Saturday, November 01, 2003

Bluegrass Poker Series.
Phil Helmuth nor Russ Georgiev played.

Should I have played the poker hand below differently? Preflop?

Wow, I've been posting for a month now. How do I know? Because today was Bluegrass Poker Series time. Please see my prior post and read about Dan's magnificent comeback (down to $4) and subsequent final table finish.

To recap, it's a 125 person No Limit tournament. It's grown from one fellows home game into the spectacle of today. I think this was the fifth tourney, and my third. It's run extremely well and the players are friendly as only Kentuckians can be. It's not for profit and the sole purpose is to send a player to the WSOP in the name of BPS. A bow to Filmgeek for hooking me up with these guys.

I really wanted to wear a clown suit or something today in honor of Halloween. Talk about changing your table image. Also, that way, someone could say, "That guy plays like a clown!" and it would be accurate.

/me rimshot

The $110 buy-in (1 pm start) was for $135 in tournament poker chips. I was late (imagine that), so Dann and I were both horrifically hung-over and starving by the time we arrived in Lexington.

Blinds started at $1.$2, escalating every thirty minutes. My table was semi-tough as three of the guys had made final tables in previous tourneys. Oddly enough, we had a huge pot in the first hand with the flop coming all clubs and one player holding QJc and the other A8c. Needless to say, mister nut flush almost doubled through.

Angie, the truly stunning wife of the fellow who runs said tournament was the first person knocked out. She has placed second and third, respectively, in the last two tourneys, so yes, she knows how to play. There was a huge round of applause for her. You'd applaud, too, if you met her.

Side note: the worst part about getting knocked out early of a poker tournament is having to listen to all the awful bad beat stories.

It was also fascinating to listen to table chat about playing online, specifically about Party Poker.

Anyway, Mister nut flush big stack bullied our table for awhile. It was weird, actually, because there was a lot of passive calling with no allins. Guys would make large ($25-50) bets on the flop and turn and still get called down. Not many raises, just calls. Odd.

After an hour and 20 minutes, we are at 3.6 blinds and I have manuevered my stack up to $200, second only to Big stack at our table. I've actually caught some playable hands and managed to grab a couple pots with semi-bluffs in late position when 2 or 3 handed. I was liking my chances and felt great. If you read my last trip report to the BPS, you know that for three solid hours, I didn't win ONE frigging pot. Today was feeling quite different.

Did I play this wrong?

I'm on the big blind and peek down to see two red kings.

Five players limp to me. No way I'm letting anyone see the flop on the cheap, much less five of em. I throw out a green chip, raising $25.

I stare down at the table and hear, "Fold, Fold, Fold, Fold" and then silence. I look up.

Mister nut flush Big Stack is thinking. And Thinking. Then he moves allin.

Of course, I call. Of course, he has pocket aces. Of course, they hold up.

In retrospect, it's easy for me to second-guess and realize that he prolly had AA because why else move in on the other big stack, pre-flop? Looking back, I can't put him on any other hand BUT AA.

Is there ANY way I can fold my kings and continue the fight with T175? I was still a healthy stack - losing that $25 isn't crippling at all...

I think not. That's just poker, right? If he has aces, so be it...

I still had fun. The downside is that I was playing very well, ahead on the table, feeling mentally great, look down and see KK and my heart leapt! 30 seconds later I was out on my ass, freaking stunned.

Now that's the essence of poker.

Arg. Got a big round of handshakes and condolences from the table as I departed to the bar.

So Dan, the no-limit master, hung in there fer a few hours, I think finishing 31st or something. AQ did him in. Hopefully he'll email me the details so I can give an accurate report.

The highlight of the trip was Waffle House after Dan got knocked out. I paid because Dan lasted longer in the tourney. :)

All in all, still a great experience. I love no-limit poker. I wish I could say I tilted in the ring game afterwards, but I didn't.

Ever the poker student, I've been pondering all day what the lesson is from that hand. I always try and take away some nugget of knowledge about a poor or losing play. How about: never call for all your chips in no-limit. Keep betting and raising. Calling is losing poker.

So tell me. Do you ever fold kings in that spot?

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Poker Blogs about Party Poker Bots: Playing strip poker with David Sklansky

I love Tilapia. I recommend trying it with a nice scampi/alfredo sauce.
It's a David Sklansky favorite, but he may deny it.

Sometimes I struggle with the grinding aspect of limit poker from a diminishing returns perspective. It takes so much damn time (Mike Caro: the more you play, the more you win!) that I often feel my time is better spent focusing on SNG's (single table tourneys, for the uninitiated) and/or some big payout multi-table tournaments. My bankroll is more than sufficient to bang away at these and I've enjoyed success in the past - what's stopping me?

Perhaps it's a case of laziness. Beating the low limits at Party Poker is literally shooting fish in a barrel. My game has likely suffered these last six months without the challenges you face in higher limit and tourney play. Stasis = death in poker.

Poker is very rewarding as a hobby. Compared to golf, (have you ever paid the greens fees in Las Vegas?) it's a grand slam. I feel very fortunate that my hobby brings money in, rather than costing me. How many people can say that? God Bless Party Poker.

But it's not easy. And what to do with your precious bankroll is likely the most important decision a poker player (even a poker-hobbyist) will ever make.

But hitting the big payoff is every poker players dream. The reality of grinding is quite a different scenario. Why not take a shot at a life-altering payday?

Any ideas, tips or insight is deeply appreciated.

Thought for the day: Would you give your credit card number to the poker cheat, Russ Georgiev?

Phil Ivey and Phil Helmuth Poker Blogs

Not exactly the way I wanted to return to Party Poker. It's almost as if there was a wrinkle in the space|time continuum. Lost 40 BB. Ouch! No lengthy explanation necessary, but I did have five sets crash and burn. One of my worse nights ever.

Despite my poor showing, two of my poker students (and good friends) are currently excelling, which in a way, more than makes up for the rough night. Fuzz has taken his initial $100 buyin on Party Poker up to $750, all from low-limit play. Winning $650 on the 50.1 tables over a few months is no easy task.

Relating to my post about Phil Helmuth and his latest column in Cardplayer, Daniel Negreanu had this to say:

It's that same stubborn attitude that impedes Phil from ever being a successful cash game player. He allows ego, stubbornish, and flat out tilt to get in the way of him
learning the other games. He sees someone makes a play he doesn't agree
with, and automatically, "They play so bad."

Now conversely watch a guy like Phil Ivey play. Always learning, always
humble, and always respectful of his opponents. When Phil said on live
TV, "I have a lot to learn" he meant it. This is what allows Phil Ivey to
grow as a player, and what holds Phil Helmuth back from ever really learning how to play properly.

Phil Ivey believes he has a lot to learn, while Phil Hellmuth believes
he can only teach! The amazing thing is, at 26 Phil Ivey is twice the
player Phil Hellmuth ever was, or could ever be for that matter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Party Poker and Russ Georgiev Need Poker Blogs

Only played for about thirty minutes last nite. Lost a whopping ten bucks. I'm only a couple hundred away from another grand cashout so I really need to focus. I'll probably update PokerTracker tonight.

Russ Georgiev update: Russ has announced his new site will be up tomorrow.

GCA is proud to announce the grand opening of our new website, "Poker Mafia."
We will start tomorrow and you will find out how to join when you go to the
site. We will roast cheaters and scammers. All high limit poker is being
scammed and we will provide proof, not hearsay.
Poker Mafia consists of Russ Georgiev, John Martino, William [Ramashiva]
Coleman and Bill Nirdlinger who has recanted his recant of his recant. You will
recognize Ramashiva's brilliant writing style, [yes, he has been writing my
posts], you will get the benefit of my 40 years of being the best cheater and
also being the best player in the world. I have paid Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson,
Johnny Chan and any other player you can name to play me and they all quit me,
like the cowards they are. John Martino will tell you the best way to becoming
an informer and Billy The Kid will tell you how to cold deck your friends.
Come to our site and enjoy. I won't be posting on rec gambling anymore. See you
there Wino.
Russ Georgiev

WTF? William [Ramashiva] Coleman? Good God, talk about the King of the Net Kooks.

I also LOVE this line:

Bill Nirdlinger who has recanted his recant of his recant.

I'm quite sure Russ meant this in all seriousness. Sigh. Search the RGP archives if you've missed this long drawn out ordeal. Russ has driven every single "name" out of RGP - it's a shame.

But it doesn't matter what I think, anyway. Of course, I'm interested in what he has to say on certain topics, but he's been made to be a liar and fool many, many times over. Don't get me wrong, I understand that he knows poker. I think his ideas are all solid - his verbal/written skills are just atrocious, however.

He claims he's making $25,000 a month playing poker online.

I hope he is serious about posting videos of himself playing four unique players simultaneously online.

Mr Decker, nope I never did take Russ up on his offer to play in SNG's. I seriously thought about it and am glad I didn't. I didn't want to be forced to post my username and hand histories and therefore be associated with the cheat. Plus, if you check out the tourneys that were posted, Russ doesn't have any great tournament strategy. He simply gets very aggressive when it gets 5 handed.

I think the reason he is hated is because of #1 The unfounded cheating accusations he has leveled at certain (most) professional players #2 He single-handedly buried the newsgroup with repetitive posts that contained very little value. The latter cinching the deal for most folks.

I must respectfully disagree about his "theory" posts being priceless. I've found them utterly laughable, with the exception of his Stud 8 post, which was geared for a Stud 8 newbie, like myself. His "Theory of Seven" post, which he claims is beyond most poker players comprehension, is ridiculous.

He is quite the character. I just hated the fact that he kept flooding the group with old posts and I was overjoyed when the impostors went after him. Talk about karma.

My favorite GCA imposter post was titled, "Talapia, the forgotten fish." That guy captured the very essence of Russ Georgiev.

A snippet:

Russ' posts of lies and inaccuracies are done to serve his own purposes... Extortion didn't work, so he tried consulting, when that didn't work he tried the media, when that didn't work he tried his expert witness (LOL) shtick, and now he's banking on a book and website. In every one of these things he has hurt honest players by creating white elephants and distractions from the serious issues at hand.

Russ Georgiev continues to do what he has always done, take advantage of gullible people. He waves his arms and says there is cheating in poker. Anyone who isn't a complete fool knows that. The real issues are: how much cheating; what KIND of cheating; what can we do to limit it.

Enough on GCA. I simply hope his site goes up and has something worth a damn on it, especially regarding online cheating. God knows it's going on.

While I'm bitching - does anyone else think the TwoPlusTwo software is a POS? For the love of God, does Mat Sklansky have a clue about technology? Is this a terrible case of nepotism?

Last snippet from Pokerworks.com:

I failed to mention that A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez has been in playing lately. Last Friday night, I dealt table 19, and he got a seat at that table just after I left...$15-$30 Holdem. All the noise around the room is that he's a 'great guy'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Russ Georgiev - Poker Cheat
God protects Fools and Drunks.

Well, well, well. I received my Poker Mafia t-shirt today from Russ Georgiev. By airmail, nonetheless. Have I previously mentioned that I've chatted with him on the phone once or twice? He was quite affable - you would never, ever guess that he is deeply and profoundly insane.

I imagine his website is getting close to launching. The noise factor on RGP is growing exponentially. Russ has began talking to himself in threads, with multiple identities. It's hilarious.

Ah, the madness of RGP.

Finally back on Party Poker tonight. Technically, Empire, that is.

I was pondering about the best way to explain the speed differential of Ultimate Bet and Party. Here it is: while playing two tables on Party Poker, it's quite easy to time things so I can run down the hall and take a whiz. Same situation on Ultimate Bet? No way, buster. You gotta sit out or incur the wrath of your tablemates by timing out.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Party Poker Irony & Phil Helmuth

Cashed out + $244 on UB upon coming home.

Fire up Party Poker after dinner and a movie with the wife.

Negative! Party is down again!

Oh the humanity.

Russ Georgiev - Poker Mafia

I sure wish GCA - Russ Georgiev would finish his damn web site. I'm curious to see what new things he has to say. I'd love to see a RGP World Poker Tour style tourney with Russ, Wayno and Carson (and all the other nuts) seated around a table. Now THAT I would pay for.

This can only help increase the fish population. A Gambling channel.

For the love of God, I'm showing up in Google for the term, "Throat Pokers" now.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Online poker blog

Marlins > Yankees

Thanks to a link and cool poker thread at Metafilter, I received some traffic. It's been odd, writing this out into the BlogSpace, or perhaps only to myself. Getting my first inbound link was kinda cool.

To me, the poker student, it's fascinating that one of the online pro's I know in real-life (as in: 100% of his income comes from playing online poker) has NEVER read a poker book. Now, he was coached on starting hands and pot odds by an experienced player many years ago, but still...it's surprising to me. I'm not saying you can't be a successful poker player without reading poker books, but I can't help but wonder how much he would improve if he immersed himself in conceptual/strategic thinking ala Sklansky, Carson or Caro.

David Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which seem reasonable, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch.

I found this snippet by pro Ray Zee on said topic:

Many new players start getting into these games and some actually play quite well. You see, after studying the best books, you can become fairly accomplished with just a small amount of real experience. (At least a lot less experience than it use to take.) So those players that improve themselves move up and take advantage of their new skills and keep pace with the world. This group improves their win rate due to the new faces and wider choice of games. Those that stay stagnant and don't study, fall back in the pack and either go broke or just slow down their winning ways. The players trying to make a living in this group really need to work on keeping their game in top shape.

Ray also lamented that literature and books may have made the games more difficult for him. Well, before the World Poker Tour, anyway. :)

On that note, many losing (and loose players) don't realize that money you don't lose is exactly the same as money you win. Poker truism.

The most important book for me pertaining to Party Poker has been Gary Carson's "The Complete Book of Hold Em Poker." He writes much more for the loose, aggressive games that make up the pokerscape at Party Poker rather than Sklansky's writings on the tight games in Vegas. Carson tends to ask you to "think" about the game. He doesn't group starting hands and may help your thinking on how to play drawing hands. He did for me. Plus, it's only $15. It's one of those books you'll get more out of the second time around.

Online poker update: I'm winning but I still hate Ultimate Bet. I'm up $124 overall after a solid evening last nite and today and am soo close to hitting that damn deposit bonus. Hopefully I can finish it up tonite and get back to Party.

It's been fun playing shorthanded, though. Probably a third of my time and profit has came from starting up the tables on UB. Playing with a kill brings out the gamble in some players, too, so that's been profitable.

Enjoyable poker read about a long-term home poker game: - Shut Up and Deal:

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