Saturday, October 25, 2003

Poker Blogs heal the sick.
Turn up the volume on the blind.

Poker Blogs Poker Blogs Poker Blogs Poker Blogs Poker Blogs Poker Blogs

A feature article about poker in this month's Business 2.0 (subscription needed past page one, but I get this magazine at work, thankfully). Poker's booming, yadda yadda yadda, but they had an interesting take on the new "math/geek" oriented type players versus the old guard.

Two snippets:

On an average day, an estimated 91,000 log on to poker sites. The average wagering is 50 million per day according to PokerPulse. The market leader, Party Poker, will take in revenues estimated at 100 million this year.

"TJ Cloutier has heard his geek challengers' algorithmic trash talk. "We all know the math, the probabilities of this and the probabilities of that," he says, waving his hand. "We don't have to talk about it."

The new Cardplayer is out and I really enjoyed the Phil Helmuth article titled, "I Should Have Won the U.S. Poker Championship." Apparently, he made quite an ass of hmself (gasp!) after taking a bad beat. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity to watch it on TV someday.

Speaking of Phil Helmuth, I wanted to repost this from RGP about the televised 2003 WSOP table-talking between Sam Grizzle and Phil.

I just want to comment on Sam Grizzle. The guy is an ASS. I really don't
care what history is following these two, but when you sit at a table and manage to make Phil Hellmuth look like a patient old nun, you have fucked up somewhere along the way.

Long day yesterday. Came home tired and tipsy but still fired up UB to knock out some hands. Managed to bang out 100+ but lost about $20. Frankly, I just played too loose.

I'm gonna go sit in a $9 qualifier for the $200 NL tourney tomorrow on Party.
If anything, this will help break up the tedium of UB.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Chris Moneymaker = Online Savant?

Helped an online poker pro acquaintance with PokerTracker today.

I felt like I was in NeverNeverLand for two hours. Surreal.

More on this later when I'm (hopefully) sober.

A message board snippet to the online naysayers who say online poker is rigged and that anyone who says they win is a shill:

I find it amusing when people imply that anyone who claims to have
made a nice chunk online must be lying (one word there: projection).
It's really not rocket science, people. You don't have to be
world-class to do it. You just have to be better than most you play
against, and that's not hard to do. There are a stunning number of
really bad players in the online poker world. With patience and good
decision-making, a lot of their money will find its way to you. It's a
different game than B&M. There are more weak players. That can lead to
some bad beats, but in the long run, you WANT those fish chasing after
everything. The percentages work in your favor.


To any of you that actually play online - the next time you suffer the indignation of a two outter on the river hitting you, just copy and paste this next line:


Laugh and tag the fish. Stick him on your buddy list. Follow him around. You will eventually get his stack.

Started three tables on Ultimate Bet tonight - that means double Ultimate Points. I played superior short-handed poker but slowly lost playing on the eventual full tables. I need to bone up on games with a Kill, because that's all I've been playing.

Another 250 hands. Ended up even after being way up. Played way too many speculative hands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Russ Georgiev

I admit it. I asked Russ Georgiev of GCA Poker Cheaters infamy to send me a t-shirt. Hopefully, my readership will not hold it against me.

Rooting on the Marlins, of course.

PartyPoker.com finally hit 20,000 total users a few nights ago. Brian and I have been watching and wondering when they'd hit this high water mark. That's from 2,000 online poker players before the World Poker Tour and the Moneymaker 2003 WSOP victory. Truly amazing.

Here is a wonderful response to yet *another* one of those whiny ass players who complain about beating casino poker their entire life, yet always losing online. (Probably the same guys in a casino who proudly tell you they've never had to read a poker book in their life - they don't need to)
Why do they lose? Because the site is rigged:

I don't know if you are a good player or a bad player as I have never seen you play a hand of poker. I will not pass judgment on your skills.

After reading your post, it sounds like you have a bit of a victim complex. What I mean by this is you looked for and found real or imagined reasons as to why you failed. These reasons that you found are all out of your control. This is something that people often do to help them cope with failure. It is also something that also keeps those people from attaining success.

If you are indeed a strong poker player, the solution to your problem is simple. You have to shake off this victim complex. If you continue to play as a victim, your just throwing your money away.

Yup, that's a nice way to put it. I prolly wouldn't have been so tactful. :)

More poker thoughts and daily poker links:

From Roy Cooke. Note to self: ponder this:

I have written several times that most top professional players will make the same play or fold decisions about 95 percent of the time before the flop in limit hold’em, and that real poker decision-making applies principally on the later streets.

Also, Lou Kreiger says you suck at poker.

Online poker confession: I often read about successful players (seems like the majority of them) who play multiple tables at a time. I can't do it. So I don't.

I can't play NL and limit at the same time, either. I mean, I *can* but I won't play *both* well simultaneously. I know guys who can. I'm not one of them.

Even the online pros will admit that their single table earn rates go down by playing 3 at a time, but that the overall +EV makes it worth their while.

But this damn Ultimate Bet bonus system (Ultimate Points = 10 Ultimate points equals $1 in deposit bonus) pretty much forces you to play more than one table if you wanna do anything besides tread water at the low limits. I had to play shorthanded for quite awhile. I'd bitch if I didn't win tonite.

UB rules. :D

+ $80 but still playing. Sadly, what goes up must come down.

Link of the day:
Christina Blogs for Jesus

RIP, Elliot:


This is what my dentist fed me, in addition to about 60 hypodermics today.

Working beats a trip to the dentist, anyday.

On the poker front, Ultimate Bet was rough tonight. I started two tables, played for two hours and the best way I can phrase it is: A swift kick in the nuts. A late run on my 1.2 table with a kill netted me - $9 on the nite. That's hard to beleive after all the angst I suffered - it's been a long time since I've been berated by another player at the tables. Considering I don't play that way, I almost NEVER, ever catch runner runner to beat someone. It was nice to have the shoe on the other foot for once and to get chastised for it. :)

I accepted a long time ago that *I* am the one who will suffer beats. It's the nature of the beast as a tight player.

One-third to my bonus on UB. Screw them and their "UB Points." Get me outta here and back to Party! I mean, the variance is higher at Party but UB is mostly tighter players - lotsa river calling stations. Lots of heads up or three handed on the flop. It's even more of a grind than usual. At least on Party there are pot building maniacs, if you can locate them. I miss those guys right now.

I sweated my man Royal in Omaha hi.lo in a multi limit tourney on PokerStars. This is his second final table finish in three days. I hope in some small way I motivated him to play this game because now he can teach me (write a post!). I think there are some intrinsic qualities than make a very good nl he player a solid o8 player right off the bat.

Figuring out outs quickly at the flop in a hi.lo game is a distinct advantage. I am still counting my fingers and toes in Omaha.

My humble apologies for the disjointed thoughts tonite. I'll get strictly back on poker tomorrow.

Triazolam + Guinness > Me

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Texas Hold Em in Iraq

From http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/

It's at times like these that I start worrying and get pessimistic about the future of freedom in this country. I see many people reject it, because 'its an American and zionist plot to spread immorality and degradation in our virtous society'. Then they give me all the holy crap. The problem with their logic is that they are not even holy themselves. I don't want to believe in their scriptures. I don't want to be forced to fast in Ramadan. I want to be able to freely criticize them without being burnt at a stake. I want to be able to buy my vodka without having to look left and right. I want to be able to walk with my girlfriend in the street while holding hands together without people glaring at me. Is this TOO MUCH to ask? Do I have to immigrate and leave my country for wanting to do all that?

Two gems to keep in mind regarding pre-flop play from TwoPlusTwo:

"You should be cold calling so infrequently that you can't even remember the last time that you did so".

"Cold calling raises with medium and small suited connectors is the fast track to the poorhouse. Yes, even with 3 others in the pot."

Monday, October 20, 2003

Throat Pokers & Poker Blogs

I wish I had named this blog the above. I'd get a lot more hits.

Caro's Law of Least Tilt:
Among similarly skilled opponents, the player with the most discipline is the favorite. My addendum: Over the long-term.

With online poker, you can sometimes tell a lot about a player by the way he plays when he first sits down.

But when players first sit down in a live game, they are exactly even. And they are telling themselves something like - "Well hell, I've played bad poker in the past but today that's gonna change. Today I'm gonna play every hand like it matters - my A game." So consequently, these players are easier to bluff early in a session but also, you must pass medium-strong hands when they bet into you, because they are less likely to be bluffing.

But ONLINE poker is a very different animal. We all know that. How many times have we watched in awe as a new player immediately starts the Maniac routine from hand one? And the best thing about this (from a disciplined player point of view) is that very often other players at the table follow suit.

It's much easier to play poorly online. There is zero embarrassment.

Most hand/poker problems start from the very beginning. Playing them in the first place. And loose games perpetuate this.

These loose crazy games still confound me, despite being my favorite type of game to play in. Throw Sklansky out the window - he is irrelevant.

True or false: In hold em, if the game is very loose, it's usually profitable to play a pair of threes from an early position.


I really wanna get away from a low-limit online poker blog and move into no-limit, but low limit is just too damn easy. Why fix it if it ain't broke?

NL > limit

Online poker update: I deposited the maximum into Ultimate Bet tonite. Initial impressions: VERY FAST games. 60-70 hands per hour. Very refreshing. I have some serious issues with the interface but hey, at least the site stays up.

An action site, fer sure, with the way the UB points are structured. You get double points for starting a game, which I immediately did. Battled my ass off in shorthanded play for about 35 minutes before we filled up.

They have games with a kill, for Gods sakes.

Played about 250 hands of 1.2 and won $45. Played too loose pre flop, but my drawing hands connected here and there and ended up ahead. Players aren't overall as loose as Party (how could they be?) but still plenty of weak calling stations. It's gonna take much longer to get my deposit bonus here than anywhere else.

I really hate the fact that I can't use PokerTracker at UB. To boot, their notes feature sucks.

K, I've rambled long enough. More tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Poker Blogs

Good Lord - I just noticed the 20th most popular "poker" related search phrase on the web is "throat pokers." Is that some bizarre porn term?

I truly enjoy thinking/reading about poker strategy. The more I learn, the more I question. Learning - improving in poker is a beautiful thing. It's an affirmation. Poker is really nothing but a decision making process over and over. Paper, rock, scissors. Making adjustments to your and your opponents adjustments.

It's skill and judgement that determine profitability. Culpability is crucial. In the long run, you don't get paid paid to win pots, you get paid to make the right decisions. It's like stratego, but better. :)

Low limit online poker. Is there such a thing as optimum bluffing frequency in low-limit poker play? I doubt it. There have been many, many columns written about the perils of No Fold em and I won't regurgitate them here, but the fact remains - at 3.6 and under, I do very, very little bluffing. That sounds like the antithesis of a successful (profitable) poker player, but this is low-limit, folks. There ain't any muscling going on and you are gonna HAVE to show down a hand if you wanna scoop that pot. I'm not talking about semi-bluffing - I'm referring to naked bluffs. Limit play. Sure, I make stabs at pots here and there but it ain't something I make a habit of. Perhaps I'm giving up some equity here?

I'm only thinking about this because I found this site where a guy is selling his book on how to win at online poker. He posted a sample chapter which coincidentally was about online bluffing. In my mind, upon reading it, he sure as hell hasn't played on Party Poker. To be fair, he had some solid assertions that "the underdog in the hand may very well be the money favorite" relating to multi-way pots and such, but still: just say no. Save it for higher limits or especially, big bet poker. Don't get fancy when the fish are schooling. Ram and jam when you have the best of it - let it go when you don't.

Again, this doesn't apply to value betting on the river. This rant only pertains to flat out bluffs.

Spent some time digging through PokerTracker this evening. When I first shifted back to limit play after about a solid year of nothing but pot-limit and no-limit play, I refused to play Ace-crap. I wasn't as bad as Doyle Brunson famously not playing AQ, but I was pretty damn close. :)

I had learned the hard way that you can lose a lot of chips quickly with a bad kicker. But now that I'm back in the limit fold, I play a shitload more of these starting hands than I ever used to.

After more than 50,000 hands tracked:

AJ - loser
AT - loser
A9 - loser
A6 - loser
A5 - loser

That's some pretty pathetic play, don't ya think? I'm glad that I've found a leak to plug. It will take some more analysis to determine if I'm playing these too often out of position, taking them too far when it's obvious I'm beat or perhaps I just suck playing Ace-rag (likely answer).

Been beating the hell out of the Wilson Omaha Hi-Lo software. Prolly start playing some meaningful limits here soon. It's interesting that the Wilson software uses a point system to assess starting hands just like Mr. Hutchinsons does.

You NEED to be playing at Party Poker. 42,000 players right now. How many does your site have? Seriously, give Bonus Code IGGY a try - you'll thank me later.

Up about 20 BB while typing this out. All on bluffs. ;)

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