Poker Road Warrior: March 2011
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poker Trip Report - One of My Faves

Been shooting in Atlanta for a week and then a business conference in Puerto Rico. I know, life is rough. I'll update my website about the shooting, I took 9th in the World event in Atlanta. I was third high American. I was in second place after my Thursday-Friday which I thought was good as I was only 4 targets behind 14 time world champion, 133/150 and top 6 went to a shootoff in the stadium. Other shooters could shoot Sat-Sun, so I was not assured of a shootoff berth. We had cold and rainy weather and so my showing was paticularily good. Fate would deal a cruel blow as the weather was perfect Sat-Sun and 5 brits advanced above me to the shootoff. Weather was the main difference as I missed the shootoff by two targets. Shooting was fun but I have to tell you about the poker, I mean what good is this post in a poker forum without some kind of report, right? The Conquistidor Hotel in Puerto Rice is a five star hotel and with my broker dealer picking up the tab...I'm living the high life this week. The hotel has a casino and the casino has ONE poker table. Yes, only one. The game starts at 9pm and breaks at 3am. It is a 5/10 limit game, $100 buyin minimum and full of people who make $500K a year so $100 means very lttle to most at this table. I should start by saying that I have played about 6 times at casinos and stuck to 2/4 and 3/6. I know I can play with most anyone but I specialize in tourney play so both the fact that it is a limit game and it is above my comfort level were concerning. I thought I'd buyin the fisrt night and see how it goes. My first table was a mix of playboys who thought they needed to show every hand...and so did everyone else. They were trying to get a read on what hole cards people were playing. I start off most tourneies playing loose and showing losers to expand the range of cards opponents will put me on later. This seemed to work as every pot was 4-5 handed. Play was loose and people were going to showdown with third and fourth pair but I just wasn't catching cards. After an three hours I had played three hands lost all and bought in for a total of $200. I had about $60 left and thought I should buyin again in case I get a big hand and want chips to get max value. I bought in for the third $100, swearing it was the last $100 for the night. Long story short, I had a run where three mid PP in a row caught the flop making a set and two boats winners and I was counting $400 in chips after three hands. One hand alone was a $250 pot as my pocket 8's hit the 578 flop and I drew a boat on the turn. Good thing as the guy that fed my pot flopped a straight and didn't seem to mind capping the bets after the boat was poss. I cashed out that night +$600. at 2:45am I made all the other progress when the table was short handed from 1:30 on. As the game was comming to an end people were playing crazy and I was catching cards, what a wonderful combination. Day two saw a signup list with me at 14 and so I didn't get on until about 11:30pm. While I missed the first hour and a half, I sat down with a good feel for who could play as there were 6 new faces at the table. I watched the action from a nearby Roulette table where I kept myself amused and played even for the 1 1/2 hour wait. One of the new guys had his WSOP hat that he spent $10,000 for last year. He continually complimented me on my play and would avoid any pot with me, so I got table cred from the one guy who actually knew how to play!! sweet. Table of fish, pockets of gold. +$500 I'll update ya on the third night after I play tonight... I can't thank my new friends here enough for the confidence and practice to play at the higher levels. I knew the money was more than I felt comfortable with but I knew that no one had my experience playing with a group as tough and cut-throught as the shark army. I know that if I can win here, I can win anywhere. You can too. Thanks Shark!! Beer, Chippie, NRG, TXDan, Sweetness, Born, Reel, Shark, Taj, Stewart, Carey Bear, and all my friends at the Shark Army.... I'm having a Bahama Mamma on you all!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Great Post on Taking Notes - Poker

This posted by HW a well respected from member from way back when. This is my first piece of advice for any new player coming into a new site for the first time and specifically, anyone just starting to play. Whenever I go to a new site I sit back and watch people play for a couple of days and make my notes on all of the screen names. All of the better sites have note taking ability, which is a huge plus, but even if they don't, I highly recommend that you grab a notebook and start making notes on every player you see. Keep it organized so you are not fumbling looking for names when you sit at a table and I guarantee you will be able handle the players much better having done this. A couple of examples of this are from my own experiences. I had quit playing on the net for quite some time as I was getting bad beat after bad beat and had just about had enough. One thing I had stopped doing though was taking notes on players. As a direct result, I was constantly sitting down with people and had no idea how they played and I was getting bumped out of pots and getting chased down, time and time again. I made it a point that when I came back, I would check out all the players again and get some notes on them and then look for them at the tables so I would be sitting with familiar styles of play. Since I have been back, I am averaging about a $350-500 profit per week. Not too shabby for someone who works about 85+ hours a week. Key is that I never get greedy, once I make my stash for the day I am gone. Taking these notes enables you to know the chasers and the aggressive players. You go in knowing some donk is going to bet down the hand regarless of his kicker or even if he has hit the board. If you can have someone else betting your made hand for you it is a guaranteed money maker. By the time you make your raise on the river, he is too committed to the pot to let it go and you get that extra nice pop. On the other hand, if you know he is a chaser and he comes over the top at you when that river card hits the str8 or flush, you can think twice about calling that raise. It also sets you up for a nice check raise or possibly a wall bet when the chase works out. You could be sitting on a monster boat from the get go or the nut flush and this donk is calling you down when the river makes their hand. You are pretty sure they are chasing so you check it over to them figuring that if they have hit, they are surely going to bet it and will have so much tunnel vision that they have hit their hand that when you come over them, they will come right back over you and you get to take it to the wall. Cha Ching! Take you notes guys and watch your bankroll grow.
There are still several US poker sites to play.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Forum Post Highlight - 3 Rules of Poker

Hey I am going to start posting some of my fave forum posts from way back when. Here is one I like:

The Rules of Poker

I like to say I’ve been playing poker for fifty years. I remember my father and my uncle teaching me to play when I was about six. I’ll be sixty next year so even taking into account the self inflected brain damage of the last, say forty-five years…it’s probably about right. Poker was very, very different thirty years ago. I’ve had to learn Hold’em in the last few years. I’d played it a couple times, but it was never the game of choice or my choice of games. The structure and the content of the game morphed. And in the last five years the growth has not been arithmetic – but geometric as I struggle to cope.

RULE NUMBER ONE. What my Dad and Uncle Ernie (and they were pretty fair players…I’ll always remember the Christmas I got a two electric trains, a pony AND a motor scooter because Dad had a good game or two) tried to teach me was “Don’t bet unless you have the best hand”.
I know “real simple and oblivious”. It is. BUT having the knowledge and patience to observe it in practice is like always doing the right thing in real life… The good news is, like real life, if your right more than half the time over the long haul you should finish ahead of the game…maybe. Let’s put it this way:
O.K., you’re playing Hold’em…you matched the BB on a QJ – OS…the flop…Just then Hoyle comes back from the grave and says “Folk’s the rules have changed. No more cards…games over…pay the winner”. Do you get paid? If so, bet and repeat the process twice.
Of course, the question is “What is the best hand?” So it’s time for:

RULE NUMBER TWO. Poker at it essence is about making good decisions. Kinda like that “real life” thing again, huh?
Back to our example, the flop is QQJ, three different suites. You have the best hand. Guess you know what to do now. Next card is a five on the turn. This time Attila the Hun comes in and says “Bush is out…I’m in, …this game is over, pay the winner”. You win, but if the turn and it’s evil redheaded, yard kid, step sister with a heart as cold as my third ex-wife…the river are both Kings and someone has KK in the hole…it could happen, stay alert.
But in our example, the last card, a 3 doesn’t matter. This kind of hand is a joy to play because “I got ‘em and you got ‘em to get”. It’s almost always a good decision to play them, but the “almost always” (like our KK – KK example above and can cost you next months electric bill or at least a mortgage payment. Which brings us to:

RULE NUMBER THREE. You never step in the same river twice. I like this one, it so Zen-like. It’s ambience, patterns (Read SHARKY on this), players, position, pot and stack size (maybe position in a tournament), the stats, history, patience, nerve, ego and whether Lady Luck is over that deal about you givin’ her V.D. It’s a lot to consider to reach the right decision in a few seconds. It’s not easy to be a real good poker player or everybody ‘d be doin’ it. And we all know that ain’t happening.

Well, I gotta go do business stuff. I don’t know if anybody reads these, if so, any suggestions for the next three rules? We gotta get a little more specific here (stuff like…how strong is a set on the turn in PL O8). I’ll try to add some, maybe.