Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Evelyn Ng Poker Diary

Raising to Thin the Field:

There is a popular misconception that a primary purpose of raising before the flop is to drive other players out of the pot - to limit the field. It's an idea that keeps getting repeated over and over again in poker books - a mantra to soothe the soul. It's an idea that's just wrong.

So far I haven't found a single texas hold em book that doesn't suggest someplace in the book that you should raise with a hand like AA if your raise will cause others to fold. The idea they all express is that if you can reduce the number of opponents, you'll increase your chances of winning the pot.

Well, the idea is right. Fewer opponents do mean you have a greater chance of winning the pot. That's true whether your hand is AA or 72o. Poker isn't about winning pots, though - it's about winning money. With a very strong hand such as AA, you'll win the most money when you have as many callers as you can get.

The above is from Gary Carson. Yup, he's a jerk on RGP, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know poker. The tactics he writes about for the very loose, aggressive games in Louisiana aren't the same ones used at the tight Las Vegas tables. I'm still a Sklansky disciple, I'm just saying that Carson gave me a deeper understanding of hold em. I bought his book when it first came out and thought it was worthless (I was playing $50 pot-limit on PokerStars back then). To be truthful, I never got very far in the book, which isn't the norm for me.

Then came the World Poker Tour and the Moneymaker win and the insanity of Party Poker. And people started referencing Gary's book on message boards so I dusted it off and gave it another spin. The second half of the book set off lightbulbs which spurred on even more studying, especially Abdul and the theorem below.

His thoughts on Morton's theorem and the value of draws was beneficial for a rock like me. It opened up my game - still, you may not get the same benefits. But it taught me to think about how best to beat the white-hot schooling fish at Party. It ain't Sklansky and it ain't SuperSystem, but it's still solid brain food.

I feel silly being a Carson apologist, so go ahead and read the Amazon reviews of the book. Or search RGP.
Review snippet:
Secondly, he gives more new perspectives in the chapter on the theory of flop play. Again, not just directives but insight into defining your hand. His ideas on adjusting your thinking about poker hands from their poker ranking to their money-winning potential gave me a new way to evaluate my holdings.

I lost a half hour of my life reading the RGP archives on "gary carson jerk." Suffice to say, very entertaining threads, especially back when Sklansky, Abdul and Caro were all posting regularly.

Anyway, no more Carson.

2+2 regular, Lori, predicted that Paradise Poker would be the most popular poker room again by next March if their multi-table tourneys get straightened out. WTF? Did I miss something?

Whoops, forgot to link to my favorite Canadian poker player: Playing online for a living Week 33. David Ross is still kicking ass.

Damnit, another half an hour gone. The Fat Guy got me hooked on Pass the Pigs again. Got creamed by the computer - I'm going to blame it on "action pigs."

For all two of my local readers, I discovered a trip report to Caesers in Indiana, the closest place to play legal poker in this area. $6 rake!

The idea of a poker blogger sit and go is making headway. Thus far, I think we have BoyGenius, HDouble, Mr Decker and Halverson, Liquid Swords, TheFatGuy and London Froggy. That's eight, including me. We need two more, so if yer interested, please leave a comment. We'll do something cheap, like ten bucks or something? If we play NL, I'm going allin the first hand.

I enjoyed the PokerPenguin's post on tourney play. I've been so deeply entrenched on grinding that I haven't given much thought to multi-table tournament play. That will need to change once they begin offering satellites to the WSOP.

Here's some keywords for the search engines in honor of Daniel Negreanu:
evelyn ng pics
evelyn ng poker
"evelyn ng" poker
evelyn ng world poker tour
Clonie Gowen

Finally, I'll leave you with a link to one of my favorite poker content sites, Poker Savvy.
Two Views of Celebrity Poker Showdown
Does Bravo's series showcase decent poker? If not, is it at least entertaining? To answer these questions, Pokersavvy offers two reviews, one from a non-player looking to be entertained by the spectacle, and another from an avid player hoping to see some competent play.

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Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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