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June 12, 2008

Giving due the Godfather of Short-Stack Poker

by Otis

Was it really only two and half years ago? It seems like an eternity since I splashed around in a pool of my own hubris. It was as comfortable as the good Vegas beds and as dangerous as putting your money on Big Brown. Poker felt like such a sure thing. Everything made sense. The hours spent were profitable. The handle on the game was like the baseball bat owned since childhood. I remember thinking, "Damn, I could do nothing but this if I really wanted to." Blind arrogance is such a fun place to live. Every decision seems perfect, whether inside the game or out.

I don't live there anymore, for better or worse. Over the past 30 months, I've been forced to confront that I was never as good as I thought. And, even if I was, it doesn't matter. It took me too long to realize that the game changed and I didn't change with it. Like the guy who is still trying to figure out why he can't sell his warehouse full of cassette tapes, I'm forced to sit here and figure out if I can re-tool myself to catch up with two years of online poker's evolution.

Why do I think of it today? Well, a lot of reasons, I guess. But what really forced me to admit it out loud was a guy I made fun of in 2006. His screen name was one of my favorites ever: w00t4d0nks.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 20, 2008

The Antonio Esfandiari Question

by Otis

An informal poll at European Poker Tour Grand Final revealed nothing surprising. Three of the final eight players were considered to be the best players at the table with the best chance at winning. Luca Pagano was the most consistent--a record nine cashes on the EPT, including three final tables. Antonio Esfandiari was the proven live tournament winner. Isaac Baron was the online tournament king--2007 CardPlayer online player of the year, and, to his credit, a guy who knew how to act like he'd been there before.

None of them won. In fact, none of them placed in the top 3.

Whether a telling statistic about tournament play or merely another anomoly to add to the constant debate about the validity of tournament poker as an indicator of skill, it failed to answer to the question I asked a day earlier. With the chip lead and three tables remaining, was Esfandiari right to limp with a big pair in early position?

The comments in the above-linked post were thoughtful and exactly what I'd hoped to see. For what it's worth, my opinion is below.


More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 16, 2008

EPT Monte Carlo: The Big Pair Limp Question

by Otis

Live from a fifteen minute break at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, a hand that has caused significant debate, specifically between Lee Jones and this humble correspondent. Your opinion--while, like mine, largely insignificant--is valued.

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August 8, 2007

Tournaments, cash games, and skill

by Otis

The last tournament I played culminated in one of those self-affirming moments. I looked up at the TV screen and there I was, sitting right in the middle of the table with a stack of chips that would eventually lead me to winning 20 times my buy-in. Sure, it wasn't big money, but I'd battled through a minefield of a tournament, made the final table, and put myself in a position to win. The fact that it was Caesar’s closed circuit TV feed didn’t matter. I’d won and felt good about it.

When it was all over, I sat down in a chair with a beer and reflected by myself for a moment about what it meant. Was I actually good? Did I just get lucky for a day?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 28, 2006

Laying down aces

by Otis

I do not write strategy posts. I do not write theory posts. I write stories. I do this because, despite the fun I have playing poker, I'm better at telling stories than explaining how I play or offering helpful advice to people looking to improve their game. With that disclaimer, the past six weeks have been pretty interesting. I've laid down pocket aces three times on the flop. As each of the laydowns have resulted in hours of post-hand analysis, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. I'm not looking for a pat on the back. I'm just curious.

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May 30, 2006

Getting Stuck On Purpose

by Otis

The bar was just about to get loud. The G-Spot is one of those places that is a comfortable watering hole until the band starts up. Then it gets loud and it's hard to hear each other talk. I was with BadBlood and my buddy, T. We were talking marriage and family. For the 30-40 married man, it's one of the most important discussions to have with your like-minded friends.

It was during this discussion that I had an odd poker epiphany.

I think I get stuck on purpose.

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May 12, 2006

How Could You Call That?!?!

by Luckbox

How many times have you been asked that question? How many times have you seen it asked at the table? And how many times have you asked that yourself?

Here's the outrage:

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May 3, 2006

Bad Beats: Definitions

by Otis

Poker is not a Pollyanna game. I know, because I am an idealist.

[Ed. Note: We are having a server issue with our comments, please bear with us. Fixed.]

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April 28, 2006

Deal or Fold?

by Luckbox

You've just been offered $129,000 for a silver case with a big number on the outside and an amount of money ranging from a penny to a million dollars on the inside.

$129,000 is more than you've ever made in your life. It will solve every money problem you currently have. The bills will all be paid. The car will be yours. You can travel, you can treat your friends and family and you can gamble worry-free.

And you say, "No."

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April 22, 2006

Aaron Brown Responds

by Luckbox

A few days ago, I asked, "Who the f#$% is Aaron Brown?" Well, Mr. Brown has responded. As i expected, his quote may have been taken somewhat out of context. Or, more to the point, it's impossible for him to explain what he means in just the sentence the writer of the article allowed.

So, since I bet more people will read me than that New York Times rag, I'm going to reprint Mr. Brown's comment from my previous post below. I still don't entirely agree with the premise (and I may respond at some point), but at least it's explained more fully. Enjoy!

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Southern Comfort

by G-Rob

I played like crap on Wendesday. Blood and I have been hitting this underground game with a fairly competent dealer and a good atmosphere. In the previous two trips there I'd won about a buyin and broken EXACTLY even. This time I was in no mood to play, and it showed. I've been playing pretty bad poker the last few times and, as he drove me home, I tried to figure it out with Mr. Blood.

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February 28, 2006

Shortbuy City

by Otis

I remember one morning in Tunica when the Showered People invaded our table full of sleepless stinkers. All night long, I'd watched drunks, gamblers, and neophytes sit down at the game and buy-in for $100 at a time. I'd bought in for a grand. Now, the Showered People were buying in for $3000-$4000. I remember the thought like I had it two minutes ago.

"The smart money just sat down. Time to go."

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February 12, 2006

The Ten Commandments of Tournament Poker

by Luckbox

I've virtually given up on ring games, except in a live setting. Online ring games just don't hold any appeal to me. I can win money there if I'm committed, but, for some reason, I don't seem to have the consistent focus needed to succeed like Otis.

And so I play tournaments. Occasionally, I'll mix in a single-table SNG, but for the most part, I'm playing the MTT's with guaranteed prize pools. Pacific has nightly 15K and 10K tourneys. Full Tilt Poker has a nightly 10.5K, 16K and 8K (if i remember correctly). And at PokerStars, the 180 SNG's have a first prize of $1080. On the weekends, you can find guarantees ranging from 50K to 750K.

Over that time, I've developed a few rules for myself, and I call them the Ten Commandments of Tournament Poker.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 15, 2005

Poker Tilt: Definitions

by Otis

Mrs. Otis sat on the couch and looked back and forth between the computer screen and my face. The images on the screen represented her bi-weekly paycheck being eaten by the dog then subsequently thrown up on the kid. The look on my face was not unfamiliar. It's a slight flush in the neck, followed by a sigh leaking from my mouth, followed by the words, "Oh, well."

Then she spoke. "So, is that what you people call variance?"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 19, 2005

High and Tight

by G-Rob

Let's get the manditory truth out of the way up front, I am a horrible poker player. If poker skill were playa moves, I'd be some middle-aged dimwit slouched on a couch with a laptop for a lap.

Somehow, I think I just proved chicks dig great poker players. Which is silly. I have MUCH better TV hair.

How about this?

If you could stack all the stupid at every poker table... it would be about 6 foot 5.

6'10" with the hair.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 7, 2005

Back Roads

by G-Rob

I love the mountain drive, especially from Asheville to Nashville. It's an interstate, but it winds along the plateau and snakes past some of the most breathtaking valleys in the world. CJ once totalled a car there when the rain slicked roads made the sharp turns impossible. But on this one trip, this one 6 hour drive to a farm near Nashville, I couldn't see the mountains for the music.

My wife sat next to me fingering through a ream of paper she'd printed from the "official" Bonnaroo website... a list of performers, schedules for each state, and all the other camp goings-on. We made a schedule of our own. By the time we met our friends in a hotel, just 60 miles from the big music show, we had every action, ever breath, planned to the minute.

You should ALWAYS be prepared.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 4, 2005

You Played What?!?!

by Luckbox

How many times have you thought that in the past week? Month? Year?

When I first started playing poker, I never thought that. I was the guy on the other end. I was playing Q3 because it was suited. I was calling that gutshot straight draw on a hunch. That was ME.

I had a girly-thingy IM conversation with Heather the other night and I was whining about the fact that I was in a Wednesday night poker slump. She asked me the most important question, "Was I playing poorly?"

You see, when I started playing Pool Table Poker down here is Leezy-anna, I was surrounded by about a half-dozen people who were dreadful players, a few players who were bad and a few who had seen enough World Poker Tour to get by.

Things have changed.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 19, 2005

Viewer mail!

by G-Rob

I get all kinds of great questions here at "UpForPoker". People need to know things. Lets answer a few :

Yes, this IS my real hair.

No, Otis is not a made up name.

Yes, I'm really THAT bad a poker.

But sometimes I get a question so good it deserves a post of its own. Such is the case with this gem from our G-Vegas buddy Otit:

I know you guys have talked about what personality types are more conducive to successful poker playing. From the other direction, what personality type stands to learn the most from playing the game? Poker is a game of selective aggression. A person who is aggressive will probably be more successful in business and life than a passive or indecisive person, but I would think learning to control that aggression and use it selectively would make them even more succesful. On the other hand, can a person who is natural non-aggressive and indecisive actually use poker to develop aggression and decisiveness in normal life? Also, will it even be POSSIBLE for a passive person to develop a consistently aggressive style at the table, i.e. ramp up and be aggressive and maintain that under pressure? If so, for which type is it easier to make an effective transition? I would think full-time aggressive to selectively aggressive would be much easier because you are toning down a desirable behavior instead of correcting an undesirable one.
More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 11, 2005

Think Fast and Win!

by G-Rob

It's a nice, and fairly soft, SNG tournrey. You're about average stack, and you're in a raised pot after the flop. You're only in with one other donkey, and he's shown a tendancy to raise big slick to the river. He's almost never willing to fold a hand that he loved pre-flop. You have top pair and a flush draw so you toss out a bet, and now the maniac comes over the top.

For two seconds, the words "OVERPAIR" flash across your brian.

Now, I ask you, is that a good read? Or would making any well-thought read be exactly the worst thing you can do?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 25, 2005

Rickey be Rickey.

by G-Rob

As a young left handed pitcher, my favorite pro was a crafty verteran with what I assumed was a similar delivery. I actually chose Steve Carlton as my baseball idol before I saw him play, I just admired the statistics on the back of his card. I'd happily swap any of the big rookies, and their more valuable debut cards, to my equally nerdy friends just for a late career action photo of a man who played the way I wanted to.

Rickey Henderson was different. I've never been fast and I'd only bat leadoff if the previous inning ended with our 6th man. We'd have those long debates up in my room about who was the better base stealer, and I'd take anyone over the arrogant swagger of the longtime Oakland A. The better the numbers on the back of Rickey's card, the more I wanted them out of my hands as if each base hit was another burning degree.

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July 25, 2005

Hot and Bothered

by G-Rob

NOTE : BE SURE TO READ OTIS' INVITE POSTED BELOW


We'd just finished our shoot and were standing on the Main Street bridge. The broadest gurgle of the Reedy River was over my left shoulder and the blazing sun on the right. I knew Sunday that this would be my Monday beat. We'd led the newscast for 2 days with warnings of the "HEAT ADVISORY" for the entire veiwing area. Usually when local news "experts" tell you the weather is too hot, cold, wet, windy or dry to venture outside....that's exactly where I end up.

After 2 hours of interviewing roofers and following the friendly staff at "Party Time Ice", we'd come to the part that features me. I stood with my face to the camera and my hand on the mike and prepared to record a tease. Veiwers always need a warning about what's "coming up!" We had a monster story about how regular Joe's were coping with the heat.

"I think its great that you're willing to go on camera like that," Mark smiled.

I looked down at my TV LOGO shirt, and found it so drenched in sweat my giant man nipples were naked against the polyester. Until then, I thought I looked pretty damn good. I thought I had kept my cool.

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July 3, 2005

On Why it's good to SUCK at poker

by G-Rob

I killed time at work tonight with some UFP archives. That Otis can write up a storm, and its been fun trying to remember the homegames-gone-by. In one I found something that was hurting his game, a lesson he learned the hard way, and found again how the inverse has kept me flush with imaginary cash.

Otis is an excellent poker player and would like to be recognized as such. It's well deserved.

I've become a very profitable player, but have spent years cultivating a very poor poker reputation. Pride is a seductive lover who will always leave you poor. Better lucky than good.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 14, 2005

Is it still a "Mistake"

by G-Rob

...if I knew it was a mistake before I did it? Freud would have a field day with this one, some sort of self-sabotage mumbo jumbo BS. But the devil in the NL game is the split second of mental weakness. Umpteen hours of wise and patient grinding will unravel in one ill-fated and unwise second. The itchy mouse finger of G-Rob triggers a Kent State massacre on my bankroll, which is only moments away from a real folk classic.

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April 30, 2005

Brick and More-tar

by G-Rob

There are a million variations of the same two options, and I've heard them all from everyone. Let's review :

a) I play better online than I do in Live Action. (see Otis)

b) I play better Live than I do online. (see JMC Automatic)

I'm sure one of the two applies to you. It's NL texas Hold-em and the RULES don't change. So why does the venue matter so much?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 3, 2005

Must-Read Poker Advice

by Luckbox

As many of you know, my last WPBT tournament experience ended when my flopped set of 5's lost to the eventual champions flopped set of 8's.

I had worked my stack up early to close to 4000T and I was among the top 20. But something happened. I started playing marginal hands and catching 2nd, 3rd and 4th best hands. That's a recipe for disaster.

I decided to tighten up and wait for the right opportunity to double up. It's my natural style after all. It was Presto... Speed Limit... whatever you'd like to call pocket 5's. I limped from early position and 5 of us saw a flop of J-8-5 rainbow.

I said to myself, "I hope someone caught something so I can double up." I lead out and get raised by Gamecock. I put in a significan re-raise and he moves me all in. I call, happily. He flips 88 (set vs. set, grumble, grumble, grumble). I'm out in 74032nd place, or whatever.

Should I have played this hand differently? You can't be unhappy about getting all your money in the pot with a set, right?

So I've taken a few days to think about it, and I've had an epiphany. There is a way to play this hand. Here now is my indispensible advice for playing bottom set...

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February 8, 2005

The Danger Hands

by Luckbox

They are hands that break up the monotony of fold, fold, fold, fold and fold. You're four-tabling online and just waiting for a hand to flash before your eyes or you're at a B&M and just waiting for that first playable hand.

That's when you see it. The danger hand. The hand you shouldn't be playing, but the hand you can't help but play. All it does is cost you money, but you keep telling yourself, "It's the best hand I've seen in hours."

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January 16, 2005

Beware the Limp, Re-Raise

by Luckbox

It was just back on January 8th where I read a post by BadBlood about his home game. He bemoaned the fact that he completely disregarded an obvious read.

I’ve spoken with DoubleR several times about playing pocket A’s in early position. Limp, re-raise. It’s fairly well documented in Brunson’s Super System and is a common play. I looked over across the table and KNEW DoubleR was holding them. With 100% certainty. So what did I do? I pushed.

Fast forward to yesterday... I'm playing in an Empire tourney with the top 7 entrants getting a spot in Sunday night's $50,000 guarantee. With about 40 players left, I'm the big stack in the tourney, relatively pleased with my play. That's about when Bad Blood stopped by to sweat me.

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November 26, 2004

What I'm Thanful For...

by Luckbox

Thanksgiving is the time of year to take a look back at what you're thankful for. So in looking back at my time at the tables, I've decided that I'm thankful for...

...the bad beat jackpot. There's nothing like losing a hand and walking away with $1600.

...playing poker with Dad. Last time I was home, my Dad ran a little tourney at his favorite watering hole (he's like Norm there... really!). I finished up for the night and so did he. I think I impressed him. This also gives me a chance to remind you of the best post ever on Up For Poker where Otis talks about his Dad.

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October 17, 2004

Learning from the Hammer

by Luckbox

According to Poker Tracker, in my limited 1000 hand sample, my most profitable hand is... (drum roll please)... the HAMMER.

Sounds improbable, right? Sure, Rockets, Big Slick, and the Hilton Sisters have made me some good money as well, but nothing, so far, tops 7-2 offsuit.

How could that be?

It's actually rather simple.

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October 12, 2004

Married White Otis, ISO...

by Otis

I've taken to using the trite old phrase, "It's not a sprint. It's a marathon." While I'm loathe to pick up hackneyed turns-of-phrase and use them into submission, I find myself using this one more and more when tutoring friends who are beginning to love the game.

Another phrase I like to use--after hearing someone say the same thing over and over again--is, "Who are you trying to convince?"

That is, if I hear someone protesting and protesting, and methinks they doth protest too much, perhaps they are trying to convince themselves and not me.

So, Otis, who are you trying to convince?

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October 10, 2004

Otis, the marshmallow

by Otis

We stepped out of Emilo the SDV and into the autumn night. We were four in number Friday night, meeting the crew at The Mark for an evening of freedom and poker play.

"Something's burning," I said, grabbing the 12-pack of schwag beer from the floor board. I didn't stop to think about the days five years ago when I steadfastly refused to drink a beer at a poker game. Then, I kept my vices seperate. Now, though, as parenthood creeps into my poker and drinking time, I find myself mixing the two more and more.

"Smells like the deck is on fire," I said. I could see little flickers of orange between the wooden slats of the back porch decking.

Then came the soft voice out of the orange light.

"Do you know my daddy?"

The red-headed little girl poked her head out.

"Did you come to see my daddy?"

"We did," I said. 'What's on fire?"

She pointed. The chiminea on the corner of the deck burned bright.

'We're toasting marshamallows," she said.

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October 4, 2004

Otis and the Tricky Trail

by Otis

"Tricky."

I was giggling a little. The word "tricky" seemed a silly little word, and its alliterative symbiosis with the word "trail" had worked its way into my internal dialog. And since I was unable to keep my noodle's monologue inside my head, I kept muttering the word "tricky" and trying not to fall.

"Tricky," I said one more time, hoping the person behind me might take heed, take warning of the absolute trickiness of it all.

"Stands to reason that it's tricky, Otis," came the voice from behind me (or perhaps it was ahead of me). "This is, in fact, the Tricky Trail."

Indeed, it was.

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September 1, 2004

On capital "K" Karma

by Otis

Cojones.

No one who has ever played No-Limit Hold'em at a level that could threaten their poker playing career will deny it takes conjones--big, rock-solid, kind you'd find at the base of Mt. Rushmore cojones--to play the game. To play at a level where you push your paycheck across the felt takes having the fortitude to keep the cojones from pulling up and away from the cold, bitch-slapping world that is No-Limit poker. It takes keeping them from seeking solitude in the gradual trek from their own boxer-shorts home, though your insides, and into your throat.

So, when Crying Mike Matusow looked across the felt into the hologrammed eyes of Greg Raymer and declared he, Matusow, had "Big cojones," it seemed a little more than redundant. It seemed a little more than friendly coffee-housing.

It seemed, in short, to be a giant middle finger in the face of capital "K" Karma.

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August 26, 2004

Lessons in Life

by Luckbox

For some people, poker is a way of life. It's all they do, it's all they think about.

For the rest of us, poker is just a diversion. It takes us away from the "real" world, if only for a time.

For all poker players, lessons learned at the table (or virtual table) can be applied to everything we do. Here's just a few:

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August 14, 2004

A Hole in My Game

by Luckbox

Despite the fact that the WPBT's next tourney is a little more than a week away, I am about to tell all of you about a pretty big hole in my game. It's up to you to decide whether I'm only doing this to set you up or not.

I think I play pretty solid poker. I generally make money when I play, and that's a good thing. If I lost as often as I played, I'd be broke right now. That would make me a compulsive gambler, and I'm hoping to avoid that label for as long as possible.

But I digress...

I have a problem. I could make more money if I figured out a way to eliminate a huge hole in which my money manages to disappear.

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July 12, 2004

From Ducks to Rockets

by Luckbox

Aside from chip-shuffling, nothing makes you appear like a poker pro in a room full of amatuers like the use of solid poker lingo. Since mentioning pocket 9's and it's lack of a good nickname, I've had a few searches for "poker hand names" funnel people to Up For Poker.

With that in mind, let's see how much we can help people out:

Play Online Poker
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May 21, 2004

The Double Deuce

by Otis

Editor's note: This is an incomplete post. I was just getting into the meat of it when I decided it was too much of a ripoff of another poker blogger. Nonetheless, since I started this, I'm going to post it. That's the way I feel about blogging. It turns my game and my mind into a fishbowl. Sunshine makes us all better. If you know I was on the way to a blatant rip-off, maybe I won't do it again. --Otis

In the cutoff, I looked down and saw it. Deuce-Deuce. Damned ducks never do anything but quack. If they had a little appeal, like that crazy, wacky Aflack duck, then maybe I'd get excited. Instead, I call, only to be raised by the SB.

I should fold deuces every time. A two-outer with not much of anywhere to go.

But I called. Then, as I was preparing for a quick hour of self-flaggelation (not to mention a little deprecation and loathing), the flop made my set, beating out the SB's bigger pair for a sizeable pot.

In the chatbar I offered, "The double douche. Damned that hurts, don't it?"

The SB didn't respond. I waited for anyone to pick up the reference. No one did. These folks don't know Wade Garrett. And if they don't know Wade Garrett, they likely don't know Dalton.

Before you laugh (alright, as you laugh), you should know, the movie "Road House" serves as a late 80s oracle to the poker playing community.

Please, step inside The Double Deuce.

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March 31, 2004

Theatre of the Absurd

by Otis

Pssssst.

I'm crazy. Hear that, pops? I'm a damned loon. Watch these cards I'm about to play. I'm wacked. My noodle is cramped. I'm a three year-old with a temper and a handful of reds. I'm a smart player's worst nightmare. I'll river you before the flop hits the felt.

Fish, you say?

How could a fish carry all these chips, sir?

See, I'm crazy. Crazy like a fish. A clown fish, see. Now scoot your fish-eating butt over and deal the cards.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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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.

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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?

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December 30, 2003

I'm All In

by Staff

As some of you may or may not know my twin brother runs and is the major contributor to this site. It was CJ that inspired and sparked my interest-- no, no... check that, my obsession with No Limit Texas Hold-em. It started innocently...

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December 18, 2003

Lessons Learned

by Staff

A few of the lessons I've learned during my five or so costly years of poker apprenticeship, some from those far wiser than myself, others which dawned on me as I watched my chips being pushed far away from me. Enjoy.

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November 16, 2003

The Greatest Comeback in Poker History

by Staff

A cursory look through the poker literature will reveal words to the effect that poker isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. They will often mention that there's really no such thing as sessions, but rather that poker is just "one long game," with the idea being that even if you get smacked around on any given night it doesn't really matter, since if you play the game well the percentages will eventually even out, and you'll end up a winner where it really counts, over the long run.

Of course, just like X and 1/X are respectively infinitely large and small, sometimes it feels like poker is both one long game played over the course of a lifetime as well as millions of small games counted by sessions, hours, hands, and even streets. It's hard to remember that "one long game" stuff when we've all had sessions where we'd broken even and felt like the biggest loser in the world, as well as breaking even and feeling like a WSOP winner. Last night at the Borgata, I had one green chip left on the table, one hand to play, when a miracle happened and I went on an incredible rush...to finish even.

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November 10, 2003

Rainbow Flop

by Staff

Still running pretty well, winning more than I'm losing, though one spectacularly awful trip down to Atlantic City (spread out between the Taj and the Trop) wiped out the gains from four straight up sessions. Even with that nightmare (and is there any drive longer than that trip up the Parkway after a crushing?), I'm still feeling pretty positive.

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October 29, 2003

THINK!

by Staff

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.

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October 13, 2003

Running Good: A Brag

by Staff

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?

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October 6, 2003

Variance

by Staff

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.

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October 5, 2003

How to Really Sound Like You Know Poker

by Staff

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.

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Big Slick vs. Pocket Rockets

by Luckbox

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):

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