Archive for the ‘poker’ Category

Terrible Losing Streak

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

As the title says, I’ve been on a terrible, awfull, no good, very bad losing streak. It started Monday night when I lost $50 from going on tilt. This was my first time on tilt in who knows how long, but its really been ages since.

I was playing $.25/$.50 NL, had AA, pushed it very hard the whole way, ended up going all-in on the turn for a $6 bet, and was called by some guy with 23s and just a pair of 2s from the flop and absolutely no draws or possible draws. Well, he called an all-in with 2s, and rivered the third duece to bust me of my $15. I could feel myself going on tilt. I can usually control this, but not that night. I rebought for $15, blew it somehow, probably somehow stupidly. I moved to $.50/$1 NL, bought-in for $20, and blew that. I luckily stopped there for the night, down $50.

Yesterday went just fine until last night, when yet again, nothing went right. I ended up 3-tabling $.50/$1 NL and losing a good deal of money in the process. I believe I ended that night down $60. Which was even more unfortunate because that day I had actually done quite well. I had made back about $30 of the previous $50 that I had lost.

Well, today was again unfortunate. I tried out limit ring tables again, and remembered why I had left them. I lost $30 there. I tried plenty of MTTs, all missing the money. I tried no limit ring tables again, did very poorly. Just nothing went right. I know we’ve all been there. The cards don’t come. When they do, you either get sucked out on, run into something better, or just don’t hit.

That last statement brings me to my next point. I hate AK. I truly hate it. I can never win with it. I raise preflop, I get callers. I miss the flop and bet at it, I get reraised over the top. Happens every time. But the thing is, I can never bring myself to fold it preflop, and probably never just limp and fold if I miss.

Tonight, I told myself I wasn’t going to play on PokerStars. Well, I regretfully opened it up, saw the Quadruple Shootout, and decided to play. And in the very first hand of the tournament my pocket rockets were cracked by 88 when the lucky player got an 8 on the river.

Yes, that is the very first hand. The idiot goes all-in with a king on the flop and just 8s. I figured he was on a flush draw, but I decided to take my chances. And he (or maybe she) has the nerve to brag about it afterwards. Well, a break is in order. I’m taking the rest of the night off, and probably tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

A tough decision

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Before Niagara Falls my last big-money final table was in Europe. But now being in Canada changed a lot for me. Yeah, because it was in Canada, my family and friends came down to watch and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Also, Monte Carlo was my first final table so just making it there was an accomplishment. But the second time around you say, “OK I’ve already been here before so this time I have to win.” I was so crushed when I lost; it was just a huge disappointment.

So let’s talk about what happened this time. In the very first hand, KrazyKanuck raises, I re-raise, he moves all-in and I folded. Honestly, I went in playing it as if it was a ten dollar sit’n go online. I was playing for first place. I was going to be as aggressive as I had to be. I didn’t care about limping my way into fifth or fourth or third. I was playing to get as many chips as I could.

In the very first hand, I am in the small blind and I have been dealt pocket sixes. The blinds are 15,000/30,000 and I have got about 1.3 million. It folds to KrazyKanuck who is one of the tightest players I have ever played against. I played with him for two days and he is a very good player. I know he’ll take a shot at the blinds every once in a while, but I mean, if you show him strong resistance he usually won’t push it.

It folds around to him and he makes it 90,000. We were about even in chips and I could have flat-called, seen a flop, maybe hit a set. But even if I did hit a set, he probably wasn’t going to pay me off unless he had a monster. I figured I could get him to lay down anything but a monster right there and take down a nice-sized pot – about 135,000 with blinds and antes plus his raise.

So, I raised it up to about 290,000 and right away he said something like, “I guess I am going out on the first hand,” and he pushed all-in. In my mind, it was obvious he had to have a monster there. There is no way he was risking his tournament on the first hand of his first TV final table ever on the WPT and that’s why I laid it down. It was a fun first hand though. The crowd was quiet initially and then boom, right away, action; raise, re-raise, all-in! (laughing) I guess I just wanted to liven things up a bit.

Poker player types

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

There are about 100 million poker players all over the world playing at different internet gambling sites. Almost each and every poker player can be easily categorized in order to know what type of strategy you can use to beat him or her. The profiling of the poker players seems to be a rather complex technique but once you get to know how you should do it, things will get easier and your games plus the chances of winning will definitely increase.

Poker is a game where you must always hide your feelings and the expression of your face must never give out information to the other players. Poker is the type of game where the pots are being raised even if you have a premium hand or you hold absolutely nothing at all. Based on the methods and strategies that the players are using, they can be situated in 4 main categories. Under these circumstances, any new player that enters a casino or plays over the internet is going to be part of one of these following 4 categories: Tight Passive, Tight Aggressive, Loose Passive and Loose Aggressive.

The moment when you will get the skills to tell fast what type of player you have in front of you, you will be able to be in control of the game better and to know exactly how you should adapt your online poker strategy to each of the players that you have in front of you when you play poker online.

Tight Passive – These players are those that will not raise or call you unless they have a really strong hand. This way in case a tight passive player calls you, you must have something strong to back up your future bets against him.

Tight Aggressive – The tight aggressive poker players will sometimes be winning players. These are normally considered to be some of the toughest opponents that you will encounter at the Texas Hold’em tables. It is always best that you avoid playing against these players, because they usually know what they are doing and the overall profit that you will get from playing against them is generally going to be low. They can be spotted easily thanks to the fact that they are only bluffing occasionally and that they only play aggressively the moment when they get a strong hand.

Loose Passive – this type of player is usually also known as a calling station. This is happening because these players will always have a tendency of calling any bet or raise that you make. These players are usually beginners that have little or no idea how to play poker. This means that you can easily beat these players.

Loose Aggressive – These players are going to be a little bit harder to beat thanks to the fact that this strategy is highly effective and lucrative at the same time. These players are very popular for the fact that they are using some daring gambles and at the same time some insane bluffs.

Free Poker Sites Provide The Ideal Way To Play

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

There are many things that help to make up a great poker site but for many people, the cost will always be a factor. This makes perfect sense, especially with the current economic downturn as people realise that they do not have as much disposable income as they would like to have. Being able to spend money freely is a luxury that not everyone can afford but this is something that a number of online poker sites are coming to terms with. This is why there are a number of free poker sites that can help players get their poker thrills without having to break the bank.

Free poker sites are the financial option of choice

Free poker sites are absolutely perfect for players who want to develop their skills without losing too much money. Online poker is hugely popular at the moment but this means that there are many players playing. This could lead to a situation where the good players win the majority of the time and the poorer players find that their financial resources start to become depleted rather quickly. Being able to play against other poker players is a great way to pick up new skills and free poker sites are an excellent for players to develop skills.

Free poker sites are also ideal for poker players who like to play for the fun and spirit of the game. Yes, some people will have serious dreams and ambitions of becoming a professional poker travelling the world for big money games but this is not the dream of everyone. Some poker players are happy to relax while playing some hands of poker after a hard day or week at work. These free poker sites are the perfect way for more casual poker players to enjoy their playing time without having to worry about how much money they are paying out for the privilege.

Free poker sites give you tournaments

However, there are some free poker sites that are giving players the chance to take part in tournaments and win big money or poker bonuses. This is probably down to the high levels of competition in the online poker market and the fact that so many sites are keen to welcome new members. If you can win a lot of money without having to pay anything you would be absolutely delighted and it would be one of the biggest achievements in a poker player’s career. Poker can be a fun activity but with the chance to win a great deal of money, it is obviously something that is of importance on a number of levels.

Even though the free poker sites may not be the ones that immediately come to mind when thinking about online poker, they are becoming more popular and well known. This can only be a good thing and the success of these free poker sites will likely lead to more in the future. This will be great news for the players but the current free poker sites are definitely the ones to trust as they have already developed their reputation and popularity with online poker players.

Poker profit

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I got into a little debate the other day with a friend of mine. We were discussing the money potential of various games. I pointed out that I believed that if you are a very very good player, specializing in heads-up hold’em could yield you as much as $1000/hour in today’s internet poker world.

This is what some Pokerstars regulars claim. If you have not opened an account, use a code bonus pokerstars to get your bonus.

Now, I don’t know how realistic that is, as I don’t play heads-up hold’em very much. But I know a few heads-up players, and given the limits that they run nowadays, I think it really is quite possible.

Few people can reach this level though. First of all, I don’t know the game that well, so I’d have to learn it. That’s probably doable. I wouldn’t be able to become the worlds best, but with hard work I think I might crack the top 5% of the current player pool. Since it’s not about playing the best players, but the worst, that’s not a huge problem. Another real issue for me is tilt. I just can’t help myself sometimes. Frustration mounts, and I start to make bad decisions. Sometimes it’s for a single hand, but sometimes it can last as long as 15 minutes. That’s a long time in heads up hold’em poker.

I’m not even going to get into bankroll. Suffice it to say, I just don’t have the cash on hand to play $500/$1000 heads-up hold’em with a small risk of ruin.

But the critical issue for me is that of game selection. I have a lot of friends who spend their evenings and weekends playing poker. That’s when the fish are disposing of the disposable income which they make during the work week. I on the other hand play during the work week. I made a choice long ago to only play during regular work hours for quality of life reasons. The world of heads-up games is a world of countless hours sitting around not playing, and waiting for the fish to show up. And if you aren’t at the table during prime time, your fish pool is going to be small. Personally, I play games that run nearly 24/7, and there are a sufficient number of fish even during the day to keep them profitable.

So it all comes down to making playing choices which are compatible with the lifestyle I want to lead. I want freedom with my time, and regularity with my play. Some might say that I’m not maximizing my EV by making those sacrifices, but I have yet to find someone who has not sacrificed EV for rather trivial reasons. Consider this trade-off, playing poker or exercising and eating right. One will make you money, but the other will allow you to live longer and extend your overall earning potential.

Phil Ivey wins 8th bracelet

Monday, February 21st, 2011

If needed be, Phil Ivey has once more demonstrated that he is at the top of the world of poker.

Phil Ivey won his 8th WSOP bracelet in the $3,000 HORSE event against a final table composed of other poker luminaries, including John Juanda his team mate at Full Tilt Poker who finished third.

The runner-up is Bill Chen, one of the most famous poker theoretician who earned two WSOP bracelets in the past, but not this time. He was close though, as he had the chip lead at the beginning of the heads-up confrontation with more than three times more chips than Phil Ivey. But Phil is not the type of player that will easily miss a chance to add a bracelet to his collection, and he got the best of it at the end.

Only three players have ever won more WSOP bracelets, Phil Hellmuth (11), Johnny Chan (10) and Doyle Brunson(10) (Johnny Moss won nine, but one was by vote). Phil believes that he can surpass these numbers and that he has a shot at getting thirty Gold bracelets in total during his entire career. This makes sense given that at the young age of 33 he has only been playing at the WSOP since 2000 and already has 8. Another 22 should take about 28 more years if he can keep up with the pace and he would only be 55 years old by then.

Phil Ivey is considered by many of his peers to be the best poker player in the world (maybe the best poker player of all times). There are many factors to make this judgment, so here are two.

Even before this latest victory, Phil Ivey had the record for the highest total live tournament winnings which now exceed $13,100,000.

Another of Phil’s traits is that he is highly well-rounded in poker variations, which is considered the hallmark of a great player. So he won a HORSE even which is in itself a mixed game involving five poker variations. In the past his other WSOP bracelets were in mixed game Omaha/Stud, PLO, SHOE, 2-7 Draw Lowball and 7 Card Stud. Very versatile. By contrast Phil Hellmuth has won 11 bracelets so far, but all in Texas Hold’em poker.

Phil Ivey does not need to be introduced and this recent victory is just one more step to become a poker god.

November Nine decided

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The WSOP 2010 version is finally completed except for the final table of the main event that takes place in November since 2008, adding to the buzz.

This is a way to keep the momentum going with tournament passion even after the WSOP is over, as fans will have to wait another four months before knowing who the new World Champion is. They will have time to learn about the nine contestants who made it to the final table. As most of them are unknown to the public, this is a good way to show that anyone can make it and possibly win millions.

Certainly a good marketing idea for the world or poker, reminiscent of what they did with the Olympics Games. They used to occur every four years but they realized that the Winter Games seemed overshadowed by the Summer games, wasting many marketing dollars. So now there is an event every two years, alternating Summer and Winter Games. This way people get more interested in such events instead of having an overdose of it every 4 years.

So we have 4 months to learn about the lucky November Nine, and bookmakers have already started the betting. Odds follow roughly chip stacks as there is not much else to rely on, except if there is a pro. Last year the great name who made it to the final table was Phil Ivey. This year only one pro made it, it is Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.

What is truly amazing is that Michael has already won a bracelet at the WSOP 2010, winning the prestigious $50,000 ‘The Poker Player’s Championship’ for a massive prize of $1,559,046. This event is considered almost as (for some more) prestigious as the main event. It used to be based on HORSE but has been widened to an 8-game format. This determines a truly well rounded poker champ, and this is why some think the winner is the true champion as the main event is in the more specialized no-limit Texas Hold’em variation.

If Micheal were to win the main event, this would be an unprecedented achievement. Mizrachi is 7th in stack but all is possible. After all Joe Cada was also 7th in stack last year. And Micheal is no joke, as he also has two WPT bracelets under his belt.

Good luck to all the November Nine.

Better poker skills

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Everybody – you, me, Doyle Brunson, Sigmund Freud – falls victim to it from time to time. We try to “put ourselves in the other’s shoes,” but see his situation with our own eyes, not his.

This fallacy can really hurt your card reading. For example, when trying to put a raiser on a hand, you might think of what kind of hand you need to make that raise, then assume that he thinks the same way you do. Since you would not raise without a certain hand, you may misread his hand.

I’ve made that mistake many times. In fact, I often fold a winner because I assumed another player would not have played a certain way without a very strong hand. The egoistic fallacy principle causes people to make all kinds of objectively foolish decisions: Check or fold winners, raise with losers, play in games they can’t beat, and so on. To read cards accurately, you must understand the players’ motives and beliefs.

Avoid the “We’re Different Fallacy”

You may object that people in other games make these and other mistakes, but the people in your game are tighter, looser, more sensible, better card readers, more deceptive, whatever. Don’t believe it; it’s the “we’re different fallacy.”

Everyone wants to believe that we are different, that people might do this or that in small games, or in another casino, or in Las Vegas. However, we are all subject to the same motives, fears, and foolishness. In your game these weaknesses may be less obvious, or they may be expressed in different ways, but none of us can help being human, with all the weaknesses it includes.

If you doubt it, just think of the rich, brilliant people who have taken extremely stupid actions. If Bill Clinton could risk his presidency for a little sex, or Mike Milken could destroy himself by stealing when he was a billionaire, you, and I, and everyone else can make foolish mistakes.

When your money is at stake and you have to make an immediate decision, you cannot read cards as well as you do when you are just observing. You should therefore work on this skill when you are out of the hand and/or out of the game. This time should also be used to develop another simple, but essential skill, counting the pot. All good players do it automatically, but it is hard to develop the right habits while playing. So practice while you are not playing.

During the game you have a great deal of dead time. You have folded, or the hand is over, and the cards are being shuffled. Most people waste that time, but winners keep working. They watch the action, trying to understand how people play. Between hands they review the action and make mental notes. “Tom will not raise unless he…; Charlie is a little on tilt. Sue calls with…”

Don’t think of it as work or try to do it every hand. Regard it partly as a way to relieve your boredom. You can get so tired of folding that you play weak hands or chase with marginal ones. Working on your card reading after folding will relieve the boredom, make the game more interesting, improve your skills.

It will also help you to see things you never even considered before. Nearly all of us resemble spectators at a football game: they just watch the ball and miss lots of important things, such as the quarterback’s being intercepted because he did not see an open receiver and threw to a closely guarded one. On TV the instant replays show us these things, but we miss them at the stadium.

There are no instant replays in poker, but if you work at it, you will see lots of things that you miss while playing. Then you are too intent on your own cards and the betting to see that Bill holds his cards one way when he is going to fold, another way when he is going to bet. Suzy looks intently at the bettor when she has a weak hand, but away from the action when she has a powerhouse. Tom fakes disappointment when great cards hit and looks elated when he misses. These things are happening right in front of you, but you will miss many of them while playing.

The best way to improve your card reading is to focus completely on it. Watch a game from the rail, or sit behind a friend and try to read everybody’s cards. Take notes. When you get a chance, quietly discuss selected hands. You will both benefit from it. Even if he reads better than you, your observer role will let you see and understand things that he misses or misinterprets.

If you do it for a few minutes a week, you will develop more card reading skill than you can develop in many hours of play. If you doubt it, just look at your current skill level. You would not be reading this website if you were satisfied with it, but you have played thousands of hours.