April 18, 2007

Ricky’s Time Management

These comments are responses to Ricky’s posts on the last two entries.

Well my first impressions from your post is that you cant have an A game with out a B game. When I look at your kings hand, if you are willing to fold your kings there all the time people will notice. I know if I noticed something like that I would put your big pairs to the test all the time. Making so so calls sometimes protects your weaker hands. People wont be willing to make bluffs against you if they think you are going to call all the time. Then again you don’t want to be calling all the time because it’s a losing play in the long run.

I would also like to point out that I play limit Texas Holdem. Although I know how to play NL I don’t claim to be an expert on correct betting amounts. But poker theory is something I can relate to.

One thing you did say that is very good is that you don’t care about winning/ losing for that day because its all one big, never ending, game. That is a mind set that will usually help prevent tilt when you are in one of the long downswings of variance. Now the reason people say that you should never play tired is because it makes it easier to tilt and harder to tell when you are tilting. Now in online time 5 hours is a long time, when I use to play online I would only play in chunks of 3 hours. Then take a break and then come back for more. The fact that you are tired and only have a limited amount of time to play will result in you rushing or forcing a win. It will also make you that much weaker when trying to resist the temptation to peal cards or pay people off. Some of the folds I make take every bit of concentration I have, so I want to be mentally strong. At the same time, some of the best players can play for days straight. Its really a part of conditioning. If you do it all the time you can get good at it. But you will rarely play your A+ game the entire 5 hours.

I hate to say it but if you are looking for me to endorse the conditions you are playing under, I cant. But if those are the only times you can play you will need to set up methods that protect yourself. Maybe make a list of things you are not allowed to do. If you do them you have to quit playing for 20 min. (like going for a straight with two cards to the flush) This is a good way to prevent tilt and force you to play at a higher skill level. Another trick is stop loss. Set a max you are allowed to lose and if you hit that point you cant play until next week. You really need to analyze your own game and find out how being tired effects your game. Unfortunately one of the best options may be not to play until you have better conditions to play.

Don’t forget, don’t miss out playing with your kid just to play poker. That little box on the desk will never grow up and the people you play against will never love you back.

I am really not sure if I answered the question you wanted, maybe someone else can put in their input on time management and limited poker time.

April 15, 2007

Poker Money Management

Money management is very important to your long term poker game. Everyone has different amounts that they need to play the next limit up. One factor that determines this is your personal variance. What I mean by this is how often do you play and win and how often to you play and lose. Another question is; when you lose, do you tend to lose several days in a row? You also need to consider how much you lose on your losing days and how much you win on your winning days. Now for me I never bring more money than what I can win in one day at the same game. The reason for this is I never want to need to play two days to get back to where I once was. Notice I didn’t say get even. That’s because the day after you lose you are even, just even at a different level. If you find yourself trying to go get back your money you will lose more days in a row.

The reason for only bringing a smaller amount of money with me limits my long term variance. It also lowers the amount of money I need to play at a specific level. One thing I know about myself is that I don’t play well when I am losing. So the two things I try to do every day is, win my first hand I play so I start up money, and, quit when I am down more then what a quick rush will make me even. Quitting is one of the hardest and most profitable things I have had to learn. Especially when playing online. The pull to get even is so strong, its really tough. But its that pull that makes me play bad. The stronger the urge to get even the more it effects your game. Sometimes I still have that feeling the next day. If that’s the case I wont play then either, maybe take two days off. What ever it takes to clear my head.

Something else that I will do that I think everyone should do is constantly analyze your game. Am I playing good or bad. If I am playing bad am I losing because of it? If I notice that I am playing bad and try to change it but cant, I will go home. Something strange that I found has effected my play is if I win right when I sit down. If I win two hands in the bb and button with bad cards, I remember that all day. Then subconsciously I think later when I am in a cold streak that those cards won earlier. Maybe it’s a good idea to play them now. Just like any other game or sport, you can develop bad habits. Manage your money wisly, maybe reading a book is more profitable then trying to get back the small amount you are down.

Now most people want specific answers on how much money they need to play in a game. But because of all the variables that go into it, there really isn’t any set amount. All the standards that every book I have ever read always have a much larger bank roll then what I use. But that’s also because I have done just about everything I could to stop losses. Its really the big losses that effect your bank roll.

On the last post Ricky asked me my opinion on what I think he should play with his small bank roll. it’s a long post so you can read it if you llike. Now money management does not always mean playing lower if your bank roll is not substantial enough for higher poker games. Money management may also mean play higher. Now because I am use to all the plays and tricks of higher limit games, I don’t win in very small games. Many other people find this to be true as well. (that’s why I have always said that the best poker player is only the best poker player at the limit and game they play) If you don’t win in a game why would it be good money management to play? But at the same time, if you are in a game where you constantly think about your chips you cant play that way either. Now I can think of two times in my life when I was next to broke, once when I had $0 and borrowed some from a friend and once when I only had a few hundred to spare. Both times I sat in the highest game that I thought I could comfortably win. Usually when I do that I never try to win a lot of money. Usually I just try to win 50% of my bank roll. Then come back the next day and do the same. Once I have 3 days of small wins I have a lot more confidence, I am able to play much better. You cant rush poker. So be patient, the money will come if you play well.

Well that’s all the time I have for now, get back to me with any more questions.

April 12, 2007

Why am I an EX Poker Player?

I had someone ask me what happened to me way back to cause me to stop playing. The answer to that was kind of a combination of things. I guess it all started when I won a large tournament about 4 years ago. I felt link I had finally accomplished what I had been working so hard to do. I had always seen poker as a way to make a lot of money so that I could invest it in other things and make more money. I had never planned on playing poker for the rest of my life. I always looked at the people who were older and still playing as a pro. Most of them are miserable with few friends and no life. That’s not what I wanted. They also get stuck with no other skills and have no other options but to play poker.

So after I won the tournament I didn’t play any poker for a few months. Most people jump up in limits and try to play larger, not me. I wanted to enjoy life away from the poker table. So when I did come back I was a little rusty but it didn’t take long for me to get back into it. Then I moved so that instead of being 15 min from the casino I was now 45 min away. I started to play a lot more online instead of live because I was able to make a lot more in a lot less time. I would only need to play a few hours a day and I was living a good bachelors life. Definitely had a little to much fun in the party scene with all the extra free time I had. Eventually every time I sat down to play I Expected to win, mostly because I always did. But what happened is was that along the way I stopped having as much fun when I was winning. I was only content, and when I was losing I was miserable. Not only did what I liked to do become work but it was a job I hated to do. So that made me start to play bad. After a few months of basically breaking even and putting a lot of hours into the game that I needed a change in something. I needed to get that spark back. That extra spring in my step on the way to a casino. The excitement from out playing people. I had lost it all. So instead of playing bad and not making any money, I just stopped playing. First for a month and that worked for about a week or two, then for a full year. I hated doing anything that had to do with poker. Back when I played my best I would go to the casino with friends play poker all day then on the way home we would take about all the mistakes we made and how others would have played the hand. Reviewing each other and getting better as a group. Now I didn’t want to talk about poker, I didn’t even want to see it on TV. I even refused to play drunken home games for a quarters.

I had not lost my bank roll, but my discipline also refused to lose it. If I was no longer going to play profitable poker why should I invest any time playing. I started to look into some other jobs and did some work with online website marketing ( I went to college for computers) and was able to make some reasonable money. I then moved back to the original town I lived in and was again only 15 min away from the casino.

So after about a year off from poker a friend asked if I wanted to go up to the casino. I had a few hundred bucks that I was willing to lose in a game and so I said yes. I won really big for the game I was in. The next day I felt that old rush again to go back. So I did. I ended up going and winning the next 11 days. I killed the game. I probably won close to 400 big bets in one week. So what did I do then? The next most logical thing I could do. Bought a ticket to Vegas leaving the next week. I had friends that had continued to play and had moved out there. I wanted to visit their new place and so I had a place to stay for free. Since then I have doubled and doubled again the limits that I play. Which brings me to where I am today.

A few months ago I found out I was not going to be able to make money the way I was in the past. Which was another reason I thought I would take a shot at poker again. I had to make it three months with out income while I trained for a new job. It didn’t help that about a year ago I spend most of my bank roll as a down payment on a new house. So I needed to be able to cover the mortgage and other bills for those three months. Luckily I have been able to do more then that and I kind of laugh because I am making more then what I expect to make in the new job. That’s ok. I can still do both. Job by day poker by night. As for family, I don’t have one yet. I am still rather young and although I have a girlfriend its not at the point where we are even getting married, let along have kids. But she is cool about it all.

One of the hardest things about coming back is sucking up my pride and playing in the lower limits. Everyone would see me in the smaller games and they probably think,, “wow he must have lost it all” I know I think that about others. But that wasn’t it. I needed to get back into the game and learn all the lessons that each limit has to offer. On top of that I needed to build up my confidence in my own game.

Another factor in my life that has really helped me is my parents. While I was going through all the rough times they always said that if I needed it they would loan me money. I never needed it but it always made me more comfortable playing knowing that I would not starve if I lost all my money. That’s why I always say that people who play poker professionally should always have a back up job. One that when they go to work they know they will come back with more money then they left with. Not everyone has parents as cool as mine, and some people don’t even have their parents around to help.

So that’s about it. That’s why I left the poker scene and why I came back. If anyone has any more questions ill try to answer them. Just don’t ask who I am, where I play, or what limit. The more anonymous I am the more honest I can be talking about poker. If you think you know who I am feel free to drop a guess in the comment box.

I would love to hear if anyone else has a similar story.

February 22, 2007

What do you think?

Like I have said many times before, I play mostly live poker and not online. But what I have noticed is that a lot of people from the states no longer trust their money online. These players are now making more frequent trips to the live poker rooms around the world. These players who are less use to the differences in live poker can easily be exploited. So as a result games have become a little easier.

What I am wondering is have online games become harder. I have predicted that they would. But would like to know if that is true. Now although less the 40% of some sites market was from the US, lots of them were new players or college kids playing drunk. Now that it takes a little extra thought to get money online, it really stops the growth of new inexperienced players. That leaves only the good players behind. So my question for everyone is; Have you noticed a difference in online card rooms getting more difficult?

February 9, 2007

A answer for Dibble:

Well fellow blogger Dibble had posted a comment the other day about what i thought the differences with live poker and online poker were. I think its huge. I have actualy never been good at live poker and online poker at the same time. I have to focus my game on one or the other because they take such different mind sets. I cant really say which is better because as my game changes sometimes it fits one better then the other, i will try to break it down as much as i can. Two things you should know are that right now I am playing only live poker for the last 6 months so some of my online points may be a little off. Also I live 10 miles away from a large card room so travel expenses are very small for me.

To start out online poker is much easier to play. All you need to do is to turn on your computer and you are in a game with in minutes. There are no travel expenses to or from the casino and also no hotel expenses if you cant make the drive in one day. Also when playing online poker the rake is always smaller because there is less overhead for the house. You don't need to toke any dealers when you play online either. People can multiply their winning rate by playing more then one table at a time. Although their over all concentration will drip very slightly with each table it is a very easy skill to master. Each player has time limits on every action they make or their hand is folded. This drastically increases the number of hands per hour a player can get in at one table. With more tables they can get 10-20 times more hands per hour. This means that a cold streak in cards will often be measured in minutes. If you go 45 min with out a good hand that would be considered a long time. However if you tilt for just 5-10 minutes you also play way more hands then in live poker and can lose a chunk of any bank roll. If you are at a table and don't like the cards or the players in the game, it only takes seconds to swich games. You could even take a 5 min break.

Online poker is also great for the beginner player. People who have never played poker before or someone looking to learn a new game wont have to worry about when its there turn or how much to bet because the program wont let you make a mistake. It will even tell you if you are about to fold when you can check instead. The program will keep you from folding winners on the river also. Sometimes you are so focused on one part of a hand you don’t notice you hit a straight also. A hand you may have folded in a live game will automatically be turned over online and the pot pushed to you.

Some of the negatives of online poker are that you obviously cant see who you are playing against. Personally for me I am very good at getting reads and player profiles just from looking at a player. Because you don’t have this visual information it will often take you much longer to make accurate reads on players. As players move around so often you don’t have a lot of time to take advantage of any information you may pick up on a player because either you or they will change tables or leave the game in a matter of minutes. This means that its almost never worth calling a player down just to see what they have. Even one bet is usually not worth it, if it does not make you a bet later.

Many online players use poker tracking software to improve their game. Now I think it’s a great tool to analyze their own game I think a lot of people can use the information incorrectly and it will make them play incorrectly. You really cant rely on the information until you have played over 500 hands against someone and it should really be over 1000. It also does not take into account what they are feeling TODAY. You may have played against the guy all week and he never made a bluff, but today he has been on an all night bender and boozing it all up because its his 21st birthday. But like I said before, I really like the software for the use of improving my game, not predicting others play. If I find that I am losing money I can go back and see which hands were the big losers. I can also look at my stats and have the confidence knowing that even after those large losses I an still up money. Woops, I am getting off topic a lot.

Live poker demands a lot more patients. Live games are played at a much slower pace with people dramatically acting to save face and manual dealers who make mistakes. Then you have people asking for deck changes or extra shuffles which slow the game even further. Right when you walk in the door you usually have to wait in a short like just to get on a list. Then you have to wait until they call your name to get in the game you want. This isn’t seconds like online but could be hours. Once in the game you could start off on a cold streak that is measured in hours not minutes. On really cold days, I have been known to go 5 hours with out winning a hand. Then once you do you feel obligated to throw the dealer a toke as if he tried to help you that hand. Where online games can get from 60-100 hands in an hour live dealers can only get from 30-70. On top of that you have to pay time every half an hour even if you don’t win a pot. Or in raked games you pay almost double that of online tables. If you are factoring in your hourly wage as a professional poker player you should include the drive in your hours of work. Also subtract the other expenses like hotel or gas to find out how much you really made. Like I said in the beginning I live 10 miles away so I have very little gas money and don’t need to worry about the hotel expenses unless I am going across the country.

Live poker has a lot of very major advantages. The skill difference between a beginner and the best players is larger in live poker then it is online. That is because not only do you need to be in control of your game at all times you also have to be worried about your emotions. Every movement or word one says can be analyzed and possibly used against a player. All the perks that make online poker faster and easier also limit the number of variations a player can have in their game. These variations are where information and tells come from.

The attitude of players in live games are very different then online. I am probably wrong when saying this, but I would for the most part say that people don’t go on vacation to play online poker. People do go on vacation at a casinos. They are in a better attitude and willing to lose money. Casinos offer free alcohol and players are more likely to drink because of it. You can take advantage of this because unlike online poker where you may not know if they are drunk, in live games its easy to tell. The slower pace of the game and longer slumps make it easier for a player to go on tilt. This is good and bad because this could be you as well. Information in live poker is much more valuable then online poker because players tend to sit in one game for hours. This means you have many more opportunities to exploit a players weakness. This means when a player first sits down sometimes it is worth calling them down with nothing just to see how they are going to play the rest of the day. Just make sure you are going to be there for a while also.

At this point I am kind of rereading the post and I find it to be a poorly constructed article. (I didn’t major in English in college) but I also don’t want to start over because I am a little hung over from last night. So I will simply say sorry if it is choppy or dull.

Back to the point. Its really not my place to say which is easier or which is better especially because it changes for me all the time. I usually make much more per hour in live games (almost 3x more) but I like to play 4 tables at a time online. My variance online is much higher then in live games. I can lose up to 4 buy ins online where I rarely ever lose more then one in a long day of live poker. The things I have noticed when switching from online to live is that people try to force too many hands into winners. They feel like they have not won in a long time and then get stuck in hands with good second best hands that they never should have called in the first place. When I switch from live poker to online poker I tend to peal to many cards off of the flop. In live poker sometimes you can tell when you are going to get two cards from a checked turn and then its worth a call. But online you cant get that read. Finally from what I have seen, all the crack downs in online poker have greatly slowed the number of new players (fish) in the games. Leaving a lot more sharks eating each other at the table. From when I started 6 years ago it constantly gets harder for the simple fact that if they are good they keep playing. If they go broke they stop. So more and more good players are fighting.

Well that’s about all the rambling I can do right now about online poker and live poker. I would love to hear what others think. Feel free to disagree with any point I have made above.

February 7, 2007

Marked cards in the deck

The other day I sat down into a game and the first hand I get is AQ. But what I notice is that both cards have finger nail marks dented in the middle of the card. Where someone would have either accidentally or purposely bent the card when looking at them. I immediately after I folded the hand asked for two new cards. But I ask you this, was that the correct thing to do? Or should I have just sat back and remembered that the A and Q were marked? I have very good eyes and could have seen the mark on at least half the table so it would have been used to my advantage. However here are the reasons for not doing that. First and most important, poker is tough enough to play why do you want to confuse yourself with new variables that you are not use to dealing with. Also if you get these cards someone else will have the same advantage against you. The problem is you wont know if they know your cards. This adds another unknown variable to the game. For moral reasons its not fair, and although not really cheating because you didn’t mark the card yourself it is trying to use an unfair advantage. I have also found that as I focus on that I don’t focus on other things going on at the table, sometimes I even get the wrong information. As I sat around and played a little longer I noticed that lots of the cards were marked. The place I was playing at the time replaces one card at a time so I didn’t want to slow down the game with one card at a time. Instead I waited until I knew 4 cards and asked for a deck change because so many cards were marked. Which they were then happy to do. Another reason I didn’t want to slow down the game is because the fish in the game had just won a bunch of money and was getting ready to leave. I knew if I stopped the game he would pick up and go. Which was the result of the deck change unfortunately. The card grader then came back to me and told me that 14 cards in the 2 decks had been marked. Not all big cards so it was most likely some idiot who didn’t know how to look at their cards, and not a cheater.

The point of this is that if I were trying to use the nail marks to my advantage there would have been no way of knowing which cards were which. Instead of relying on what I am good at ( poker reads ), It always amazes me at how much work it is to cheat. You have to be really good at it to make it work and at any time you could get banned for life. If you put all the same energy into playing well you would be much better off. The only real reason to cheat is if you really want that rush of trying to get away with something. But you can just rob a bank if you want something like that.

So what I do and also my point is, always take out the marked cards no matter how small they are. Don’t worry if other people get mad because its such a small mark. I have even been made fun of by dealers that say you cant see that from far away, I just say would they play blackjack with that card? Obviously the answer is NO. So Us poker players deserve the same perfect condition cards as everyone else.

January 25, 2007

I am just rambling now

Well I have not made a post in a little while. It has a bit to do with the fact that I have not played much over the last few weeks and the times I have played were very uneventful. I think over the 4 times that I did play I broke almost even. I usually play best when I am able to play a few days in a row, as I seem to play better the more days I play. So when I played in a scattered schedule I didn’t play at my best. I wish I had more to post about. I know I have had a number of new readers coming to my blog and I am not doing all that great with first impressions. But what can I say. Life isn’t always exciting. There isn’t always some funny story to tell or catastrophe to share. Its really just kind of blah the last few days. I heard on the news that two days ago was the most depressing day of the year. Maybe that has something to do with it. I am not sure how they came up with that, and would guess that that has geographic limitations. If you are in Australia I think it might be a nice summer day and not as depressing as a cold winter day in north America. So if you were feeling kind of down two days ago then you can blame it on the day. Not only that but you might be able to cheer yourself up in knowing that you celebrated the day correctly. Wouldn’t it be depressing if you forgot to be depressed on the most depressing day of the year? OK, I will stop rambling about pointless non poker related topics. Cheer up, the days are only getting brighter well, until next fall.

January 11, 2007

Do higher limits have more crazy rich players?

I was playing in a lower limit game then usual and one player tried to convince me that the higher game was easier to play in with more people playing like they don’t care. I tried to tell them that it was exactly the opposite. Although there are still some people giving it away, usually the people doing all the raising has a purpose for every one of their bets. He then told me how he saw one guy call a hand all the way down with bottom pair (3’s) with two others betting and raising like crazy preflop and on the flop, and the 3’s were good! I told him it was either a really bad play, or a really good play depending on what he was thinking. If he was not thinking what the other two players had then it was not that smart. But I, having no idea who any of these players are, set up this scenario. I said that the first person raised preflop with AK and the second person 3 bet with AQ preflop and AK capped. The big blind called with a poor suited hand. The flop came out all small cards (I was not told what they were) so the BB and AK checked to AQ which bet. Now he is going to bet a missed flop every time with AQ thinking he still could be good. AK raised because he knows he would always bet. AQ re-raises because he knows the first player is able to make that play without a pair. The BB called one bet then had to call two bets cold. He could be thinking that with all this action there might be a chance they both have nothing. Especially if either of the players would have slow played a big pair to raise the turn.. So the AQ bets the turn and both call then the river he has position and would usually check but he thinks that there is a good chance one of them has AK, which might fold to a bet. So he bets and gets called by the 3’s and not the AK who cant over call without a pair. So my point was that everyone of their bets had a reason, none of them were really crazy but very strategic. Always trying to give the other player to make a mistake and fold the best hand. The other players were then good enough not to fold. So just because someone raises a lot without the nuts does not mean they are not a good player. My favorite player to play against does not raise a lot at all.

January 7, 2007

A Poker Tip and Poker Tidbit

The other day I was in a casino where some of the tables used auto card shufflers. They were just trying them out to see if they would make the switch over. Anyway one had a bit of trouble and a technician came in and pushed a button to fix it. There are only two buttons on it so I am not sure why the dealer couldn’t figure that out. Well what I found out was that each of the shuffle-master card shuffler costs $10,000 a piece!!! That just shocked me. I am sure that they would pay for them selves over a year or so, especially if you use them at new dealer tables.

I also had another little professional poker tip for players. One of the most common mistakes players make, including professional players, is that they call to often in the small blind. One tip to help players with this problem is to make sure that you always put up the exact amount of the SB. If you don’t have change make sure you get change before the cards are dealt. Not wanting to wait for change can be just enough to make you play a hand you shouldn’t play in such poor position. Lots of people think this is silly and a pointless tip, but the skill edge a player has over other players is very small. If you are able to improve every play you make even by just .001% will increase your profits.

January 6, 2007

Lesson from a Professional

Something I have to learn again once in a while, is that you should never talk about poker while playing. Strategy that is. When ever poker theory is talked about you should listen very closely so that you can learn how a player thinks. I will often throw in little comments to get the to continue talking about how they play but only if I can keep from revealing how I play. My favorite lesson to give is an incorrect lesson. Especially if they already think something is right, I will reinforce it.

Today I was playing and I had made a comment that if you play perfect for long enough, that you could win almost every day. Not I know I was over stating it a little but my point was that if you dump your losers fast enough and keep from even getting involved in risky hands, you should always win in the long run. I had said in 8 hours you should be able to come up with a win if you play perfect for all 8 hours. Now its almost impossible to play perfect, but I am talking about no mistakes. Everyone continued to tell me how luck plays a factor in every day but I don’t believe in luck. Anyway after this conversation I played a hand and flopped a set with a 3 flush on the board. I bet it out and two callers, I bet the turn after the 4th flush came and only one caller. On the river the person who I had been talking with bet into me. The board had not paired so I folded. He then went on to tell me that he had the Ace high flush, but didn’t show me. Although I couldn’t really call him I think he also could have made the play because of the conversation we had just had. I taught him too much about the way I play and gave him the opportunity to bluff me. Well either that or he had the nuts. So if you want to play like a professional there should be no poker lessons at the table.

January 2, 2007

Poker and Pee

I have a problem, well lets say a disagreement with my bladder. For some reason it only remembers that it needs to pee when I am in late position or on the button. Then forgets by the time I get to my blind. I then post my blind and again remember that I need to pee. The last time I was playing I think I had to go for almost 45 min. I don’t really know how to solve this issue, and I am not sure if this ever happens to anyone else but its been happening a lot to me.

Another issue that pisses me off is not taking advantage of reads. Some times I am able to make a read on a player and because I don’t raise or make a bet it costs me the hand to a lucky draw or hand I should have outplayed. I played a hand where I had raised in EP after one limper with AJ suited to single out a player. I got one cold caller behind me so it was 3 way action. On the flop it was all small cards and I bet and the cold caller raised. I was like 80% sure that he was on a flush draw and that UTG cold called with a weak hand or a draw. I only called the flop raise but I should have either three bet or bet out on the turn to make them pay for the draws. Instead I checked and so did everyone. Now that I had played the hand this weak I wanted to induce a bluff by checking, as I would only be called by a hand greater then mine and would most likely be called by any hand better then mine. The river was checked around. UTG turns over AK and I lose the pot. Late position had a flush draw so everyone had exactly what I thought. If I had 3 bet the flop or bet out the turn the AK would have folded. I could have then checked the river and won with a showdown. These are the types of missed opportunity that anger me. Its what makes a pro a pro, winning with 2 nd best hands. Until I can do it every time I am in that situation, my game is not where I want it to be.

December 30, 2006


I finally got out to the poker room, I guess its still there. I am not sure if anyone ever moved. The poker today was a waste of time, I just put in a number of hours and didn’t make any money. Actually lost a little. That’s a disappointment because most of the day I was up money. Oh well it happens. This is what I got for you today. it’s a thought sparked by a comment I said to someone. This guy was not a regular and kept only enough money to basically see the flop. He kept buying in for another 4 bets (never went all in) So he finally comes back to the table and posts behind the button. The pot is raised by the big blind and there were several limpers. He, now the last to act on the raise, folds. Anyway he folded a 10,4 suited. He would have flopped a flush draw and turned the flush, thus winning the hand. He makes a comment on how he should have called and I said “if you won that hand you would have gone broke” he kind of looked at me funny and I explained that winning with that poor of a hand would only have made him play more bad cards. Citing that hand as evidence that they CAN win. I said if you fall into that trap you will have quickly gone broke after that. He was at much to high a limit for him anyway and I felt bad, knowing that he would most likely go broke anyway. So the situation got me thinking about the saying “careful of what you wish for” winning one hand with bad cards could ruin the rest of your day.

Other then that it was an uneventful day. One guy tried to explain how its ok to play all suited connectors even 3,4. I laughed to myself and didn’t really correct him because he was talking to another player. Although I don’t like any small suited connectors in limit games cards less then 5,4 start running out of straight draw outs. He is more then welcome to continue thinking the way he does but if you are trying to get better don’t ever play 3-4...

Good for me to get to the tables, bad for the bank roll I didn’t have a good day.

December 26, 2006

In Review: Christmas

Well this Christmas I got two funny cards. I am not sure that I can explain them as well as if I were to have shown them. But I don’t have my scanner going so I will give it a shot. The first one I got was just a hand drawing of a Christmas tree on the front. The inside has a note that says, “Money is tight, times are hard. Here’s your fucking Christmas card” I liked that one and thought it was a good idea, maybe someone else can use it for next year.

The second card I got was with a gift, the cover had a boy and a dog making snowmen. Inside said “here is a present from the dog” someone else had given me a gift from the dog. I thought that it was a good idea.

On top of all the gifts it was good to see all the family. With everyone moving around and starting new families it gets harder each year to get everyone together. So its nice to get everyone together.

The plan is that I will be headed to the casino tomorrow for some poker. I think I may be a little rusty after such a long break. I usually find it much more difficult to be patient when I don’t play at least once a week. After all the gifts I could use some extra money. Well to everyone expecting a poker blog I feel like I have not been fulfilling my obligations. Hopefully we will be back on track before the new year.

December 22, 2006

Still No Poker

Well I have been busy doing lots of shopping and other fun things so I still have not been able to get to the casino. But I have finished all my Christmas shopping. I managed to get everything I was looking for with out going to the mall. It is always mobbed so I try to stay away, but one gift made me drive by the mall. It took me 30 min just to get past it. Its only about a mile long road and it was really backed up. So with family starting to show up this weekend and Christmas around the corner its looking like I have been forced into a long break from poker.

I found a website online that you can upload a little image as a link. So I did in hopes to get a little more traffic. http://www.pokerblox.com There is also a blog and other great topics to read about if you want to check them out. http://50outs.blogs.com/

Good luck to all those who have time to play, happy holidays to everyone else!

December 20, 2006

What are the chances of THAT happening?

Something that always seems to bug me while playing is when something unusual happens and everyone is shocked! They cant believe when someone loses to quads on the river, or hits their one outer of any kind. It really bugs me when they say “what are the chances of THAT happening? “ Don’t people realize the number of different hands that could happen that would make them say that? There are a lot. In fact the chances of something amazing happening today is really good. If you ask, what are the chances of exactly that happening, may be rare. But common people, if you have played poker for any length of time you should know, it happens all the time.

December 17, 2006

Wash Your Hands Often

The last few days I have been sitting around doing NOTHING. It really ruined the weekend. Some where along the way I caught an eye infection, aka. Conjunctivitis. Let me just tell you it really puts a damper on everything you do. Even writing this post is kind of painful. I can only look at the screen for a few minutes at a time and then I need to do something else. I don’t want to go to the casino, just because I don’t want to spread it to anyone else. I also cant look at the screen long enough to play online. So lets just say that I have been doing a lot of long awaited cleaning of my house.

This will probably keep me away from the card room for a few more days unfortunately. I have been doing as much reading of other blogs as possible. It has been helping to pass the time, live vicariously through others, but all the text isn’t good for my eyes.

So this is one minus for live poker and one plus for online poker. You don’t catch any where near as many communicable viruses. I try to follow all the rules like don’t touch your face and wash your hands often but I guess I missed one bugger. So just let this be a lesson, maybe not only a poker lesson, but a good life lesson. Keep your hands very clean, all those chips and money I was playing with really can hurt you.

December 15, 2006

Building Confidence

I was in a bit of a slump playing and had a number of days where I would make small wins and larger losses. Each time I would go back I was always trying to win more then I lost the last time I was there. I think that was hurting me, not focused on just playing well I was setting a goal that was possibly to large for the way I was playing.

To get out of this slump I decided to build my mental confidence back up. When I go to the casino I want to think I am going to win. I don’t want there to be any doubt in my mind. After a number of losing days you cant help but think you might lose. This is what I have done in the past and seems to be working again. First off I make sure I am playing well. I usually try to play at least 4 hours but after that if I am up at least 10 big bets I just go home. I like to do this a few days in a row. Now I can say that I have won the last 5 days in a row. None of them were large wins but the confidence it gives me knowing that if I play well I will win, makes it easier to fight through the bad luck and avoid tilt. Also I finished the week up 65 big bets. As the week went on I tried to play longer, but once I was up, making sure I never was losing again. If I got close I would leave. The key is to make sure that you go home and don’t play again until you sleep. I find this particularly tough with online poker. I always want to go back and win some more.

I have always found that its easy to chip away at the big losses and make it up over a few days. If I had tried to win it all back at once I focus on what I am down. Try to think positive and positive things will usually happen.

Poker Blog Links

If you have a interesting poker blog that you think my readers would like to read, drop me a comment. Put up a link to our site and post a comment in this blog entry and we would be more then happy to add you to the blogs I read. The post will not be made public right away, and you can request it to stay that way if you would like. Be sure that you are a blogger, not an affiliate or commercial site posing as a blogger. You can even add a little description of your blog below so that people know what they can find.

We are always looking for good writers among the many dull blogs so send us in the right direction. Here are the blogs we try to keep up to date reading.

December 10, 2006

Why I Like Limit Holdem

I would think of Limit Holdem like a Cadillac and No Limit Holdem like a Porsche. No actually that’s not a great example but it’s the only one I thought of in the first few seconds of this blog. Anyway, in NL Holdem players at any time can make a full bluff with a big or sometimes small bet. But they can decide at any time to bluff at the hand. In limit hold’em a player must usually decide if he/she is going to bluff at least one street before they make the real bluff. To get away with a real bluff you have to play the full part of the hand you are trying to portray. If you want them to think you have AA you should re-raise preflop and on the flop if possible. If you want them to think you flopped trip 4’s, then you need to have just limped preflop, check the flop and smooth call any bets, and raise the turn. My Point is, there is more Art in a Limit bluff then in a NL bluff. Now I am not going to say that you cant put art into a No limit bluff, but you don’t always need it to be successful.

Another reason for liking limit holdem is that its very hard to lose all your chips if you play perfectly. I have played in many a nl tournament and got it all in with the best hand only to lose to a two outs and been down to the felt.

I also I like Limit Texas Holdem more is because you need to keep players in longer if you want to get paid off. In no limit texas holdem some times the best way to get all their money is to go all in preflop or on the flop.

I know many players say that in no limit you can protect your hands. I think that’s just bullshit. You cant protect your hands any better in NL then you can in limit. People are still going to call all their chips with draws and get there, maybe less often, but you’ll lose more when they do.

I also find that nobody really knows how to play limit holdem any more. it’s a very different game then no limit and the hands you should play are different as well. Everyone learns how to play N L because of TV. People also say you cant win enough in limit, to that I say just move up in limits, eventually you’ll get to a limit that you are happy with a win. I would call no limit dummies poker, except for the fact that you have to be extremely good to be a great NL Player. So that would be uncalled for. What im trying to say is that people who have never played before can just go all in all the time and until they get caught by a great hand they will do well. They don’t need to make any reads on other players just bet a lot. People just call you down if you do that in a fixed game. You may win, but you will need the best hand to win.

Now I know this cant be the feeling of most people out there, so I would like to hear from some NL players.

December 8, 2006

Trips vs. Set

Ok some people may call me crazy for this post but I believe there is a difference between Trips and a Set. I have had more then one argument at a poker table about these so let me know what you think. We will kind of have a little vote in the comments. Now I think Trips are ANY time you have three of a kind. But I think a Set is Three of a kind with the pair in the hole. Don’t ask me why I even thought of this, but it is one of the many stupid conversations I have had after 8 hours at a table with 9 strangers.