hands that were not shown on the showdown, I checked the hand history.

If you beat a guy on the showdown, typically only you show your hand. Casino rule dictate that the loser is required to show his hand (if asked) but this never happens. Why? Well, for one, if you ask and find out that his hand beat yours, then this just cost you the pot! There is also a courtesy aspect to this. Specifically, people don't ask to see hands for fear that the opponent will reciprocate later when roles are reversed.

Online, the not-seeing-a-losing-hand-courtesy is upheld in the window that shows the poker table. However, if you look at hand history, you can see the holdings of anyone involved in the showdown. This is a fantastic way to gather very valuable information. Unlike in B&M, nobody knows that you are gathering this information!

(I am > 1 bottle of wine away from making good sense right now, so if I don't make sense, read
Two Plus Two.)

Anyhew, I used this to my advantage tonight and made a great call on a bluffer. My decision was based on his holdings in an earlier hand that could only be seen in Hand History.

Lesson learned: look at hand histories to gather more info on your opponent.



(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:14 PM
I am planning on playing in the Blogger Poker Tour Event Number 5 tomorrow. The event sends the top 4 on to the final, which sends its winner to the WSOP Main Event.

Event #4 was hosted by Poker Pub. This event, #5, is hosted by Dutch Boyd. Each event is hosted by a different blogger and it is quite an operation they have going to make sure you really are a blogger. Evidently, if you try to register but don't have a blog with much history, they don't let you play. Well, we have plenty o' history, and so they told me that I am a shoo-in. I am done with 90% of the registration process, but I am still waiting on a "coupon" in my email.

I always read about these, but I have never been available when they run. It is about time I took advantage of my fame (?) and played one of these invitation-only freerolls!

Look for a post tomorrow on the subject.




(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:26 AM
Would you have insured it?

Last night I played $5-$5 PL. I was in the small blind with 3s5s. Several people limp and a late position player makes it $20 to go. I smooth call the $20, and the Big Blind (the tightest player I've ever played against) reraises it $50 more. Two players call the $50 raise, and I am looking at a pot of $230 or so with $50 to me. I decide to call and see if I can catch a lucky flop. I know my cards are live, and I feel pretty confident that the rock on my left has a big pair, AA or KK.

The pot is $280 before the flop.

The flop is 478 all spade. I've flopped a flush with a gutshot to a straight flush.

The BB leads out for $100. Everyone folds to me and I move all-in for $220.

He calls with AA, one spade. He has 6 outs twice (the 6 of spades gives me a straight flush). I decide to try and peel one off because the insurance on 12 outs is 2:1. In other words I could lock up $450 but would have to give up $225.

If I peel one off the outs are reduced to 6 (4:1) and I can lock up about $600 to $150.

I decide to peel one off and try to dodge a spade. After all, I had 2 in my hand, there was one in the other guys hand, and the board was entirely spades. Surely there can't be another spade coming off.

I was wrong. The next card is the Jack of spades and the BB with AA wins the hand.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20, but would you have insured it? Would you have taken one card insurance?


(3) comments

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 5:25 PM
I am not a big horseracing guy, unlike my little brother, who is the only person I know who can go to the track and regularly expect to make money, but that was one of the best performances I have seen in a very long time. Barbero just came around the final turn and took off like a maniac. The other horses didn't even have a chance at the end. Awesome awesome race.




(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 12:06 PM
What a concept, I could use a little fuel myself and we could all use a little change...

I started out my the serious part of my poker life playing $5-$10 Limit Omaha 8. Only later did I transition to limit Holdem, then to PL Holdem, and then to NL Holdem. This is backward from most people that start out learning Holdem and then later pick up Omaha 8. I haven't played much Omaha in the past six years. This is partially due to lack of availability of the game but more due to my personal observation that I am not very good at Omaha. Not only am I not good, the people that play Omaha usually are very good. Contrast that with NLHE, where I consider myself fairly good and the competition to be, on average, not very good. It simply makes bad business sense for me to play Omaha.

Yet, I have always recommended cross-training in poker. I think that mixing up what you play can yield unanticipated benefits in your play in each game. Mix up tournaments with cash games, online with B&M, limit with PL and NL, etc. Of course, mixing up the game helps, too, but there just isn't as much Stud, Draw, Omaha or Razz being spread as there is Holdem. So for this reason and due to my suckitude, I rarely get away from Holdem.

ARH loaned me Hellmuth's book a year ago. I didn't find the Holdem advice to be all that insightful, but I was fascinated by his PL O/8 advice. His advice was similar to Harrington on Holdem, as it was more of a framework for making decisions rather than specific advice on specific hands. Prior to this book, all of my Omaha advice was based on 1) Steve Badger's articles (good) 2) Rolf Slotboom's articles (good) 3) applying Holdem strategy to Omaha (very, very bad). I have been applying Phil's advice on Party Poker a bit and have made a real breakthrough in my game (from suck to functional). So, on Thursday night I took my new found skills to test.

I went to Mfield for the Thursday night $2-$5 Pot Limit "Dealer's Choice" which ends up being about 75% Omaha 8 and 25% Omaha Hi-only. For the first time in my Omaha life, I really felt like I knew what I was doing. Whenever I laid down a hand because I put my opponent on a hand, I was right about their holdings (typically, the nuts). But I don't want to harp on what I did well; there is a hand that I played terribly, and I want to discuss it here.
* * *

I may get a couple facts wrong, but this is the gist of it. I hold A245. The flop comes 789 and a guy in early position bets pot ($40). He gets a call from me and Jeff. The turn brought a King and made a flush. Same guy bets pot $160 and is all-in. Jeff and I both call. The river brought a 3. Jeff checks and I bet $100 with my nut low, which he calls. He shows A27J to take 3/4 of the side-pot, and I get quartered on the side pot. Jeff and I each take a quarter of the main pot and Bettor gets half of it with his flush (he flopped the straight to the Jack.)

The $100 bet was absolutely terrible on my part. It could only cost me money ($50 to be exact) and could not result in any reasonably possible benefit. Keep in mind that my high was the lowest possible high-card hand, so I could not win the high outright. Consider these possibilities:

Jeff does not have A2, but has a decent high. If he calls, I get my $100 back (no benefit). If he folds, I get my $100 back (no benefit)

Jeff has A2 and a horrible high (which he did). He will never fold here, so it is basically automatic that I get quartered.

Jeff has neither A2 nor a high. He folds and I get my $100 back (no benefit, as this is the same value to me as if I check). I can't conceive of a low hand that he would call with and even if he did and conceded the low to me, he would still get his money back on the high.

So that was a terrible play. Jeff, who is a very nice guy who knew that Omaha was not my bread-and-butter asked me after the hand if I wanted his advice. I said, "If your advice is that I shouldn't give away $50 on a bonehead bet, then there is no need." He laughed.

* * *

Despite that hand, I turned a $600 buy-in into $680. That isn't exactly bringing down the house, but it is better than I usually do at Omaha. That, and watching the Stros finish a mini-sweep of the Cards had me feeling pretty chipper when I went to bed.

Last night, I had an Omaha itch that needed to be scratched, so I played 50c-$1.00 PL O/8 for a couple hours on Party Poker and turned $40 into $110. Since I went to be before the Rockies got their fifth walk-off-win of the season to beat the Stros, I went to bed pretty chipper again.


p.s. Although my move did not involve a bluff, Kid Poker's article on bluffing into dry side pots sheds some light on betting into dry side pots.



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Thursday, May 04, 2006


Posted by Junelli 5:34 PM
"The largest poker game in history"

For those that were following the story of Andy Beal taking on the "Corporation," Bluff Magazine has just released a great article. It's a play by play account of the matches written by Michael Craig (author of "The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King").

It's a long read, but very interesting.


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Posted by Johnnymac 10:53 AM
I'll answer Junell's post with one of my own -

The guy didn't get the death penalty because he didn't deserve it and it would have made him out to be more than he actually was. Don't get me wrong, I think he is scum and that he deserves to die, but I don't think our government should be the one who kills him. I think he was being made out as a scapegoat for political and emotional reasons.

I understand how conspiracy laws work and I understand that he could have told the FBI what he knew and that perhaps that information might have prevented the attacks, but from what I understand he was never a direct participant in the plot and the information he possessed was only circumstantially related to the attacks. He knew two of the other pilots who participated in the attacks, but it cannot be proven that he actually knew the exact plans beyond, "someday we're going to hijack jetliners and fly them into the World Trade Center," mostly because not even all of the actual participants in the plot knew all of the details of dates and flight numbers and the names of the other participants, etc etc.

The guy is guilty of being Al-Qaeda and the guy is clearly a bad dude, but that doesn't mean the US Government should give him the ultimate punishment we can give. Some people deserve the death penalty: Tookie Williams deserved to die, Timothy McVeigh deserved to die, Rafael Reséndiz deserves to die and will be executed someday soon. In fact, I personally think we need *more* sentences of the death penalty rather than less of it, and more speedy executions, too, but I do not think Moussaoui deserves it because he was not directly responsible for those deaths on 9/11. The best thing we can do is lock him up in jail and throw away the key and forget about him.

He deserves to be punished and the world probably would be a better place if he were gone, but we cannot sentence someone to death on such tenuous grounds. I know that the families on 9/11 are wanting some revenge and that the Bush Administration *needed* to have this guy on death row for politicial reasons, but that doesn't make the standard of proof or the seriousness of the crimes he did commit any less important factors in our juctice system. All he is guilty of is being involved with the guys who planned and executed 9/11 but he didn't know what exactly was going on and he wasn't one of the attackers and thus he is not directly responsible for what happened.

The guy is going to be locked up in the Supermax prison in Colorado and from what I understand, living in that place is awful. He is going to be punished, and he is going to be punished in a way that I personally feel is consistent with his actual crimes.


(5) comments

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Posted by Junelli 6:55 PM
Why this piece of "human garbage" didn't get the death penalty, I'll never understand.


(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 9:50 AM
Looking forward to "Volume III - The Workbook" coming out next month.





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