Two Plus Two will be publishing a new book on hold'em aimed at lower limits. It is called -- not surprisingly -- Hold'em Poker for Low Limit Players. The book is authored by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth. The book was first announced by Mason on the 2+2 forums. Interestingly, Ed Miller is a major contributor to those forums, and his posts appear to be one reason he was given the opportunity to contribute to the book.
A loyal Up For Poker reader sent me an e-mail wondering how worried I am about online poker cheating. There's no question that it's a concern of most players. There are no real absolute guarantees these websites are entirely trustworthy. In fact, a search of RGP or 2+2 will find dozens of posts about being cheated.
However, you also know by now that I'm a rabid online player, spending hours at a time on Ultimate Bet. So if I know that there are no guarantees and that cheating is possible, why do I risk my money?
That's easy...More in this Poker Blog! -->
In my mind, there are three basic cheating concerns when
it comes to online play:
As far as the first possibility goes, I don't believe anyone would collude at the low limit tables. It just doesn't seem profitable enough. I also think it's something that can be spotted. If I see any sign of it, I move tables.
As for possibilities two and three, no guarantees can be made. However, there's an even bigger reason for an online site to run a clean service. The sites will make money hand over fist without having to resort to cheating.
There are thousands and thousands of online players willing to lose all their money. Why cheat when you can make millions without cheating? It's in the online site's best interest to be clean because it helps build a bigger customer base. The more customers and the more money the site makes.
So, cheating is a concern, but I just don't think it's as widespread as some people believe. After all, I've made more than $1000 playing online. If they're cheating, I seem to be getting around it!<-- Hide More
When watching the WSOP on ESPN, I was intrigued by Dutch Boyd's golf visor that advertised "Rakefree.com." I always meant to visit the site and learn what it was about, but never got the chance.
Today, while browsing the TwoPlusTwo forums, I ran across an interesting argument over Dutch Boyd. Apparently, back in 2000, he started an online poker room called PokerSpot. It eventually went under. Players who had money on the site lost it all.
The whole PokerSpot fiasco is quite a hot topic, and it's hard to know who to believe. Obviously, those who lost all their money are furious at Boyd. He blames it on a business partner, and relatively credibly so. He was young, and obviously in over his head -- even he admits as such. Boyd tells his side of the story here.
In the same interview, Boyd also talks about his new project -- an online rake free poker site -- RakeFree.com. He hasn't discussed the business model yet. Will the site make money from advertisers or by monthly dues? It's unclear. Still, it sounds interesting, assuming Boyd has his act together better this time.
I played in the big $200 + $15 tourney on Ultimate Bet last night. I won two satellites to pay my entry fee, so it cost me about $67.
350 entrants, 1st prize paid more than $20,000, top 40 places paid ($288 for 25-40 I think). You started with 2000 chips (up from the usual 1000). I was feeling pretty good.
It didn't end well.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I started out playing pretty tight. I'm not sure it's the best strategy for that many starting chips, but it's my strategy.
I hung around 2000 for awhile before playing KQ from a late position. I don't like KQ much, but there were just two of us in the pot and I hadn't played a hand in awhile. The flop came K-x-x. No flush, no straight. I bet the pot and he called. I was worried about AK, but he didn't raise much pre-flop. The turn was another blank. I checked, he made a moderate bet and I called. The turn was another blank. He was shorter stacked than I so I forced him all-in and he called, showing me just KJ. I was up over 3000 for the first time.
I had developed a pretty good image at this table in which I was able to win pots without showing my hand. I continued to build up my stack slowly when I got moved to a new table. My first hand there, I make a bad play and lose almost half of what I've got. I've blocked that hand out of my mind.
I went on a bit of a roller coaster, moving up and down 4 or so times in just 10 hands. The table must have thought I was crazy. I was hoping to use that to my advantage by waiting for a premium hand, but the cards just weren't there.
I made a couple of coin flip calls against short stacks, but lost them both and suddenly I was short stacked with fewer than 70 people remaining. I had gone all-in once and survived, but I wasn't in very good shape.
UTG, I got dealt A9 suited. It's one of the best hands I've seen in awhile. I had about 3600 and I raised the blind of 800 to 1600, leaving me about 2000 chips. It was folded all the way around to the BB. Oh, by the way, the BB was Rafe Furst. You may know him better as a Tilt Boy and the poker-playing partner of Phil Gordon.
This guy had been running on fumes. He had moved all-in a few times and got no callers. Finally someone called him and he flips pocket 8's only to see pocket Q's. Of course, he catches an 8 on the flop and uses that momentum to move well above 10,000 by the time our hand came around.
Back to my A9 suited. Rafe is in pretty good shape. He decides to raise me all-in. What do I do? I know he's just protecting his blind. I'm positive I have a better hand then him. I'm already in the pot for half my stack. A double up here, and I'm in great shape to finish in the top-40. I call.
He flips 45 offsuit. I'm a 64% favorite at this point, but when the 5 comes on the flop, I'm dead. Did I make the right decision? Damn I hate pros!<-- Hide More
I've got a couple of things to hit in this post. It's Iggy-inspired, but not quite up to that standard.
That's right, the title says "The Hammer!!!" but you'll have to wait for the end for that. If you don't know about the world-famous Hammer Challenge head over to Poker Grub and read all about it.More in this Poker Blog! -->
First, the blogroll has been updated/cleaned up. I've adjusted blogs according to how often/recently they've been updated. It's not a blogroll, I do it by hand right now, so it only changes when I change it. We're up to 28, although Felicia is not technically a blog (not yet, poker bloggers are working on it!). Please check them out, there are some great new ones there.
Second, the Timebomb is officially a hit. Otis invented it, now it's spreading like a virus. The latest to catch the bug? None other than Wil Wheaton. Check out the comments.
Third, I haven't gotten the fancy symbols loaded on MT yet because I'm an MT idiot. If there were a plug-in for that, I'd be fine. Instead... well, I'll keep trying.
Fourth, I've got a big decision this weekend. I have two UB Tournament Entry Chips (TEC's) now and must decide what to do with them. I could use them to enter two different $100 tourneys for a shot at a trip to Aruba and an entry into the Aruba WPT event. Or, I could put them together and enter the $200 Sunday tourney. Any suggestions?
Finally, what you've waited for, the Hammer. First a disclaimer: I don't qualify under the rules. It's a .25/.50 NL table, and the winning pot was well under $5.00.
Hand #948119-308 at Potomac (No Limit Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 24/Jan/04 04:27:59
Dontius is at seat 0 with $23.80.
cusephenom is at seat 1 with $66.
UNCLEGAMBS is at seat 2 with $72.30.
sancho420 is at seat 3 with $66.75.
Junior787 is at seat 4 with $50.80.
BVGrimley is at seat 7 with $59.75.
cleverguy13 is at seat 8 with $47.60.
yoyo44 is at seat 9 with $29.25.
The button is at seat 2.
sancho420 posts the small blind of $.25.
Junior787 posts the big blind of $.50.
Dontius: -- --
cusephenom: 2d 7c
UNCLEGAMBS: -- --
sancho420: -- --
Junior787: -- --
BVGrimley: -- --
cleverguy13: -- --
yoyo44: -- --
BVGrimley folds. cleverguy13 folds. yoyo44 folds.
Dontius folds. cusephenom calls. UNCLEGAMBS calls.
sancho420 folds. Junior787 checks.
Flop (board: 6c Jd 4c):
Junior787 checks. cusephenom checks. UNCLEGAMBS
Turn (board: 6c Jd 4c 2c):
Junior787 checks. cusephenom checks. UNCLEGAMBS
River (board: 6c Jd 4c 2c Ac):
Junior787 checks. cusephenom checks. UNCLEGAMBS
Junior787 shows Kh 2h.
Junior787 has Kh 2h Jd 2c Ac: a pair of deuces.
cusephenom shows 2d 7c.
cusephenom has 7c 6c 4c 2c Ac: flush, ace high.
UNCLEGAMBS mucks cards.
(UNCLEGAMBS has 8s 9s.)
Hand #948119-308 Summary:
No rake is taken for this hand.
cusephenom wins $1.75 with flush, ace high.
And here was the chat that accompanied the huge hand:
cusephenom: It's the HAMMER!
BVGrimley: I wanna know how many notes that generated?
cusephenom: Yep... guess I'm on a few buddy lists now.
BVGrimley actually called out 72o next hand, but was forced to muck it to a big preflop raise. Good thing he did... the guy caught a 9-high straight flush.
That's all folks... it's well past my bed time!<-- Hide More
EmpirePoker is doing this because they want to expand their tournaments. Party and Empire share the same site (e.g., when you play on Empire or Party, you are playing against people from both Party and Empire), but they have different tournaments. Historically Empire has had smaller tournaments than Party, so they're giving away lots of extra money in order to promote their tournaments.
Here are the opportunties:
1. A free entry into a $5000 freeroll when you enter either the $100+10 Saturday Night Fever weekly tournament or the $150+12 Sunday Gameday weekly tournament.
2. The $150+12 Sunday Night Gameday tournament is $25,000 guaranteed (for you non-tourney players, that means the prize pool will be at least $25,000). Last week I believe this tournament only had about 50 entrants. If even 100 enter this week, then EmpirePoker will have to add $10,000 to the prize pool to make the guaranteed $25,000. That's a deal.
3. The Wednesday Night $50+5 weekly tournament is now $10,000 guaranteed. I think about 50 entered this tournament last week too. If, for example, 100 enter the tournament this week, EmpirePoker will have to put in $5,000 to add up to the guaranteed $10,000 prize pool.
These are all great deals. If you're a tourney player, now is the time to take advantage of the promotions. These are all positive expected value opportunities. There's also a $200+15 tournament which sends 1 person for every 60 entries to the 2004 World Series of Poker.
Also, if you play poker online at Party or Empire, you're foolish if you don't get some of your rake back. I get 20% of my rake back. I had never realized how much that was until I signed up. That's over $400 already this month. If you're interested in getting some of your rake back, then email me: email@example.com
Chris over at his poker blog has instructions for how to get the playing card symbols on your blog (Movable Type primarily). Right now, my diamonds don't quite look right, but I'm just practicing. I'm going to try this, but I'm doomed to fail since I don't know scripts that well. Hopefully I don't destroy the blog!
It's been a long, long time since I've been able to blog with this as the title. Now I've reached the final table twice in two nights. Tonight, I played a $50 NL Hold 'Em tourney with 68 entrants. I finished in 9th, but should probably have finished higher.
I got AK in the small blind. It's raised in front of me about 3xBB and I call. The flop is A-x-x. I check, he bets the pot and I raise all-in. He calls and shows AQ. Guess what the turn card is? Oh well, I'm out in 9th with $102.
The tourney last night gave me my best finish ever...More in this Poker Blog! -->
We're down to just six players and here's the standings:
I'm at seat 0 with 25310.
Pomobufuguy is at seat 1 with 38185.
Polo79 is at seat 2 with 50360.
acerol is at seat 4 with 54400.
steelhead is at seat 5 with 40505.
bnet is at seat 6 with 22240.
I get dealt A♦ 5♦. There are two folds in front of me and I raise the big blind of 3000 to 6000. acerol (the big stack) calls. The flop comes 6♣ 8♥ 7♣. I've got an open-ended straight draw and figure it's a good time to make a stand. He limps in with 3000 and I go all-in. He folds.
I'm in the small blind of 1500 when I get J♠ K♠. It's folded around to me and I raise to 7500 and get called by Pomobufuguy. The flop is 2♦ 4♦ 8♠. We both check. The turn is the T♠. We both check. The river is the 6♣. I check, he bets 7500 and I have to fold.
I'm down to 25310 now and in 6th place out of 6. In late position, I get 8♣ K♠. I fold. Polo79 (biggest stack) calls and acerol (in 4th place) raises to 6000. Polo 79 calls. The flop is 7♠ 2♥ T♦. Polo79 bets 3000, acerol raises to 15000, Polo79 calls. The turn is the A♥. Polo79 goes all-in and gets called. It's the showdown. Polo79 has 7d 6♣. It's just third pair. acerol has T♠ K♣. He's got 2nd pair. The river floats Polo79 a miracle. It's the 7♥. acerol finishes in 6th.
Next hand and I quickly fold my Q♠ 6♥. Polo79 (now the huge stack) raises to 6000 and steelhead (4th place just ahead of me) goes all-in. Polo79 calls. Here's the showdown: Polo79 A♥ A♠, steelhead Ad 7♥. Tough break for steelhead. The cards come 6♠ 9♦ 9♠ Q♣ 4♠. steelhead is out in 5th.
A few hands later, and I'm about 1000 behind 3rd with 29810. I get Q♣ Qd. Pretty. I raise the big blind of 3000 to 10000 and everyone folds. Too strong? Nah. I'll take the blinds. I'm up to 34310.
27 hands later(!) and I'm now at 36310. I've hardly moved, but I am up to 3rd place, just ahead of 4th. I get dealt A♠ Qd. I'm in the small blind of 2000 and I raise to 16000. Pomobufuguy is about 7000 ahead of me. He re-raises me all-in. I don't think he's got a better hand. I call. It's showdown time and he's holding the all-powerful A♦ 9♦. It wasn't a bad play by him, but I'm a big favorite. In fact, I only supposed to lose this hand 27% of the time.
Guess what? Flop comes 5♦ 9♥ 6♠. Suddenly, I've got an 86% chance of losing. The turn is the 6♥ and the river is the 5♠. So instead of taking down a 76620 pot and moving into a strong second, I bust out in 4th. The good news is the $173 I took with me!
I couldn't get too upset because earlier in the tourney, I caught a miracle 10 on the river that propelled me to the final table. It was the difference between winning $27 and $173. I'll take it.
On a side note... if anyone knows how to make the diamond symbol, drop me a line. Thanks!
Chris over at his poker blog has instructions for how to get the playing card symbols on your blog(Movable Type primarily). Right now, my diamonds don't quite look right, but I'm just practicing. I'm going to try this, but I'm doomed to fail since I don't know scripts that well. Hopefully I don't destroy the blog!<-- Hide More
It's tough to learn a new game.
I remember when I was learning to play hold'em. I was stuck a good amount playing hold'em online, and so I decided to intensely studying the game. It was scary. Not only was there money on the line, but excelling at games is what I do best. If I failed, it would be quite a blow to my ego.
I'm trying to learn Omaha Hi/Lo. I'm reading Zee's text from 2+2 on the game. But I definitely still haven't figured it out. I'm playing OK pre-flop, but my turn and river calls are terrible.
It seems like a tough game to get into (aren't they all), but like it has alot of profit potential. I'll keep y'all updated.
I hate bad beat stories. I don't ever tell them, and I very rarely care to hear anyone else's.
So, of course, this is a bad beat story. I made an incredible read, and that read cost me my first fair-sized tournament victory.
Here's the scene:
It's a Saturday night Empire Poker 100+10 limit hold'em tournament with 56 entrants.
I'm at the final table, playing headsup for the victory. I've been playing well all night, making tough laydowns, good bluffs, and catching the occasional lucky card. With 56k in chips on the table, I fought my way back from 3 handed with an extremely short stack to the headsup chip lead.
I am a force to be reckoned with -- I'm just running over people shorthanded. I'm playing brilliantly and I know it. My reads are spot on. I'm normally humble, but I had my A game, and it was the best game at the table.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Blinds are 600/1200. I have 40k and my opponent has 16k. I've fought back up the mountain and destroyed his confidence.
I pick up AK offsuit in the 600 big blind. My opponent raises. I reraise. We then have THIRTEEN MORE RAISES until I just call.
FLOP: 2 10 8 rainbow. There is already 19,200 in the pot. Based on my read of him, he has nothing. Call it intuition, call it pattern recognition, but I put him on nothing. I bet, and there are three raises until I call.
Turn: Q, which puts 2 hearts out on the board. I bet, and there are 4 raises until I call his all in.
My heart is pounding. He flips over KJo. Going into the river, I'm an 85% favorite.
River: 9, filling his gutshot.
My opponent collects the 32k pot, and now has me outchipped 32k to 24k. He continues to catch amazing rivers, and goes on to win the tournament and $550 more than my $1100 2nd place.<-- Hide More
Writing this post will naturally cause me to lose my entire stack. It's like a no-hitter. You just don't talk about it. Oh well... I'm a gambling man, right?
Since January began, I've turned $50 into $850 and an Ultimate Bet "Tournament Entry Chip" worth $100 toward a entry fee. That's about a $900 profit in 20 days. I'd say I've averaged about 3 hours of playing a day (on multiple tables at once mostly). That's 60 hours work for $900. That's $15/hour. Should I quite my job? (I'm not that stupid.)
Here's what I'm doing...More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's $.25/.$50 No Limit Texas Hold 'Em on Ultimate Bet. That's right, it's just 25 cents and 50 cents. I sit down with $50 and hope to walk away with a lot more. I usually have three tables of that open while I'm playing a tournament or a SNG (anywhere from $10-$30).
I fold a lot. I'll say that again, I fold a lot. I don't chase pots. I play premium hands and I slowplay the nuts. Occasionally, I slowplay myself into a lost pot, but it's rare. When I hit the big pot, it's big. When I lose, it's usually just a couple of bucks.
There are a lot of fish at the $.25/$.50 NL tables. Many are now on my buddy list. And I have a pretty good win/place/show percentage on the SNG's as well. The multi-table tournaments are usually losers, but, for now, I'm chalking that up to practice.
At this point, every time my stack hits $500, I'm withdrawing $100. That will keep me from blowing it all if I hit a bad spell. I keep asking myself if I should move up to a higher limit, but why? The SNG's and tournaments are the fun part for me, the ring games are just work.
So there you have it, CJ's current favorite strategy. Check back with me in a few weeks when that strategy is out the window and I'm trying something new!<-- Hide More
They couldn't contain themselves. Not nearly drunk enough to merit their giggles, they tittered and ticked as they listened to the rules of the game. Their sideways glances and self-concious fingering of chips were enough to give away their uneasiness. I started to deal, explaining the rules as I went.
"It's a new game for a new year," I explained.
And then some smartass said, "Just so we know what we don't want you to call again, does this game have a name?"
I dealt the first up card, looked up with a glance of sheer malice and growled, "Timebomb."More in this Poker Blog! -->
Now, keep in mind, dear reader, this was a semi-bi-monthly poker game among friends. It was the semi-bi-monthly game where we played games like Seven Card No-Peak; Up and Down the River; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; and for the love of all that's holy, Trees (Deal five, bet once, then trade with the table at large until you get the hand you want, then bet until your stack is shorter than your manhood). I was not dealing'em up with a group of poker purists. I was in the middle of silly-game-poker-rabble, I'd invented a game on the fly, and they were laughing.
I had already shuffled, let the guy on my left cut, then removed the top card in the deck. I put it underneath an artfully arranged stack of the antes.
"We're playing regular Seven Stud, gentlemen. Play it out as you normally would. Should the game come to a showdown, the timebomb will go off."
They looked at me blankly, like the beer fumes from the table felt had somehow seeped into their blood stream.
I nodded toward the card under the antes. "The timebomb."
The assembled malcontents harumphed and harumphed as if I had just ruined the game of poker for them. Like I had taken the cards in the bathroom and wet on them. Like I had said No Limit Hold'em was for nuns and school children. A couple of guys--bidding to break the tension, or wind, whichever came first--started stacking chips on their hole cards like I had done with the antes.
"Look, I've got a timebomb, too!" Snicker. Hardy. And har har.
"The timebomb," I said, again nodding toward the card under the antes, "will only appear if this hand comes to a showdown. If it should explode, any card like it in any remaining hand becomes wild."
Harumph. Harumph. Chip-stacking, etc.
The betting began, the dealing continued, and we reached the final card. Two men remained, two solid players, two men who hate to lose. They bet, they called. And then they stared in fear...at the Timebomb.
The exact details of the hand escape me at the moment, but suffice it to say, the Timebomb could've really messed up one hand. The tension was fantastic. In the end, the better hand won, and chance played no role in the game.
I wanted to stand, take out my manhood, throw it on the table, and scream, "Now, that's better than half the worthless games we played tonight." But I didn't. I was overwhelmed by the mocking. I was drowned out by the noise of players stacking their chips as I had artfully done with the antes.
And so the night and the mocking continued. I maintain the game was not as bad as it seemed. Any player fearing the rath of the Timebomb could try to bet his opponent out of the game. Any player getting committed to hand could pray for the unlikely event the Timebomb would kill his opponent (odds guys, what are the odds of that happening?). There's little difference in that than waiting for the Dirty Bitch to arrive, or fearing the Ugly.
And though the mocking was enough to make a gamesmith's manhood shrink in shame, justice always finds its way home.
When I left at the end of the night, my Hold'em win stack stood above the shame.
And it stood high.<-- Hide More
Everyone remembers the mistakes they make that cost them money. They stick in your mind a lot longer than that great play you made to take down a big pot.
One of the worst feelings has to be realizing your mistake was getting into the game to begin with. Especially if it's a $2-$4 No Limit Hold 'Em with a few relative strangers.
It was an inauspicious start to our long-awaited poker night.
We had passed out the chips for a little No Limit Texas Hold 'Em sit-and-go when Scott thought he heard a cell phone ring. Don't ask me how, but that led to Scott banging into the table, spilling his full beer over the chips, the cards and the felt.
And we're not talking light beer. This was some kind of deep brown, thick foam beer (as a non-connoisseur of alcoholic beverages, I'll rely on my playing partners to fill in that blank).
So, after cleaning up the mess, we were finally ready to play.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The players included Up For Poker contributors Otis, Randy and I, as well as Otis's brother, Little Willie, and the aforementioned Scott. Five players in a $5 entry-fee warm-up, winner gets $20, 2nd gets his money back.
I can't quite remember how things went, but I know I busted out pretty quickly. I played pretty tight, and never really had the cards. Randy took the title and I think either Otis or Little Willie finished second.
A few more people arrived by that time and we decided to just start playing dealer's choice. We play with dime, quarter, fifty, and dollar chips. A maximum of three raises per betting round and a maximum bet of $5.
I called mostly Anaconda (when we had 7 players) and Omaha Hold 'Em (when we had 8 players). And it was really just two pots that helped me finish up for the night.
The first game was called Trees. It's a terrible game. Everyone hates it, and that's why I called it. You deal five cards to each player and have a betting round. Then everyone begins trading cards face-down with whomever they want, and however many they want. You keep trading until everyone is satisfied or until no one wants to trade.
Usually there's one more betting round and then the showdown, but I added some elements. First, I made it high/low, and I had each player lay out their hands face down to reveal them one at a time (it adds betting rounds).
My strategy was to keep trading until I got a royal flush, and, although I was worried that perhaps a card might have been buried, I finally found the clubs to close the deal.
Four players were happy enough with their hands to play them. Two players were aiming for the high and two for the low. When the other high hand flipped a couple of Jacks, I knew he was playing a boat.
I put my cards in order, except I moved the K to the last card to give the impression it might be a simple flush. He fell for it, and I split a huge pot with the player holding the low hand.
Next was Omaha High/Low. My hand was 7-7-4-3. The flop came A-J-7. I don't think there was a flush possibility at this point, and my low was actually looking marginally good. I bet it pretty strong, and there were plenty of followers.
The turn was a king. I still think there was no flush, but I was worried now about someone holding Q-10, not to mention a pair of J's or a pair of A's. And now the low was in question. I still bet it pretty strong, hoping the board would pair again to give a boat.
When the river came, I instantly realized it didn't pair the ace, king or jack. That was disappointing. Until I realized it did, in fact, pair the board. It was the final 7. That also eliminated any chance of a split pot, and I was holding the nuts.
I bet it strong again and got one caller. I should have checked, because Otis was behind me, and he says he would have bet it strong figuring people had missed their low and woudl fold. Either way, I took down a monster pot and it didn't really matter what happened the rest of the night.
After the dealer's choice, we played another No Limit Texas Hold 'Em sit-and-go. This time, it was a $10 buy-in with 8 players. The original five, plus Tony, Mark and Shep. Winner got $40, 2nd got $25, 3rd got $15.
I hit a nice pot early when I flopped a set with my pair of Q's. It was only the third or 4th hand, and on the river, I went all-in and Shep folded. Too bad he didn't call.
I busted Tony out a little later when my A-Q suited beat his 10's. A Q came on the flop. Must have been my magic card. Little Willie almost stayed in the hand with K-J suited, but decided against it. He would have won the pot with a K on the turn. Little Willie played almost every hand, but it was working for him.
Speaking of him, that's where my night ended. We were the two shortest stacks of the final 5 players and Little Willie went all-in in front of me. I was sitting with A-5 suited and I figured I had a pretty good chance of having the stronger hand. I called, and I was right. Little Willie flipped Q-5 suited. I had him dominated, but the Q worried me. After all, it had been my special card.
Sure enough, a Q came on the flop and I was done. Otis went on to win the whole thing. Scott finished second and Little Willie third. I still think that $15 third place should have been mine. Hell, I might have gone on to win the whole thing. But that's poker! Either way, I finished up $21 for the night after about 9 hours of play. Not my best night, but it's always better to finish ahead.
I'll let Randy and Otis fill in any holes I might have left. I promise to keep bugging him until he lets you in on a new poker game he invented on the fly. It gave us quite a few laughs for the rest of the night.<-- Hide More
Is it better when you get sucked out by a woman? And yes, I mean at the poker table.
I'm sure it hurts just as bad, but at this point, my newest obsession is leading me to think it might not.
That obsession is Nicole Sullivan.
She became the first Celebrity Poker Showdown champion defeating seven men and Mo Gaffney (you decide). And this win involved one of the worst suckouts I've ever seen.More in this Poker Blog! -->
To be fair, I think she was playing pretty good poker. She threw away a lot more bad hands than the other players, and she wasn't getting the cards that Paul Rudd has. Maybe it's only fair that he became the victim of that suckout.
We're down to just three players: Nicole, Paul and David Gross. David is the big stack at 21,000. Nicole is sitting with 14,000. Paul is at 10,000. Here are your hands:
Nicole: Jc, 7h
David: Ks, 4h
Paul: 6h, 6d
Amazingly, everyone pays to see the flop even after Paul raises.
Jackpot for Paul. He goes all-in. Nicole is convinced he's bluffing and makes the call. Then she tries to convince David to call as well, he rightly folds. At this point, Paul is a whopping 97% favorite. It's about as close to drawing dead as you can get.
Now Paul can worry, but just a little. He's still a 93% favorite. Going in, Nicole needed running something (8-9 or Q-K UPDATE: NOT 7-7 or J-J), now she's half way there. With just four outs left...
Unbelievable. I've seen a lot of poker on TV and I've never seen a suckout like that. I've played a lot of poker online, and I don't think I've seen many suckouts like that.
At least Nicole took the pot she stole and wound up winning the whole thing. I'd play at a table with her any time!<-- Hide More
It has been sometime since you last heard from good ole' Huck Finn...More in this Poker Blog! -->
...but there's a good reason why: Poker! That's right, since I've officially thrown my proverbial "hat" into the ring of professional poker playing, I've been busy at the tables.
My first stop, the dinner table. I was starving after the exhausting decision to turn pro, but nothing that a PB&J sandwhich and a handful of broken ice cubes couldn't fix. (If you're going to make it in the world of gambling, you must learn to live on a tight budget.)
Next, it was off to the bargaining table. It's hard work to convince your parents and siblings that floating your hard earned dough "down the river" with Huck is much more profitable and much less dangerous that investing in mutual funds. I calmly explained my theories on the game and even demonstrated my card playing prowess at the play money tables on UltimateBet.com. They seemed surprisingly unimpressed with my ability to win $225,000 in one hand. I think my father mumbled something to the effect of, "You know, you were adopted."
Realizing this tactic was unsuccessful, I resorted to plan B: stealing money out of their wallets while they slept. Sure, I know what you're thinking, 'How childish', but to that I say, "It's great to feel young again."
Now, it was time for the interrogation table. I couldn't believe my mother called the cops on me. What's a few $1000 between blood? Fortunately, my parents promised not to press charges if I entered a mental hospital. I told them I signed up, but there's a waiting list.
After that, came the virtual table. Nothing like the world of virtual poker.... especially when your playing with someone else's money! After getting CJ's password, I logged onto UPlayPoker.com and tapped into his "real" money. I was on fire! No, seriously, I was. My cat knocked over a lit candle and it fell right in my lap. Lesson learned: Dockers are stain proof, not fire proof. The fortunate side of the whole 2nd degree burn thing was it didn't hurt to lose most of CJ's money since the pain from the burns dominated the entire experience.
Finally, it was the operating table. Skin graphs are quite interesting, but I have a running bet with the doctor that most, if not all patients, are given some sort of pain medication during the procedure. If anyone knows someone that was, let me know so I can collect.
I sit here now contemplating two things: 1. What's the fastest way to transfer money to my online poker account? and 2. What's the pin number on my sister's ATM card?
Well, it's time to change the gauze on my thighs. Hopefully next time, I'll have a few poker hands to talk about. Until then, see you on the river....<-- Hide More
I posted some poker advice over at Southern Appeal.
Most of it is aimed at beginning players, so many readers here probably won't get much out of it. In fact, please note in the comments section any advice you would have added or done differently.
Introducing people to the game is important, of course, for the bottom line. But I don't introduce people to the game for money. After all, I attempted to convince people to learn the game before they start playing.
So why do I post advice on poker? Why do I put effort into getting more people into poker? I guess I just want poker to become the next Big Thing.
When you're playing online, it's easy to fight the power of boredom. You can play more tables, and the play is much faster. You can also search the web for
online porn interesting articles. Boredom is the sworn enemy of good poker play.
And when you're playing online, it's rarely in a social setting (especially if you're doing that online searching). And if it's not social, beer seems to be less of a necessity, although I know plenty of people who still crack one open while at the keyboard.
That all changes when it's time for the home game.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Over at Poker Watch, Dan tells us all about the 4th Annual Dallas Series of Poker. It was a $75 buy-in with 20 players and payouts up to three places. He's got a good write up.
There's also a write up over at The Fat Guy, and it's there that you'll read about the devastating power of boredom. Here's just a taste:
I don't even want to think about the other major mistake that I made, but for self-education (and self-flagellation) purposes, I shall. Pocket 7s for me in SB, one limper and I raise. BB and limper call. Flop comes Ace-blank-10. Spooky, but I make a small bet to see what everyone is thinking.
Any guess where that one is going? This weekend, I'll be at a home game in Greenville, SC. Two other Up For Poker contributors will be there, Otis and Randy. I'll be sure to give you a roundup as soon as I get a chance.<-- Hide More
I probably had my finest online session ever last night. It was 3 1/2 hours on Ultimate Bet and I played 6 different Sit and Go's.
The entry fees added up to $72 and 300 points (not play chips, but points that can redeemed as entry fees into tourneys).
The pay off? How about $260 and 1100 points. That's more than $50 an hour, and 800 bonus points thrown in. Was it the cards or my playing? I'd like to think the latter, but it's probably the former. Here's a taste of one of those SNG's:More in this Poker Blog! -->
First I'll start with the biggest hand of my $33+3, ten person, SNG:
Five of us are left. I'm in 3rd place, well behind the leader. In the big blind, I get K♣9♣.
The big blind of 100 is raised to 200 and I call. Three of us are in the hand.
The flop is 7s-9h-9s. Jackpot!!!! First bettor checks, I check, last bets 125. First calls, I raise to 1100. The guy who opened folds, but the original checker calls me. He's all-in.
Showdown time and I love my Kc-9s. Just not as much as his Ad-9d. Uh oh.
The turn is the Jd. I'm frantically trying to figure out how to win or split the pot. As I figured, just a K will do it for me.
The river hears my prayers because it's the Kh. Ouch for him. Nice for me.
I go on to win the SNG and take $150.
I was a 7-1 underdog after the flop. After the turn, I had just a 7% chance of winning. Lady luck, I thank you.
Now onto the $10+1, ten person, SNG:
I got started early with a pair of 5's in the big blind.
UTG raises to 35 and two of us call him.
The flop is 5s-3d-6d. That's pretty. It's early, I decide to slow play, risking the straight or flush.
The two behind me also check and the turn is the As.
I check again and the next guy opens with 110. Third guy folds, I raise to 220 and get called.
The river is a Q... of diamonds. Ugh. What the hell, I bet 550 and he calls.
I figure he hit the flush, but my set holds up. He had a measley A-Jo. I win 1650.
Just two hands later, and guess what? Another pair of 5's.
UTG raises to 35 and I'm the only caller.
Flop is 7s-5d-Js. Pretty. He bets 85, I raise to 170, he calls.
The turn is the Td. He checks, I bet 425, he calls.
The river is the Qd, diamond flush draw again, ugh. He checks, and so do I, not sure why.
I can see why he stayed in the hand, it's cowboys. But they still lose to me trip 5's and I win another 1275.
I hardly play the next 35 hands until I get cowboys of my own.
I'm UTG and I raise the big blind of 40 to 100. I get two callers.
The flop is 6d-Ac-5h. Happens every time.
Checked in front of me, I bet 320 and the guy behind me folds. The other guy calls. That sucks.
The turn is a Th. He checks, I check.
The river is the Jd. He bets 960, and I fold. He had the ace, right? Maybe not, but I go back to one of my New Year's poker resolutions.
We're down to just 5 players and I'm in second place next to the button. I get 8d-7d.
I call the big blind of 60 and four of us are in the hand.
The flop is 4d-5h-2d. I've got a flush draw with a gutshot straight draw.
First bettor opens with 60 and two of us call.
The turn fills my flush, it's the 6d. Now I've got a gutshot straight flush draw.
It's checked to me. I bet 420 and get a caller.
The river is the 9d. Ugh. Now and diamond higher than my 8 wins the pot. Too bad it wasn't the 5!
It's checked to me and I bet 1260 forcing him all-in if he's got it. He folds. I win 1260.
We're down to three players, and I'm in third about 1000 chips behind 1st and 2nd. I get Qs-Js in the small blind of 60.
I call and all three of us are in the pot. The flop is Qd-Jh-8s. Great! Unless someone has 9-10.
I check and one guy opens with 180. I call, the third guy folds.
The turn is the 4c. Good, doesn't help anyone.
I check, he bets 540, I don't think he's got it and I raise to 2160, he goes all-in and I call.
He turns American Airlines. Sucks to be him.
The Jc on the river fills my boat and gives me 5220.
I'm in first now on the big blind of 150 when I get ducks.
A guy in front of me goes all-in for about a third of my stack. I put him on overcards and call.
He had overcards, alright, they just happen to both be 6's.
The flop is 5h-7c-Kh. The turn is the 7h. The river is the 7d. He doubles up.
I'm about tied with first on the button when I get 7c-6c. I call the big blind and we're all in the pot.
The flop is 6d-9c-6h. Ain't that pretty? First guy bets 150, 2nd folds, I just call.
The turn is the 4d. No flush or straight yet. He bets 150, I raise to 300, he calls.
The river is the Th. Hmmm... now a 7-8 beats me. He checks. I bet 1350, and he calls. Uh, oh.
No problem, he's got just Kd-9s. I take in 4050.
I'm well in front in the small blind when I get 5's. I remember those. They're kind to me.
I raise to 400, get raised to 1200 and I re-raise him all-in. He calls.
Showdown and this time it is my pair vs. overcards: As-Jd.
The flop is Kc-Qh-Qs. Great, give him 4 more outs with the T's, thanks!
The river is the 4d. Good.
The turn is a harmless 2h. I win another 3540.
We're down to two and I've got a 2-1 chip advantage. I get 6h-6s and raise the big blind to 600. He goes all-in for 3380. I call.
Another pair vs. overcards. This time he's got As-Kc.
The flop is 4s-Ts-Tc. Good for me.
The river is the 2d. That doesn't hurt at all.
The river is the Qs, and that's it. Pass that $50 my way.
Bluffing is overrated.
Perhaps thats overstating it a bit. When the limits are low, bluffing is often useless. The higher the limits, the more essential bluffing becomes for a winning session.
The 2003 World Series of Poker featured one of the best stone-cold bluffs of all-time. And it helped Chris Moneymaker become a millionaire.More in this Poker Blog! -->
There's no question that Moneymaker was extremely lucky in his run to the title. After all, you have to get lucky to win. Robert Varkonyi had a tremendous run of luck the year before.
Two hands really demonstrate how lucky Moneymaker really was. First, post-flop all-in with a pair of 8's against a pair of aces. The 8 came on the turn and Moneymaker won the hand. Second, post-turn all-in with three Q's against a full house. The ace on the river filled Moneymaker's boat knocking out Phil Ivey.
However, when it came to heads up play, it wasn't luck, but skill, that made the difference.
Moneymaker is dealt 4-7, both spades. Sam Farha gets K-9. The flop comes 2-9-6, with the 6 being a spade. Moneymaker's got nothing while Farha has top pair. Farha bets and Moneymaker calls.
The turn is the 8 of spades. That gives Moneymaker a flush draw and an open ended straight draw. Farha bets and Moneymaker makes a huge raise. Farha calls.
The river is a harmless 3 of hearts. Moneymaker's got nothing. Farha checks and Moneymaker goes all-in.
That's a stone-cold bluff. I'm not talking about buying a pot. Any of us can do that. I'm talking about putting everything on the line when you absolutely, positively know that you can not win the hand.
Sam Farha knew in his gut that Moneymaker was bluffing. He even said something like, "Missed your flush, huh?" However, Farha's head overruled his gut and that was the turning point of the championship.
Farha folded and Moneymaker collected about $3 million after the next showdown.
Could I push that many chips into the middle of the table knowing I have a loser? I'm not sure I could.
Moneymaker got ripped by all the poker (wanabee) experts for all of his terrible plays. I give him a little more credit. He's got the bracelet, and the cajones to make the stone-cold bluff.<-- Hide More
I learned how to play poker playing for pennies or plastic chips that had no real value. I guess I really just learned the rules of poker at that time. You don't really learn how to play until there is some real money on the line.
In the past year, I've found there are 4 different places where poker is played for real cash, and I've found those games are all very different.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Perhaps there are other games I haven't had the pleasure to play. In that case, I'm sure it's just a matter of time!<-- Hide More
I've already posted my New Year's resolutions over at Up For Anything, and I figure I should come up with a few poker resolutions. Anything to help increase the stack, right?More in this Poker Blog! -->
I guess that's about it for now. I'm sure there is plenty more for me to do so that I become a better player, but this is a start.<-- Hide More
As we all know, getting sucked out on... well... sucks. We all read the bad beat stories and lament. We want to turn away, but like the horrible accident along the side of the road, we stand and gawk, in disbelief that such carnage is possible. Well, read on brave souls. I hope this warms your heart as much as it did mine.
Playing on UB today just to kill some time before work, .25 - .50 NL when this happens...More in this Poker Blog! -->
Hand #769112-15136 at Aibongo (No Limit Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 02/Jan/04 13:29:50
TheRandall is at seat 0 with $51.85.
BigPeter is at seat 1 with $25.
Compu-Kraut is at seat 2 with $26.30.
sonvolt is at seat 5 with $19.25.
The button is at seat 5.
TheRandall posts the small blind of $.25.
BigPeter posts the big blind of $.50.
TheRandall: Th Td
BigPeter: -- --
Compu-Kraut: -- --
sonvolt: -- --
Compu-Kraut folds. sonvolt folds. TheRandall raises
to $1.50. BigPeter re-raises to $2.50. TheRandall
Flop (board: 6s Tc 5d):
BINGO! WHAT A GREAT FLOP. MY SET - TOP SET BY THE WAY - AND NOT MUCH ELSE.
TheRandall bets $5. BigPeter raises to $10.
TheRandall re-raises to $35. BigPeter goes all-in for
$22.50. TheRandall is returned $12.50 (uncalled).
Turn (board: 6s Tc 5d Ad):
(no action in this round)
River (board: 6s Tc 5d Ad Qc):
(no action in this round)
TheRandall shows Th Td.
TheRandall has Th Td Tc Ad Qc: three tens.
BigPeter shows Qh Qs.
BigPeter has Qh Qs Tc Ad Qc: three queens.
Hand #769112-15136 Summary:
$1 is raked from a pot of $50.
BigPeter wins $49 with three queens.
Ok, yeah that sucks. I'm a 91% favorite after the flop and a 95% favorite after the turn.
But then, three hands later, this happens:
Hand #769112-15139 at Aibongo (No Limit Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 02/Jan/04 13:31:28
TheRandall is at seat 0 with $27.85.
BigPeter is at seat 1 with $48.
Compu-Kraut is at seat 2 with $25.30.
sonvolt is at seat 5 with $20.25.
The button is at seat 2.
sonvolt posts the small blind of $.25.
TheRandall posts the big blind of $.50.
TheRandall: 5h Ks
BigPeter: -- --
Compu-Kraut: -- --
sonvolt: -- --
BigPeter calls. Compu-Kraut calls. sonvolt folds.
Flop (board: Kh Kc Td):
TheRandall checks. BigPeter bets $.50. Compu-Kraut
raises to $1. TheRandall re-raises to $5.25.
BigPeter calls. Compu-Kraut folds.
Turn (board: Kh Kc Td Kd):
TheRandall bets $.50. BigPeter raises to $14.75.
TheRandall goes all-in for $22.10. BigPeter calls.
River (board: Kh Kc Td Kd Js):
(no action in this round)
TheRandall shows 5h Ks.
TheRandall has Ks Kh Kc Kd Js: four kings.
BigPeter mucks cards.
(BigPeter has 6s Tc.)
Hand #769112-15139 Summary:
$1 is raked from a pot of $57.45.
TheRandall wins $56.45 with four kings.
HA!!! Never before and probably never again has retribution ever been so swift and so absolute. Oh and by the way, surprisingly BigPeter busted out a few hands later. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.<-- Hide More