Showing posts from May, 2010

The State of Online Poker and the Game in General Part V

Sure, there is an element of luck to poker (thank god if you are a professional for that or else you wouldn’t have a profession) and that keeps them coming back. But luck only lasts for so long.

When poker turns a corner, that being when the casual player has an easier time gambling against the house in blackjack and Roulette and Pit games, (and I’d argue that time has already come), there will only be a finite amount of new money in the sport. Why keep sitting down to be the sucker at a table? Where’s the fun in that?

So, that leaves the pros grinding against the pros and the gamblers heading to the casinos. Eventually, the money gets grinded away to the lowest possible sieve, so now it’s only the best playing the best. Look at the nosebleed games. Do the players have an edge against one another? Hansen loses millions in a couple of months then wins it back. Dwan does the same. As does Antonius. Meanwhile (sponsorships and backing arrangements being ignored for the sake of simplicity) …

The State of Online Poker and the Game in General Part IV

I don’t think I have to give up my Krispy Kremes until I pack on a few more pounds and that's a choice I should be able to make on my own. Okay, it's a choice I've already made, but just because I don't eat Krispy Kremes anymore doesn't mean you can't. Right now the hurdles addicted gamblers have to clear to lose their house, wealth, and life aren’t very high. In truth, a (regulated) poker site like will at least try to monitor problem gamblers whereas a bookie who is a phone call or click away will try to soak them dry.

There are no compelling arguments against legalizing online poker. None. Gambling is evil and should be outlawed everywhere? Come on, if you are reading this blog you know for some poker isn’t gambling.

What happens if they do legalize it? Here’s where I may surprise you. A poker boom, probably not as grand as the Moneymaker effect, but definitely a boom, will hit but just as quickly as the last one faded, if not faster, t…

The State of Online Poker and the Game in General Part III

Unfortunately for those of that play Hold'em online the people that make our laws don't understand the world as it is today. I think part of the attraction of young people to Barack Obama was that he at least sold that he related better to young people (I'm not going to get into whether he did or not) whereas most of the old guard don't even bother trying to relate and those that try fail badly.

Unfortunately, Congress is mostly unaware and out of touch, there are realities that they just don’t understand, can’t be made to understand, and will refuse to understand. Problem is are country is run by a group of people that time has passed by. This is an old lament every generation makes, but in today's age it's far more true than ever. Those that make the laws and decide where to advertise don't even know what the new digita world is about. I wasted my breath and energy trying to justify the game to gentleman of that ilk (entirely likeable except the way they s…

The State of Online Poker and the Game in General Part II

Having lived in DC, I met some magnificent intellectuals who worked on the Hill that really did the thinking for the guys that could get elected. The guys that could get elected... could get elected… but you didn't want them divvying up the check at the end of dinner. The guys that could figure out a tip for the most part couldn’t get elected. I know of some dirty things about politicians from ten years ago, but I also know of far dirtier things about the guys behind the scenes.

So the crux of the problem for Texas Hold em online, poker in its most popular and arguably easiest form, is trying to get people set in their ways, who aren't savvy enough to learn about the new state of things, to understand things realities have changed.

GeneD has run into this with sales, and told me stories of trying to convince the decision-maker, too dumb for their own good, how the product Gene is hawking would be beneficial to their company. Of course there is no easy way to say, you a…

The State of Online Poker and the Game in General Part I

Since the end of the Bayou Classic, I've been a bit strapped for time and have only been able to play a little Texas Hold em online. I played in a bloggers freeroll and got smoked being completely impatient. There is a major difference between live tournaments and online games. If I have to make the effort to drive to the casino and am locked in for the day I can wait for the proper moment as necessary, online if I lose I can get stuff done.

My baby is a room away, the chores that have piled up are just outside my window, and I have a hundred other things to do if my top pair with middle kicker is no good. So invariably, I’ll get it in bad and quickly X out the window when I bust—especially in the micro-stakes and freerolls—and move on to stuff I should have been doing anyway. A lot of times I won’t even feel guilty about it. I guess that makes me a fish. Fellow bloggers… exploit me! I'm the guy that looks like he didn't learn how to play poker.

Bare with me as I’m about to …

Harrahs Bayou Poker Classic Continued..

As bad as the cards went, the end of the week got worse. The one exception being the poker online tournaments but I'll get to that. On Friday night I freerolled into the nightly with a cash win. I at least balanced my tournament binks with some solid tight cash sessions to lessen the damage to my bankroll. I didn’t play a single satellite or any of the Sit'n go tournaments which is unusual for me and I’m not even sure why.

In reflection, I wish I had. In events passed I won plenty of buy-ins chips in those satellites and really only suffered minimal bankroll damage. This go round the cash games weren’t quite matching the tournament buy-ins. In fact some of the cash games ended as losses. I used to prefer the smaller megas that gave away $500 chips with all the rebuys and madness yet for some reason they’ve done away with those.

So, back to the table, I like my spot, again, and inexplicably after amassing some chips tried an outright bluff on the only decent player at t…

Soft Spots? Maybe me... Harrahs Bayou Classic continued...

Where was I? The Harrahs Bayou classic and the interesting poker of a couple of lunchboxes. You know the betting now what were the hands? Interested, so was the table and so was I, now we’ll finally get to see some Texas Holdem poker hands from these two lunchboxes.

Hitch turns over a pair of sevens. Idiot number two 98. Process that.
So basically, I’m waiting to catch a hand with these two and just value bet them large every time. They apparently can’t stop themselves from calling. Of course they start to feed the rest of the table their chips and I can’t catch a hand against them. That’s even more aggravating. There are all kinds of other bad plays that I just can’t wrap my head around far worse than when I poker tournaments online.

I talk to Alex Wood, who cashed in the first event, at one of the breaks seeking suggestions for how to handle a table that calls any raise, especially when I can get hit to c-bet and I’m usually playing four or five players. He suggests betting…

Bad Spots in Poker Tournaments...

After the success of the IP tournament I once again ran like the stuff at the bottom of my son's diaper at the Harrahs Bayou Poker Classic. For some reason no matter the game I play Texas Hold'em poker, Omaha, or Seven Card Stud, I can't get seem to play well or run well.

I had one or torrid streaks in the nightlys but despite the head start I got on my chip lead I found myself blinding down as the "turbo" caught up to me. They were called turbos but they really played more like a standard poker tournament for hours and then all of a sudden everybody was shortish. I think I'd rather it be a turbo all the way through than to be given so many chips that it only becomes a turbo right on the money bubble and the final tables. If only for the fact, that there is an illusion of patience early on that suddenly disappears when everybody is facing two branches of a decision. Jam or fold.

In the daily poker tournaments, I kept finding myself at great tables yet ne…

Harrahs Bayou Poker Classic

Poker is back in New Orleans. True it never really left, but the buzz that comes with a big time tournaments is back. There is a feel in the casino that hasn't really been there since maybe the last time the Main Event was a 10k buy-in. The feel has been like the feel you get on sundays when you play internet poker.

When there are 500+ people signing up for a tournament (most of the time to get to that number you have to play poker tournaments online, when the cash games have a list so long nobody can get on a table without "knowing" somebody, and there is an electricity coming from the Theater, the poker room, and all points in between it's hard not to enjoy the event--even if you are not winning anything.

Once again, Steve Frezer and the Circuit staff have outdone themselves. The structures have universally been hailed as player friendly and there are few if any spots to blame eliminations on escalating blinds. The $340s start with 9000 in chips. The antes don&…

Running on Ice the IP Poker Series part quatro

After the break and when BJ called me a NIT for not double adding on (stuck to my game plan) the hand that killed me came up. I look down at AJ suited in mid-position. Besides the Jacks and AK I had basically been card dead so it looked a little bit like poker room hotness. Maybe when I Texas Hold'em poker online I'm less apt to play AJ because there is no such thing as poker room hotness. In live poker, any woman that walks into the poker room by virture of being the only woman there goes up about two points in poker room hotness. They aren’t hot in real life but they are passably hot in the poker room.

When you go card-dead it has the same effect on crappy starting hands like AJ. Suddenly they look like Aces. The guy to my immediate right had been limping all day, and all day I had been going over the top of him. This is the hand I teased in an earlier post. He had done it yet again. I felt I should raise here and see where I was against the rest of the field, but …

Running on Ice The IP Poker Series Part Trey

Where in our tale did I leave you loyal poker blog reader? Oh yes... she called. We were in the middle of one of the hands I played badly. I play hundreds of hand badly when I play online poker but a few less, I like to think when I play live. This was one of the bad ones. Anyway, back to it.

The river was an almost a brick but a back door club draw got there. She opened shove for about the size of the pot. If I folded I’d have a little over 5k left but half my stack was in there. She started just staring at me. It was an odd stare though. Sometimes people angrily stare at you to get them out of their pot and are weak, but this felt different. It wasn’t intimidating at all it was like she was staring to stare.

I played with her in Harrahs, in a similar situation and the stare came on during the cash game. I recall maybe playing a Sit and go with her too but I wasn't sure. In the cash game, in the face of the stare, I eventually called with a decent hand and she had the goods. How w…

Running on Ice at the IP Poker Series Part Deuce

Where was I? Oh, hitting you over the head with some garbage sentences. Okay , let me restate. I couldn't get a read on these people's logic for their decisions. One moment they’d be playing mostly passive. The next they’d be calling off with second pair. I don't know how to play Texas Hold'em poker against this lot. Just when you’d think they were ready to get steamrolled they’d get it in real bad against one another and you’d think what the Frick?

The reluctance to just hit the accelerator and cruise would later prove to be my downfall in one ugly near elimination hand. I’ll get to that later, probably in another post.

Early on I got jacks three times. I won a big pot when I hit top set. AQ paid me off when it shouldn’t have and I don’t even thing the guy rebought. Later against BJ I got JJ again and on a board of all babies he folded to my bet. I showed the jacks and he said he too had AQ.

The third time was the most interesting. I got jack-jack yet again. There were s…

Running on Ice at the IP Poker Series

Whether or not you are playing a Texas Hold'em onlineonline turbo poker tournament or playing in a live one like the freeroll the IP offered it’s a bit like running on an ice covered lake when spring hits. Once mis-step and it’s all over. Sometimes you can hear it cracking, sometimes it gets thin, sometimes it breaks behind you but is safe before you. And you can’t stop sprinting. There is no time to catch your breath or to jog it out, it’s full throttle all the way.

You stop sprinting and putting those chips in the middle you are done. You have to catch cards and your hands have to both hold up and catch up. So I was glad to see a good live player like Bert won one of the seats, because you gotta wonder in some of those events if some luckbox will just card catch all day. I got little to no sleep, playing late into the night/morning at the Hard Rock’s cash games. Just the proper way to prepare for a poker tournament, play a cash game all night, which is completely different from …

IP Poker Tournament End of Series Personal Play Part I

Wish I played as well as they ran things at the end of the series. My end to the tournament series was marked by tired bad play. In the Texas Holdem freeroll we came back from break and I had a healthy chip stack with little invested into the tournament. I missed some hands were I whalloped the flop and there was of course plenty of action and I determined to see more flops. When I did, I mostly just scooped from position. Then the add ons.

Around the table there were mostly short stacks of yellows (1k chips) and nobody seemed to really get out too far ahead. I didn’t think too much of it. We played a couple of hands and I hit the big blind with A10 suited. Three limpers, the button joined and so too the small blind.

Alright, I’ll just take it down here. I fired out a healthy raise and all but the button folded. I looked at his stack and it seemed to about 3k in a mish-mash of greens blacks, a red and a couple of yellows. I had 9k left. I hit the ten and decided we were goi…

IP Poker Tournament Series Wrap Up

Once again another local poker tournament series has come and gone. There was a wide variety of poker games spread including partner and team events. Wanted to play in those but couldn’t. There was some Omaha, some Horse and a ton of Texas Hold’em Poker.

On the front poker news page that is gulf coast poker.NET the hypothetical IP poker Player of the Series was debated. Senor Monkey aka Will Souther had probably the most cashes and final tables. In most events you had to make a final table to cash, and some you had to make the top three. So he had a great series as usual and did so over a variety of events including Omaha poker.

He takes a lot of flack on his blog but it is hard to argue with the guys record as a live tournament player. He may make some moves that online poker players might scoff at, but he seems to know how to work the accelerator in these events as good as anybody. Why push small edges when he knows he can get his opponents to lay down later.

I'd gu…