Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Party Poker & Empire Poker Blog

"There's a king on the flop, it holds up, and I bust him out. It's the first time I've ever busted anyone out, and I feel like Howard Fucking Lederer."
Wil Wheaton

Amen, Wil. That's a damn good feeling, ain't it?

I've really gotta thank our man, Wil, for linking to the poker blogs. I believe there's a ton of poker playing folks who simply don't know that we're out here, blogging away, every damn day about poker. Hell, I've been cranking 'em out nearly every day for seven months. So thanks a ton for the exposure, Wil, it's truly appreciated. Any new readers, thanks for coming, and I hope you return, and also check out my fellow bloggers on the right. There's a veritable plethora of great blogs there.

Thanks to the Dude, you get a bonus post today. The Wall Street Journal (subscription) had an interesting article on poker that I have republished below this post. Enjoy.

To my regular readers, thanks again for reading, and let's start the Guinness-fueled ramblings, shall we?

Damn, it appears that several of Mr. Wheaton's readers play at pokerroom.com, home of the Mac and Linux friendly software. That being said, if any of them are playing there on a Windows machine, they should be drawn and quartered. Pokerroom looks to be about the 7th or 8th most popular poker site. Geesh, cmon guys, get with the program. 7th? 8th? Why on earth would you do that? Pokerroom?? It's an obvious choice for the Mac and Linux crowd, but geepers; if you are on Windows, why not just go play on Yahoo?

Party Poker > Poker Room

I was asked to wax poetic about loose, aggressive games, my favorite, and the norm these days. Let's face it, loose games like today, didn't exist four years ago. Or even a YEAR ago. And instead of whining when things changed, I adjusted and learned how to beat these games, too. Anyone can do it. It's not like you're playing a table full of Phil Ivey's.

But first, allow me to state some emails from a few of my readers, who just started playing at Party Poker. I love hearing this stuff.

Here's some incredible numbers from a player, Dann, who bought in for $50 and ran it up to a grand, rather quickly, only playing 1.2. Consider that Fuzz did the same thing in 50.1, it only took him longer.

Here's the email:


If anyone would find this interesting, I thought it
might be you.

I had a rough early-week, but I bounced back today and
finally (!) turned the $50 Party bonus into $1,000.
Here are the stats:

Initial bankroll: $50
Current: $1,019.93
Time frame: Feb. 8 to March 14
Total Hands: 11,238
$1/$2 (6-max) - 4,948
$1/$2 - 6,290
BB/100 Hands: 4.48
$1/$2 (6-max) - 3.91
$1/$2 - 4.93
Win/hand: $0.09
Total hours: 166.90
BB/hour: 3.02
Total rake: $550.75
Total opponents: 2,190

I'll probably spend the next few days in PokerTracker
disecting everything. Small pairs and AXs were costing
me dearly, but I think I started to fill those leaks
pretty well a few weeks ago (and even climbed back
into positive territory).

I guess it's time to start considering my move up to
$2/$4, but I hate to give up the 6-max games. My
BB/100 rate was lower, but I got more hands logged and
it was easier to tag fish (who seemed to reappear day
after day).
$6/hour is nothing to brag about, but I didn't get
paid anything per hour for sitting on my ass, chucking
grenades at hookers in Vice City or watching reruns of

Party rocks.

This next one is interesting, too. I have a buddy who has played in my home game for the last year. He has never, ever, broke even in this game. He has lost every time. My home game, despite the massive amount of liquor being consumed, is a fairly tough game. It's certainly tougher than Party, that's for sure.

But being a fellow ENTP, he started asking for literature and began studying the game. He fired up a play account, and gained experience through sheer repetition. And he started consistently winning. He grew tired of me beating on the drum about PartyPoker and finally bought in for $50 this past weekend.

His first session?

Level .50/$1
Minutes 88
Won $58.50
Hands BB/Hr. 76
VP$IP 22.37
ASF 55.70

For the unitiated non-PokerTracker users out there, that's almost an average of six players seeing the flop, every damn hand. They call that FRESH FISH, where I come from.

I think he's hooked now. Sure, that's not a normal session for an hour and a half of 50.1, but it's really not that hard, if you take the time to study and wait out the swings. Taking a shot at beating the 50.1 games on Party Poker is a no-brainer.

For the record, he posted Abdul's starting hand chart to his monitor.

K, couple of drunken rambling thoughts about loose games. I'm going to start off with some basic ideas and then pontificate in later posts about pre-flop concepts and then 4th and 5th street. Generic insights, for the most part, but mostly synthesized from reading Abdul, Carson, Morten's Theorem and my own vast experience of playing in these loose games.

I am loathe to even blog about this, despite the fact I love to share knowledge and help, if I can. I rarely post hand histories or bad beat stories in this blog. It's not what it's about. I'm trying to pass along experience. Sure, I play for fun, I wouldn't bother if it wasn't fun, but the questions I sometimes get from new players, "What do you do in this certain situation?" isn't the right question. There is NO correct answer for that. What you should be asking is, "What should you *consider* doing in this situation."

The answer to nearly every poker question is always: 'it depends.'

There are some foolish new players who don't care for loose games. They prefer tight ones, because they think it's more predictable or correct or sane. IMHO, that's bs. They should state the truth, which is, they don't care for the larger swings. And that's fine, but just tell it like it is.

But the fact remains, loose games are the most profitable, and ones you should learn to beat. When it's six-handed to the flop every hand, that is a game RIPE for the plucking. To say otherwise is to contradict the Fundamental Theorem of Poker which states:

Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it, if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.

It's all about variance. You will have higher variance in these loose games and that's why it's important to play within your means. Make sure you can play with full impunity. You cannot play with scared money and win, least of all on a loose table. You can expect to have a fair number of losing sessions, sometimes big losses. In the loose/aggressive game, your win rate will be higher than a tight one but you must weather the swings and not allow your play to change. Here's a typical example: you play for awhile, get some big hands cracked, etc etc and you'll be down a fair amount. Then you drag a monster pot when your flush gets there, against a smaller flush that doesn't get the idea that his flush is beaten until he puts in a bunch of raises, and against a straight that can't figure out his hand is no good when 3 flush cards are on the board, and all of the sudden you've won back your losses, and booked a decent win for the session. It sounds like a paradox, but you are more likely to book a win in a saner game with mediocre, weak players than you are in a crazy game against maniacal idiots, but the times you DO win in the maniac game, your wins will be huge.

Oh the humanity. I haven't even started rambling about starting hands yet. Let's just move on and I'll address that topic in my next post. Or better yet, go buy Gary Carson's book, Hold Em, and learn from him.

I'm always preaching about table selection. Game selection. That's a big reason why I believe anyone wanting to win money should be playing at Party Poker. They flat out have the most games, by a wide margin. And the most fish, by proxy. Do the math.

Anyway, so I'm sitting in a fun, chatty little 2.4 table last evening when suddenly I realize a complete MANIAC, as only Party Poker can have maniacs, has sat at my table. Chat ceases, as we all light candles to the poker gods, that larryl1 has sat at our table.

It was amazing, astounding, asinine. It was poetry in motion.
I just reloaded PokerTracker so I could give you the facts:

He played a total of 24 hands over 40 minutes. He lost $150 in that span. This is 2.4, mind you.

He saw every flop but one.
He preflop raised nearly 50% of the time.
He went to a showdown 65% of the time, winning 14%.

I'm too drunk lazy to type in the rest of his stats, but trust me, it was a car wreck. He should be the mascot for Party Poker.

OK, I'm gonna start the poker linkage, cause all this talk about Party is driving me to play.

Can you believe it, I found even more new poker blogs today?

I think this new poker blogger has been playing with Pauly. I'm jealous. Please go read:
The Rock Garden


Have you ever been invited to play poker and found yourself in a situation you did not like or even regretted? I am potentially going to be subjected to a drug test in the near future for a change in careers. Unfortunately not all the smoke at the table was from cigars or cigarettes!

Dave played in his first "real-life" NL tournament this past weekend. Fun stuff.
Don't Poke(r) Me

I had two goals: 1) to win, and 2) to get to say "So how much you got left?" before raising someone all in.

Well hell, since I'm the self-professed Johnny Appleseed of poker bloggers, I'm happy to discover that I inspired Micheal to start a poker blog. I was truly saddened to hear the story of his beloved dog being killed. But damn, cut back on the poker, bro!!!

Someone recently posted a question on WPT fan something like "Is anyone else consumed by poker and not getting the sleep they should?" Well, I for one am one of those people. I was fine until I got to work and then the adrenaline dropped off and I was napping at my desk on a regular basis.

Shift gears and read this:

An insider column by Nolan Dalla about tournament poker pros that I had forgotten to link to. The behind the scenes reality. A must read:
So You Wanna' Be a Tournament Pro? Fuhgetaboutit!

On said topic, another one. Go learn:
The Tournament Poker Rollercaster (you have to know when to get off)

Since I mentioned Gary previously, I thought this post from RGP was apropos. I've blogged before about Pokerroom posting these stats - please dig through the archives.

I was looking at the hand EV's on pokerroom.com. They've used actual playing
data and record hand results by position.

What I thought was interesting was that AA and KK had higher EV in the blinds
than any other position. That's counter-intuitive to me, no other hand has
that pattern in position EV.

What does that mean?

I think it demonstrates the importance of raising on early betting rounds with
those hands, and trapping people in for multiple bets when you know you're
best. Also it suggests to me that the limp/reraise is an important tool with
those hands, becuase raising to thin the field isn't really what you want to do
(I'm assuming that early position results would be improved if more players

Anyway, I just thought that was a really interesting result.
Gary Carson

Allow me to leave you with one poker news link.
Top poker hands ready for the deal

Alrighty then, I seriously appreciate anyone who managed to read this far. It's tough to crank these posts out, but anyway, if you appreciate this humble poker blog, please sign up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY. It makes it all worthwhile.

Actually, a link from Wil made it worthwhile.

Two Links of the Day:
Guinness = Nectar of the Gods. Nuff said.
Secret 'Essence of Guinness' Exported to Africa
But soaring demand from Africa, where Guinness is seen as a macho drink and nicknamed "Viagra" after the virility drug, has led to severe capacity constraints.
Scientific proof! Guinness bubbles sink!
Sober analysis verifies, explains odd behavior in popular stout (MSNBC)

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

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