Showing posts from 2010

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part seven

She resists and for a moment I think, I pressed too far, she knows I’m messing with her. Maybe she remembers Mr. Mister once belted out Broken Wings. Though I’m also gleefully imagining the visual for a third party as she’s still holding a hand out for a handshake and I’m looking like Tonto saying “How.” After some delicious awkwardness, I smile and pull at her hand again to give me a high five. The moment was as sweet as flopping a Royal Flush on bwin poker.

She relents, though I know she’s trying to understand the “Mr. Mister” introduction.

She even throws back to it… “Oh, so where then are you from?” as though there is some place I can say where it’d make sense for people to have the last name Mister. Or maybe, and far more probable, she’s decided to humor my “eclectic” personality as some sale-training handbook has instructed her. The game is still afoot, I just found a miracle card to stay alive in during a session of Sit and go poker tournaments.

“Originally… Lithuania.” Lithuania?…

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part six

As Kai Landry has proven this also works on on a Texas Holdem poker table if you want to mind-f somebody do and say stuff that makes no sense at all. Try as they might they won’t be able to stop themselves from replaying the situation in the head time and time again.

This is even more effective in Omaha poker and suddenly you'll be typecast as the nut who never has it. You want action? You'll get it.

Anyway, back to the store, when we paused as my wife saw something flashy, glitterly and likely improbably expensive that attracted her eye, the saleslady engaged in some of the banal conversation openers that she learned in some hour long training seminar on how to engage the customers. She knew she needed to ask us our names and like a good hooters waitress knew she’d increase the likelihood of a sale, or an up-sale, by initiating physical contact.

By the way, strippers learned the immense value of this sales technique first, and everybody from a car salesman to a shoesalesm…

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part five

So, he was good for the game in a few good ways, and I decided I could tolerate listening to the greatness of Duke, one of the perils when you don't play online poker is listening to your table-mates.

Southpaw Rounder was also at my table and delivered a line I didn’t immediately get and went right over the dudes head as well. “So you played Lacrosse at Duke.” I got it a few seconds later. It kind of went over the other dude's head. He was too busy trying to prove he qualifyied for a scholarship to bwin poker school to notice.

I guess I am a bit of an ahole because I don’t mind messing with somebody when they don’t know they are being messed with. I don’t even need an audience to do it for. Sometimes I can just humor myself by doing it. It’s like a private game.

I also like saying non-sequitor in somewhat awkward social situations. There’s usually too much a veneer of politeness for people to ever really question what you mean, which means that random thought is just ferm…

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part four

So, I was involved in a Texas Hold em poker hand with my friend from Duke University. Anyway, my attempt to play coy and frustrate him failed miserably. I was starting to say this little nugget, “Duke, that’s a good school… for basketball players. As good as you guys are, it must be really easy to get in.”

I was planning to follow up with deadpan seriousness that he was mistaken about it being a hard school to go to because of all the athletes there. In fact, I was about to relish messing with the guy, because in about a 30 minute span he told me and the table he went to Duke about 60 times or once every 30 seconds (for those of you not smart enough to get into Duke). Then I was going to explain the rules to him on how to play poker at every opportunity because I understood he went to Duke, and it's can't be that tough a school. I planned on being very nice about it.

Then something happened.

I got out, “Duke, that’s a good school…” and I paused waiting to deliver the zin…

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part three

Finally, I get to a poker story, at the tail end of this post. One of the few chances this holiday season I had to play poker.

If everybody is taking pictures next to a jellyfish, like rabid paparazzi stumbling on to the cast of Twilight licking Tiger Woods earlobes while also digging up the corpse of Michael Jackson, I'm simply walking through. Yeah, sorry. And what the f is up with this red-eye reducers that ship about twenty flashes into your retina before you take the picture. At some point, some poor kid is going to go into a fit of seizures at the entrance of the aquarium just from all the flashes bouncing around the place.

Okay, that’s my take from the aquarium. Not really a snippet of a conversation at all, unless you want to count my son demanding “more” face time with a shark as a conversation. Here’s some “more” snippets of a fake conversation. Here’s some texts traded during the Monday Night Saints game. Somebody, maybe me, maybe not, but definitely somebody, apparently …

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part two

So where was I. Starting explaining why I'm a pretentious prick... bragging about my kid, or writing far too long about him, and teaching him sign language. Anyway, that's how I've been keeping busy during the holidays away from the Poker Texas Hold em table.

The kid knows how to tell me... More food, more bottle, more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and it was really useful, because instead of him going into a cry because we were denying him something, I guess, he's would simply tell us what he wants. I have a feeling from what I’ve heard about children growing up, “More” is going to be a permanent fixture in his vocabulary.

Right now he's also wearing out the head shake for “No.” Time for bed? I think basically he’s learned all he’ll ever need as far as communicating with mom and dad. If you can boil it down to two words it’s “more” and “no.” So, now that he knows all that he knows to get by in life with language time to teach him how to learn poker.

Still, as warm…

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table

Been slammed with my parents in town to visit for the holidays. Still managed to get over to the local casino and play some Texas Hold'em late night, a couple of times, but it was tough juggling all kinds of activities, considering both sides of my kid's family were omnipresent.

They've sort of put the Harrahs weekly on hiatus so no poker tournaments for me to speak of. One day, I did get stamped for parking there but it was when I took the boy to the aquarium, he loved it. I'll tell you a little anecdote about that in a second but first, let me get my bearings a little bit. I never wanted to be pretentious parent, the kind of braggart that bores any nearby listener with the minutia of every little detail of his child's development, but I've found that recently, that disposition has seeped into me--so my apologies to my readers. I guess there is some consolation in that I am self-aware of behaving in a fashion that I used to take umbrage with, but that’s …

Answers to my poker question... part three

Continued with my response to the first email:

The hand is very standard... it's why I picked it, though I did specify it was live and not Texas Hold'em poker online. In the intro, I cop to the fact it's a hypothetical, so I don't feel like my friend was insulting me because it’s not real. Not that he was the only one that didn't catch that is was entirely fake. In Monkey's response he referred to the flop by saying something like "if that was really what flopped.” Im pretty sure he was joking.

Yes, the hand is very close to one I played, but I made things simpler, with stack-sizes and positions changing. Only the answer-er on the button and the two blinds to deal with and some limitations to their stack sizes. Rather then just survey my usual network of friends, this time I decided to poll a wide group of people about it, and tried to glean some insight in where they differed. While this won't be helpful in my next Sit'n go per se, hard not…

Answers to my poker question... part two

Here's the second half of the first of many emails in response to my hypothetical hand... This is a blogger who plays live and likes to sometimes play online poker too.

Continued from previous post…
"The fact that it's so early in a tourney means I would be willing to gamble a little more to accumulate rather than protect and avg stack when still so much play before actually "playing" for anything. Although I'm not a fan of shoving in this spot it's not the worst poker strategy in the world.

2) doesn't matter what you raise, if you're trying to end the pot with a raise (not my style) then might as well put it all in. I don't have a problem making a raise that would price in a draw b/c the same raise that would price in a draw could be the raise amount that a marginal blind hand might call from a button raise pre and post flop.

3) Call...the only thing I see wrong with a call here is the fact you're not building a pot with a su…

Answers to my poker question... part one

Wow, first off I'm humbled by the variety of responses I've gotten through email and facebook. A few big Texas Hold em poker local and some so big they are national names that have weighed in, so I hope I'm able to present them capably when I do compile the information. I don't want to take anything they've said out of context or wrongly present their viewpoint. My plan now is to releases some of the emails on the blog, sometimes whole hog without the analysis or follow-up, and sometimes with little snippets that helped me out.

I'm excited and looking to really devote some time to this project and put together a solid article for the GCP yearbook coming out next year. Hope I'm up to the task, because I think some of the top flight pros may be surprised at the way other pros approached it.

What I've discovered, even in selecting a standard hand, is the different variables that people lean on. I just hit "publish" on a comment that brought u…

Soliciting Poker Opinions...

I just sent this out via email and on facebook to a number of Texas Hold em poker
players I have a lot of respect fore with very different styles and levels of aggressiveness. If I didn’t send it to you it’s not because I don’t respect you, it’s only because you didn’t spring to mind at the moment. It started small and evolved to something bigger. I’m afraid for some of the folks I sent it to, I missed some specifics that I later added in like the suits of my holdings which are below.

If any of you didn’t get the email but would like to respond please do so in the comments section. Really, like to hear you thoughts on this fairly standard spot, but one that might open the window to different mindsets.


I'm writing a couple of players I respect to get some opinions on a hand. I picked a "pretty standard" spot, because I'm more curious how you would approach the hand and the thought process involved in your decisions, then maybe the action itself. I will proba…

Poker replies

More comments. I know this was done in the comments section previously but I want to flesh it out a little more. This question regarding a poker hand has inspired me to seek out some input for a similar type spot from some pros and peers that I respect, which I will do in a later post. Already gotten some positive responses. Only problem is the hand is a tournament hand and not a cash hand. Anyway, here's the reply which differs from my online poker strategy and my expanded response.

Funny you should mention this. I was in a similar hand at Sands Bethlehem 2/5 about a month ago. Here's my description to a friend. I didn't have much of a read on this player other than that he was a somewhat grumbly middle-aged guy (but not an obvious grumbly nit/nut peddler type) who had been pretty quiet for the 30 mins to an hour since I sat down. I don't think I am being results-oriented.

"By the way, I lost way too much money with the second nut straight against the nut stra…

Tournament Poker and Cash Game mistake part II

Continued from previous post about Texas Hold'em poker cash game hand.

The friend of Tiki Barber lookalike was saying... "Now why you going do that it was just a small little pot." Then, like before, he starts going through the hands. “Do you have this?” “Did you flop the nuts?” “Could you have this?” He’s back into his actor mode. In fact, it was an exact recreation of the previous hand. I try to look weak and then he eyes me up and down, the shoves for almost my entire stack. A huge overbet, again.

Gulp. Sometimes you get exactly what you want and then go, did I really want that?

Now, I have the second nuts here. What could possibly be the egregious mistake that I could make? Calling? Is it ever an egregious mistake to call with second nuts? Okay, maybe in a five way pot, but the rest of the players had gotten out of dodge and it was just us. So unless I need to learn poker again I gotta call.

As I always do I thought it out, and of course unfortunately, I nit roll some pe…

Tournament Poker and Cash Game mistake...

Continued from previous post...

It’s brick city.

Btw, that’s not my second Texas Holdem game terrible mistake on the evening, even though I had plenty of reason to not shove right there.

The next moment of stupidity would be in the cash game. I head over to the poker room and sit down and start to try and generate something positive. The dealer co-operates. I win one of those pots without any chips in front of me before the chip-runner has come back with pocket jacks. Freeroll a cash game? Fun.

Wonder how often a player has sat down and said they already gave their money to a chip-runner and tries to win their first hand. Probably, casinos are pretty on top of that scam, but you’d think with all the freshly broke degens out there somebody would be giving it shot more often.

So, I win a few more pots and notice the table is basically a lot of shallow stacks and passive players, hesitant to call all in. I told myself, now is the time to shift gears and forget how I play poker tournaments, an…

Tournament Poker, Sunglasses and More Part II

It’s brick city.

Hmm. A joy in Texas Hold em poker is knowing where you are in the hand. I figure his ace to be weak, at best, and wonder if he is on a better flush draw. Not a straight out there. Maybe he has a decent K or was just floating me. A set is possible so too a weird two pair, but I feel genuine weakness. He checks and I fire out another bet.

A check here from me, is reasonable, but then I’m only playing the hand one way and that’s hoping to hit a card. I rationalize a bet here would be warranted by an ace to protect against the flush so why not. I fire and he stews. Then he gets his dander up and asks to see my paltry stack size. I love this tell in poker tournaments once, you know the player it’s either 100% strength or 100% weakness. This guy it was weakness. He puts exactly half of it in.

Oh. Well. I consider just shoving it in and hoping to hit. The bet size wasn’t quite giving me the odds to call, but if I hit, he had to call my shove so I decided to call. If I missed I …

Tournament Poker, Sunglasses and More Part I

So far I’m O’fer Harrahs... I love to play Texas Hold'em poker and bink out of three tournaments, have some middling success in the cash games, and basically put a lot of time in for nothing. I feel like a salesman working on straight commission signing up all kinds of customers and then at the end of the month having them all back out for dubious reasons.

The tournaments were a mixed bag. I blame myself for the first one. The second I got a little unlucky, and the third I was a victim of situation and a guy oblivious to it, yes fair warning a poker bad beat likely looms ahead in coming posts. If I were a woman I’d only get interest from self-destructive creeps, because in poker those are the only people that play hands with me.

Let’s start from the top: the first tournament I played I made two really bad mistakes. Egregious even.

One was a matter of seeing the cards. I prefer to play with my contacts in and sunglasses on. I just like to stare at people to read them and I get self-co…

More Poker discussion and links...

First off... Getting excited for the Harrahs Texas Holdem poker tournaments. With Christmas coming not sure how to divide up my meager bankroll. Play some nooners +1 (they list 1 pm start times which is great for the late risers) or try and stick to the nightlys to play multiple tournaments. Should I hit the satellites or Sit'n go tournaments whatever they are called there that I seem to run so bad at recently. We'll see.

-Write a blog post and try to get in the mind of a world class player and fail. Joe Cheong discusses what he was thinking in that famous hand much better than I could do: Go here to read more.

-Okay, penalize me a million points for knowing the name of a random alien in Star Wars. In my defense I googled it because my in-laws have a dog that looks like him. Or so, I thought it was a him. Check out the high-heels and ask yourself if Greedo was a chick, or an alien cross-dresser. And while you are busy asking yourself questions, also ask if you could tell if an a…

Catching up on the Poker Blog Comments.... Part Two

More comments and my responses. Thanks for reading this little No limit Texas Hold'em
blog. Much apprecitated that it's finding some people who find it ineresting. I'll continue my break from Online Sit and go poker tournaments to respond some more.

What did you think about the big Cheong-Duhamel hand?

Congrats! I hadn't checked the blog in a while and it was nice to come back for a win. Definitely post more details. I might be heading down to New Orleans for New Year's, so we should definitely hang.

Hi Keenan, I think I'll be in town New Years so I'm down with meeting up with you in the Harrahs poker room. Don't felt me too often. Sorry, I was light on the details of the that tournament I never really got back to. It was another event where nothing got going until it really mattered and then I really started to chip up, and had the luxury of exploiting the tightest guy in the field image I had built up by being dreadfully card dead.

The Cheong-Duhamel hand …

Catching up on the Poker Blog Comments....

First off, thank you to those of you who commented recently on this Texas Holdem blog. Sorry, I didn't "authorize" the comments sooner. I've gotten so disenchanted by the spam this blog receives recently that I've been neglectful in getting the comments on the site. So, of course I get a handful of really good ones and they just sat there. I promise to do better next time no matter if I'm off trying to play poker tournaments or not..

So I thought I'd post most of them here and respond where necessary.

kinda like the Gold, Silver, Bronze idea for Main Event Bracelets, that would be kinda cool. I was hoping you might be willing to swap blog links with me. I've already added you to mine @ Cheers, James

Will do James as soon as I get this post up (or sooner). By the way I could relate with your post about being a dad and its effect on poker. Seems like you can get back to the grind a little better than I have. And nice friggin' blog…

Mo... Movember, Poker, and Thanksgiving

I once lost a mustachio bet. They weren't nearly as hip or cool as they are these days with James Franco rocking one without any irony. So, I had to grow one and go out with my friends sporting a stash. I went handlebars and tried to pull off bad ass. I didn't grow the perm or side-burns but I should have. This time I grew the hair to match, but of course I forgot to take any photos with my hair comically coiffed. Oh well, that makes as much sense as Formula 1 betting because you drive a car. Anyway, I'm submitting some photos for the competition and I will have some mustache photos of me on here too, soon. So, there I was with this gross third eyebrow over my mouth and I was stuck going to seeing Grand-mother. She's 95 so to say she's a little conservative, considering she predates the parents of hippies is to put it mildly. I don't think she approves of any facial foilage, especially a shaggy stache that looked as ridiculus as the one on my face. Before we got t…

Movember, Thanksgiving, and Poker but not in that order...

So we were in the middle of the letter from my cousin that got me Mo-tivated to do something Mus-tastic. Which by the way is my new adjective that I will wear out. I used to like delicious or turgid but now it's Mus-tastic. I will use it liberally where it totally doesn't apply.

Btw, Mus-stastic is a very postive thing. Like I hit a two outer at the upcoming Harrahs Poker Texas Hold em tournament, you'll hear me murmur "Mus-tastic" and nod my head in happy celebration. Actually, you'll see me mumble and imperceptibly move my head as I don't talk much when playing poker, but if you can lip read a mumbler I'll be saying Mus-stashtic. You'll notice I haven't settled on a spelling yet, but that's besides the point.

Next time I'm trying to learn Omaha poker online it will certainly be in the chat box. Okay, back to the letter from my cousin. Where were we… rule 5?

5. I will match the entire pot and donate it to prostate cancer re…

Thanksgiving, Poker and Movember

So, the wife, the kid, and not the dogs, and I are headed over to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, my sister, and my 94 year old grandmother. There is part of me that wanted to jet off to the Kennel Club and play some No limit Texas Hold'em in Pensacola and see how things are and get a taste of that live action. I believe the offer cash games and maybe Sit'n go tournaments. But every time I hear about the "sit 'n go" tournaments they are never spreading them. I think this is an antique from the old Florida laws to get around buy-in caps, but I'm not sure.

Only problem time is extremely compressed, and because of obligations we were already cutting our trip short.

First off, with little fanfare I did the mustache Mo-vemeber thing. Yes. I know what you are thinking, and yes, I will provide photo-evidence. Here's why, I got this email from my cousin:


Almost three years ago, I made a promise to my father, who carries a diagnosis o…

Improvements to the World Series of Poker November Nine part 2

Okay, my last post kind of just listed some of what ails the November Nine without really offering some improvements. I guess I could have also mentioned the World Series invested about 21 million, that the winners would receive for the No limit Texas Hold'em tournament, that was sitting around for 3 and half months with Goldman Sachs. That's supposedly the best of the best when it comes to investing and they made a whopping $459. Yes, in three and a half months 21 million returned $459. I'm not joking.

For the year, that rate is 0.008%. I've heard of safe but that's ridiculous. Granted people may be quick to say at least they didn't lose money so I'll say it for you... at least they didn't lose money... BUT wait they did. Had they put it almost any other safe investment they would have earned more, hell if they used it to online poker tournaments they would have made a ton more.

So the winner, Duhamel pocketed an extra $170 bucks or something, Racener an…