Monday, July 17, 2006
"The Asians love Vegas. Plus they make a mean piece of electronics. Reggie White knows what I’m talking about."
Not to be outdone, go hit Bobby Bracelet's Vegas Trip Report, too.
Howdy all, thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog. Got lots of poker stuff to get to tonight. WSOP craziness, updates on the online poker ban legislation (including a big arrest today) and a few tasty poker stories. What more could you ask for?
As I've written here before, I haven't tried once to win a seat to this years WSOP Main Event. To appease my conscience, I anticipated playing in both the PokerStars and FullTilt tourneys yesterday. Long story short, I only played in the PokerStars one.
234 Main Event seats awarded.
Six plus hours later, I finish 424th.
Bleh. Anyway, the tourney structure was excellent.
But more importantly, two fellow poker bloggers, Absinthe and Zeem won seats last night. It was awesome railbirding Zeem. Full of suspense at the end as he got seriously shortstacked but made a huge fold and won his wsop seat. A hoist of the Guinness to Absinthe, as well, for allowing me to buy a piece of him.
Moving along, the poker bloggers continue to get positive press. We actually hit the Big Time with the official Blogger Buzz Blog giving the poker blogs a shout-out. Too damn cool.
So I returned from Las Vegas to discover that the House passed the poker ban legislation. Even though I doubt the Senate will tackle this bill anytime soon, the reality of the situation jarred me. What's an online poker pro to do? Much less one who blogs about it? Good Gravy.
I sure as hell better shill as much as possible in the time I have left.
Enjoy it while you can.
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker damnit!
For me, it isn't about playing with a proxy, or satellite - or even moving to Canada. The reality is that if this bill passes, the games are gonna be hurting. The fish are gone. I could be wrong and I certainly hope I am, but hell, these recent events are just freaking surreal to me. What has happened to my country?
Are they really going to block Americans from hitting websites?
Blocking websites is something I'd expect China to do, not the US.
"Poker is America's most favorite game. Seventy million adults play cards and about 47 million Americans prefer poker. Poker is as American as baseball and hot dogs. Many of our most famous presidents were poker enthusiasts. Poker contains a greater amount of skill than bridge, or any other card game, according to authority John Scarne."
From a 1970's Gardena cardroom brochure
Since our legislators, in their infinite wisdom, carved out exemptions for horse racing I am now waiting with bated breath for the new Party Poker horse racing site to be announced.
Again, I seriously doubt this ban will pass. And CardPlayer agrees with me. although at this juncture, we're all just pissing in the wind.
CardPlayer with the positive spin on things here:
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Explained
Amended Bill Doesn't Mention Online Poker Players
In conclusion, I will reiterate what I have predicted every year for about the last 10 years. My prediction is that no law will pass in 2006 banning online gaming. The attempts are more complicated but no more feasible than they have ever been. Online gaming is a $12 billion a year business that is here to stay.
Here's a strange tidbit from the news in Washington State. A link and snippet:
Read this while it's still legal
"On July 3, Harvill, an affable operations manager for Sprint PCS near Spokane, got the following letter from the publisher of two magazines he has subscribed to for years. "It is with deep regret that we must inform you ... " it read, "we must cancel all subscriptions to Washington State."
The magazines are "Casino Player" — a monthly review of U.S. casinos and hotels — and "Strictly Slots" — a guide to one-armed bandits, video poker and other mechanized means of gambling.
Hardly classic literature. But Harvill liked them. And now he can no longer read them, thanks to a twisted reading of the state's new law against Internet gambling.
The state says placing bets online is against the law. Fine. But the state goes on to say that even writing about Internet gambling in a way that's promotional is "aiding and abetting" an illegal industry.
So now two print magazines consider themselves banned in this state. It's not clear whether the publisher pulled them on his own or was asked to by the state. The letter vaguely cites "new state laws regarding the legality of online gaming."
Now we get to be told what we can and can't read? This is getting more Orwellian by the minute. Geezus.
This makes me wonder what happens to folks like Chris Moneymaker & Greg Raymer who are spokesman for online poker sites. Nevermind the enforcement feasibility of the legislation, are they culpable for promoting said sites?
Anyone "being engaged in a gambling business" is one of the prohibited acts. I believe there is a Wire Act case that limits this to the actual bookies, but it has been a while since I looked at those.
Per the partisan numbers, 87% of Republicans voted for it 231 (R)s total, 201 yay, 17 nay, 13 no vote.
57% of Democrats voted for it. Still a majority. 201 (D)s total, 115 Yay, 76 Nay, 10 no vote. 100% of the independents voted in favor of the bill as well.
I don't necessarily think this is a partisan situation. This is a situation where the majority of our elected representitives in both parties have failed us.
Someone wrote a nice satirical post about banning double cheeseburgers here in the USA which prompted this response:
BANNING DOUBLE CHEESEBURGERS. Now that's serious. As a Senator from Idaho once said, we have three remedies if things don't go as we want.
First is the ballot box, second is the jury box and third is the ammunition box.
I had not thought of going further than the courts (the jury box) on this internet poker issue. However, if they mess with the double cheeseburger can the revolution be far behind?
By the way, if you want to read the versions of the bill yourself, they are located here: Bill Number H.R.4411 for the 109th Congress
Here's a voice of reason:
As I said before, the CC ban does nothing, as most CCs have stopped processing online gaming payments years ago.
This bill does not make it clear whether or not using Neteller/Firepay/etc. will be illegal. Dealing directly with the online sites will be, but most players use Neteller anyway.
It is (and always was) technically illegal to place an online bet. As many have said, this bill does nothing to change that or increase enforcement.
If the financial institutions start blocking Neteller or Firepay transactions, then we're in trouble.
If the ISPs start blocking access to the poker sites, then we're in trouble.
But until one or both of those things happens, this bill appears to be a lot of unenforcable lip service.
I'm no lawyer but I don't see any language that would compel an ISP to block any websites. Perhaps that's the next step but I would wager seriously against it.
I found this interesting thread where some 2+2 nerdlets discuss technical issues of getting around a block. I'll obviously tackle this topic in-depth if it comes to it. But for now, enjoy:
What can a ISP do to stop you from playing online poker (long)
Enough on that for now. I just felt obligated to touch on a few things. It does affect me in a rather large way, after all. Join Poker Players Alliance if you haven't yet - and for God's sakes, contact your Senator.
Here's the last I'll post on the matter.
A Sample Letter to your Representative:
I am writing in support of your recent vote on HR 4411 that seeks to make online poker illegal. It takes a person of conviction to protect those people that refuse to protect themselves. This is a perfect time to strike at the heart of the ills of society that take such a toll on the lives of American citizens. The precedent has been set. It is now time to move forward and protect people from poor decisions that could lead to the dissolution of families, financial ruin and possible loss of well-being or ultimately life. The ideas I have are too numerous to count, but I would like to give you a sampling of ideas that I have that are bear resemblance to the above mentioned legislation.
I would first like to address issues that lead to potential ruin and untimely death secondary to poor lifestyle choices. Some of these ideas will be unpopular, but the lives and public monies saved will be reward enough when these acts pass.
1. The Tobacco Prohibition Act - This is absolutely a must. According to the CDC, data compiled places the death toll from tobacco products at 430,000 per year. More than any other single factor. If tobacco was illegal, most if not all of these people would have lived on and been productive, happy Americans.
2. The Alcohol Prohibition Act - I realize that this has been attempted in the past, but it is time to address this social cancer again. The annual death toll from alcohol was 81,000 in the same compilation of data. This is merely the tip of the iceberg with alcohol. The toll that it takes on American families is devastating.
The lost wages caused by delinquency from work and the increased divorce rate among alcoholics are just two examples. Studies have even demonstrated that the children of alcoholic parents are more likely to divorce future spouses. In a word, devastating.
3. The Motor Vehicle Prohibition Act - While somewhat different than the other bills, in that it limits our mobility. This one deserves serious consideration. Forty-one thousand Americans die in automobile accidents each year. If we used bikes, scooters and public transportation this would be a non-issue. Of course, this would exclude the shipping of goods and emergency transportation (ambulances, fire
trucks, etc). The ancillary benefits would also be tremendous. For example, American dependence on foreign oil would be basically eliminated. Pollution in overcrowded areas would be non-existent, and, of course, the health benefits from the increased exercise would likely have an impact on overall longevity of the American public. Benefits that simply cannot be ignored.
4. The Promiscuous Sex Prohibition Act - It has recently been proven, beyond doubt, that cervical cancer is caused by promiscuous sexual activity. This immoral activity leads to the spread of a sexually transmitted disease called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Cervical cancer effects 10,000 women in the United States annually, not to
mention 500,000 women worldwide. The criminal prosecution of citizens that engage in indiscriminate sexual behavior surely wouldn't eliminate the activity, but it could curb the toll that this disease takes on the public. Public health savings if this initiative was successful would stem from the elimination of the need for screening
female exams (pap smears) for cervical cancer. Again, additional benefits also support the enactment of this type of legislation. Marital infidelity is a leading cause of marital discord and, often, divorce.
As my examples illustrate, we as Americans have a duty to protect one another. We can no longer sit idly by and let these glaring problems grow while ignoring obvious solutions.
Thanks to a fellow blogger and reader who emailed me to point out that I'm #1 in Google for 'uber post'. Just as it should be.
Ok, this isn't a poker story, per se, but I enjoyed it so much I'm posting it here for your reading pleasure. This is gold from RGP circa 1996.
This must have been over a year ago, since it happened at a table in the Oak Room, where they haven't put the 15-30 game since '94.
It was about 2:30am, and I'd been drinking a fair amount, nothing odd so far. My usual custom is to order food is shortly after the bar closes, since you don't want it in your stomach slowing down your absorption while the booze is still flowing and you haven't hit the pinnacle of your curve yet. Better living through chemistry. At 2am security comes by and yanks everything, and you start thinking, hell, I really ought to move to Nevada where I wouldn't have to put up with this nonsense, and then a half - hour or so later hunger comes rolling on in right on schedule, and your
thoughts turn to putting something in there to soak up the suds.
I'm usually a house special fried rice or chow fun kind of guy, maybe have a steak and bell peppers every now and then, or a mongolian beef or something, sticking pretty much to the chinese side of the menu under most circumstances. But for some reason I felt like a change and there was a menu lying on one of the side tables, so I looked at it for about the 50th time, and decided, just to be a wild and crazy guy, I'd have a hot dog. One hot dog really isn't that much, foodwise, but they had
plain hot dogs going for $2.50 and hot dogs with fries for $3.25, so I figured I'd have one hot dog no fries and one hot dog with fries. Simple order, right? Of course I luck out and get Suzi as my waitress (name changed to protect the guilty, who still works at the Oaks Club.) I have nothing against Suzi, she's sort of sweet in a way, but she's a light year or thereabouts from being mensa material, if you know what I'm saying.
So, after a few minutes my hot dogs show up, everything's fine, there's even ketchup for my fries, and, uh, how much do I owe?
- - - - - -
(speaking with asian accent)
Fifteen dollar, thirty six cents.
[ Editor's note: It was fifteen dollars and something, anyway, my memory isn't too clear on the exact amount. Go figure. ]
No, that can't be right.
Yes, fifteen dollar thirty six cents.
I really don't think so. I'm just having a couple
of hot dogs here. One with fries.
Yes, fifteen dollar. See.
(thrusts receipt into MARK's face which does in fact add up to $15.36)
Well, I can see that this adds up to fifteen
dollars, but I'm just having a couple hot dogs.
What's this other stuff on here?
What tuna sandwich? I didn't order any tuna sandwich.
What tuna sandwich?
(gesturing at hot dogs and fries on the side table)
Do you see any tuna sandwich here? I'm not having
any tuna sandwich. I didn't get any tuna sandwich.
I know, I deduct tuna sandwich.
(drunk, getting louder)
Deduct it from what?
Okay, check was twenty dollars. But you didn't have
a tuna sandwich. So I deduct tuna sandwich, right?
Fifteen thirty six.
I already deduct tuna sandwich.
(drunk, slurring his words)
I duh wanna to talk about any tuna sandwich, okay?
(being obnoxious, mocking her accent.)
I didn't have tuna sandwich, I don't even like
tuna sandwich. Do you see any tuna sandwich?
(as if to a child)
And I don't want to start at twenty dollars and
work down from there, okay. I think we should
start at zero and work our way up. Huh? Maybe?
Fifteen thirty six, you pay now.
I'm not paying fifteen dollars for two hot dogs.
I don't owe you fifteen dollars.
(points at one of his plates)
How much is this? This is like two-something, right?
(holds receipt in the amount of $15.36 out)
Fifteen thirty six. See?
Can you get me a menu? This is what, one without
fries, which is $2.50, and one with fries, which
is like $3.25.
(gets confused, embarassed)
And, um, so, that's, uh...how much is that?
VERN THE PROP
Five seventy five.
So...yeah, five seventy five. So where are you
getting this fifteen dollars from?
(players around the table start cracking up. MARK turns red.)
(coming unglued and laughing uncontrollably)
You pay tax!
(now getting angry)
That's some kind of tax. Governments have been
overthrown for charging that kind of tax, okay?
Boston Tea Party. I'm not paying any kind of, what,
whatever this fucking tax is. You are not charging
me fifteen dollars for two hot dogs. I do not
owe any fifteen dollars. I am not going to pay
any fifteen dollars.
With fries! Fifteen dollars!
(as if to himself)
No, no, I am not dealing with you anymore.
(normal tone of voice)
Because you are just too stupid to be functional
in human society, okay. I don't want to talk to
you anymore. Just get me a fucking floorman.
VERN THE PROP
And thirty-six cents.
All right, I am really unhappy about this now,
okay? Can you get me a floorman, someone with
a brain maybe, that would be nice?
(extending the receipt again)
It is fifteen dollars, no mistake, see.
It is not any fifteen dollars. It's like six bucks,
with tax, okay. I'm not talking to you anymore.
(shouting at the top of his voice out into the main hall)
Can I get a fucking floorman in here, please?
VERN THE PROP
(attempting to be chivalrous in front of the female serviceperson)
Could you watch your mouth please?
(can't figure out whether or not to take VERN seriously, since VERN has
quite a mouth himself.)
What? What the hell are you talking about Vern?
- - - - - -
Anyway, the floorman shows up, I'm completely livid and can barely
communicate, the floorman works it out on a calculator, which takes three
minutes, easily, and I owe $6.22. I give the Suzi a $5 chip, a $1 chip, and
a quarter out of my pocket.
Later, I'm recounting this whole story indignantly in technicolor
detail for a new player who has joined the game, and complain that I
actually wound up tipping $0.03, which is clearly more than Suzi deserved.
I didn't mean for her too, but she overheard this. So she comes rushing
over to me, mad, and says, 'Here, here', and gives me a penny back. 'You
don't want to tip me, fine', she says, and storms off. And I look at the
table, and I look at the penny, and I spaz out again. "It's not even
the correct change," I scream, and then spill my chips all over the place
while laughing hysterically again.
Disclaimer: you're not getting me at my best here. Actually, I
normally overtip everyone and all my regular waitresses love me. Honest.
Hells bells. Here's a WSOP update from CardPlayer:
Harry Demetrieu, displeased with the short-handed format for today's shootout, starts shouting, "I want my money back right now!" The crowd starts cheering. Mike Matusow shouts, "I'm with you, Harry!" Harrah's employees approach Demetrieu and give him a thirty minute penalty after he shouts that he wants to withdraw and that "It's disgraceful." Soon after, he is ejected from the tournament by Harrah's and cannot return to play. As he's led out of the room, he continues to shout that he's "absolutely disgusted" and "I have been thrown out of the tournament for objecting!"
And then I read this first-hand account from the www.thehendonmob.com forum.
Just a very quick update on the facts surrounding this.
After play had started all tables were made 6 handed.
I was VERY vociferous in my objections and insisted that a high ranking official (tournament director or Jeffrey Pollack) came down to deal with this blatant and significant change in format for an event that was expected to be a full ring game shootout.
I WAS NOT given any warning or a 30 in penalty (and at no time did I use the F word or any foul language but was definitely screaming and shouting about the unfairness of it all).
I asked for a full refund despite having more chips than I started with and despite feeling that I was better suited to a short handed game than most others and highlighted how unfair this was to the ordinary player.
The floor person then told me to shut up and that I could have no refund and that I was now disqualified and called security to evict me from the room.
I then asked again for a senior official to appeal the decision to evict me and to explain the radical change of format.
The tournament staff then claimed they were too busy to deal with my objection at that time but fortunately one of the security guards went and got a high ranking official to see me from the corporate offices around 40 mins later.
I was then refunded my entry fee so at least I got that back but was also offered the chance to be reinstated but felt that it would be unethical for me to support the event in the changed format.
More about this will no doubt follow.
Photo Credit Bill Rini
This next bit is pretty cool. Grubby and other slot junkies take note:
Do you want to plan your next casino outing around your favorite slot machine? If you’re going to a Harrah’s property, you’re in luck, thanks to Harrah’s Slot Finder.
The Slot Finder lets you search by casino, denomination, slot name, or slot type. So if you are dead set on playing a 1-cent Milk Money game, you can rest assured that Harrah’s North Kansas City has it.
Woot! Phil Gordon is back podcasting the WSOP - this time on MySpace. Gonna be great stuff, I'm sure.
Phil Gordon WSOP Podcast
From Cracked (that's still around?), Bill O'Reilly teaches you how to play poker.
Whoa, here's an article from last month in the Las Vegas Review journal detailing the upcoming Strip expansion: Strip booms again
Ultimate Bet players should prolly be aware of this tracking site: MyPokerIntel.
Let's hit a few old RGP threads for the heck of it. From 1996, here's an in-depth post from Dan Kimberg about playing pot-limit short-bankrolled against a table full of live straddlers. Pot Limit on a Budget
Looks like someone hit the Noble Poker $100,000 SNG prize - Noble was running a promo whereby if you won 6 SNG's in a row you would get paid $100K. Guy did so and now they are not paying him his $100K.
I need help, I'm being stiffed for $100,000
Johnny Grooms posted this interesting poker feat:
People talk a lot about the greatest accomplishments in poker. This may not be one of them, but it merits mention. There have been 5 major tournaments in poker that have had a starting field of over 2,000 people. One person has cashed in all of them.
Main Event 2004- 1st Greg Raymer
Event 2 2005- Raymer cashes around 90th
another $1500 Buy in at the 2005 Series, Raymer makes the final table
Main event 2005, he makes final 3 tables
Event 2, 2006, he is alive and has chips.
There are some here on rgp who say he isn't all that good.
I'll take him against anyone in a large field tournament.
Good God, I read these old posts by Abdul and almost get all weepy. It's amazing how much knowledge he gave away freely in the good old days of RGP. This is one my all-time favorite posts, simply because I find it 100% true and a guiding credo for me.
PHILOSOPHY: Value of different opinions
A player came up to me a while ago and said, "You suggest doing such-n-such, but three players suggest the opposite." It turned out that the three players were one good player, one bad player who had developed his strategy with the help of the
good player years ago, and one player who followed whatever the bad player said. Needless to say, these were not three independent opinions, but rather little more than one. In taking consensus polls on poker strategy, it's not enough to solicit different people for opinions - you need independent opinions.
Mathematically, if you have 3 independent sources that are each correct an independent 90% of the time, then if they all say the same thing, then you would be 100%-(100%-90%)^3 = 99.9% sure that their assertion is true. It goes almost without
saying that such complete independence is an impossible goal. However, in theory these 3 independent 90% correct sources would be better than 100 99% correct sources who always say the same thing as each other.
When Andy Morton and I hosted an educational home poker game, we sought out players who were not S&M "students", as Andy, JP, and another player were pretty heavily influenced by Hold'em for Advanced Players; I was the least influenced, but still too tainted. We weren't particularly successful in attracting $40-$80 pros with unique styles to our educational $.50-$1.00 game, though we tried. We did attract some lower limit pros who were definitely not S&M style. You see, even if we didn't want to emulate these players, we could learn much more from them than yet another
player who could recite S&M's HfAP, chapter and verse.
Then there are the people with very independent and hence valuable opinions but with such a low signal-to-noise ratio that it's not worth digging through the garbage to find some gems. You know who you are. Just turn down that noise generator knob and
people will read your posts carefully and give you good feedback.
Daniel Negreanu has been taking a lot of flack on this newsgroup, and while he may deserve it at times for his pompous attitude, keep in mind that he is one of the most valuable members of this newsgroup. His noise generator is set to low, and although
he also employs a signal dampener, he presents very different perspective than most. He doesn't follow the S&M school of thinking - he follows the Canadian school of thinking, eh? He doesn't play low limits - he plays high limits. If you think I
play the same limits as Danny, no way, I don't. The very southern end of the geographic range of the Canadian Negreanu overlaps with the northmost range of the American Abdul. We both play at Bellagio, and we both play a little $80-$160 hold'em, but otherwise he plays higher and I play lower. He's also skilled in a wide variety of games, much wider than I. And of course he plays tournaments, and I don't. Danny's experience is quite different than yours too, most likely. No matter what you think of Danny's ability, his opinion is as close to independent and truly different as you're going to see here, and thus Danny's opinion is potentially very
valuable. Criticize his opinions if you want, but it would be self-defeating to throw tomatoes at him.
I am reminded of an argument David Sklansky and I were having. Of course, his sidekick and all the 2+2 zombies just went along with what Sklansky said, and thus their opinions were of no value. I respect David Sklansky's opinion, but I respect the opinion of David Sklansky plus 100 of his followers no more than I respect
David Sklansky alone. David and I then conducted a much more valuable survey, grabbing random high limit players as they walked past in the poker room. Daniel Negreanu's valuable opinion was the first solicited, and his opinion matched David's. The next high limit player's opinion matched David's too. But then Howard Lederer
walked by and David asked him... Howard's opinion matched mine. A part of my strategy that one 2+2er had implied would make anyone a losing player, even though I'm a winning player, was in fact a part of the strategy of one of the biggest winning players of all time. Maybe we have a hung jury here, but the point is, even if the
official vote is 103-2, after removing copied ballots, the effective vote is 3-2. (How to weight those votes is another matter.)
Of course, one of the morals of this story is that you should think for yourself, and not be subject to "strategy by Internet consensus" or "strategy by book author." I thought for myself and came up with something that contradicted S&M. As a result,
I had quite a few tomatoes thrown at me on the 2+2 website. I had no idea that anyone agreed with me before we polled Howard. It's possible that I stumbled onto something important, which would have been lost had I mindlessly followed Sklansky - or maybe
I'm wrong on this point, but even if I'm wrong, thinking through the issue for myself has deepened my understanding of the game, leading to additional potentially valuable insights.
Unique perspectives are valuable, even when you don't concur. Reserve your tomatoes for those who disrupt the flow of different opinions: the zombies and the noise generators.
Quick note here: I wanted to offer up a quick sincere apology for my insufferable behavior in Vegas. I'm sorry to those I offended. Won't happen again, nuff said.
In the ultimate irony department, Felicia and I mended fences.
I wanted to mention that my last two nites in Vegas were pretty damn cool. First off, I met up with DoubleAs and we managed to spend several hours at the MGM bar knocking back beers talking about poker and such. And even though he and I had met and played together at Bradoween last summer, there's nothing like getting some one on one time with a poker sharp like Scott. Buy his damn book.
My last day, I got a surprise phone call from my all-time favorite blogger, Linda, from Table Tango. She invited me to join her, Maudie, Gracie & Sweet Pablo and their friend Jim to play some poker at the Bellagio. I immediately cancelled all my plans and cabbed it over to meet them. Long story short, we all ended up playing together at the same table at Caesers's. Donkey 3.6 but I could care less cause I got to sit next to Linda.
I've waited many, many years for this. It was incredible to sit and listen to her stories. Incredible. I know I'm sounding like a gushy fan, but alas, that's exactly what I am. A heart-felt thank you to her for taking the time to hang-out and regale me. Talk about someone who SHOULD write a book - it's Linda.
Speaking of poker authors, I'm gonna be doing a Gary Carson Appreciation Day here at Guinness & Poker sometime in the very near future. Stay tuned. For now, I found this excellent post on RGP that Gary wrote about Morton's theorem.
Morton's theorem is descriptive, not prescriptive. It doesn't say anything about what we should do. It describes what happens.
What happens is that the weak draws take away EV from the "best hand" and give some of it to the "best draw".
So, how the best hand should be played depends on who's gonna call. I've been using the idea's of Morton's theorem to play draws long before I ever heard of Andy Morton.
For example. Let's say I'm on the small blind (10 handed game) and had 3-bet it with A4s and 6 callers and then the big blind (a tight, book player) 4-bet it. Then I flop a flush draw and there's a bunch of middle sized cards.
I'm going to check, expecting the big blind to bet with either a big overpair or AK. He'll get 3-4 callers and I'm gonna raise. If he's got that AA he'll pop it again and we'll go 4 bets with me getting 5-to-1 on a 2-to-1 proposition. I'm the one who's benefiting from those bets, not the AA.
His mistake? He made two of them. One, he probably picked that seat to be on the left of a loose/aggresvie player and that's a mistake in a loose game. Two, his re-raise was a mistake. At that point he knows he's got too many draws against him and he's not getting the right price for his re- raise. His bet may have been right, but the re-raise was wrong. Probably though, he should check in the hope that a
bet comes from late position somewhere and he can then check-raise, confronting most of the field with two-cold.
If he'd picked a better seat, and was on the button in that same situation, then I wouldn't check the flop, I'd bet, hoping to pick up 3-4 callers and have the button raise. In that case his best play with AA is to just call.
I'm assuming a very loose game here where most of the players will call one bet on the flop with a weak draw and that once they've called one bet they've committed to
seeing the turn. The objective of the best draw should then be to get as many players to call one bet as he can. The objective of the best hand should be to have as many people facing two-bets for their initial call.
To me that's the major implications of Morton's theorem.
Matt over at Chronicles, has a pretty damn funny post up about playing at the same WSOP table with Phil Helmuth. I've often wondered how I would behave if I was ever seated with Phil at a table. I can sum it up with one word: Badly. WSOP Part Deuce
Daniel Negreanu's poker game, Stacked, has been ravaged by the computer game sites out there, but this time CNN takes a stab:
Review: 'Stacked' deals out mediocre poker play
Speaking of Daniel, I've really enjoyed watching his video diary. He has a great anti-Harrah's rant in his latest - check it out.
Here's today's Norman Chad article about WSOP poker.
The Couch Slouch: Critics deal TV poker a bad hand
The latest podcast of "The Strip" is up, with an interview with "The Man Who Made Poker Explode," 2003 WSOP champ Chris Moneymaker.
Sigh. And so it begins, in a fashion.
David Carruthers, the CEO of BetOnSports.com has been detained by U.S. authorities.
Haven't seen anything like this since Jay Cohen. Oughta be interesting to follow this tale.
UK gambling entrepreneur held by US
Mr Parritt said the company had not anticipated the chief executive's detention. "He has been quite high profile and been in and out of the US quite a number of times in years and was promoting legalised gambling," he said.
Mr Carruthers told shareholders at the company's annual meeting on Friday that the chances of the Senate passing the anti-gaming bill into law were "remote". He also said the debate on internet gambling was moving in the industry's favour, and that he thought improved transparency would lead to legislation for a regulatory system in three to five years.
TJ Cloutier has posted his report on day 1 of the HORSE at TJ's first day HORSE report now posted at Final Table Poker.
If that wasn't enough for you Razz fans (I'm pointing in Felicia's direction) - here's an outstanding Razz trip report from RGP
Subject: 50k HORSE Report
This was the one all professionals had been pointing toward. There had been a lot of speculation as to the number of entrants. My estimation had been 120-140. I played golf with David Grey the day before and asked him if he was playing. He said he probably wasn't because he didn't like the ridiculous amount of juice they were taking and the fact that it would change to no-limit hold'em at the final table. I think his sentiments mirrored those of most players who were considering playing. I also think that in spite of those things, most players who had the means to play couldn't resist the lure of this event. The final tally was 143 players, David Grey
There was a lot of excitement in the air as players waited to see who would be at their starting table. Despite the huge buy-in and the wealth of talent in the field, there were some soft spots and some easy tables. There aren't that many players who play all the games well. Many of the talented young guns have had little, if any, exposure to razz and stud eight-or-better, not to mention straight stud. I arrived at my table to see Ted Forrest, Hasan Habib, David Singer, Mike Wattel, "Miami" John Cernuto, and young stars Tim Phan, and Joe Cassidy. This wasn't the table I had in mind. In, fact, many said it was the toughest table in the whole event. And, unlike other events where players would be eliminated fairly quickly, in this one you figured to have the same players for most, if not all, of the first day. The big
question was if anyone would be out by the dinner break. No one was.
The structure for the event was as follows:
The order of the games would be Hold'em, Omaha Eight-or-Better, Razz, Stud, and Stud Eight-or-Better. Each game would be played for 40 minutes. The limit would increase when it changed from the flop-type games to the stud-type games, and again when it changed back. The first level was 200-400 limit. Since there is no ante involved in limit flop games, there was the standard 100-200 blind structure. The stud game structures were a different story throughout the event. They were often different than what players were used to for the corresponding limits. For instance, the first stud game limit was 300-600, with a 100 ante. The normal ante for this limit is
usually 50 or 75. An ante of 100 was a bit high.
These early limits didn't figure to be high enough to really help or hurt anyone, and I went on the first break, which came after 2 hours, with 55,300.
At the table behind me there was an older guy who I'd never seen before who I heard was playing almost every pot. Players at some of the other tables were wondering how some of these people got a hold of 50k, considering how badly they played. In the meantime, my table was a real battle. No one was giving anything away. I was the chip leader at my table at the dinner break with 67,000.
I've been playing with Ted Forrest since the '80s. We used to play lots of razz and eight-or-better. He's always played a different brand of poker, and has been a thorn in lots of sides, mine included. On the Heads-up Invitational on NBC he was repeatedly called spooky. Here's the first example of why from this event. There were 7 limpers in hold'em at the 800-1600 limit, including me with Kh8h in the cutoff. The flop came Ks-8s-6h. Ted bet, I raised and everybody else folded. The turn was the Ac.
Ted checked, I bet and he raised. I thought he had a spade draw with the ace of spades, but it was also possible he had a set or bigger two pair. I just called. The river was the Qs. He bet, and I hated it, but had to call in a pot this big. He surprised me with KQ offsuit. His 3-outer cost me what was a huge pot at that point. I went to the break with 52k.
A player finally got broke after dinner. The question then came up as to whether there would be a redraw for seats for the second day. In the previous, smaller events in this years' WSOP there hadn't been. However, in those events, players got broke rapidly and the makeup of tables was constantly changing. In this one, with the slow elimination of players, you'd figure to be with mostly the same players for well into the second day if there wasn't a redraw. This would be unfair. TD Jack Effel saw the problem and decided there would be a redraw. Some players at good tables weren't
pleased, but I was happy to take my chances with some new faces.
At the 1000-2000 limit, I got involved with Ted again. Ted's razz play is very unorthodox. For example, in this hand he limped in with a 9 showing. I raised with 6-3-2. He called. On 4th he caught an 8 and me a 4. I bet and he called. On 5th he caught a 5 and I caught a 9. I checked, wanting him to think I paired the 4. I also didn't want to lose him if he paired the 5, which was likely since I hadn't seen one. He bet and I raised. He called, so I knew he hadn't paired. On 6th, we both caught a 2. Pretty unlikely that card paired him since I had two of them, so I knew he had a made 8 and I still had a 9. He bet and I called. I missed on the river and had to fold to a bet. He asked if I was drawing to a 6. When I said yes he told me he'd
made a 6. Spooky.
There was some discussion over whether to play beyond the scheduled 15 levels. It was obvious that it was going to take a lot of play the second day to get down to the final table. This really should have been a 4-day event. Many of the players with good tables lobbied to play longer. I was tired of my table and physically whipped and was glad when they decided to call it a night as scheduled.
There was over 35k in the two pots with Ted. I could have easily ended the day with over 80k, but as it was I finished with 49,800, slightly below average.
I got a good night's rest and was eager to see my new table and get started. My new table was no better than the previous day's.
1 Chad Brown
2 Miami John
4 Gavin Smith
5 Steve Z
6 Annie Duke
7 Jeff Lisandro
We were at the 1500-3000 limit, so chips were going to start moving. I won a pot against Annie with tens, then lost two pots to Bechtel, one with 77, the other with 55. I was down to about 40k when I went on a little rush in Omaha, and had 77k when my table broke.
Again I got a bad draw. Todd Brunson, David Singer, Cindy Violette, Tom Franklin, Jan Sorenson, Daniel Negreanu, and Dewey Tomko. David Singer went on a huge rush, and I was one of his victims. I struggled at this table and was down to 35k when it broke. My new table had "Jesus" Ferguson, TJ Cloutier, Jennifer Harmon, Mickey Appleman, Gus Hansen, Shawn Sheikan and Gavin Smith. Gavin is really funny. He was saying that he'd never played razz, and little eight-or-better. While many were saying that this event
would determine the world's best player, he said his goal was to win it and prove that it didn't.
I needed a rush and got one. Jesus had raised my BB the first time and I'd laid it down. I couldn't let him run over me. When he did it again, I called with Td9d. The flop came J-T-7. I check-raised on the flop and he called. The turn was a baby. I bet and he called again. The river was an 8. I was happy to see it in case he had me beat on the turn, but when I bet, he raised. I would have been sick if he'd shown me Q9, but instead he had A9. I was still a bit sick to have to chop it. However, from there I won some big hands, and was up to about 80k. In mid-rush, they moved me to another table to balance. I was only there for one hand because they then broke that table, so I'm not sure who was there other than Ram Vaswani. He raised on the button and I called from the BB with 9-7. I knew he was aggressive and didn't have to have a big hand. The flop came 6-5-3. I'd flopped a double gut shot with two over cards and check-raised him on the flop. The turn was a 4. I bet and he called on both the turn and river and I won a nice pot.
This would be my final table change. I had Chip Reese, Johnny "World" Hennigan, James Van Alstyne, Alan Cunningham, David "Chino" Rheem, and my nemesis, Ted Forrest. We were playing omaha when I sat down, and my rush continued. I scooped several pots in a row, busting Chino and Johnny World. I was close to the leaders at about 220k when this hand came up in stud: I was low with a 3, with aces in the hole. I was waiting for someone to raise so I could re-raise, but instead they all started limping, started by Ted. Four players limped, not what I wanted. On 4th st, Ted caught a Q to go with his K and bet. I raised and the others folded. Ted called. I know he likes
to limp with straight cards, even with gaps. I put him on something like QT or JT in the hole. He caught a jack on 5th and bet. I called. On 6th he caught a ten. With a K-Q-J-T board, a straight was very possible. However, since I had two of the aces, and I didn't think he'd limp with K-9-x, I felt it was more likely that he had two pair. I called and he bet blind on the river. That led me to believe more strongly that he had two pair. But, I failed to pair up on the river and laid it down. I lost about 40k in that pot and was down to 178k at the dinner break.
James Van Alstyne got broke when Ted put him all in for his last 1500 on the river. Had he left him with chips, they wouldn't have moved Tommy Hufnagle to his seat to balance the table. It turned out to be a bad thing for me. Ted's spookiness works in a lot of ways. Tommy has been around Vegas and poker for a lot of years. He plays all the limit games great. He didn't like the table move either, as his other table was pretty live. He was grumbling. My downfall began in a stud eight-or-better pot when we went to the river with me having the high and Tommy a better 7 low. We both caught 8's on the river, but his made a pair so he scooped me. He then won a big pot from me
in hold'em when he flopped a set of 6's from the BB to beat my pocket jacks. He was still moaning and groaning, I had to put my headphones on to tune it out. I like Tommy and he really is a good guy. I finally asked him how much he'd have to win before he stopped moaning. He laughed and said that 70 year-old guys moan a lot, even though he's only about 60. These hands happened at the 6000-12000 limit, and I couldn't afford to lose many more hands. In Omaha, I took a flop on the button in a 4-way raised pot from the BB with Ad-Jc-9s-2d. The flop came Kd-Jd-8c. There was a bet and two raises to me. I called. The turn was a queen, eliminating my low hopes. But, I still could catch a diamond or ten to scoop and get back over 200k. I missed
and was desperate, down to 45k. I lost half of that on another missed low, and was really in trouble with 22k. However, I was still thinking positive and hadn't given up. I scooped a pot against Chip when I had a lock low and double gutshot going to the river and made the straight. I scooped another 3-way pot and was back to 115k starting the 8000-16000 razz.
On the first razz hand, I picked up A-6-4. Ted had limped with a 9, Tommy raised with an ace, and I re-raised. Ted reluctantly folded, grumbling as he always does when something like this happens and he doesn't get to draw to his 9. 4th st. brought paints for both of us and we checked, a reasonable play. 5th gave Tommy a 2 and me an 8. He bet and I called. On 6th he caught an 8 and me a paint and I had to fold. I was down to 80k. The very next hand I picked up 7-5-4. I raised and Alan Cunningham called with a 3 up. 4th st. gave me a ten and him a 2. He bet and I called. On 5th he caught an ace and me a 2. He bet again and I called. I thought it was very possible he had a pair. We both caught paints on 6th and he bet again. I didn't like it but I
hadn't seen any of his cards out and if he was paired I was in the lead. Or he might have an 8 in the hole and I would be drawing live. On the river I caught an ace. I really thought I had the best hand, but only had 26k left and didn't raise, just in case. He turned over A-2-3-5-6. He told me he'd made the first five cards. Very tough hand to lose at that point. I anted off one hand, then got all in with Chip when I had the bring-in with a jack up, and 7-4 in the hole. He had three babies, but I was in the lead going to the river. I'd have had almost 30k and another shot if it held up, but he caught good and I was done. "Pretty brutal stuff," Chip said to me as I was packing up. I agree.
The limits are so high at that point of the event that no one can afford a bad run. And it doesn't take a huge rush to amass a pile of chips. Chip went on a good one and got to the final as the chip leader. I went home and kicked the cat. Not really, but this was a really hard one to take. I'd come in to this event feeling very confident, and was just a few cards away from making a real run at it.
This event set a lot of precedents. It was the biggest buy-in MTT, went the longest by far without a player being eliminated, and had the biggest bubble, over 137k.
They really need to rethink this event before next year, beginning with the juice. It's absurd to take over $2000 per player for any event. In fact, this is going to be a major TV event with the quality of the final table. It's beyond me why there should be any juice on any TV event, much less as much as they grabbed from this one. The players put up all the money and provide all the entertainment, and have to pay dearly to do so.
It also needs to be a 4-day event. It took from 2pm until 9am the next morning to get to the final table. And the payout structure needs to be re-worked. The bubble was much too high. The third table should get something like their money back. I think most players would also like to see a smaller buy-in. H.O.R.S.E event. I think $5000 or $10000 would be a great buy-in, and it should remain H.O.R.S.E. at the final table instead of changing to NLH, as it was for the sake of TV in this one. If it's going to be no-limit at the final table, it shouldn't be called H.O.R.S.E.
Chip Reese went on to win the H.O.R.S.E. event, with Andy Bloch finishing second. This was a flashback to poker as it was in the old days-pre-Moneymaker/internet/WPT. Razz, Stud and Stud Eight-or-Better are games that are rarely played by the new school of poker players, and the old-school guys were well-represented in the final. Chip, Doyle, Dewey, TJ and Jim Bechtel have been playing these games for years. Likewise, to a lesser degree, for David Singer and Bloch, and Phil Ivey plays them
regularly in the Big Game. This was a refreshing break from the World Series of Hold'em, and I hope it starts a trend back in the direction of these other great poker games. Unfortunately, the TV influenced mandate that the final table be no-limit hold'em will probably dampen those hopes, but at least it's a start.
Oh my, I guess I'm toast here. I hope this destroyed some workplace productivity, at the very least. It certainly cut into my damn poker playing, something I'm going to be focusing on very much the next few weeks.
Enjoy this final classic old-school poker story from LA.
Brought to you by copious amounts of Guinness and Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit.
Nice Social Interaction at the Poker Table
The poker community really is a wonderful place to meet people. I was up at the Bicycle Club last week and had a chance to expand my circle of acquaintances. I started out at a $6-12 table and met a nice gentleman named Gluehead. His other hobbies besides poker were gourmet foods and motorcycles. His torso (and belt buckle) was extra large but his black Harley Davidson T-shirt was a size small. Pretty soon a weightlifter type came in and sat down across from him.
After a few minutes the biker says, "You look familiar, don't I know you from someplace?"
The weightlifter guy says, "ever been in San Quentin?"
The biker says, "Yeah, '84 to '89."
Other guy says, "Then it's not me, I'm '91 to '94."
I moved up to the $20-40 level, which is known as "up top." I felt that even if I lost I would be around a more civil group of people. Pretty soon I got friendly with the guy on my right. I think he said his name was Somafooth McPhillaphone or some such thing. I'm not sure of the spelling, but in this wonderful world of diversity we don't let things like that interfere with our comeradery, so I just called him Phil, which I supposed would be short for McPhillaphone.
We played a nice quiet game for about an hour, and then he got raised.
Phil looked at his cards for a long time, then said, "Let that asshole have it," and tossed in his cards.
The floorman comes over and says, "sir, you can't use that kind of language in here."
"What I say?"
"You called him an (in a whisper) 'asshole.' "
I no call him an ASSHOLE," Phil screamed.
"Yes you did," the floorman whispered.
"No, I not call him "ASSHOLE" Phil looked and me and asked, "Did I call him ASSHOLE?" Before I could answer he had turned around and was asking each person at the table, "Did I call him ASSHOLE?" Then he looked at the guy he called an asshole and asked, "Did I call you an ASSHOLE?"
"Yes," the guy said.
Phil paused and scratched his head, then said, "Oh, O.K. If you say I call you an ASSHOLE then I did call you an ASSHOLE I guess I forget I call you an ASSHOLE.
The floorman stepped in and said. "O.K. It's over. Just forget about it. I said I don't like that kind of language in here."
"Yes," Phil said. "That's what happened. I forget. I forget I call him an ASSHOLE You were right Mr. Floorman. You right. I did call him an ASSHOLE If I call him an ASSHOLE then he can call me an ASSHOLE, right?
Then we even, O.K.?"
Floorman: "No, it's not OK, I don't want that kind of language in here."
"O.K. I give him three to one. He can call me ASSHOLE three times.
Floorman: "No, I don't want that kind of language in here."
"OK. I say it for him. I am an ASSHOLE I am an ASSHOLE two times, I am an ASSHOLE three times. Now we even. OK?
Floorman says "OK, it's over, no more foul language."
Floorman walks away, and Phil mumbles to himself, just loud enough for everyone at the table to hear," ASSHOLE!"
Link of the Day:
What Jeff Killed
Jeff is a large orange tomcat that lives and kills in Shadow Hills, CA. ...
To humans, Jeff is an exceptionally good-tempered and friendly cat; to rodents and other small animals, he is death itself.
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