So I tried another poker place yesterday…

I won’t say the name, I don’t want to make them (or the players on that place) feel bad.

It is one of the smaller places. Primetime there was about 5000 players (party poker typically runs up to 70k players in prime time), and they had a number of “guaranteed minimum” tourneys that I could try.

So I tossed a buck in the account and went prowling to see how this place goes. First off, the tables filled up much slower. Not enough critical mass, you could wait 20 minutes to fill a single $50 sit and go. There are only about 500 tables total running, so you can see it isn’t all that busy. In playing 3 S&G tables, I saw people twice that I played against on the first table. Small, small world, I guess.

Anyway, I have never played with such a bunch of idiots in all my life. I lost my ass all over the place. These people were staying in and going all in with things like Q5os, and then making their two pair or set on the river and knocking out good hands. It was entirely, without a doubt, all about luck. In all the time I was there, I didn’t lose a single hand against a better hand, I always lost them against worst hands and players staying in for luck (best example, guy has 2 clubs in his hands, 47 or something… flop has a single club and two faces in it (I got the high pair out of the deal, with a decent kicker). This dumbass goes all in. I call him, and the turn and river are clubs… I am whacked by a guy who all in-ed a hand that needed runner runner and he got it (and someone had the nuts to type “NH”… dumbass!).

My only thought is that this system has the river screw you factor turned up to 11 to make sure that the morons keep winning.

Anyway, I won’t be going back there!

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More Poker stuff

Well, the last few days have been interesting, that is for sure. I have never really done all that well in larger tournaments, limiting most of my play to sit and go tables (online) and 2-4 2-6 or 4-8 tables in person. I am NOT a big spending high roller or anything like that. I wisely keep my playing within reasonable numbers, and as a regult, I get to enjoy the games more and worry about the outcome much less.

Things started a couple of days ago, when I decided to play some of the $1+0 and $10+1 bigger tournaments. The $1+0 ones are truly interesting, as they certainly attract a very wide crowd of people (usually 2000+ players) and the skill levels go from decent to great to total clueless beeyaches. Let me tell you, it really seems to help my confidence and skill level when it comes to spotting the players and spotting the easy marks.

Anyway, I noticed that I was doing pretty good in these things. Routinely coming in the top 20% or so, and I made a slight bit of money ($3 or $4) in a couple of them for making it into the top 10%. During the same time I had been playing some $5 and $10 sit and go tables, and I was really doing well, probably 50% in the money and at least 25% wins. Not terrible, and keeping my bank reasonable and happy.

Well, I decided (quite randomly) to give a $50 tourney a shot. I hadn’t played anything over $20 since i started back, but I was sort of in a what the fuck kind of a mood and I decided to give it a shot. I was mostly interested because the number of players was reasonable, and as it turned out, the payouts went back almost to 10%, which is pretty decent.

Anyway, long story short, I made it into the money (solidly in, and then I blew it playing a hand I should have stepped away from) bringing me about $150 for my $50.

Kewl, I thought. Maybe just luck, whatever.

So today I pick up an afternoon $20 tourney. Bigger crowd (about 700). I played carefully, staying just about 10 times the blinds pretty much consistantly. I picked up a couple of good size pots… and the money number was 70. This game stayed on 71 players for about 15 hands in a row. Finally the dam broke and someone got knocked out. So I was in the money again. I finally made it up to about 45th, which paid me about 5 times what I put in the front end, which is fine by me.

Most importantly, I stated to get the feeling I was just a little bit better of a player today than I had been in the past. I really seem to have started down a more positive route for these tournament things (I am playing a $1+0 right now).

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Back in the saddle

Well, I took a couple of months off, not realy playing too much and generally paying attention to other things in my life that were more important (plus trying to get away from a very specific playing style that was killing me). Anyway, in the process, I didn’t realize and lost over 7000 points I had built up at PP. Oh well. What can I say, my own fault, right?

Anyway, I have played a little bit over the last few days, and the results are mixed but encouraging. I played some sit and go tables (about broke even), and played a few lower dollar tourneys (I am landing about in the top 20% each time… ). I tend to be playing pretty good, concentration okay and everything, but over time I tend to lose the thread, lose control, and I start playing poorer and poorer hands, or playing good hands long past the time that they weren’t good anymore. That is what lands me out of the money most of the time.

I played my first rebuy / addon game as well. It was a cheapy ($5), and I was amazed at the number of people who didn’t addon at the end of the first hour. I figured that half the people should have less than the average number of chips, so each of them should be at least interested, plus some of the others as a matter of course. Yet in this case, not even 20% of the people took advantage from what I could see in the numbers.

So I will be back to play a little bit more, money is tightly controlled, so I am playing really money tables not subs or semis… at least not until I build up a little roll to work with.

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Party Poker adds Blackjack and sidebets

Okay, no links or anything in this one… just a thought.

Party Poker has added Blackjack and sidebets to their sites. Basically, the blackjack is a pretty standard pay to play game. I have tried it a bit, and I lost there about as fast as I lose in vegas. Make some money, but overall it’s a fast way to lose.

They also added sidebets during the poker games. You can bet on “all red” “all black”… weird stuff.

What I wonder about, I guess, is that poker is a game of skill then luck. Blackjack and sidebets are a game of luck and then maybe some skill (although you can easily teach a bot to play blackjack, the rules are pretty simple and the “what to do” isn’t hard either). So is this moving away from game of skill and into game of chance?

Just a thought.

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More poker things

I have been playing on and off for the last couple of weeks. I have been through a bout of pneumonia (single, thanks) and two funerals in the last 3 weeks, so I have not been a very happy camper. Playing poker and having the concentration has not been there, so my personal balance at PP has dropped quite a bit.

One thing I have noticed is that NL hold’em has become the official passtime of just about everyone. It is truly insane. Much like smoking cuban cigars or wearing shirts with little logos on the left side, it has become fashionable beyond all get out. As a result, many of the poker places are filled with very average players who don’t have much of a clue how to play.

My warning for this week: If you are playing on a table with a buyin less than $25, assume that the other idiot has an ace. Most bad players will play A-anything. When an ace come sup and you only have a pair below that, it would be a good time to either fold or force. Some idiot stayed in with an ace, and you will get screwed every time by it.

It’s a sad fact, people without a clue often win… because they luck into it.

Good luck out there. play no limit hold’em online for free

Moving on…

Well, another interesting weekend of Poker. Got my highest placing in a full size tourney (30th out of 2000) and did some good on some of the sit and go tables. But some of the other things that have happened are encouraging me to move to another “skin”.

Basically, Party Poker has some of the strongest advertising and brand recognition out there. It isn’t unusual for there to be more than 70,000 people online playing at any one time. The problem is PP tends to attract the newbs. Nothing wrong with being new, we all start somewhere. But the problem is the way these people play.

I played with one guy who buys into $10 sit and go, plays the first decent hand he gets all in, and then next decent hand all in, and goes on like that until he either wins or goes broke. NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE. All or nothing, every hand.

I have seen other people who will go all in with J4os – a crap hand, but these morons end up with a house or a flush or whatever and blow good players off (including me). Everyone of these idiots has watched too much TV and thinks they are the next Gus Hansen. The problem being they win just enough hands to think they are on to something, as opposed to just being on something.

Anyway, Empire Poker (which is a PP skin) is offering a $100 signup bonus, so I think I am going to head that way. A friend of mine has said he has done really well over there, the play is better and the guaranteed games often under subscribed, which means you are playing for more money than went into the pot.

If you are starting out to play poker, check out my links to poker tables. Play NICE… play reasonable, and take the time to truly learn the game and the odds that come with each action you take. At the end of the day, understanding your odds and chances will greatly improve your winnings in the long run, and keep you from being a hot or not player.

Tons of play, little return

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote on this subject. I have been playing a total ton of games in the last 30-45 days, using it as the yang to the ying of my work (much of which was created by annoying new US government regulations, I might add).

I have been running different styles. I have tried everything from the ultra conservative play on “group 1 or group 2” hands all the way over to the Gus Hansen play every freaking card you get. I have had some successes and failures on both sides, and my account remains about even over the whole process.

I am doing reasonably well on the sit and go tables, depending on the style I use. You have to be very astute and spot the other types of players on your table quickly to assure that you don’t get caught out. You only have maybe 10 hands at the start to spot the players and get going. If the table as a whole is really tight, you can certainly take advantage of people early if you can spot it. If the table is a little wild, you can profit by staying out of the way.

One of my friends has been playing multitable sit and gos. He feels that they are a good hybrid between a tournament situation and a single table situation. He has done pretty well with them, his game play seems to be pretty much in line with what is needed in these tournaments.

I will talk more about that later.

I also want to say that I am disappointed by the number of truly horrible players out there that are kidding themselves into thinking they are the next Phil Ivy. Many of these people are truly clueless, but they do well enough because they hit some very lucky hands. In the end, these are probably the most dangerous people to play against, because they will stay in (and often raise) with little or nothing in their hands.

It truly makes me wonder!

Keep playing. It’s good!

More poker stuff

I spent a few days away from the computer, working on other stuff that isn’t really related to what I do online. However, I did get to play some online poker and did well… placing high in a multitable tournament (taking some money out for a change) and playing well winning some single tables and placing in others. I have pulled a fair bit of money OUT of partypoker this month, a good thing I think.

I have noticed this: As I go up to more expensive tables (I am currently playing $20 and $30 sit and go stuff) I am seeing more and more GOOD players and people playing “properly”. Less people playing runner-runner hands, less people playing flush draws, and less people playing insane ace-anything hands. I still see some all-in play on middle pairs that sort of amazes me, but for the most part people at these levels play better and it really confirms to me something I see:

There are a number of online players who have done well in big tournaments, such as the PP million and others. I think these people do well because they play very differently from “properly” and they often seem to get a little luck on their side. They are not really looking at the return on a bet, pot size, position, or other. They are running on their gut and they seem to do pretty well with it.

However, I see these people also get blown out VERY HARD in many cases. Either they are winning huge or losing huge, few of them seen to be able to just play along and protect their stack. They are either building it up or losing it fast, not seeming to think very hard about it.

Remember, you cannot win with the first hand, but you can lose.

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More weird poker moments

I am not sure of the math on this, but I have noticed something about limit poker that is VERY different from no limit: The number of people winning with flushes.

I guess because the bet investment thing is lower or whatever, but these people are out there betting along to the limit, playing any two suited cards, hoping for a flush. Sadly, I guess the math on the subject is just good enough to keep them going.

I played last night, and the number of times people lost with trips to a flush draw that came on the river is INSANELY HIGH. My assumption is that in no limit, the player with the trips would have bet the other player out of the hand long before the river card came up, so I guess that is why you don’t see them very often.

Beware the flush draw… it’s proof that limit poker is a whole different game!

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Good luck if you are in the US 🙂


Strange things happen

So I check my hotmail account, and it turns out that PP had decided to put an extra $20 into my account. I am starting to think it might be because I didn’t have any money in the account but has been playing it a bit hard. They also put a second bonus $20 on the line, but I would have to play 200 raked hands to get it (which, if you do the math, isn’t the best deal in the world… ). So I decide, what the heck, I will go and play a 0.5 / $1 limit table and see what happens…

While the details are just that, details, let me just say that I turned $20 into $100 within the 200 hands without issue, could have been up more but the table shrivelled down to 3 players, which is NOT good for retaining money.

It is truly amazing to see people come into these tables, plunk down $25, and play like total fools. Limit poker is really a much harder game than nolimit, as you cannot easily push people out of pots, and bluffs are way more subtle. I can still bluff people out, but the circumstances have to be exactly right, where as in NL you can just push out way more than the current pot to really make people think twice about playing.

Anyway, just want to say thanks to kikky and a few others that made those 200 hands way less painful than they could have been. I really don’t enjoy playing limit poker that much, but making some money at it is always a good think.

Play poker online come play online… maybe I will see you there!