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

May 18, 2006

The TripJax Questions

by Otis

Since G-Rob neglected to take notes on last night's home game and is not bringing you a recap of the carnage that ensued, I thought I'd take a shot at TripJax's question thread.

1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?

I'd tend to agree with those who have answered 'playing marginal hands out of position.' However, more and more, I'm seeing people make an odd mistake on a fairly frequent basis. I'm seeing more and more people limp with AA, KK, QQ, and AK in early position. While the occasional use is fine at an aggressive table (especially in concert with a re-raise), pulling this move at a highly-passive table full of limpers is bound to screw you as much as it helps you.

2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?

At the limits I tend to play, the people making the biggest mistakes are the people who aren't betting. Whether they are failing to make continuation bets, or worse, slowplaying their minor monsters (two pair, sets) they are finding a way to lose pots. Although I may have some disagreement on this, winning in limit poker is about taking the lead. Once you've lost control of the hand, it's not yours to win. It is yours to lose.

3. Why do you play poker?

I need to compete. I need to feel I'm good at something. I need to have tangible results. Poker gives me all three of these things.

4. If you weren't playing poker, what would you be doing?

For a long time, I couldn't answer this question. There was little else I wanted to do. What's more, this question is bait to ask, well then why aren't you doing that? But, I'll answer anyway. If I weren't playing poker, I'd be reading, writing, and playing guitar more.

5. What is your favorite poker book and why?

Strategy: Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 2.
Narrative: The Big Deal by Anthony Holden

6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?

Greg Raymer, hands down. I have a lot of respect for a lot of poker players. Some are a good time, some are mysterious, and some are just damned good. Raymer is all three. He's smart, a damned good player, gracious in winning, humble in defeat, a great conversationalist, not caught up in his own fame, and a great teacher.

Of course, there is also Isabelle Mercier. But that's another story for a different day.

7. Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?

It's not any poker player who thinks he is the best. Most do. It's the poker player who thinks everyone else sucks. There are a lot of those, too. Phil Hellmuth may be the most cartoonish of them. If I hadn't seen him act that way when the TV cameras weren't around, I'd think it was all an act. It is not.

8. Do your coworkers know about your blog?

I got hired BECAUSE of the blog.

9. What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online)?

I only discuss this after two Guinness drafts and shot of something.

10. What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?

I only discuss this after four Guinness drafts and two shots of something.

11. Who was your first poker blog read?


12. What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?

Just the other day, I played this pot. I was not the Hero. And I didn't have a flush. The same day I won a pot with aces. I'll let you decide which I enjoyed more.

13. Why do you blog?

I blog because I like to telll stories. I blog because I've fallen head over heels for the community of bloggers. I've made some real friends through this blog, the kind of friends I'd trust to keep an eye on my wife. I don't blog to get i the middle of flame wars. I don't blog to talk bad abouut people. I don't blog to critique other's styles.

Of course, I also blog to pay the bills. And screw you if you think there is something wrong with that. :)

14. Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?

I read my 20 favorite blogs from Bloglines and then visit their site to comment if I choose. The rest, I visit from time to time via the links on this blog.

15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?

Would I? I dunno. Probably not. As a husband and father, getting started professionally would be a risk I'm not willing to take financially. However, I would like to be able to play more than I currently do.

16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?

In regards to online poker sites and being rigged, absolutely not. However, I do keep my eye out for collusion.

17. If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?

Recall. Most human beings are creatures of habit. The players who have a great sense of recall are those that rise above the competition.

18. Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?

Only if you don't count Pascal Perrault who did it a few years ago. Still, Drizz is pretty damned cool (and so is Mrs. Drizz for going along with it). Few people know, L'il Otis' middle name is River. Actually, that's a lie.

19. What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?

Final tabling a major poker

20. What is your primary online site and why?

The best online poker site is, far and away, PokerStars. The customer support team is second to none. The tournament structures are fantastic. The VIP Club is the best in the business.

And, yeah, I'm shilling, but not one of the above statements is untrue.

21. What site do you dislike and why?

I don't like to slam individual sites. However, take from this what you will. I hate bad customer support. I hate bad tournament structures. And I hate sites that are down half the time.

| Otis' Thoughts