Tuesday, July 26, 2005
"Poker is like church. Many attend, but few understand."
Howdy all - thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog.
I hope this Guinness-fueled uber-post will keep you busy for a week.
It's still fascinating to think how far this has blogging thingy has come.
And has yet to go...
And yes, I'm looking for advertisers. Partners.
Step right up and get a piece!
My vast readership is rich, good looking and loyal as fucking hell.
I don't have anything else to prove - I've worked my ass off here.
I'm a prime target for a saavy advertiser.
My readers are a highly coveted demographic: online gamblers.
Why must I state the obvious?
I've wasted far too many drunken hours at the keyboard, pounding out uber post after uber post for my faithful readers. It's time to either make this blog thing work or give it up. I'd be better off just focusing all my energy on playing poker. This poker blog has been -EV, frankly.
Whine, whine, whine.
Anyway, I'm not even sure where to begin with this post.
Err, I suppose I just did, whoops.
Stream of consciousness posts rule.
I'm shooting for an uber-uber Guinness-fueled post here. That's scary, ain't it?
Because you know, during the OJR interview, I realized I derive the most satisfaction from my blog when doing some massive post, Destroying Workplace Productivity in Offices around the Globe.
But I'm announcing a brief hiatus here, perhaps a week or two. First of all, I'm taking a road trip up to Northern Minnesota to do some fishing. Secondly, I'm hoping to land a sponsor or two for this humble poker blog. Thirdly, I'm burnt out and need to recharge. I think I'm overdue for a small break, don't you?
I'll be back soon and in full attack mode, have no fear.
So what have I been up to? Brick & mortar poker, baby. Every damn day. Am I crushing the games? Hell, no. Am I profitable? Um, sure, if you call $396 over 35 hours this week a profitable wage, I am.
But I'm playing exclusively the $400 max no-limit cash game. Anyone who's read this blog knows that my expertise lies mainly in limit poker - that's my bread and butter. Why NL? Change of pace, different game, different skills.
Mostly, cause NL is fun as hell.
I've taken to wearing my Party Poker hat to the tables because of the fun conversation it provides. I can't tell you the ridiculous conversations I've had about online poker, it still boggles my mind. I've been mocked and looked at cross-eyed more times than I can count.
If I ever admitted that I've made a living by multi-tabling 15.30 on Party Poker, I'd be laughed outta the room. Gotta love it.
But honestly, I'm loving becoming a cardroom regular. It's fascinating on so many levels.
Per the female versus male poker debate (and some people's disgust at "female only" poker tournaments == go check out Maudie, Fred and Maigry), it's interesting that I have yet to play one hand of poker with a female at a table 10.20 and up and never at the NL table. Yup, there's lots of ladies playing but never above 3.6. Just food for thought because I believe a knowledgable female player could easily destroy the higher games.
For the record, one of my all-time favorite female empowerment movies is Whale Rider, which I just watched again tonite. Don't read about it - just go rent it; trust me. Very family friendly, for you breeders out there, especially those with daughters.
But back to poker. Poker is freaking hard.
Mastery of poker (hah!) requires the perfect simultaneous alignment of so many human and table-centric and meteorlogical mental variables as to overburden the average mind and drive it into the refuge of mysticism in its search for an ordering power. What if skill is a delusion? What if poker is a random and chaotic universe ruled by the forces of pure chance??
Every poker player who ever did everything by the book only to watch his pocket aces cracked on the river for the tenth time in a row has at least flirted with the idea. Not even the grizzled veteran or the advanced student of the game, in a bad run, can ever entirely overcome the sneaking suspicion that what it really comes down to is luck.
I was talking to a good friend, an avid golfer, about this concept today. And he showed me how golf is similar - the very "stickiness" of it - it's challenging to the point that you can never solve it. And usually, the enemy is yourself.
Because of this, poker, like the game of golf, hooks the susceptible and the desperate with the seductive promise of coming up a winner against all odds via nothing more than the auspices of Lady Fortune. And thus, like gambling, golf becomes addictive. Just one more round. I can feel it.
Today's the day luck rides in my cart. Today's the day that higher power makes me destiny's tot, guides me thru the shadow of the valley of incompetence on a giddy roll of clean fairway drives, miracle putts and group one hands.
Well, it didn't work today. Maybe tomorrow. I'll just keep playing until it does. Gawdamnit, it's only a matter of a few inches here, a few folds there and a tad more topspin on my approach. Can't stop now - sooo tantalizingly close I can taste it!
It's maddening sometimes, isn't it?
I mean, everytime I've built a giant stack in the NL ring game at the boat, I lose a large chunk of it to a bad beat. It's becoming a theme. So I've become very adept at building that stack - now I just need to learn how to keep it. (Don't play big pots with the other big stack, damnit!)
It's funny but I really wanted to write up some poker theory -- strategy in this post but I simply found too many great snippets out there on the web. Why waste time on my drivel when I can give you valuable insight from pro players like Daniel Negraneau. Here's a question and answer:
A Question for Daniel Negraneau
Hey Dan, since you apparently read this forum and respond to some of the posts I was hoping you could answer a question for me.
To what extent do you feel that playing online provides any kind of worthwhile experience that might help improve one's performance in live games, especially tournaments?
It seems to me that the two venues share little in common and that winning online, whether tournaments or cash games, is much more dependent on luck than skill...
And the answer:
Last year at BARGE, Howard Lederer said that online tournament
practice is very valuable, especially as younger players can gather up
a great mass of tournament experience without ever leaving their
Obviously the biggest difference between live play and online poker play would have to be the absence of physical tells. A great player's tell reading ability is neutralized online, which leaves just the fundamentals. If you have a good understanding of poker fundamentals, there should be no reason why playing poker online wouldn't be profitable. There are likely a few minor adjustments you would have to make when playing online though:
1. You will have to call more potential bluffs more often. Without the presence of physical tells, the only way you'd be able to make a big laydown would be to have logged enough hours with your opponents and have a good read of his betting patterns. When playing online though, it's likely that you'll often face players you've never played before. Against them, it's important to pay them off until you have enough information otherwise.
2. You should bluff less often. Again, if you are supposed to look people up more often than you normally would, then so should your opponents - and they will. So bluffing more than you need is just a total waste of money. Your profit from these games comes from VALUE BETTING, not bluffing.
Random WTF Photo of the Day
Mitigating point: Daniel obviously plays much higher limits than we do. Since I've moved up, I'm doing a TON more bluffing, simply because it's heads up so often at the flop and I can make more plays at a pot rather than trying to fight through 3-4 players. At the low limits, 5-10 and below, I recommend almost never bluffing unless you have a solid read on a weak player or a table is getting passive. I can make the case that simply waiting for good cards and betting the snot out of them is a sufficiently profitable strategy. Most online poker players are passive and call too often - it makes sense to exploit this flaw by pushing the thin edges of your good hands and chucking the others away.
Bottom line: it's way easier for players to play terribly in online poker than in brick and mortar. There is no shame online. No reason to 'stay in line' on certain hands. No raised eyebrows or worse, insults to your face. Live poker can easily cause players, especially newer ones, to play weak-tight. It's truly too damn easy for folks to play bad online. And they do.
I once read:
There's no place for whim in online poker -- any more than in a real world game. It's just that whims seem like such a good idea when no one sits in judgement.
Amen. And that's why I think online poker is such a tremendous training ground for anyone wanting to become a winning player. Tackling the low-limits at Party Poker, and 'beating the game' over time is a wonderful accomplishment, and not that difficult if you are diligent in table selection, player tracking, and not allowing yourself to tilt. Solid starting cards and ABC post-flop poker = money. I mean, I think the majority of online players at Party Poker prolly don't mind losing $50-$100, or whatever, a week or month for their hobby. It's fun as hell, and ultimately is cheap education/entertainment.
But also, those guys at the boat, even some of the regulars, are there to gamble. Flat out Gambool.
Case in point: A reckless, slick Asian player called TWO prior preflop allins with A5o in hopes that one had KK and the other QQ, so he could triple thru with an ace.
Oh the humanity.
For the record, one had AA and the other AK. He was doomed but still thought the call was a good one. I completely agreed with him, of course.
But something I've harped on many times is being honest with yourself. We all play poker for different reasons. These motivations are key to understanding yourself and your game. Many have pontificated upon the similarities between life and poker. And any sentient person can see those parallels easily: taking risks, weighing rewards; alternatively suffering and basking in the vicissitudes of luck. Yes, of course.
But there's one dramatic fissure where the metaphor crumbles. In poker you have to lie to win; in life telling lies will only make you lose. Most especially if you're lying to yourself.
This sounds absurdly simple, or worse, downright pithy. But the power of this message transcends the whiff of cliche that trails behind it. When I went belly up many years ago, I learned a few things besides the pain of losing my bankroll.
First and foremost, I learned that I wasn't as good a player as I imagined I was. It forced me to rip apart my game and admit serious weaknesses and so much more. It forced me into poker sherpa mode. And now, way down the road in my poker career, I have the opposite outlook: I'm a much better player than I imagine I am. And this mindset makes all the difference. Your mileage may vary.
Good Lord, such rubbish.
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!
Felicia once gave me the attributes of a winning poker player by Dr. Al Schoonmaker:
Extreme self control- no impulsive behavior
Ability to concentrate intently- no wandering thoughts
Ability to admit mistakes quickly- and thus terminate them
Ability to depersonalize conflicts- be objective regardless of personalities involved
Selective aggressive play at the table
Acceptance of responsibility - accountability for all your results
Always demanding an edge/advantage before you play
Brutal realism- the absence of denial or kidding yourself
Visible thinking- thinking through and knowing why you made every play
Ability to learn from your mistakes
Obsession with winning
Ability to make adjustments based on observations; adapability
If Dr. Al says so, it must be true.
This sucks, but I had to stop bringing the custom WPBT card protector Maudie made to the table because I kept getting asked loud questions by Crackers like, "HEY DUDE - WTF IS a W...P...B..T?!"
Me: "Uh, um..."
Anyway, let's get into some of the best of poker from the past few days.
Thanks to Bill Rini for pointing me to this incredible old thread by Abdul Jalib. From the year 2000:
Stratification of poker players
This is a tour of the layers of poker society...
Here the sharks are world class players, and the fish are
whales like literally Persian princes or American billionaires.
Sometimes $100-$200 pros follow whales into the game but they
are shark bait. These games are almost always short-handed
unless there is a whale, in which case professionals and their
mothers may be flying into town to get onto a long waiting list.
I've never played this high, so my knowledge is a bit lacking.
This limit is home to the brother-sister duo of Howard Lederer
and Annie Duke.
This is the domain of the tournament pros and the idle rich.
Someone said that the more world series bracelets in the game,
the better the game, and that's generally (but not quite always)
true. They all golf by day and gamble heavily on it. Usually
these games are short-handed. The real ring game professionals
at this limit are extremely tough, e.g., Lenny Martin.
Largely the same culture as $100-$200, but a $300-$600 pro
will sometimes demean himself by playing $100-$200, while you
almost never see them in a $60-$120, whereas $30-$60 pros will
often jump into a live $60-$120 but not a $100-$200. Overall,
the average $60-$120 pro is a weaker player than the
grinders down in $30-$60. Tells in $60-$120 are usually
reverse tells. For example, in hold'em if a $60-$120 player
checks his hole cards when a third of the suit hits, then he
already has the flush most of the time. The fish at this
limit sometimes have no idea how to play poker and will blow
off a few thousand in an hour.
Here live the grinders that play day in and day out, 8+ hours
per day. $30-$60 is the high water mark for most professionals,
and it's not uncommon for a game to be all professionals,
in which case you have to wonder about their sanity. It's
also possible to have a game with only one or two pros in it,
which just doesn't happen at higher limits. One thing that
is striking about this limit is how darned aggressive it is
compared to lower limits, though $60-$120 cranks it up to an
even higher pitch. This is the last limit that S&M's Hold'em
for Advanced Players is of much use. A lot of these players
are extremely good, such as Roy Cooke.
Here you'll find the common recreational gamblers, the
weak/learning pros, and the Abduls who bounce between $15-$30
and $60-$120 since those games are usually better than than
the $30-$60. In Vegas, these games are very weak-tight, and
the players fold much too often, while in L.A. these
games are very loose rammin' jammin' games.
This is the land of starving professionals and some truly
horrendous fish. If you thought $15-$30 was weak-tight,
that's nothing compared to $10-$20. The game is normally
passive, in addition to weak-tight, and it's is the first limit
for which S&M's Hold'em for Advanced Players is geared.
Both $10-$20 and $15-$30 allow truly stunning win rates for
top notch players, in excess of two big bets per hour, since
a top notch player can identify when his weak opponent has
no hand in a pot that is heads up from the flop. $3-$6,
$10-$20, and $60-$120 are the most common limits to
encounter someone who has never played poker before.
Land of gamb000ling fish. The contrast with $10-$20 is
incredible. You'll need about as big a bankroll for
$6-$12 as $10-$20, because the $6-$12 games are so much
wilder and also the rake/time takes a much bigger toll.
Basement. Braindead beginner fish live here, making
for no fold'em poker. No bluffing is allowed. The
rake or time charge will make the game somewhere between
difficult and impossible to beat. Although you'll sometimes
see a starving professional in $6-$12, there are no pros
down here, unless you want to count retirees who play to
supplement their social security checks.
Abdul's site was sadly taken down a while ago. A reader wrote me last week asking if I could point him in the right direction because he really wanted to re-read this excellent poker material.
Abdul Jalib Poker Archive
In that past thread, here's Abdul answering a question.
> I'm wondering if it's possible, and if you would, give illustrations
> for each level. For example, at the 60-120 level you descibe a
> typical reverse tell. If you would/could I'd love to hear a concrete
> difference between each of the layers. What does a 300-600 player do
> better than a 100-200, etc.
Players here have an angle that allows them to rise above the
rest. Some have a deep understanding of game theory, some have
many decades of experience, and some (I'm sorry) cheat.
Maniacs are largely replaced by very tough players. Intuitive
exploitive play gets replaced by defensive game-theoretic play,
even if the players don't realize that's how they're playing.
Reverse tells, many seemingly successful maniacs, 3-betting
3-way with middle pair and overcard becomes sometimes correct,
3 or 4 bet semi-bluffs occur, bluff raises on river are the rule,
play by feel and play by tells, no play by book. Good players
still go on tilt at this limit, and that's how other good players
make most of their money.
Semi-bluff-raise-on-the-turn city. Players get into stare-downs
when the flop comes down (trying to get tells), until the first
player gives up and looks at the board.
Rammin-jammin value betting/raising with big draws. They make
some good laydowns when faced with calling two cold in a big
multiway pot. It is a rule here that AA must always be turned
face up when it is mucked prior to the showdown. If AA loses
in a showdown, then a 60 second wake ceremony is required
before then showing the hand and then tossing it into the muck,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Players are good at hand selection, but weak at semi-bluffing,
first level where you'll see many bluff raises on the river.
Many players here play by the book. They love to make "good"
Good players here are rocks and rarely semi-bluff or bluff.
They *live* to make "good" laydowns.
Good players here ram-n-jam with big draws, but lack common
sense. They are not able to determine when they might be
drawing dead. They hold onto AA until the bitter end.
Players here tend to call if there is any chance in hell that
they can make the runner-runner nut straight or two pair.
After a year of bashing the poor bastard, I had better point out Jackpot Jay's final column for ESPN poker.
I mean, everyone has a right to be stupid, but Jackpot Jay abused the privilege. Don't get me wrong, Jay's a fine writer, certainly light years better than I, but whenever he starts talking specifics on playing poker, it just made me freaking angry. He just didn't get it.
Backing me up here is ackbleh from RGP:
Re: Jackpot Jay a total disaster
I don't know if he's a disaster, but some of his columns have some pretty shocking statements in them. I'm used to mainstream media not 'getting' poker situations, but someone who is supposedly playing 'for a living' and has supposedly been a player for so many years would hopefully know better. His comments on online poker are particularly revealing of just not being aware of the situation.
I'm not sure what I think went wrong with Jay, but I do know that if he'd gone about it the right way, he surely could have had a better year. Based upon his columns I'm pretty sure he didn't have a constant stream of correct advice and information. He was either dealing with only sporadic assistance from his mentor, Matt Matros, or that advice was blurred by a constant stream of 'help' from people who were offering both good and bad 'help' with no way for him to tell which advice was of what quality.
There are plenty of people out there who are regularly beating any type, limit, and location of poker imaginable. I think it's fair to say that Jay didn't successfully identify enough of those people who'd be willing to help him, or he didn't listen to them exclusively. We can't say from reading his columns if the reason was arrogance, thought it's certainly a possibility. It would be interesting to hear where he was getting his information. :-).
I tried to go back to Jackpot Jay's archive page to dig up a few specific columns that clearly display improper guidance or confusion, but the espn's archive for some reason is only displaying his June and July columns from this year. Oh well. :-(
With all the things that are happening with the poker community that are good, one that hasn't happened yet is a mainstream writer 'getting' professional poker on all levels. Maybe next time, eh?
Whatever happened to hiring a poker player to write, damnit?
Pauly > Jackpot Jay
Any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
There's always been mucho talk about poker bots in online poker. I usually only keep one eye on the discussions after all these years, but now that we are having formal pokerbot competitions, here's a few current articles.
From Wired Magazine:
Who Says Poker Bots Can't Bluff?
Article in the L.A. Times:
Don't bet against the poker 'robots'
The guy who won was from Indiana, here's a local article:
Hoosier's robot is royal flush of poker world
Poker pro, Phil Laak, tackled the winning poker bot afterwards. You can read about that in the LA article above. But here's some perspective from a fellow who was actually at the event itself.
Phil Laak vs. the bot
I attended the first three days of this competition.
The quality of play was inconsistent. In the early rounds, Catfish, the eventual second-place bot, was very reluctant to bet on the turn and river, even with huge hands. Three-betting preflop was a rarity, even heads-up. And all bots folded way too much when on the button in a heads-up situation.
Nothing really scary to see, in my opinion. However, I'm sure there better bots out there, managed by more than just one random coder.
Also not noted in the LA Times story is that the bots played limit hold'em and that the match against Laak was limit, a game he admitted he knows little about. (He said he's always played pot and no-limit.)
And from yesterday's Las Vegas Review Journal - another take on the competition:
ONLINE GUY: Poker wits, acrobatic bits spice latest Net Notes
Fred had the great idea of asking the winning bot owner to have his pokerbot play in our next Blogger tournament.
I finally finished Harry Potter, damnit. My wife asked me, "If Voldemort saw a boggart, what would it be?"
I replied, "That's easy: Death. Or his corpse."
"The REAL question," I asked her, "Is what would Dumbledore's boggart be?"
Since I mentioned the great movie, Whale Rider, I need to balance things out and admit that I watched the equally dreadful High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story this past week. Good God. But then I noticed that Andy Glazer had a cameo in it, as a non-speaking part as an ESPN announcer.
So, in tribute to the man, let's post an old Andy Glazer column.
First off, here's a column by the late, great Andy Glazer:
As Lexus Replaces Cadillac, Will Pot-Limit Replace No-Limit?
by Andrew N.S. Glazer
Poker is the ultimate context game: holding identical cards all the way around, the right play against Opponent X can be the wrong play against Opponent Y, and the right play against Opponent X under Circumstance A can be the wrong play against that same Opponent X if Circumstance A changes to Circumstance A-1(b).
Although that general observation stands players in good stead in an almost unlimited number of poker situations, I make it here to argue that the greatest poker book ever written was Doyle Brunson’s Super/System, simply because when placed in context — when measured against the then-existing poker literature — Super/System represented such a quantum leap forward that it revolutionized an industry.
Today, there are many great poker books. When Doyle first published Super/System, there was one: Super/System. (And even as great as Doyle was, he was smart enough to utilize specialists to add to his own work and write chapters about their areas of greatest expertise.) There were many other good books (particularly if you were a beginner or a low-stakes home-game player), but only one great one.
It is against the backdrop — the context, if you will — of my respect for Super/System that I not only eagerly await the revised edition coming later this year, but also question the current accuracy of one of Doyle’s most famous lines: “No-limit hold’em is the Cadillac of poker games.”
When Doyle first wrote that, the Cadillac was the ultimate American prestige car. If you owned a new Cadillac, you had “made it,” even though there were superior foreign cars. You were one of the Jones with whom the neighbors were trying to keep up. Today, while the Cadillac is still a fine automobile, if you really want to turn heads, you drive something else — a Lexus, a Mercedes, a BMW, a Viper, and so on.
Just as the Cadillac is no longer the symbol of American affluence, I think the day has come when the other half of Doyle’s famous line may have similarly fallen behind the times (in a way, then, Doyle’s line continues to be correct, although not in the way he meant it). Although no-limit hold’em remains my favorite and best form of poker, I believe no-limit hold’em is no longer the ultimate test of poker skill, especially the way it is being played these days.
That status is reserved for pot-limit poker — hold’em, if you will, although I won’t disagree strongly with someone who wants to claim pot-limit Omaha as the ultimate test. My argument goes back to a point I started making two issues ago, when I explained that the style preferred by most experts, “small-bet poker,” is becoming more and more difficult to employ, because tournaments are becoming increasingly full of players who utilize the “shove ‘em and pray” style of play.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect that the championship events at brick-and-mortar tournaments throughout the world (the World Series of Poker and its lesser known but increasingly important and wealthy cousins), as well as the made-for-TV tournaments like the World Poker Tour, are going to shift over and become pot-limit events. No-limit is sexier, it’s faster (none of those boring splitting-up-the-pot moments), and, perhaps most important, it’s easier to understand.
Make no mistake about it, poker is undergoing an era of rapidly expanding audiences, participation, and sponsorship, and that’s primarily because of television. Television, in turn, became a viable viewing option because of “the viewer can see the players’ holecards” technologies.
It is already hard enough to explain Texas hold’em and the accompanying concept of community cards to a viewing audience that grew up playing five-card draw (or watching movies or TV shows involving poker scenes from the same game). It’s easy for a non-player to “get” that a player holding four aces in his hand is going to beat someone holding four jacks: The cards are right there next to one another.
Television and movie directors are still searching for the right way to explain how players combine their own holecards with the community cards, let alone the far more difficult way to show it in a series of rapidly moving shots back and forth of players checking their hands. In the MTV generation, deathly slow explanations don’t cut it.
There is nothing intuitively obvious (to a non-player, and no matter how many players there are among us, we are still outnumbered) as to why someone holding the Ahearts Khearts is crushing someone who holds the Qspades Qclubs when the board reads Qhearts Jhearts Qdiamonds 10hearts 4spades. Yes, a royal flush beats four queens, but it takes a while for a non-player to recognize that the cards combine that way. In five-card draw, the relative hand strengths are instantly obvious.
Nonetheless, because certain other elements of hold’em are more exciting than draw (the visible cards, the drama of a turn or river card, the extra rounds of betting), and because the reality is that few good players play five-card draw anymore, TV and the movies have finally managed to make hold’em work, by letting viewers see the holecards.
If we have to add the complexities involved in maximum bet sizes (“OK, before the flop, an initial raiser can make it seven times the size of the small blind under World Series of Poker rules”) and/or the delays involved in split pots, TV loses the gold mine of an audience it has so recently unearthed.
As a result, there is virtually zero chance that the important championship events will switch to pot-limit, even though pot-limit involves many more complex decisions (most but not all of which are post-flop). Insiders may respect the winners of huge pot-limit tournaments more, but the world’s most famous champions will remain no-limit players for a long time — probably longer than any of us reading this will live.
Small-bet no-limit hold’em is becoming more difficult to play because of the increasingly large number of players who are employing the preflop all-in move (mentioned above as the “shove ‘em in and pray” style of play). Great players are adapting, and are becoming more willing to gamble (usually, unless they’ve badly misread the situation, while holding the advantage) large amounts on a single hand.
Nonetheless, this change in style is making no-limit poker more “democratic,” if you will. We’ve just had consecutive world champions whose prior experience was relatively minimal: While the large number of entrants combined with the availability of excellent literature and computer software made this more possible than it would have been 20 years ago, I think it a virtual impossibility that two unknowns could have won “poker’s ultimate tournament” if it had been played pot-limit rather than no-limit.
In other words, even though no-limit hold’em is a frightfully complex game, it is not as difficult to master as is its pot-limit cousin.
This increased accessibility to the masses isn’t necessarily “bad” or “good.” Indeed, some very strong arguments can be made that it is a very good development, indeed. It just means it’s less likely that poker’s world champion will be poker’s best player; looked at from the other side of the same coin, it makes it less likely that poker’s best player will win poker’s world championship. It’s still a feat worthy of fame and celebrity, but it just doesn’t prove as much as it used to.
Two issues ago I promised some more analysis as to why small-bet poker was becoming more difficult to play, and what good players were doing to combat that. I’ve found that discussing some of the larger issues about poker’s future have used up some of the space I’d planned on devoting to specific technical examples, so I’ll have to continue with this theme again next issue. Before that, though, I want to share some feedback about one example I cited in that earlier (Oct. 24, 2003, issue) column.
To explain what I meant by “small-bet poker,” I created a purely hypothetical example of a situation in which a small-bet stylist might fold despite holding an advantage, because he didn’t want to risk his entire stack with just a small edge. I used an example involving A-K suited vs. A-K offsuit, rather than something like A-K vs. Q-Q, because I wanted to find an example involving a very small (5 percent) edge. Fortunately, I called my example “less than ideal” because it depended on so many artificial and unlikely circumstances — knowing your opponent’s hand because he’d flashed it, and knowing that he’d call a huge bet with A-K offsuit.
Reader “CoolKen” from Evires, France, wrote me to say he loved the point behind the column, but that my admittedly less-than-ideal example was even less ideal than I had realized, because the advantage wasn’t really 5 percent. True, 91 percent of the confrontations are splits, 7 percent are wins for the suited A-K, and 2 percent are wins for the offsuit A-K … but that’s not a 5 percent advantage!
If you stop to think about it, 91 percent of the time the decision doesn’t matter. The only times when the outcome matters (remember, I’ve already established zero chance of a fold) is when the bet gets called, and that’s not a 5 percent edge — that’s a 7-2 edge! If you’re not willing to intentionally risk your chips with a 7-2 edge, you shouldn’t be playing poker tournaments, because if you do, you won’t be choosing between a Cadillac and a Lamborghini, you’ll be taking lots of buses.
To CoolKen, my thanks, and to those of you who want to know how to battle these “all-in to win” stylists, please be patient for two more weeks. You’ll need that quality to win, anyway.
Did anyone but me notice that everyone's favorite pro poker blogger, Lord Gezniekorne is back and posting at his original blog?
Rhymes with Joker
Lord G sent me this fine link to official Major League Baseball jerseys with a custom Hammer message on em. Buy one today for your favorite poker blogger!
Things I must know: In sign-language - what are the official signs for "fellatio" and "cunnilingus"? I mean I know what I'd THINK they would be - but I want to know for sure.
What next, what next...well, I was perusing the poker blogs the other day and discovered one that was talking about poker theory and how it help us understand inherent elements of the game. How it gives you perspective. So I wanted to list some of these, for the hell of it. Each of these focuses on a different variable of some particular facet of the game.
Poker is a struggle among the players for the right to the antes.
Money flows from bad player to good players.
Poker is a game of money and odds.
Poker is a game of partial information.
Poker is a game of strategy and deception.
Poker is a contest between a made hand and a drawing hand.
Poker is a game of kickers and hand domination.
Poker is a game of manipulation and pressure.
Gary Carson says that developing the ability to quickly shift your point of view is the first step in being able to adjust to changes in game conditions - the key to winning poker.
Damn, this lends itself nicely to a segue about Mortens Theorem, but I don't have the time to pontificate properly. I'll be lucky to finish this before
But one thing I'll say, especially playing at the loose tables on Party Poker, is that in hold em, you need to adjust your thinking about poker hands away from its poker ranking and more towards its money-winning potential.
This is a powerful online poker tool that I'm not gonna hype. It's really just another cool version of GT.
PokerAce Hud - Version 0.20 Released - PokerStars Support!
This was pretty clever. An interview with a search engine.
Anyone else remember my posting about Daniel Negreanu writing about being offended by the nicknames of Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Phil "Unabomber" Laak?
Here's a follow up from Danny:
"I ran into Phil Laak and his girlfriend Jennifer Tilly and had a chance to talk to him about my issues with the nickname. I basically explained that I have no problem with him as a person. He seems like a really fun guy that doesn't mean any harm with the nickname "UnaBomber."
Personally, I'm not all that offended by it, but as I said in a post in the forums I can imagine that those that lost loves once at the hands of the mass murderer might not love the idea of people chanting, "Go UnaBomber."
Phil actually explained to me that he did have some reservations about using the nickname, but decided that it wasn't that big of a deal. He's probably right, but I wonder how comfortable everyone would be if someone promoted the nickname "Hitler."
Strangely enough, I also ran into Chris Ferguson outside and wanted to clear the air with him as well concerning my comments about him using the moniker "Jesus."
We had talked about it at Light a while back and it's possible that I misunderstood what he was saying. I was under the impression that after our discussion Chris would stop signing autographs like that.
In talking with Chris, though, he claims that he never said he would stop. He said something more along the lines of, "I probably don't need to be signing autographs that way. The name Chris Ferguson is big enough now so that I don't need to sign them as "Jesus."
So again, I apologize for calling him a liar. I'm not 100% sure exactly how we left things that night at Light, but I'd gladly give him the benefit of the doubt.
It felt really good to talk to both Chris and Phil personally rather than
have a circle of gossip floating around without clearing the air."
Thanks to OddJack for pointing out these fine WSOP poker writeups by Michael Kaplan at Cigar Aficionado's Poker Blog. Eight entries in all - a worthy read.
If I grovel, will Jeremy at Love and Casino War start blogging regularly again? You want old-school? Go read Jeremy.
Here's some other poker software that deserves some serious pimpage but I'm gonna keep it on the down-low.
Our mission is to provide FREE, reliable, feature-rich software that helps players win Texas Hold'em poker online. The HC project helps achieve this vision by providing a platform on which developers can build software that assists online Texas Hold'em players. Hold'em Cockpit is free, open-source software, covered by the GNU General Public License.
Creating a new plug-in is easy - just download the HC source and extend the Plugin class. Check out the HC Plug-in Development Guide. The possibilities for new plug-ins are endless:
* Odds Calculators
* Player Stats Trackers
* Results Graphing and Charting
* Live Play Assistants (live advice)
* Poker Trainers (teaching tools)
* Strategy Tutors
* Collusion/Bot Detectors
* Hand Replayers
* Hand Simulators
* Anything else you can imagine!
Moving along, here was a fun baseball - poker analogy.
Subject: What Doyle Brunson and Babe Ruth have in common
Author: Irish Mike
Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record but he had about 2,400 more times at bat in his playing life than Ruth did. As I recall, Doyle Brunson did not play in the WSOP for something like five years out of respect for his friend Jack Binion. (Jack's sister Becky Behen ran the WSOP when she took over the Vegas Horseshoe from Jack - before she ran the Horseshoe into the ground). My point is that if Doyle had played in those WSOPs, he would have had something like 125 more chances to win WSOP bracelets. (Again, just guessing but 5 years x 25 WSOP events per year = 125 more chances to win a bracelet).
It was Doyle's choice to pass up those WSOPs but it does make you wonder how many bracelets he might have won. BTW, if any one has the true stats on the number of WSOP events Doyle sat out, I'd be interested in hearing them.
I would be more likely to compare Doyle to Ted Williams using your logic. What would Ted's numbers have looked like if he hadn't gone off to be a fighter pilot for all those years during WWII?
Babe Ruth is so far superior to Hank Aaron, or anyone else for that matter, it becomes almost pointless to compare. Babe was hitting 50 to 60 homes runs at a time when his closest competition was what, usually 20 something or less? Bonds hitting 70 plus is not nearly so impressive. What Babe Ruth did was stand further above the competition during his era than any player in U.S. professional sports history.
That all being said, is Doyle really comparable to Babe just in general? Well, in my mind he has qualities of both Babe and Hank. An awesome track record of dominance, if not quite as head and shoulders above his peers as the Babe, and amazing longevity. But the time he missed makes me think most of Ted.
To my 7th grade English teacher Mrs. Roberts: Guess what? Since starting this blog I've NEVER had to "map out" the parts of ANY sentence - and I STILL don't care about relative pronouns! Bitch.
Dear Lord, in a follow-up to my all David Sklansky post, this might be David Sklansky's funniest post ever, with the intro line of: "I thought it was probably time to take a break from the controversial stuff. So I decided to explain to everybody what there is to know about abortion."
David Sklansky on Abortion
I was deeply saddened to see this post from David:
Last Question From Me Regarding Religions
Damnit David, don't stop now!
Say it ain't so!
After all, this thread was entertaining to read thru. David's post entitled:
Announcing "Answered" Prayers Both Stupid and Disgusting
Can brain damage make you a better poker player? The study is about investing and emotional detachment, but it made me think of poker. From the Wall Street Journal.
Can Brain Damage Make You a Better Investor?
Here's another poker twist on something non-poker.
Bad beats are Darwinian
In an article on animal emotions in the July 11 issue of Time, the following quote appears:
"If you watch rats wrestle, says Steven Sivy, a biologist at Gettysburg College, you'll see that the bigger rat lets the smaller rat win every now and then so that the smaller rat will keep playing."
The article continues with the speculation that such excercise is important to the species and thus this "letting the smaller guy win occassionally" idea is a key technique.
First thing that came to my mind of course was, "Enough with the bad beat stories!"
Here's an interesting eBay poker auction. Asking price = $14k.
1970 WSOP World Series of Poker BINION TROPHY
Doh, here was a negative slant on Doyle Brunson and his alleged pump and dump of the WPT stock.
Subject: Here is your hero
A $700 Million Poker Bluff
BY DAN DORFMAN
July 15, 2005
"... Some angry complaints have already been lodged with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, which, I'm told by a Nasdaq investigator, has
kicked off an investigation into what a number of Wall Street pros
believe was a bogus takeover offer ...
"'You've heard of the week that never was,' the Nasdaq investigator
said. 'This looks like the deal that never was, and it has all the
earmarks of stock manipulation.'
"When I rang up the [law] firm seeking an explanation, a nervous
spokesperson told me: 'This is not something we're allowed to talk
about.' ... 'The whole thing looks like a fraud, like someone was
trying to manipulate the stock,' said Dave Ehlers, chairman of Las
Vegas Investment Advisors. 'I don't know how you can see it much
differently than that.'"
I've seen this posted elsewhere, but it's too freaking funny not to do so here.
Anyone who knows the history of WWII and who has played online games with kids who talk in l33t-sp33k should appreciate the humour in this.
If World War Two had been an online Real Time Strategy game, the chat room traffic would have gone something like this.
*Hitler[AoE] has joined the game.*
*Eisenhower has joined the game.*
*paTTon has joined the game.*
*Churchill has joined the game.*
*benny-tow has joined the game.*
*T0J0 has joined the game.*
*Roosevelt has joined the game.*
*Stalin has joined the game.*
*deGaulle has joined the game.*
Roosevelt: hey sup
Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression!
benny-tow: haha america sux
Stalin: hey hitler you dont fight me i dont fight u, cool?
Hitler[AoE]; sure whatever
deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
Churchill: wtf the luftwaffle is attacking me
Roosevelt: get antiair guns
Churchill: i cant afford them
benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*
Roosevelt: im gonna attack the axis k?
benny-tow: with what? ur wheelchair?
benny-tow: lol did u mess up ur legs AND ur head?
T0J0: lol o no america im comin 4 u
Roosevelt: wtf! thats bullsh1t u fags im gunna kick ur asses
T0JO: not without ur harbors u wont! lol
Roosevelt: u little biotch ill get u
Hitler[AoE]: america hax, u had depression and now u got a huge fockin army
Hitler[AoE]: thats bullsh1t u hacker
Churchill: lol no more france for u hitler
Hitler[AoE]: tojo help me!
T0J0: wtf u want me to do, im on the other side of the world retard
Hitler[AoE]: fine ill clear you a path
Stalin: WTF u arsshoel! WE HAD A FoCKIN TRUCE
Hitler[AoE]: i changed my mind lol
benny-tow: hey ur losing ur guys in africa im gonna need help in italy soon sum1
T0J0: o **** i cant help u i got my hands full
Hitler[AoE]: im 2 busy 2 help
Roosevelt: yah thats right ***** im comin for ya
Stalin: church help me
Churchill: like u helped me before? sure ill just sit here
Stalin: dont be an arss
Churchill: dont be a commie. oops too late
benny-tow: hahahh oh sh1t help
Hitler: o man ur focked
paTTon: oh what now biotch
Roosevelt: whos the cripple now lol
*benny-tow has been eliminated.*
Roosevelt: gj patton
Hitler[AoE]: WTF eisenhower hax hes killing all my sh1t
Hitler[AoE]: quit u hacker so u dont ruin my record
benny~tow: wtf that mean?
Eisenhower: meant to say nutsack lol finger slipped
paTTon: coming to get u hitler u paper hanging hun cocksocker
Hitler[AoE]: u guys are fockin gay
Hitler[AoE]: ur never getting in my city
*Hitler[AoE] has been eliminated.*
benny~tow: OMG u noob you killed yourself
Stalin: OMG LMAO!
Hitler[AoE]: WTF i didnt click there omg this game blows
*Hitler[AoE] has left the game*
T0J0: WTF my teammates are n00bs
benny~tow: shut up noob
Roosevelt: haha wut a moron
paTTon: wtf am i gunna do now?
Eisenhower: yah me too
T0J0: why dont u attack me o thats right u dont got no ships lololol
Eisenhower: fock u
paTTon: lemme go thru ur base commie
Stalin: go to hell lol
paTTon: fock this sh1t im goin afk
Eisenhower: yah this is gay
*Roosevelt has left the game.*
Eisenhower: sh1t now we need some1 to join
*tru_m4n has joined the game.*
tru_m4n: hi all
tru_m4n: OMG OMG OMG i got all his stuff!
tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuculer secrets
T0J0: wtf is nukes?
T0J0: holy ****holy****hoyl****!
*T0J0 has been eliminated.*
*The Allied team has won the game!*
Churchill: gg noobs no re
T0J0: thats bull**** u fockin suck
*T0J0 has left the game.*
*Eisenhower has left the game.*
Stalin: next game im not going to be on ur team, u guys didnt help me for
Churchill: wutever, we didnt need ur help neway dumbarss
tru_m4n: l8r all
Stalin: fock u all
tru_m4n: shut up commie lol
*tru_m4n has left the game.*
benny~tow: lololol u commie
Churchill: bye commie
*Churchill has left the game.*
*benny~tow has left the game.*
Stalin: i hate u all fags
*Stalin has left the game.*
paTTon: lol no1 is left
paTTon: weeeee i got a jeep
*paTTon has been eliminated.*
paTTon: o sh1t!
*paTTon has left the game.*
I feel silly posting this retards thoughts about online poker but what kind of uber-post would this be without the obligatory "Online Poker is Rigged" post? That's right, a crappy one. And so here it is.
Subject: open letter to PartyPoker
i notice that in spite of your constant denials you continue to cheat.
the cheating rigged hands you set up are way outside the range of what
could be accounted for by probability. why do you continue to lie and
cheat? you really don't think you will generate enough rake without
cheating for the fish? i guess obviously you don't think so and that
is why you continue to cheat. i truly don't understand why a site that
should recognize integrity as their most important product continues to
cheat. but i guess we do understand why you cheat, obviously you are
doing it to keep the fish alive and generate more rake. don't bother
emailing me back unless it is with a long-overdue confession that you
are cheating and an offer of some compensation for the thousands of
dollars of my rightfully earned profit that you have cheated me out of.
certainly if you are planning on emailing me back with some lies about
how you are not cheating, save your breath. there is absolutely no
chance that the constant cheating hands you are rigging to steal most
of my profit are dealt at random. please do not insult my intelligence
again with the same lies you've blatantly told before, about how your
RNG is so fair (in your case it undoubtedly stands for Rigged Number
Generator). I am not blind. You are cheating and I truly hate you for
Fuck you very much,
Every Player Who Doesn't Have His Head Up His Ass
(ie any winning player such as myself. it is impossible that a winning
player doesn't realize it's rigged.)
Understandably, he was ripped to shreads. But Peg took the high road and answered his question and provided a link, which I thought was kind.
>Run an analysis specifically on hands played by short-stacks moving all-in
>preflop or after flop. There you will see the game is rigged.
Analysis on short stacks allin
Or, if you prefer the full link:
I had to read this post a few times -- some odd people out there.
Mirage 10-20 conversation
10-20 Mirage table.
Woman1, who must live in Vegas, is in the 2 seat.
I'm in the 3 seat, minding my own business.
Woman2, a Strip dealer, is in the 4 seat.
Woman1 has spent the day shopping for shoes. She is discussing her shopping excursion with Woman2 in all its detailed glory--which stores have cute shoes--which stores have hot shoes--which stores have shoes on sale--which stores have shoes that are cute, but not cute on her (they would be cute on Woman2). Dealers push; I fold hands; the conversation rolls on and on.
Woman1: (sardonically) "You must be fascinated with all this talk about shoes."
Me: "Shoes must be a girl thing. Even when I was a bachelor on the prowl, I never paid much attention to what shoes a woman was wearing."
Woman1: "Really? How did you know which girls to f*ck?"
Me: (befuddled) "Uhh.........."
Woman2: "Good God!, you didn't try talking to them, did you?"
Moving quickly along, I can't beleive how much more poker stuff I have to blog about.
Thanks to KingSix for this article. Tip of the Guinness to my languishing friend.
I ran across this Phil Gordon link at an RV magazine site if you are interested in it. This is in the current issue. Lots of this info is out there, but this is from an RV site perspective rather than the usual "I'm bitter I can only win at 2/4" poker perspective.
Oliver always has the inside skinny on upcoming events.
Here he shares about the:
2006 Harrah's/ESPN TOC
Author: Oliver Tse
Harrah's and ESPN have already released details for the 2006 Harrah's/ESPN Tournament of Champions at the Rio on June 28-29 even though Harrah's and ESPN haven't figured out what they will do with the 2005 Tournament of Champions yet.
For the 2006 Tournament of Champions, the following players will be invited:
1. All 9 players from the 2005 WSOP Main Event Final Table
2. All 12 $10000 buy-in winners from the 2006 WSOP Circuit Season, which is scheduled to start in August 2005 at Grand Casino Tunica.
3. 6 players chosen via "sponsor exemptions".
9 out of the 27 players will be paid, with first prize being $1 million.
The "sponsor exemptions" provision likely means that Annie Duke (the spokeswoman
for the "ESPN Poker Club" line of Merchandise), Allen Cunningham (2005
ESPN/Toyota WSOP Player of the Year), Doyle Brunson (10 bracelets), Johnny Chan
(10 bracelets) and Phil Hellmuth (9 bracelets, not to mention the best temper
tantrum caught on TV after the 2004 TOC) will be given 5 of the 6 free passes to
enter the 2006 Harrah's/ESPN TOC.
That would leave 1 remaining "sponsor exemption" available on the ESPN side.
Let the politicking begin to fight over the 1 free pass left
Jon Eaton over at PokerTrails got this interview with Hasan Habib.
One of the best no-limit tournament players in recent history had a chance to speak to Jon about various issues. See what he had to say about the highly controversial issue that came up during the WPT Championship.
If we're lucky, Paul Phillips will offer his two cents on this.
Here's what Jon had to say in RGP about the interview:
Hasan's a real nice guy. He took everything I had to say and didn't act
like it was even a tough question. Brett had talked to him during one of
the shootout events I believe and set up the interview. Amazingly, NO ONE
had approached him about the topic. Not even at the table, some random
guy saying "hey I heard about you and Tuan and..." nothing. No one had
brought it up!
So when we asked him about doing an interview Brett made sure that he was
comfortable with the questions we asked, and he didn't seem too concerned.
I think he was more interested in telling the story as it should be,
which is why I am glad we got to be the first site to talk to him about it.
Dave Taylor answers the eternal blogging question of "Are long blog entries better than short ones?"
The Long and the Short of Blog Posts
Wow, if you aren't hitting this site once a week, you're missing some tremendous stuff. BG - have you sent em a postcard yet?
I don't know where the hell to go from here. I'm tired after this marathon at the keyboard. Geesh, the things I do for you all in the interest of Destroying Workplace Productivity.
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker damnit!
I'm gonna finish up here by pimping two of my favorite bloggers who recently wrote about, what else? Me.
First from Fred:
I'm showing my age, but the personality Iggy projects on G&P always reminds me of a character from one of my favorite writers, Damon Runyon.
My father had a liking for the horses, and I spent more time than my mother liked at tracks in Maine, New York, and California. As I was too young to bet (except when I could talk my Dad into putting a couple of bucks down for me), I also spent a lot of time hanging with the bookies, touts, and other general lowlifes that congregate wherever the Sport of Kings is being played out.
I loved `em. I loved their stories, I loved their shilling of whatever crackpot betting system each was flogging to the unwary and to the optimistic. I even loved them when one took my life savings - which I think was all of five bucks at the time - in three-card monte... and then showed me how he had done it. But he never gave me back my money, so I'd remember. And I do.
Most of all, they were a bunch of likeable conmen who make me smile when I think about them now. They might take your money, but they'd often make you laugh even when you both knew they were doing it. And they might stake you when you were broke, and might even buy a kid an ice cream cone every now and then. And if you were one of their own, they'd take care of you without a thought if you needed help.
Dour character that I can sometimes be, few things make me smile regularly anymore. Peg does, of course. Most of the kids in my extended family can; my niece in all but blood, Lizzie, did yesterday. My cats, Bob Dylan, the hawk J.D.s who are back at 8 Reeds Ferry Way are a few of the things that still make me regularly smile... and so does Guinness & Poker. In the Fred Universe, "likeable con artist," is a compliment.
Just thought I should clarify that. I mean, Iggy's got enough problems being a dwarf housewife.
Sad but true, my friend, sad but true.
For the record, I'm down almost a grand in money loaned out this year.
Cost of doing business.
Thanks for taking the time to explain and inspiring me to read some Damon Runyon.
And TenMile over at Poker Solstice doesn't have the readership he deserves, either. He has the most wonderfully obtuse writing style. Now last time I linked to him, he deleted his blog, damnit, but he assures me it's OK this time.
Damn scary when you get profiled, especially by an octogenarian.
My comments are in bold.
Fingers crossed for the Blogfather. He writes he has a sponsor.
A real-life friend emailed me asking if the above meant an AA sponsor.
Sigh. I need some new friends.
Unless everyone that has met him is overawed by his creation, and his ability to keep it going while running the rapids of his personal events, or they are writing just to score points.
The latter. Obviously the latter.
The Iggy comes out a pretty good person.
I'm a Damon Runyon-like character, damnit.
The self proclaimed Dwarf (who outted himself, himself) writes he is a private person. So, I got to thinking about just how private bloggers really are after writing for a while. I used the Cincinati marvel as a "What do I know about this creature" exercise.
So what do I know about him:
Status: Married (I think he admitted to that a couple of times.)
Almost 11 years.
It's my life's work.
Only to my horses, dogs and cats.
Um, I think the word you're looking for here is lethargic.
Or maybe charismatic.
Unemployeed (self proclaimed desire. Factoid, true, quit 2nd job within year).
This brings to mind the old poker joke, "What do you call a professional poker player who gets dumped by his girlfriend?"
Author (One published book, several self published articles on a variety of subjects.)
Uh, Hank gets all the credit for the PokerTracker book.
Proven Researcher (See Party Poker Blogs for diverse subjects found and republished.)
I have too much time. The unemployed thingy, remember?
Of Proven Means (he isn't on relief)
God Bless Party Poker
Generally Law Abide-ing
Let's just say when a group of my friends get together, the topic of conversation must always, at some point, get around to IGGY arrest stories. Sadly, there's several. I was butt-nekkid in one.
Loyal to Friends
Talented in poker
Some Drawbacks: Introvert
I always test out as a slight extrovert on the Myers-Briggs test.
Judgemental (in spite of trying not to be)
How dare you!!
Can Feel slighted (jealously)
Only of people with cable TV and high speed internet connections.
Is happy to receive attention if he can control it
Interesting observation but thinking you can control anything anyone says or does on the internet is pure folly.
That was a fun little exercise, was it not?
Let's take a long inside look at WSOP dealers and what and how they earn, shall we?
Subject: Dealer tips at 2005 WSOP
RE: Dealer tips received.
WARNING - LONG AND DETAILED
First of all, I do not deal for living...I play poker (TRUTH - I make
30-50k a year (Live and online for the last 8 years). I do deal a
couple of charity events at home in the Midwest and I fill in
occasionally at the private games where I mainly play). I will admit
I am not an overly generous tipper but neither am I a tightwad.
I dealt at the WSOP in 2004 and 2005.
Here is how it all goes down from a dealer’s standpoint.
First of all, the Main Event (10k buyin #42) is treated differently
from the other events. I will get to it in a minute.
Base pay for dealers is $5.25/hr from clock in at beginning of shift
to clock out at end of shift. This year I was clocked in for a total
of 269 hours during the 7 weeks we had to be in Las Vegas (I am from
the Midwest and had to arrive early for orientation and scheduled my
plane to leave on July 16 (I arrived May 28)). For these hours I
received $1533.01 from Harrahs (some overtime was involved per
standard overtime practices.
As a dealer, we dealt in four areas during the WSOP.
1) Live (ranging from 2-4 HE to 50-100 PLO),
2) Single table satellite tournaments (SNGs for you on-line players)
with buyins ranging from $125 to $1060 (? I did not deal any $1060),
3) Other tournaments (second chance, super satellites, mega
4) "Official" events (e.g. $1500 buyin NLHE, $5000 w/ rebuy PLO, etc.
(there were 45 of these bracelet events)).
Here is how compensation worked out:
1) In live play, tipping was best at the low limit tables (2-4 to
20-40), averaging around $18/down (a "down" is the half-hour a dealer
spends dealing at a table before he/she moves to the next table or
goes on break). Usually the lower the limit, the better the tips
(exception being 1-2 NLHE due to the large number of small ($6-$20
pots). Tipping at the higher limit tables was generally much worse.
$75-$150 Stud/8 was typically $3-4/down. In 25-50 NLHE and 25-50 PLO
and above if I got $8/down I felt very lucky indeed. Pushing a $15000
pot and not getting a lousy buck DOES seem cheap to me.
Additionally, dealing the low limit games is much more fun. The
players on the whole are friendlier. Many of the high limit players
seem to think they are God's gift to poker and think they are better
people than the dealers. They are NOT. Most, if not all, of the
dealers I've worked with would rather not deal the high limit games.
Much of this comes from the lousy tipping but much also from the
attitude of the players. Also, low limit players seem to realize that
the dealer does not control the cards, but only delivers them. Many
high limit players do not seem to realize this.
Although I was not the lucky recipient, I did hear some stories of
generous ($5 chips and the occasional $25 chip) in the high limit
games by Marcel Luske and Phil Helmuth. Don't get me started on some
of the other players.
2) Single Table Satellites (STS) - Tipping ranged all over the board
depending on whether a deal was made and the generosity of the
winners. Personally, my tips ranged from $5 from a single winner of a
$225 buyin to a total of $70 from 3 people who split a $525 buy-in
($10 from the guy who took half and $30 each from the other two guys).
Time to deal a STS ranged from about 1 hr to 3.5 hrs (Higher buyins
generally took longer). I did hear on dealer say he got $800 from a
single winner of a $1060 buyin (the winner tried to make a deal when
he was outchipped 2-1, was refused and went on to win it all).
Dealers were also paid $20 by the house for each STS dealt ($35 for
3)&4) Other and "official" tournaments - treated exactly the same as
the "official" tournaments (Main Event (#42) is an exception). In
Super Satellites, Mega Satellites and Official events 3% of the prize
pool (not including rebuys) (2% if the entry fee was $5000 or higher)
was withheld for "staff". Of the 3 (or 2)%, the dealers got 70%, i.e.
2.1% and 1.4%. For the Second Chance tourneys, nothing was withheld
for staff, only tips given at the end. The tip money for these
tourneys was distributed as follows:
If a dealer dealt a "down" at table he got 1 credit. All tournaments
for a week were lumped together from Sunday to Saturday and all downs
were equal. Second Chance tourney downs were equal to official $2500
NLHE downs, etc. We signed "down cards" each time we dealt at a
table. At the end of the week, the number of downs were totaled
together and the total tips for all of the tourneys were added (2-3%
plus and optional tips a player chose to leave). The Total Tips /
Total Downs determined the value of a single down. Then the number of
downs a dealer had during the week was multiplied to get the total
tips a dealer received during the week (his "envelope", delivered in
cash in an envelope). These ranged from 26.65/down to 31.11/down.
Day shift dealers had about 1.9 times the number of downs as swing
shift. Grave had very few. Total downs fro an individual dealer
ranged from about 45 to over 250. Luck had a lot to do with the
number of downs one might get. Did your table get broken early, did
you get tournament "today" as opposed to live, etc.
Main Event (#42) My understanding is that about 340 dealers got tips
from the main event. Main Event tips (70% of 2% plus whatever was
left by the players) were distributed according to "shares". A full
share this year was about $2500. In order to get a full share, one
had to deal Day 1A (1/4 shr), Day 1B, Day 1C, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 and
Day 5 (1B-5 all 1/8 share). This meant show up for work and deal
wherever needed (later days in events 43-45). If you missed a day for
whatever reason, you missed that day's share.
Dealers from out of town also had expenses. Living quarters (mine was
$27.50/night (shared a hotel room with another dealer), air flight or
driving, transportation (usually bus) and food (although we got 1 meal
at the Rio in the Employee Dining Room for each 8 hrs worked).
One more thing to remember about dealing. A dealer may be clocked in
for 8 hours but will not work (and thus receive tips) for all 8 hours.
We got 1/2 hr breaks every 2-3 downs. IE work 1-1.5 hrs, take 1/2 hr
off. Not by choice. Most of us would rather be in the box 2-3 hrs for
every break (more tips or paid tournament downs).
All in all, I made good, but not great, money for the 7 weeks in Las
Vegas at the 2005 WSOP. I break it down as follows:
Salary ($5.25/hr plus overtime) - $1533.01
Live and STS tips (I did not keep separate records) - $2017.00
Tournament envelopes - $3684.00
Main Event share (7/8) - $2182.00
Less expenses (hotel, transportation, food) - $2152.30
Net - $7263.71 (which of course is all taxed by the US and my state)
All told, I averaged about $35.00/hr before expenses. Taking out
above expenses (which were necessary, tax deductible (they will be
deducted) job related expenses), the average was $27.00. Not too bad.
Are the dealers getting rich? Not by any means. If who don't tip
because you think a dealer makes too much, maybe you should become a
poker dealer and make more than you do now as a player.
Would I do it again? Well, I did it in 2004 (very similar pay) and
2005. Probably again in 2006. Although I may go play in just so I
can tell a select few players what I really think of them (and
compliment the vast majority). By the way, their attitude towards
tipping has very little to do with what I think of them.
I know this has been long (and probably boring), but I hope it has
shed some light on the issue of what dealers made at the WSOP. We did
OK. But you try it for 7 weeks with maybe 1 day off a week if you are
lucky, dealing on banquet chairs (only about 20% of the chairs were
cheap secretary chairs which swiveled) and see if you aren't a little
miffed when a person collects a $15000 pot in a cash game and leaves
the dealer, maybe a dollar, or wins $7,500,000 and leaves an extra
$100 for the dealers (which IS a tax deductible expense).
Replies are always welcome, but let's be reasonable and sensible.
You can reply to me personally at:
Oh man, I suppose this shall have to suffice for now. I hope you enjoyed this monstrosity of a post. I still have more to dole out but I'm sure only about two people read this far.
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker damnit!
Have a great week and I'll be back soon. I'm going to wrap things up with RGP'r FellKnights WSOP Trip Report. Enjoy.
Subject: WSOP Main Event Tournament Report (Very Long)
Lots of good stuff in here for those who want to learn about my play ;)
I was a bit nervous, arriving over an hour before the start time and
pacing around, waiting to get to my seat and start playing. By the time I
sat down, I was still quite nervous, counting down $10,000 in real money
value, but was feeling much better. On to the hands of import:
25/50: In my first BB, I look down at TT. John Hennigan raises the pot to
$150, I call. Flop A97, I check, and fold to his $250 bet.
25/50: I get AQ on the button. There is one limper in MP, and CO-1 raises
to $150. I call, and the limper calls. Flop J62 rainbow. I think that flop
has likely missed everyone. The raiser bets $300, and I smooth-call. The
limper folds. Turn is a 6, the limper checks, I bet $500, and he folds.
25/50: John Hennigan opens for $150 in MP, I re-raise to $450 with AK on
the button, he folds.
25/50: I have 44 UTG +1. I decide to raise to $150 (partially to disguise
my hand if I hit my set). UTg +2 calls, and the button calls. Flop 8d 4s
2s. I bet $300, UTG +2 calls, button raises to $1200. I am putting him on
a small overpair (99-JJ), A8, or possibly 22 or 88 or the flush draw with
overs. I re-raise to $3000, UTG +2 folds. The button moves all-in for
$5500 more. I now worry about the possibility of pocket 88, but I decide
that I must call and go broke if he has 88. I call. He turns over As3s for
the straight flush draw. I am happy to see it, and hoping the board pairs
(which would leave him with 1 out). The turn is the Ad. The dealer pauses,
burns, then turns over the 3c, and I eliminate my first opponent, and have
about $19k in chips.
25/50: I get 99 in LP. There is a raise and 3 callers, I call. Flop 853.
The raiser bets out $400. Two people fold, I call, the other limper folds.
Turn 4. He checks, I decide to check behind (knowing I cannot possibly
call a check-raise). The river is another 3. He checks. I figure he has
overcards, and will not call a bet, so I check behind. I show 99, he
shows... 99. Chop it up.
25/50: I have 33 in LP. The guy to my right raises to $200. I call, and a
blind calls. Flop AT3. The raiser bets only $300, which is either a sign
of great strength or of weakness. I decide to flat call, the blind folds.
The turn is a 6. He bets $1200. Ah... strength. I raise to $3000, and he
moves in, I call. He shows AT for top 2 pair. The river is a 5 and I send
him packing, and am up to $28k in chips.
25/50: I get JJ in MP and raise. A blind calls. Flops A76. The blind bets
out at me, and I fold.
50/100: I get a free look with K8s in the BB. Flop is K84. I bet out $300.
One caller. Turn is an Ace, and I bet out $750, he folds.
50/100: I have 88 and call a raise in LP. Flop is Q74. Raiser bets $400, I
call. Turn is a 7, Raiser checks, I bet $800, he folds.
100/200: I have 33 in CO-1, and raise first in to $500. The button flat
calls, and the blinds fold. Flop AK6. I bet $900, hoping to make him fold
a middle pocket pair. He calls, and I am done with the hand... until the
turn 3! I bet out $2000, and he calls again! The river is a 6. I decide
that he is strong enough to possibly call an all-in bet for his last
$6000, so I move in. He thinks for 2 minutes and folds AQ face up.
100/200: I get A7h in the BB. There is a limper and John Hennigan raises
to $600. I call and the limper calls. Flop 765. I check, the limper
checks, John bets $1200, I call, and the limper folds. The turn is a 7. I
check, and John checks. The river is a J. I bet $3000 (hoping to make it
look like a busted draw steal). John deliberates for a couple minutes,
then calls. I show A7 he shows AJ.
100/200: I get KK and re-raise preflop to take it down.
100/200: I get J9 in the BB and see a free flop of J75. I bet out and take
100/200 a25: I get TT in MP and raise to $700. The BB calls. FLop TT2!!!
The BB checks, and I check behind. The turn is a Q. BB checks, and I bet
$1000, he folds (doh!)
100/200 a25: I get K9c in the BB, and call a button raise. Flop Q95 with
one club. I check, he bets $1000, and I raise to $2500. He folds quickly.
I was now around $40000 in chips at the dinner break.
150/300 a25: I have JJ in the SB. The CO (a very loose raiser and player)
raises to $1000, and is flat called by the button. I think that there is a
good chance that my JJ is best, but I want to find out now. I re-raise to
$3500. The CO re-re-raises to $7000 (and I know my JJ is not the best),
and the button moves in for $15000 more. I fold very quickly, and the CO
deliberates for several minutes then folds his QQ (by the way...
re-re-raising with QQ... not a good idea).
150/300 a25: I have 88 in LP. The guy to my right raises after a limper,
and I call. A blind and the limper calls. The flop is 764 with 2 spades.
The limper bets out $1500, and the raiser moves in for $5000. I think for
a minute or so, but decide the with the other two to act behind, I cannot
call. I fold. The blind folds and the limper calls instantly. The limper
turns over 65d, and the raiser turns over JTs... WTF?! Turn is a 5 (which
would have made my straight), and the river is a brick. 65 wins with 2
pair and knocks out another one (this is the same loose player, that I
will now refer to as "Bodog").
150/300 a25: My first big pot loss. I have ATd in the SB and Bodog raises
to $1000. I call and the BB calls. Flop is Ax 5s 4s. I check, BB checks,
and Bodog looks very uncomfortable, taking about 30 seconds to bet $3500.
He has only $12500 total, and with my read on him, I decide to check raise
to $10,000. The BB folds and Bodog thinks for about 5 seconds then moves
all in for $2500 more. I say "I didn't think he had it", and call. I show
my ATd, he laughs and shows... AsTx. I could not believe that he was
willing to put his tourney life at risk with such a weak hand! The turn
was the Ks... and the river a cruel, cruel 3s. Bodog wins a $30,000 pot.
That hand actually made me tighten up a bit, as evidenced by the next
150/300 a25: I get AK on the button. John Hennigan raises from MP, and the
CO flat calls. I was thinking about re-raising here, but decided against
it, and using position. Flop comes an ugly 542. Hennigan bets out $2000.
The cutoff calls, and I fold. The turn is a J. Hennigan checks, and the
cutoff checks. The river is a 4, Hennigan moves in for $9000 more, and is
called by the CO. Hennigan shows 74o?! CO shows A4c, and John World is
150/300 a25: I decide to play a bit more aggressively and make a move or
two, thinking that my image is not getting enough action on my hands.
There are 3 limpers to me in the SB, I look down at J2o, and raise to
$1500. BB and the first two limpers fold, but the 3rd limpers calls. The
flop is AK6 rainbow. I bet out $2500, the limper thinks and calls. I
should probably have read the thinking for weakness, but I was unable to
fire a second shell on the turn T. He checked behind. The river was a
useless K, I checked, he checked, and I showed my attempted bluff. This
got some very surprised reastions from the table.
Around this time, Juha Helppi on WPT fame is moved 2 seats to my left. He
proves to be very annoying.
200/400 a50: I call a raise with position and AJ. Flop comes down 973. He
bets, I call. Turn 5 (now 2 of 2 suits on the board), he checks, I bet
$3000, and he folds.
200/400 a50: I call a raise 3 ways from the BB with 77. The flop comes
J32. I check, and both check behind. The turn is a 3, so I bet out $3000,
one fold, but the raiser calls my pot sized bet. The river is an Ace.
Yuck. I check, he checks behind, showing down AQo. GRR!
200/400 a50: I call a raise on the button (from the cutoff) with AQo. The
flop comes down AJ4. He checks to me, and I bet $2000. He check-raises to
$7,000 total. I deliberate and fold, putting him on any of AJ/AK/JJ.
200/400 a50: I have won several of the last few pots by raising preflop. I
get AQc on the button and raise again. Juha re-raises to $5000. I find out
he has $10,000 more behind, and, knowing that his re-raising standards are
lower given my raise frequency, decide to move him in. He thinks for a
couple minutes, says "you got a hand this time, eh?" and folds AJo face
200/400 a50: The rush continues, I get JJ UTG and raise. The button and BB
call me. Flop QJ4. The BB moves in for $3500. I re-raise all-in. The
button mucks, and the BB shows Q9d. The turn 7 leaves him drawing dead and
200/400 a50: I call a raise on the button with JJ. Flop comes Q86, the
raiser checks, I bet $2500, and he folds.
200/400 a50: I call a raise in the CO with AKh. Flop comes 6h 5d 4h. He
checks to me, and I overbet the pot, $6,000, which is about 1/3 of his
stack. He comments on the large bet, but opts to fold.
200/400 a50: I call a raise with 66 on the button, as does the BB. Flop
comes T99, and the BB bets out. I opt to fold as does the raiser.
300/600 a75: I raise in the CO with AQo. Juha moves in from the SB for
$9700 more. I deliberate for a good 3-4 minutes, and decide that he is on
a middle pair and that we are racing. Of course, AK is also a possibility,
but I decided to call and use my stack to try to knock Helppi out. He
turns up 88. Good! The flop is KT5. Not so good. The turn is a K. I call
for a high card. The river is another T, counterfeiting Juha's 8s. I take
him out, and he has a look of pain on his face from that river card.
300/600 a75: I raise to $1750 from MP with AJ, and the button moves in for
$3500 total. I, of course, call. He shows KK. The flop is a killer AT2.
The turn 7 brings him no help, and the river A just rubs it in.
300/600 a75: I get AK, and re-raise. The BB moves all-in over the top, the
original raiser moves all-in over the top, and I quickly muck my AK. They
turn over TT and KK respectively (BB and original raiser). The board
brings no help for the Tens and he is out, thanks to his donkey move.
300/600 a75: A short stack of about $9000 raises to $2000 from MP. I look
down at AA on the button and re-raise to $6000. He quickly mucks his AQ
(he flashed them as he mucked).
300/600 a75: I get a free look in the BB with K3s. The flop is 8h 7s 6s. I
check, the limper checks and the button (Bodog) bets $3500. I again read
him for weak, or on a draw, and I check-raise to $11,000. The limper
folds, and Bodog thinks for a minute and calls (obviously wanting to play
against me, the other big stack at the table?) The turn was a Ts. I decide
the pot is big enough, and bet out $20,000. He thinks for 4 minutes and
opts to make a good laydown of his now made straight.
300/600 a75: I get AK and raise. A limper quickly calls (which worries
me). The flop is Q33. He checks, I check behind. Turn 4. He checks, I
check. River 7. He checks, I check, he shows 66, and I muck.
End of Day One, I count my chips, and have around $65,000. A good day.
Starting Day 2, I draw what seems to be a good table. I do not recognize
anyone (though Jack McLelland was two seats to my left), andI have
everyone significantly outchipped (closest opponent two seats to my right
has about $40,000.) This will work well with my plans to bully and push my
stack around (I think).
300/600 a75: UTG+1 raises to $2500. I look down at AQs, and I think I can
make him lay down a fair number of his hands, so I decide to re-raise to
$7500 (in retrospect, I think this was probably a mistake). The action
gets back to him and he thinks for 3 minutes, is almost about to throw his
hand away, then decides to move all-in (did he pick up a Tell?). It is
another $7000 to me, but I have to call. I am happy when he shows TT. I am
not happy when the flop coems T65. The turn brings the 4 or spades
(putting two on the board), but the river is an offsuit 7, and he takes
the big pot. Now he and I have a similar stack.
300/600 a75: UTG+1 raises to $2500. I look down at AA in MP, and re-raise
to $7500. The BB stares me down, then moves in for $6000 more. UTG +1
mucks (saying later that he mucked QQ). I insta-call. BB turns up JJ. Flop
is T74. Turn 3. River 7, and I eliminate a man and bring my stack back to
300/600 a75: The turning point hand: UTG raises to $2400. I look down at
AA in LP and re-raise to $7000. UTG thinks for a long time, then calls.
The flop comes down 965 and he moves in very quickly for another $15000. I
am sure he would not play this way with a set, so I quickly call. He turns
up TT and looks sick as I turn up AA (what hands did he expect me to call
with that he beats???). The turn T was a crushing blow. The river 2 kept
him alive, and took nearly $25000 from my stack. I never recovered. I wish
I could always get my money in as a 10:1 favourite, but let me tell you,
it is hard to see that and not react. I am proud that I did not throw a
tantrum (though perhaps it was just the state of shock).
300/600 a75: I have JJ on the button. The CO-1 raises. I call and the
blinds fold. The flop is 984. He bets $2000 (sign of strength or
weakness?). I raise to $6000, he calls. The turn is a 5 (no flushes
possible). He moves in for $20,000. I think for about 5 minutes, and get
the clock put on me. The action was very odd to me, but this was an online
qualifier. I decide that he *must* have flopped a set and the weak bet
meant strength, and he thought that my raise meant that I was strong
enough to call his all-in. I think he played it poorly, as I would likely
have bet for him had he checked. I folded. He showed pocket 88 proudly. I
was happy to have avoided disaster.
400/800 a100: I am in the BB with 99. UTG +1 raises to $3000. The button
calls and I call. The flop is K52. I check, UTG checks, and the button
checks. The turn is a 3. I check again (thinking I likely have the best
hand, but deciding to see how the hand played out. This time, UTG +1 bets
out $7000. The button folds. The bet looks highly suspicious to me. I
consider raising, but he has me covered, and any raise will likely commit
me to the pot (even if I am drawing thin/dead against a set or Kings). I
decide to flat call. The river is a J. I check, and he checks, showing
QJc... DAMN YOU RIVER CARD!!! I am curious has to how others would
approach this hand.
400/800 a100: I call a raise on the button with KdQc. The flop is 9d 8d
3d. The CO does not look back at his hand and bets $5000. I think for 2
minutes (looking back to se the Kd), and think there is too much chance
that he has the Ad to risk a raise. It was an excellent read, and he
kindly showed me the AdKs, which had me in horrible shape.
400/800 a100: I call a raise on the button with AK. The flop is A83 with 2
clubs. The raiser checks to me, and I check. The turn is a 9. He checks
again, and I overbet the pot (around $7,500). He folds.
400/800 a100: Gotta love donkeys... the guy to my left raises to $3000.
The BB moves in for $12000 more, and the raiser calls very quickly,
showing the KdQd. The all-in shows 88. The board comes 343 6 7, and 88
400/800 a100: I get KK in MP. The guy to my right raises to $2500, I
re-raise to $6000. He shows me AQo and mucks.
400/800 a100: I have 86o in the BB. UTG+1 who is very short with $4100)
moves in. The action gets to me. There is $6200 in the pot, and it costs
me another $3300 to call. I know that his raising standards are low, so
there is a less than average chance that I am against an overpair. I have
just over $40,000 in my stack, and decide to call. He shows JTh. The flop
comes T55 (DOH!). The turn is an interesting 7, but the river 5 fills him
up. The table was quite surprised to see my call, but I think it was
2nd break, and I am at $36,800.
500/1000 a200: A couple hands after the break, MP moves in for $9000. I
call from the BB with JJ. He shows AJ. The flop is 862. The turn is a T.
The river is an ugly A. I am very frustrated now, down to $27,000.
500/1000 a200: I get 88 in the SB. The BB has only $8000, it is folded to
me and I raise all in, hoping it would look like a tilt-raise. The BB
doesn't buy it and mucks.
500/1000 a200: I get AQ and take down the pot preflop by re-raising a late
I am moved to a new table, I am sitting to the right of Chris "The
Armenian Express" Grigorian. I am happy to see that he is short stacked.
500/1000 a200: I get TT and take down the pot with a preflop raise.
500/1000 a200: I get AA in LP and re-raise a $3500 bet to $8000. I take
down the pot by betting the QT6 flop.
500/1000 a200: I get KK in MP and re-raise a UTG raiser. He calls. I take
down the pot by betting the T76 flop.
It is now the dinner break, and thanks to those two hands, I have exactly
$50,000 in chips (which is still below average)
600/1200 a200: Most amusing hand of the tourney (and the one most likely
to get me on ESPN). UTG tries to raise, but only throws in a $5,000 chip,
so it is ruled a call. The BB checks. The flop is Kh Kc Jh. The BB checks
and UTG checks. The turn is the 2h. The BB checks, and UTG makes a huge
overbet, $10,000 into a $4500 pot. BB calls. The river is the Th. The BB
checks and UTG CHECKS BEHIND. UTG shows down AhQh for the Royal Flush. I
do a double take, say "Hey, that's a Royal! You checked behind?!" Chris
starts laughing his ass off, we call ESPN over to take a shot of the
winning Royal Flush, while Chris and I needle him for checking behind on
th river with the immortal nuts.
600/1200 a200: I am down to $35,000 in chips after having them anted away
for several orbits. I gt AQ, but must lay it down to a re-raise preflop.
600/1200 a200: I have KQ on the button. Chris moves in for $7,000 from the
CO. I think, but decide to muck. The SB moves in, BB folds. The SB shows
AA, Chris shows AQ. Flop is A35, turn 3, river 5 and Chris is eliminated.
600/1200 a200: I get 77 in LP and am thinking of making a move. The pot is
raised UTG and the new guy to my right moves in for $25000. I quickly
fold. The SB moves in over the top, and UTG calls. UTG shows QQ, first
all-in shows TT, second all-in shows AA. Board comes rags with an Ace on
the river. Double KO!
600/1200 a200: Paul Wolfe gets knocked out when his KK runs into AA.
800/1600 a200: I have QJd on the button and it is folded to me. I lay it
down (good choice?)
800/1600 a200: I have KK and move in. All fold.
800/1600 a200: I have AQo and move in from the CO. All fold.
Down to $25,000 in chips, with everyone on the table at >$80,000, I am
feeling the need to double. I look down at 55 in the BB. The guy in MP who
has been opening a lot of pots raises. I feel I have enough fold equity,
so I move in. He quickly calls. He shows AJo. Flop is a nice 976. I pray
for an 8. I prepare to yell "PRESTO!!!", but my dreams are torn asunder
when the turn J falls. The river Q does not help me and I am eliminated
~625th. The top 560 got paid. I think my move was correct. The table gave
me a round of applause, which was a nice touch, but going home from the
WSOP hurts as much as they say it does on ESPN, especially after such a
great starting day. I am very much looking forward to rejoining the hunt
My humble apologies to all of my readers on modems.
Link of the Day
If Anyone Orders Pruno, I'm Leaving
BlackTable: "Pruno, a prison wine created from fruit, sugar and ketchup, is such a vile and despicable beast in the California state penal system that prisoners can't eat fresh fruit at lunch."
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