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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

January 31, 2004

New TwoPlusTwo Book

by Staff

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.

Permalink | Reading Material

January 29, 2004

Online Cheating

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 28, 2004

Dutch Boyd, Pokerspot, and Rakefree

by Staff

When watching the WSOP on ESPN, I was intrigued by Dutch Boyd's golf visor that advertised "" 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 -- 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.

Play Online Poker
Permalink | Online Poker

January 26, 2004

Downed By A Pro

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 24, 2004

The Hammer!!!

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

Empire Opportunities

by Staff

I wrote yesterday about my bad beat in an Empire Poker tournament. Well, the reason I was playing the tournament is because Empire is offering some incredibly good deals on tournaments right now.

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:

Permalink | Online Poker

January 23, 2004

Chis Halverson is the Man!

by Luckbox

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!

Permalink | Poker Web Sites

The Final Table

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 22, 2004

Learning New Games

by Staff

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.

Permalink | Playing For Money


by Staff

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! -->
Permalink | Bad Beats

The New Strategy

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 20, 2004

The Bomb

by Otis

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! -->
Permalink | Playing For Fun

January 17, 2004

No Limit? Why Not?

by Luckbox

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.

That's exactly what Ugarte ran into, and he describes it all in brutal detail over at Rick's Cafe Americain. Check it out! (Permalink fixed)

Permalink | Playing For Money

January 16, 2004

Shuffle Up and Deal (After the Beer)

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

January 14, 2004

Pressing Poker Question

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Poker on TV

January 12, 2004

First Stop..... Virtual Vegas

by Staff

It has been sometime since you last heard from good ole' Huck Finn...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 10, 2004

Introducing People to the Game

by Staff

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.

Permalink | Online Poker

January 9, 2004

Boredom and Beer

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

January 6, 2004

When It's Good, It's Great!

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker

January 5, 2004

The Stone-Cold Bluff

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

January 4, 2004

The Changing Games

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

January 3, 2004

Poker Resolutions

by Luckbox

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! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

January 2, 2004

Divine retribution??

by Staff

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! -->
Permalink | Online Poker