Something happened. My online poker skills seemed to have diminished. Maybe it's lack of playing. My online time has been spotty at best over the past few weeks.
Last night I played in a little tourney with a measley $100 prize pool. There were 400 players. Read it and weep...More in this Poker Blog! -->
This time I actually list every hand, so you can tell me if there are some hands I should have played but folded. The only flops I saw are mentioned.
The hands I played out have extended explanations. Every other hand was folded before the flop.
I note where I was the big blind, the small blind and the button. Hands are separated by ***.
I won the high-card draw before we started so I got the button. It was mostly downhill from there.
BUTTON: Js-7d***8s-3h***6d-2h***6s-4h***Ad-6s, called 10 blind, nothing on the flop
I'm in an early position with 990 chips when I get a pair of 10's.
I raise to 3x the blind (30) and get two callers.
The flop is Qs-Ac-Qd. Ugh. I check, and the next guy bets 105. I fold, so does the other guy.
Qh-Jd, raised in front of me***9s-7s***BIG 10: 9h-5h, raised in front of me***LITTLE 5: 4s-3d***BUTTON: 9c-2d***Ad-8c, raised in front of me***Qs-5c***Kd-2s***Qc-7d***As-2d***Kc-8d***BIG 20: Ah-8d, K-Q-7c flop***LITTLE 10: As-8c, 6-4-7 (two hearts) flop***BUTTON: Ad-7d, BIG raise in front of me
I'm in a late position with 895 chips when I get cowboys.
I raise the big blind of 20 to 100 and get two callers.
The flop is Qd-9d-8c. That doesn't bother me too much. My pocket pair beats any pair from the board. The diamonds present a potential flush, but my biggest worry is the straight potential. The guy in front of me bets the minimum 20, and I raise, betting the pot of 390. Both call... uh oh.
The turn is a Jh. I suddenly hate my hand. Any 10 beats me. A guy goes all-in in front of me and I fold.
The second guy calls however and we get a showdown. 9h-Jd (two pair) vs 8-8 (trips).
The river brings an A, no help to either, and the trips win. I would have lost to both hands. I'm down to 405
Ah-4s***9s-4h***6h-6c, big raise after I called 20 blind so I fold, some guy flopped the nut flush***10s-6d***BIG 30: Js-9h, no help on flop***LITTLE 15: 7c-6d
MOVED TO NEW TABLE
I'm in a late position with 340 chips when I get a pair of 7's.
I merely call the big blind of 30 and seven players are in the pot.
The flop is 6h-4s-3h. With 210 in the pot, and 310 left in front of me, I figure now is as good of time as ever to go all-in. Amazingly, I get three callers. Now I'm worried.
The turn is a Qs. No help for me, and now a Q beats me. There are now two hearts and two spades, not to mention the straight potential. The other three players all check.
The river floats me a beauty, the 5 of diamonds. That means the only hand that beats me is 7-8, and since I've got two 7's, the likelihood of that is slim. They all check again.
Guy #1 has 6d-5h, and has two pair
Guy #2 has Ah-3d, just a pair of 3's
Guy #3 has Ac-Kh, he's got just an Ace high
My straight holds up and I'm up to 1495 now.
I'm in an early position with 1495 chips when I get another pair of 10's.
I raise the big blind of 30 to 60. Three others call.
The flop is Ac-Qh-2h. Terrible, terible flop for me. I check and the player after me bets 285. I have to fold.
Eventually two players are all-in, one shows Ah-4s, the other As-9c. The turn is the Ks, and the river brings the only card that helps the A-4 win... another 4. Ouch.
10c-9c, called, but raised big and folded***BIG 30: Js-9h, all folded
I'm in the small blind of 15 with 1420 chips when I get As-Jd.
I call the big blind, and three players are in the hand.
The flop is Js-10h-6h. I've got top pair so I bet the pot of 90. One caller.
The turn is the Kh. That's three hearts, and a card higher than my pair. Ugh.
I check and he bets the pot of 270. I fold.
BUTTON: As-10c, no help on flop, big bet, I fold, down to 1270***9c-5h***Ad-4d, big bet in front of me***Kh-2s***10d-2s***4h-3s***Qh-4s***6c-3d***BIG 40: 8c-5h, raised in front of me
I'm in the small blind of 20 with 1230 chips when I get Ah-2h.
I call the big blind and four players are in the hand.
The flop is Ac-Qc-2d. I like it. Two pair is pretty strong. I bet the pot of 160 and the guy next to me raises to 320. Time to think. He's been bullying a lot, and has a much bigger stack than me. I think he's got an Ace, but nothing good enough to beat my two pair. I take a chance and go all-in. He calls.
Showdown time and he flips... As-2c. Guess he had a good hand, too. We chop the pot, and I'm at 1270.
I'm in a late position with 1270 chips when I get J's in my pocket.
I raise the big blind of 40 to 100 and get two callers.
The flop is Kc-Qs-2c. Pretty much not what I wanted to see. Both players check and I bet 150 and get a caller.
The turn is a 6d. He checks, I check. I was worried about a check raise here.
The river is another 6. He checks. Should I bet here? If I do and he folds I take the pot. If I do and he comes over top of me, I'm forced to fold. If I don't and he's got a Q and was worried about me having a K, I'll kick myself. I check.
In the showdown, he's got just Ac-5h, and I take the 640 chip pot to go to 1660.
6d-2c***Ah-8d, raised in front of me***Kh-2h***10h-7h
I'm UTG with 1660 chips when I get As-Jd.
I don't know why I played this hand, and I especially don't know why I raised the big blind of 40 to 80. I get just one caller.
The flop is Kd-Ks-3h. I'm first to bet. Does he have a king? The odds say No. But how much am I willing to pay to find out? I decide to bet the pot of 220, and, unfortunately, he calls.
The turn is the 9s. The guy I'm head-to-head with has a 2-to-1 chip lead on me. At this point I've made two big bets. A raise from UTG and a pot bet on the flop. I've got nothing at this point, but maybe going all-in will convince him I have a K. Of course, if he has a K, that would backfire. If he doesn't believe I have a K and has anything better than my A-J, he still beats me.
I lose my nerve and check. He goes all-in. I can't call. He's taken all the advantage from me, and probably has the hand. So far, I hadn't noticed him buying anything. I fold.
I'm in the big blind of 60 with 1360 chips when I get Kh-9d.
No one raises so I check and four players are in the hand.
The flop is Ah-Ks-4s. Not bad, unless one of the other three players has an Ace or a better kicker with a K. I check, and so does everyone else.
The turn is a Jc. I check, and the last guy bets 60, two call, including me.
The river is a 5c. I check, the same guy bets 60 and we both call.
Unfortunately, he's got Kc-Qs, and I muck my cards.
LITTLE 30: 6d-2h, down to 1150***BUTTON: Kc-7h***Js-6c***Kh-10h, no help on flop***8c-2c***Qc-Js***5d-3c***9s-7h***Ac-9d***BIG 60: Qh-2c, no help on flop***LITTLE 30: Ac-6h, big raise, back at 1000***BUTTON: Qh-7h***9c-6c***9d-7d***Ah-5d***7h-2d
FIRST BREAK, and I'm at 1000 chips. One full hour of play and I break even. There's a little more than 200 of the 400 original players left, and I'm sitting barely in the top half.
5c-4c***Jc-4c***9c-4h***BIG 100: Qh-7h, 8-6-2 rainbow flop***LITTLE 50: Jh-3h, raised in front, down to 850***BUTTON: Kd-Qs***10c-7c
I'm in a late position with 850 chips when I get As-Qh.
Everyone folds in front of me, so I raise the big blind of 100 to 200. The big blind calls, he's got about a 4-1 chip lead over me.
The flop is Kh-5h-2s. Absolutely no help for me. He bets 100 and I fold. I can't chase it, and I'm down to 650.
10h-7h***Jh-5c***Qd-6s***4c-3c***Js-9s***BIG 100: 8c-7h, terrible flop, down to 550
I'm in the small blind of 50 with just 550 chips when I get Kh-Qh. That's great for pinochle, but this is poker.
Everyone folds to me so I call the big blind. He's got a 15-to-1 chip lead over me and has been a bully since I sat down. With that stack, I'd probably be a bully, too. He raises to 300.
Decision time. There's no reason to just call. If I want to play, I have to go all-in. Calling 300 and folding on a bad flop would leave me just 250 chips and that's twice around the table. If I fold now, I've still got 450 chips. That's three times around the table.
I figure this guy doesn't have an ace. Maybe a small pair, but I'm not even sure he's got that. I think he's trying to scare me off, so I go all-in. He quickly calls.
The good news is that I was right, he doesn't have an ace. I was also right about him having a pair. The bad news is that he had a pair of K's.
I don't remember any of the cards. Might as well have been blank-blank-blank-blank-blank. Bottom line, I'm out in 174th place. I don't think I played well at all.
I have a new tool for the tables, something I put together recently that I hope will help me more than some random good-luck charm or card protector. It's a white disk, about the size of an air-hockey puck or dealer's button, with "THINK" printed on it in big red letters.
It's a bit silly and I've already gotten a few comments, but I'm hoping it'll buy me those extra seconds that can mean saving or not missing a bet, seconds that remind me that poker is a game of the eyes and the brain, not the hands and heart.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Two quick examples:
In middle position with King-Jack suited, take the flop five-handed. The flop comes KT5 rainbow, checked around to me, I bet. There's a fold and then the rock on the button raises. It's folded around to me and I immediately call the bet.
Had I taken five seconds to think about the situation I would have thought: this guy is a rock's rock, one that makes other rocks change tables, the kind of guy who last tried a bluff during the Carter administration, it didn't work out, and hasn't tried since. What did I think he was in the hand with, forget throwing in a raise? K9? K8? About the only worse King I could even imagine him having is KT, giving him two-pair. The only conceivable draw would be QJ, and if that, why raise? If he had AA, AK, or KK he would have raised preflop, so the most likely hand is...KQ, which I proceeded to pay two large bets in order to see after the river.
Now, I suppose even knowing all this I might have still called his raise (even though the odds weren't really there) to see the turn, but the point is that I was on poker-autopilot and none of this entered my mind until I reverse-engineered it on the showdown. My failure to take five seconds to think cost me at least two big bets.
Here's a happier example. I raise pre-flop in early position with two red aces, get two dangerous loose-aggressive callers who have been part of about 90% of the hands, plus the big blind. The flop comes down AT9 with two clubs, great but still dangerous -- one of these guys could easily have two clubs, QJ...hell, they could have 87. I bet out only to see it raised and then, after a quick look, reraised! What the? The big blind folds and then with my best Olivier pained expression I call, as does the middle player.
There's a lot of cards I don't want to see, but the turn is a beautiful, board-pairing ten. Checked to the three-better; bet, call, call. The river is a complete non-flush, non-straight blank (unfortunately), the four of diamonds. I figure that drama class is over and I don't want to risk losing a bet through a check-raise attempt, so I bet out. The middle guy, obviously drawing, folds, leaving my heads-up opponent to raise me. I immediately reraise him, but before the words have left my mouth he has his own reraise on the felt.
Now, what I should have done right there is stopped for a second. Maybe two. Thought about the situation.
Instead, I panicked, while the alarm in my head started screaming QUADS! QUADS! QUADS! Instead of assessing the situation I threw in my call, said "I can't beat quads" and turned over my hand (which he, as the aggressor, should have done first, had I given him the opportunity). He did not have the quads (he mucked his hand, but said that he had T9), and I both missed at least one big bet and instantly erased the strong image I had been trying to build.
Now, had I taken five seconds at the right moment, I would have asked the following: if he had pocket tens, would he have three-bet pre-flop to thin the field, as he had been doing all night with big, and even not-so-big hands? Probably. If he hit his set on the flop, would he have three-bet, possibly knocking my, say, AJ out? Probably not. Then, if he miraculously hit quads on the turn, would he have bet, indicating at least trip tens and possibly scaring away the flush/straight draw? Again, probably not. So given all of this, did he have quads...almost certainly not
All of this only came to me midway through the next hand, though, since I let my hands and mouth take over my play, not giving my brain a chance to work. It's easy to get caught up in a big hand, with a mixture of excitement, anxiety, fear, and adrenaline fogging even the most analytical brain. It's too easy to forget that most important word at the table: THINK.<-- Hide More
Reading books about poker will not make a bad player a great player. I truly believe that a player must already have that indefinable element.
I'm not saying books are worthless, in fact, the right books can make the difference between losing and winning. Just don't expect to pick up Super/System and go from fish to WSOP champ!
That all leads me to winning with the flush. This advice comes from Gary Carson's The Complete Book of Hold 'Em Poker:More in this Poker Blog! -->
There are four categories of flush cards and they all play a little differently. There are suited Aces, suited big-little (such as K-5 or Q-5), suited connectors, and other suited cards. The strongest of these are the suited Aces and the suited connectors. The suited Aces are, of course, draws to the best possible flush. That's not really their primary strength, because suited Aces and suited connectors tend to have other drawing features when they flop flush draws. The Ace is an overcard, adding three outs to the hand, and suited connectors often flush a straight flush draw, or a gutshot straight draw to combine with the flush draw. These extra three or four outs are what make them premium draws.
A flush draw is about a 4-1 underdog to make in one card. It's about a 2-1 underdog to make in two cards. When you have a flush draw, you know that you will need 4-1 pot odds to call a bet on the turn. If the game is only a little loose, you also know the pot will be big enough to give you those odds. That means that when you evaluate a flush draw on the flop, you can think about the odds of making it in two cards but don't have to worry about the cost of those two cards. The pot will pay for the second card. The current betting round is what pays for the first card. If the pot is large enough on the turn to give you 4-1 pot odds, then you only need two callers on the flop to give you sufficient odds to bet or raise an Ace-high flush draw for value.
This makes flush draws very strong on the flop in a loose or very loose game because you don't need pot odds to call on the flop. It's even stronger in a very loose, very aggressive game because you only need 3-1 bet odds to profit significantly from a bet or raise. If you're in that situation where you have three or four callers, and one of them raises for you, then that's just free money.
If you don't see any solid tells that would indicate that you're drawing to a second-best flush, then you will want to play a flush draw at a loose table very aggressively. You want as many callers as you can get, but you also want to put as many bets in the pot as you can.
As we mentioned before, a flush draw is a 2-1 underdog on the flop if you'll take the hand to the river. You'll make the flush once for every two times you miss. That means, if you're getting 3-1 on your bets on the flop, you'll make money if you know your flush will be good. Because we're never quite sure about that, you want to get 4-1. If you get four callers on thr flop whenever you bet a flush draw, you will make a lot of money on flushes.
So, on the flop you want to bet or check-raise in such a way as to trap players, not to thin the field. If you think a player to your left will bet, then you should check-raise. If you think a player on the button will raise, then you should bet from UTG, and reraise him if three players besides him have called. You aren't semi-bluffing; you aren't trying to thin the field; you're trying to get as much money, from as many players, as you can.
If your table is very loose and at least somewhat aggressive, you can exploit that by playing a lot of flush cards. The reason for this is that you'll be paid off. Getting paid off with a flush involves more than just getting called when you make the flush. It also involves getting extra bets in the pot when you've got a draw. In a loose, somewhat aggressive game, this can be a major source of winnings.
I've got to say that some of my biggest pots came from flushes. In Carson's book, he emphasizes that it doesn't matter how many pots you win, it matters how big the pots are. It's about winning money, not winning hands. Flushes often bring the big pots.
The rules are a little different when it comes to No Limit because the pot odds can change dramatically. In loose games, however, a flush draw can take you from short stack to the table bully.<-- Hide More
In my mind, there is no poker game more pure than No Limit Texas Hold 'Em. If I'm going to put big money on the line, that's definitely the game I'm going to play.
However, when it's six buddies around a poker table in someone's living room, that's a different story. Here are some of the more interesting games I like to play:More in this Poker Blog! -->
This has to be my personal favorite. You deal seven cards to each player and have a betting round. Each player then passes three cards to the left, and then discards two of the seven in their hand. The remaining five cards hand are laid out face down in front of each player and cards are revealed one at a time with a betting round after each card. The best high and low hands split the pot.
Ten Card Poker
This is a game we invented one night, although I'm sure there are variations out there that existed long before we started playing it. This is a game that can only be played with 5 or fewer players. Each player is dealt 10 cards. The 10-card hand is then split into two five card hands and laid out face down. Each player flips a card from each had before each betting round. The best high and low hands split the pot.
Low Hole, Roll Your Own
This is a variation of seven card stud. Each player is dealt three cards face down, one of which must be flipped face up. The rest of the hand is dealt like normal seven card stud. For each player, the lowest card in the hole and each one like it is wild.
That's it for me. What are your favorites?<-- Hide More
Right now I am running good. Great even.
Now, for every report or article about somebody on a rush, you'll probably see a hundred from somebody running bad. For every story you hear about a great hand, you'll probably get 200 bad-beat stories. And there's no surprise why this is so: nobody wants to hear somebody brag, misery loves company, bad-beat stories are more fun to tell, etc. Maybe the biggest one is that people are afraid of jinxing themselves.
But what's poker about if not risking fate a little, hmmm?More in this Poker Blog! -->
Now that we're on the subject, one of the interesting things I've noticed is how rarely my worst sessions seem to correspond with my worst bad beats. When you imagine a terrible night at the tables the hands that spring to mind are usually opponents hitting their longshot kickers or gutshot draws on the river.
But during my Summer of Doom Losing Streak (as it was known to the folks who handle my bank account and credit card cash advances) it was more like the waves slowly washing away the sand rather than a tsunami crashing down and destroying the village. Basically I'd sit down at a table and raise some big-ace hands only to see them miss the flop, fold some middle pocket pairs when overcards fell, hit my top-pair on the flop only to get out-kicked or fold when overcards came on the turn and river...basically the kinds of hands that you can barely remember playing 20 minutes later, except that you look down at your stack and find it about 15 big bets short after less than an hour.
And in the same sort of way, I've had big nights at the table without ever getting a hand higher than two pair. Just a nice steady diet of big-pair big-kicker or aces up to keep that stack building, while that guy who flopped two nut flushes in about five minutes ended up reaching for his wallet within 90. That's kind of what's been happening to me over the last few weeks: just steady session after steady session, playing smart, not forcing the draws, and picking up steady win after win, five straight sessions.
And then came last night.
Folks, I was only playing last night because they had a big screen to watch the Yanks/Sox game; by the time I found out that it was a rainout, I was already there, looking at several tables of $10-$20 players I knew I could beat. I didn't win a hand for the first half-hour...and then I didn't lose one. I don't know how Wilt felt the night he scored 100 or Don Larsen when he pitched his perfect game, but it couldn't have been much different.
Some choice highlights:
Poker is exploding in America, and online poker sites like Ultimate Bet and Party Poker are now thriving. Made for TV poker has helped generate even more interest in the game, and those who wish to play often have no choice but to search online.
A graduate of Rice University recently got a chance to pick the brain of the CEO of another online poker site, TruePoker. Here's just a taste of the 20 questions, find the rest by going to Another Rice Grad.More in this Poker Blog! -->
1. What's your background? Where'd you go to school?
TruePoker CEO: My background is middle class, Southside in Chicago. Through a combination of lax admissions policies and some study, I got degrees from the University of Chicago, Georgetown, and Yale, in Public Affairs, Law and Management, respectively.
2. What business experiences did you have that led you to start an online poker site?
I tried to talk some friends out of doing so, but failed. Because I had represented casino and gaming clients as an attorney, they figured I was too vain and wasn't smart enough to turn down the job of CEO.
3. How long have you been playing poker?
About 30 years, with some breaks.
4. How did you learn to play?
Trial and error. I bought a book in 1971 which showed me the really slim odds of making a straight in 7 stud if even one of your first four cards doesn't fit.
5. I know you recently played a tournament on another online poker site (I won't say which one.) What games and limits do you play? Do you prefer tournaments or normal games?
No problem, I played a tournament with a group of posters from the Internet forum on www.twoplustwo.com, a tough crowd. These tournaments have been played on two sites, Truepoker and Poker Stars. I played on the other site, but not on ours. Otherwise, I rarely play online, except to check out the competition occasionally. I play some in Costa Rica and some in Las Vegas, strictly lower limit because I enjoy the game more than play only to win money.
6. What made you decide to open a poker site?
Some friends wrote this incredible 3D poker software and asked me to run the company when we went forward with real money operations in 2001. Our software was and still is unique in its 3D presentation, so we had a different look than anything else out there. Seemed a good marketing niche.
There are more fascinating questions and answers, so go read the rest!<-- Hide More
There was no lime. Only tequila and salt. I was reaching the point to where I didn't care anymore. A series of drinking contests--primarily consisting of hardcore games of rock-paper-scissors and euchre--was nearing its end. I was losing, despite my deep belief I was a proven winner.
As I licked the salt off the soft part of my hand and gulped the double shot of tequila down, I probably began to forget there was more to winning than winning in the past.
Variance lies in drinking contests as well, my friends.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Friday night should've been a warning to me that bad times were on the horizon. The night of drinking ended badly. I began to re-evalulate the concept of drinking contests at what is becoming an advanced age for me.
It was during this drunken circus that I began to publicly speak for the first time about my success at online poker. Hundred upon hundred of dollars, I gurgled through my tenth beer. It's just too easy, I spat through the bar's smoke.
It was there in the middle of that basement bar that I broke my first rule of superstition: Never talk about it when it's going good.
There are days that define us. There are days that teach us what kind of intestinal fortitude we have. There are days that teach us, we are much weaker than we ever thought we were.
Yesterday (two days after the drinking binge) was one of those days.
I'd take the casual reader through the evening hand-by-hand, but I'm not one to tell bad beat stories too often. Suffice it to say, it was a seven-hour series of getting sucked out on like I was lint in a Hoover Vaccuum factory. The bankroll took a major hit. I'm still way up in online poker winnings, but not nearly as up as I was this time yesterday.
How does this happen? How does a man who has won consistently for the past several months finally hit an evening where he might as well have started burning dollar bills?
I've narrowed it down to two things:
1) I talked about it. Never, ever talk about it. If you're winning money, don't talk about it. If you're losing weight, don't talk about it. Just yesterday, Adam Vinatieri was on the verge of kicking his 34th straight under-40-yard field goal. A lower-screen graphic acknowledged this fact. He shanked it. And shanked the next one as well. The automatic kicker fell apart, because somebody talked about it.
2) Variance. I had never appreciated the high level of variance in online poker. Now I do. I just wish I'd realized it earlier in the evening.
By the end of the night, the hemmoraging slowed and I started to get back on track. Still, the loss hurt me to the point of near unconciousness. If I weren't already playing with other people's money, I'd quit playing all together.
I need to read up on variance. It may be the weakest link in my poker knowledge vault. In one of the ubiquitous poker TV news stories that have hit the air recently, I heard Jennifer Harmon talk about the first time she lost $100K in one night. She said she cried (or wanted to cry). On a much smaller level, I think I know what she means now.
So, a challenge for the poker players out there:
Tell me how to get through this without putting my poker chips in the closet, turning off the computer, canceling any future trips to Vegas, and regressing to Euchre games for shots of tequila.<-- Hide More
With all due respect to CJ, with the preponderance of poker books, articles, and TV shows, knowing some of those terms might mean nothing more than you have cable. To really sound like a true degenerate, you have to be prepared to throw in a few of the following.More in this Poker Blog! -->
But They Were Suited!: Cold-call a pre-flop raise with some absolute trash like Q5c, then hit your kicker on the river to get two pair against pocket kings? It's time for "But They Were Suited!" Sometimes, even when they weren't.
Deuces Never Looses!: Yes, I know how to spell, but that's the pronunciation. And I know that deuces often do lose, but it is true that they are almost never shown when they lose. I've shown pocket queens many time only for them to lose, but I can't recall ever showing a pair or trips of 2's...which gives you a fine opportunity to belt out the line.
Flop Lag: You raise with your AQs only to see the flop come 678 of hearts. The next hand the flop is AAQ or all clubs, giving you the perfect chance to complain of "Flop Lag" to your neighbor.
Pot Odds: This term actually has a real meaning, but for standard lower-limit table play you only need to know that if there's a lot of chips in the pot, you can pretty much justify any lousy draw, at least after you win.
You Play That Shit?: The river comes down, you bet, he calls. You turn over your AJ for top pair good kicker. There's a pause before he turns over...AJ! Everybody chuckles, and as the dealer divides the pot it is absolutely mandatory for you to say "You Play That Shit?" to him.<-- Hide More
Someone stopped by today looking for "how to sound like you know poker." Well, Up For Poker aims to please.
When it comes to sounding like you've been to a final table at the World Series of Poker, it's all about the slang.
Here's just a small Poker dictionary you should overuse at the Hold 'Em poker table if you want to sound like a pro (feel free to add more in the comments):More in this Poker Blog! -->
All-In: Putting all of your remaining chips in the pot. Ex. Randy regretted going all-in when CJ held the nuts.
Back Door: This describes a hand in which the final two cads (the turn and the river) fill either a straight or a flush. Ex. We both went all-in with a pair of jacks, but when the third and fourth heart hit the board, it filled his backdoor flush and I went home crying.
Bad Beat: This describes a hand in which a statistically superior hand loses to an inferior hand. Ex. It was a bad beat when my pocket aces lost to 7-2 offsuit. I went home crying.
Big Slick: Having an Ace and a King as your hole cards. Ex. When I looked down at Big Slick in my pocket, I had to go all-in.
Bottom Pair: When one of you hole cards matches the lowest card on the board. Ex. I don't usually bet the bottom pair, but the other guy had bluffed a lot.
Bullets: A pair of Aces in the hole. See also: Rockets
Button: The seat directly to the right of the dealer. This player will act last in each betting round after the first. Ex. I would not have played a pair of 4's except that I was sitting on the button.
Catch: Often goes along with "bad beat" when a player with only a few outs catches one of those cards to win the hand. When a player tells you, "Nice catch," what they really want to say is, "You lucky bastard."
Cowboys: A pair of Kings in the hole. Ex. My Cowboys were gold when another King came on the flop.
Fish: A bad player. Remember, if you're not sure which player at the table is the fish, you may be it.
Flop: The first three cards that come on to the table in Hold 'Em. Ex. When three hearts came on the flop, I was worried my Cowboys wouldn't hold up.
Gutshot: An inside straight draw, when a player can only fill their straight with one card. Ex. If I lose to another gutshot, I'm taking my chips and going home.
Hole: Your first two cards in Hold 'Em. Ex. I love getting Big Slick in the hole.
Kicker: The highest unpaired card in your hand. Ex. We both had a pair of Aces, but my King kicker won me the pot.
Muck: Throwing your hand into the pile without showing them. Ex. When I showed the nut flush, he just mucked his cards knowing he had lost.
Nut(s): The best possible hand. Ex. When I flopped the nut straight, I was just hoping no flush draw or pair hit the board on the turn or the river.
Pocket: The two cards dealt face down. Ex. When I looked down at two sevens I hoped this pocket pair would finally win me a pot.
Rainbow: When the three or four cards on the board are all of a different suit. Ex. My straight looked a lot better considering the flop was a rainbow.
River: The last of five community cards.
Rockets: A pair of Aces in the hole.
Set: Three of a kind when two of the cards are in your hand. Ex. I finally flopped a set when a 4 hit the board to go with my pocket pair.
Slowplay: To underplay a very strong hand as to induce more people to bet. Ex. I slowplayed my pocket rockets only to lose to a flush draw.
Tilt: When a player begins betting indiscriminately after a particularly bad loss. Ex. After that bad beat, he went all-in and I figured he was on tilt.
Top Pair: When a card in your hand matches the highest card on the board.
Turn: The fourth of five community cards. Ex. When a club came on the turn, I had the nuts.<-- Hide More
With the overwhelming popularity of the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel, and the continued success of the World Series of Poker on ESPN, there will soon be another poker TV series.
This time, the stars are lining up to flop the nut flush.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Bravo is developing a series entitled Celebrity Poker Showdown. It will be hosted by funny-man Kevin Pollack.
The stars have already begun lining up! Jack Black, Coolio, Martin Sheen, Sarah Silverman and Hank Azaria are on the list, among others. Wil Wheaton blogged today that he'd love to join in. If you know a way to help him, drop him a line!
Can you imagine the tension at the table as Coolio holds a pair of aces and Martin Sheen tries to bluff with nothing?
On the other hand, maybe we'll just see a lot of bad poker. Nevertheless, any poker on TV is a good thing!<-- Hide More