Thursday, April 05, 2007

OT: Did you know?

Played little poker in the last few weeks. Spent alot of spare time setting up our entrepreneurship.

Anyways, I came across this little nugget and thought it was interesting. One could say that the same is happening in the poker world.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Haven, CT Police officer gets busted running poker club

You know I've been to dozens of home games, but not one like this one. The game was operated by a police officer who was playing on stolen drug money the FBI had planted in a motel room.

Poker Club busted in Indianapolis

Northeastside Poker Club was raided after a yearlong probe. 60 players were issued citations, including a state trooper. 3 operators were arrested. News video here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Second bust of Austin Home game at different locale

I received a couple of phone calls and emails letting me know that another Austin Home Game was "broken up" last night. Actually, this game had been broken up once before when it was being held in an apartment complex in North Austin. At that time, uniformed officers broke up the game and they were evicted from the apartment complex. It didn't take long for the game to move locations to a quiet neighborhood of single family homes in north Austin - minutes from it's previous location.

I'm told that a 5/10 nlhe game was underway when 4 plain clothed men approached the door of the house where the operation was moved to. The game girl didn't recognize any of the men, so the game operator answered the door. The men identified themselves as police officers and the game operator allowed them entry. My understanding is that they did not have a warrant and that they were believed to be part of Austin Vice Squad.

Upon entry, they questioned all the players, the game girl, and the operator. They took down everyone's id, and then let everyone go. There were no arrests, no tickets issued, nothing was confiscated.

The police officers went on to say that they weren't sure what was going on here, but that basically, it had to stop. Apparently, neighbors had been complaining of too many cars on the street. Parking is always an issue when you run a game in a residence, especially when you run a game several times a week. This group would routinely run 2 table tournaments, which equates to 20+ cars lining the street.

A game that I have been to a few times up here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago tries to alleviate this problem by having players park at a nearby shopping center. I personally won't park there though, as I think there is a greater risk of getting towed. I am not really sure what the answer is, except maybe to pay off your neighbors. Apartment complexes afford you a bit of anonymity that you don't get when you run in a single family home, but even still players will always park closet to the apartment where the game is held, leaving residents in nearby apartments hoofing it to carry the groceries in.

Monday, March 05, 2007

All good things must come to an end

I'm on my last day of this Vegas trip, and I'm currently sitting in a small blind nlhe game at the Venetian. I have a few hours before my flight out, so here I sit, hoping to steal a stack or two before I head to catch my flight.

I have played at the Venetian, Bally's, MGM, Caesars Palace, and Harrah's this trip. I had 5 winning sessions, and 3 lossing sessions this trip. Despite losing some very large pots that would have made this trip a huge winfall, the weekend had more good times than bad. Yet it always seems that one hand will define the over all trip for me and this time was no different.

I never really have been one to post all of the gory details of a bad beat, so I won't start now. Truthfully, I try to put most beats out of my mind, but when the hand is for a few dimes, it's hard to forget it. I took a significant break and went over the hand in in my mind for hours. How could I have played it differently? The truth is, I wouldn't have played it any differently - I was a 77% favorite to win the hand on the turn with the nuts. Run it twice, and we split the hand. Some times nuts, some times peanuts.

The main reason for this trip was that my wife was invited to a free roll tourney held at Bally's this past weekend. She made it through the first 1100 players of a total field of 1600, earning the chance to go on to the final day. She outlasted another 350 players, but busted well short of the cash, as only the top 10 made the money. Still, a good effort and I believe a better one than I would have done. Blackjack is her favorite game, having paid all of her school debt with the proceeds in the past. She posted modest wins and loses, never able to put together a string of wins. She typically plays very small limits as she enjoys the social aspect of the game more so than the rush of playing for big money. I am always amazed at how much she learns about the other players when we meet up after one of her sessions. She never seems to meet a stranger. She left early today, heading home to Chicago. Lucky her. While I get to stay and play a little longer,I am heading to Denver for another trade show the rest of the week.

We went to the Price is Right Live show at Bally's. It was fun to watch, although it would have been nice to have heard " Mike K.! Come on down! You're the next contestant on the Price is Right!" But alas, neither of us got to make the trot down the aisle. Probably a good thing too as I think I might have embarrassed myself having not been able to figure out all the pricing of the products correctly. The game is interesting as they use a combination of clips from the real game show such that you have to guess the price of an 1972 or 2001 or 1998, along with current prices of items on stage.

The Venetian Poker room has become my favorite place to play now. The action is good and there sooo much more room than at my old favorite - the Bellagio. In fact, I never even set foot in the Bell this trip. Can't remember ever not playing there when in Vegas before.

The National Heads Up Championship to be aired on NBC was played at Caesars this weekend. We sat in the galley a while, but frankly, I find watching someone else playing poker rather boring. So do many others as they had a hard time keeping the gallery full during the demi-finals - that is until Shannon Elizabeth played. Wonder why that is.

Got to catch up with Hendo (AKA Asian John) while here. For those of you who know him, go buy a cup of coffee at the coffe shop at the shoppes at the V. He is doing well, and although we didn't get to hang out more than a few minutes, it was great to catch up.

Amazingly, I didn't run into anyone else this trip. I usually run into about 3 or 4 but not this trip. I know some players that were in town this week, but I never ran into anyone.

Given the current state of on-line poker, I am here to tell you that the live action seems to have no end. Every room continues to fill up - although tourneys bring the greatest draw. Even O'sheas has a dedicated poker room now instead of a couple of tables right at the door.

I ran into many new players to the game, which is a good barometer of the state of poker. Take Steve E. from Charleston, SC. This was first experience in a real casino. He and his Navy buddies came out for a fun trip and I played with him and Doug S. Steve has only played for a few months, and seems to have a pretty good grasp of the game. Of course, being relatively new to the game, they heard many new terms when they got here to Vegas. Kill, Horse, Razz, were a few that come to mind. But hey, no one knows everything, and I'd say these fellas are well on their way to becoming accomplished players. I wish them good luck as they have many years of playing ahead of them. Maybe we will cross paths again some time.

While there were some ups and downs this weekend - and even though I haven't even left yet, I'm thinking of when I can get back here again. Hopefully, sooner than later.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why we play

I think this is a well written commercial that sums it up rather nicely.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Vegas Baby!

March 2nd - March 5th. Staying at Harrah's. Hope to see you there!

Home Game Host Retorts about Bust

Game Host speaks out about the Austin Home Game Bust mentioned in an earlier post and also posted over at Pokerati and Mookie99.

I had a rather long conversation with the Host who had much to say about what has been posted regarding this bust. The game Host tells me that many of the things posted about the circumstances of the game and it's demise are seriously misinformed. Below is the Hosts rebuttal version regarding the incident and to the various claims that were posted.

He believes that the game's compromise was caused by a Rival tournament director (hereafter referred to as the Rival). Apparently this story starts months before the Austin PD ever knocked on the door.

There used to be a monthly tournament held at the Marriot in south Austin hosted by Let's The tournament was originally called the Barton Creek tournament, but as it became more and more popular, they moved it to the Marriot to accomodate more players. I played in this tournament a few times taking 2nd one month. After several successful months of running, the tournament grew to the size of 200+ players and was paid a visit by Austin PD who were obligated to investigate following a complaint they had received. The officers showing up was a bit unsettling, but the tournament continued unabated and no one was ticketed or arrested. However, following the visit, the tournament was suspended indefinitely pending the results of the investigation. Consequently, the hotel opted to turn away the tournament regardless of the outcome of the investigation. At about the same time, theRIVAL had decided to try running his own tournaments and the first one was cancelled as it coincided with the hotel's decision to walk away from holding any poker tournaments.

Fast forward. I am unsure where the Rival first started his tournaments, I had heard at the Omni downtown, but that is unconfirmed as I never played in any of them. I do know after several months, the RIVAL was holding his tournament at the Holiday Inn at 183 and Mopac. It was when he invited the HOST to come play in his tournament (and hopefully tap into his player pool) that things started to fester. The Rival explained to the Host that the tournament was self-dealt (fashioned after the old Barton Creek Tournament). The Host suggested the Rival provide dedicated dealers to make the tournament more legit. The Rival said he didn't know any. The Host tells me that this is when he first provided the Rival 5 dealers for the tournament a few months ago. When the Host showed up to this first dedicated dealer touranment, he discovered that the Rival was using the hotel's round banquet tables for the tournament (much like the old Barton Creek tournament did). The Host told the Rival he needed to get true poker tables to make the most use of dedicated dealers. The next month, the Rival did just that and provided oval poker tables for the tournament and had even asked if he could borrow one from the Host should he need one.

The Host then went on to say that the Rival was skimming the prize pool to the tune of several thousand dollars. The tournament buy in was $100. Unlimited rebuys for the first hour were also $100, and an add-on during the break was also $100. The Host suggests that a conservative figure for the tournament prize pool was $10,000. (50 $100 buyins = $5000, 25 rebuys=$2500, 25 add-ons=$2500.) The pay out was usually around $8,000. The Host says the Rival told him he paid ~$350 to the hotel for the room rental and the hotel would make additional income off of bar/food sales. As you can see, there was some serious skimming going on. The Host believes that the total money collected was proably closer to $12,000, considering the typical number of rebuys/add-ons he noted at each of the tournaments he attended.

The Host noted that players were complaining of the high RAKE of the Rival's tournament and that the Rival didn't disclose the number of rebuys and add-ons (a classic move to hide how much is taken off the top). The Host felt he could provide a much better tournament, ensuring that more money actually made it to the prize pool, provide competent dealers, better chips/cards, and a much better blind structure. After all the Host had significant experience in running tournaments and cash games since he had been doing it since September '04. With his large player pool and tons of experience, should be simple, right?

Thus the stage was set. The Host arranged to do have the tournament at the Holiday Inn. The Rival apparently didn't like this, or at least that is what it seems as you will soon see. Everything was set...until....the hotel called the Host to inform him they had been contacted by the TABC concerning a poker tournament that they had heard was being held and that they would be there to investigate. The TABC went on to state that if the tournament is in any way illegal, the TABC would revoke their liquor license on the spot. The hotel caved and the tournament was cancelled.

Because of the TABC letter, not only was the Host's tournament cancelled, but so was any future touranments held by the Rival. The Host then tells me that Wednesday February 7th, the Rival called the Host and commenced to speak to him in a threatening manner, telling him that "You are fucking done!" The Host said he told the Rival if he couldn't speak to him with some respect he would hang up....which he did.

On Sunday the 11th, the Host game was raided by APD. APD confiscated all of the gaming materials - tables, chips, cards, prize pool, a laptop, and a desktop. No tickets were written or arrests made.

We then hear over on Mookie 99, that a letter from the HOA was sent to the neighborhood where the Host held his game at his home. The Host believes this letter was written by the Rival as a way of knocking him off. A careful analysis of the letter would suggest that it is not something that someone from a HOA would write. Think about it.

1. IF the HOA received a complaint, why wouldn't they contact the home owner instead of putting out a flyer in the neighborhood which gave the address of the house?

2. Why ask other neighbors to call the police/DA instead of contacting them directly?

3. Attach a flyer that was never printed by the Host? (The Host would EMAIL the supposed flyer to known players. He says he never used flyers....Flyers bring robbers and the police.

4. Does this sound like a "concerned neighbor" or an angry Rival?

Other items that are in dispute.

Estranged Wife factor: The Host has been divorced for 15 years, is not currently married and is still friends with his ex who by the way is unemployed and was never employed by APD.

Garage Fire: The Host did not ever have a garage fire. He did however have a vehicle fire. The Austin Fire Department said while inconclusive, they did not believe the fire was started by Arson. Rather, the Host had a stereo recently installed with an amplifier in the trunk - which apparently is where the fire started. AFD believes the installation was faulty.

"I'm taking everyone with me": This is the furthest from the truth. The Host denies ever saying such a thing.

Dealer hiding in closet: One of the dealers was dealing at a table upstairs when the police came in. He thought the game was being robbed and went to hide in a closet. Apparently, when he heard it was the police, he came out.

The Host states that he was told by another player that the Rival was seen with a copy of both the HOA letter and the game schedule on Thursday February 8th. Things that make you go, HMMMM.

The Host states thata player that was playing at another game held on that same Sunday Night Feburary 11th, heard the Rival announce "The Host's game is getting busted right now." Apparently knowing by osmosis, since it was before anyone at the Host's game had informed anyone outside that they were being raided.

According to the Host, the police told him he can get his computers back in a month or two, as for the tables and other equip, he would have to take that up with the County Attorney. They left telling him to not start up again, or they would be back.

Until the Texas Legislature wakes up and realizes that poker isn't going to go away, this kind of underhanded ratting out of games will surely continue. Makes you wonder if the two games which were raided by APD in two separate apartment complexes in north Austin last November/December were caused by the same kind of "complaint".
As for this poker player, I've packed up my wagon and taken it north where I can play poker legally!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dancing with the Queen of Hearts

Just in time for Valentine's Day.
Help! She didn't know what to do. They've been going out for months. They get along so well. He is smart, resourceful, driven. Could he be the one? I don't know. He worries me. Some times he answer his phone. He won't call me when he is suppose to. When I go over to his place, he is always distracted. He spends all of his time playing poker. What should she do?
Write to Ellie. She will have the answer.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Please buy my house

January turned out to be an ugly month for me in poker. I was only able to log 6 live sessions in a busy month of travel. But it appears to be my good fortune that the number of times I played was low since I ended up 0 for 6 in the month The good news is that the average loss was small enough that one good win will overcome the string of loses. Of course, that is what all gamblers tell themselves’, isn’t it?

After so many loses though, I have put myself on the rail temporarily while I try and figure out what the hell the problem is. I know I have leaks in my game, doesn’t everyone to some degree? Of course, some of my leaks are deliberate and can occasionally let me stumble into some monster hands….well, rather, monster pots. A little bit of gamble with a mediocre hand in the right position and it can turn into a juggernaut of a hand….but I digress. Right now, there is something that is killing my game, and it isn’t my known leaks.

After a bit of soul searching, data crunching, and analytical view of my stats for the last couple of months, the problem has become blatantly clear to me.

I need you to buy my house.

Well, that actually isn’t the problem. But it would help fix the problem. The problem is: I’m playing with scared money. Since I am currently paying two mortgages while I wait on my house in Texas to sell, you might make a logical conclusion that my cash flow is a bit strapped at the moment. Factor in that I haven’t booked a winning session in a while, and you have the recipe for my problem.

All of this is true, and while it is certainly a valid argument I have to tell you, that isn’t why my play of late has been with “scared money”. No the reason is because my money is currently in Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo does not operate in Illinois. They are in Wisconsin and Iowa, but not Illinois. And while I can access it at any ATM (for a fee), I am now limited to my daily ATM withdraw limit. I intend to sever all ties with Wells Fargo and move my money to a bank I can use locally, but I haven’t done that yet, and frankly, it is killing my game.

Guess what happens to you when you come to the game with $400 in your pocket with no ability to get more and the average stack on the table is over $500?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Austin Home Game Raided

Sunday February 2nd, 2007.* It was a 3 table $40 buy-in tournament held at a private home in north Austin. The tournament started at 6pm and there were 3 full tables. At about 6:30 a loud knock was heard at the door. One of the tournament players said, “That sounds like a knock of a cop.” Sure enough, the house was soon filled with 10-12 uniformed Austin Police Officers.

Eye witnesses say that they did not draw their weapons. An anonymous witness tells me that they took everyone’s picture, identified them, questioned them, and then made them leave. My witness heard another player ask one of the officers, “What is going to happen now?” The officer told him that they may be charged with class “C” misdemeanor gambling and receive a ticket. Asked if anything else, and the officer told him no. One officer mentioned that they were there because a neighbor had complained. But then another officer was asking a lot of questions like, “What is the rake?” and “Where is the dealer named “XXX”. This would lead you to believe that even if this was started over a complaint of a neighbor, the police knew more than they were telling. When the witness left the premises, it was noted that there was a paddy wagon type of police vehicle outside and it was believed they were going to confiscate all of the poker related equipment. No arrests were noted, or tickets at the time of the raid or at least by the time this particular witness left the scene.

This comes somewhat on the heels of a couple of home games in Austin being “broken up” for lack of a better term. A small 1/2 NLHE game held in north Austin was robbed in November. The host called the police and when they arrived, they basically confiscated all of the poker equipment. Two other games which were played in two different north Austin apartment complexes were ‘visited” by uniformed Austin Police Officers in October/November, broken up, and evicted from their respective apartment complexes. The games presumably moved to different locations. Pokerati reports a game in Houston being raided only days ago. And of course several games were raided in the Dallas area over the last couple of months.

Is there a state wide crackdown on poker games going on?
*Correction: Sunday February 11th, 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

He won it fair and square

The Children's Oncology Services were the benefactors of a recent charity poker tournament in Chicago. The winner received an all expense paid trip and $10,000 buyin seat to the Foxwoods Poker Classic Tournament in April. The event was organized by the Majestic Star Casino and held at a local arts center. What a stroke of good fortune for the winner! Since he is banded from stepping foot into a casino in Illinois. Read HERE.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hershey's to sponsor WSOP this year

Hershey's the most recognized name in America for chocolate bars has partnered up with Harrah's to sponsor the WSOP in 2007. Apparently, Hershey will be printing WSOP labels for their chocolate bars and giving away 2 seats this year to the main event. Go HERE to read more.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

PokerTek gets slapped with Law suit reports that a suit has been filed against Pokertek Inc. , the manufacturer of automated poker tables. The suit claims that Pokertek, Inc. failed to compensate Tellis (a Texas software company) for developing the software for their table.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lucky You - Movie. Are you gonna see it?

I deleted my first post because I hadn't realized this movie hasn't been released. It is due to release on May 4. Are you going to see it?

Will it become the next Rounders?

Charity Poker event at Sundance Film Festival

Reporter Richard Roeper Chicago Sun-Times Columnist talks about attending the Sundance Film Festival and one of his highlights is playing poker in the tournament sponsored by, an on line poker site.

"Last Sunday afternoon, I played in a charity poker tournament in a mansion tucked into the mountains. After watching the Bears manhandle the Saints on the flat-screen TVs, I bluffed Todd Brunson out of a pot. Behind me, a woman survived an all-in with 2007 World Series of Poker runner-up Paul Wasicka, as "That '70s Show" star Danny Masterson looked on. At the next table, Lance Bass was facing off in a hand against WSOP champion Jamie Gold.

Some of the best Sundance moments have nothing to do with the movies. "

The next Texas Hold'em?

After living in Texas where sometimes you see and hear things that make you scratch your head, I am comforted in the fact the same is true in the Midwest. Granted, not as often, but it's nice to see it is everywhere.

I refer to the article "This game is no child's play" published in The Courier News, a member of the Sun-Times News Group (“STNG”)serving 120 communities across Chicago.(

In the article the writer refers to a popular game in the midwest called Cornhole as "The next Texas Hold'em". Wow. Have you ever heard of the game Cornhole? Ok, I can tell you I never heard of the game cornhole until a friend of ours started a business to manufacture and sell them on the internet. The game is basically trowing bags full of corn kernels at a board with a hole in it. In Texas they play a game very similar called Washers or sometimes called Texas Horseshoes. You guessed it, they throw big washers across the yard at a board with holes in it. Guess what? I hadn't heard of that game prior to moving to Texas and I'll bet many of you reading probably have never heard of it before.

I am just wondering if "the next Texas Holdem" will ever catch on like the first one. I just can't wait to be able to watch the tournaments on ESPN while I am playing at my next Texas Holdem Game.

Felony poker playing in Washington State might change

If you are playing online poker right now in Washington State, you are committing a Class C Felony. That's on the same level of crime as child pornograpy.

Hopefully, HB1243 will change that.

HB1243 was referred to committee in the Washington State Legislature January 15th, 2007. The bill can be read here.
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Strow, the bill would essentially allow you to provide an affirmative defense to procecution if you get busted, when you were playing in your primary residence for your own entertainment. It doesn't prevent you from getting busted in the first place, though.

Representative Strow says, “Most certainly choosing to gamble, or play a game of skill such as poker, should not have been made a crime equivalent to possessing child pornography or threatening the Governor.”

Strow goes on to say in this press release from the Washington State House of Representatives, “While I have requested a hearing on the bill, people need to call and write the chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Representative Steve Conway, and ask him to schedule a hearing for House Bill 1243,” said Strow. Rep. Conway can be reached at (360) 786-7906 or

When I lived in Washington, there wasn't any such thing as internet poker. I remember having to drive a good bit to play. I kind of miss that State. It was a great place to live...of course, if I did, I'd probably be a felon now. =)

Skill? Chance? Virgin Poker says let's find out.

I wonder how they prove the person doesn't know how to play.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Poker Game Leads to Double Homicide - Lee County FL

Eight is Enough

When is enough, ENOUGH?

An interesting line of thinking came back to me the other day after having played in a 2/5 NLHE ring game at Potawatami Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. During the course of the game there was a player who played with us and was making sure we knew that he had only been playing for 3 months. 99% of which was online.

First off. When a guy sits down at the table and tells me that - I first think….angle shooter. I guess that’s cause I’ve seen so many of them. But after watching him for a bit, it became rather apparent that his statement was indeed true. He wasn’t acting when he didn’t know it was his turn to act.

He called down some hands with …what?!? 7 high??? Did you see that? He called that guy in seat two who has played 3 hands in 2 hours - AA, KK, and KK - when he went all in! With 7 high?!? Please poker gods!! Give me a hand that I can gut him with!

It never came. I had to sit there in agony as player after player gutted him for his stack. “Players Checks!” The good thing about this tournament….unlimited rebuys!

This guy was paying like a broken slot machine. He’d run out of money and he’d say, “I’ll be back”. $400, $200, $300, $250, $200, $200. He finally said he had to go. He said he wasn't happy that he had lost, but that he learned a lot and was still ahead overall. He said next time, he would bring more money. (Here's my cell phone me when you want to play again.)

After he left, one guy says, “Man, I was feeling bad for the guy. He didn’t know what he was doing. I was hoping he wasn’t going to come back.” Wow. REALLY? I must be missing something.

So after pondering this story, I ask; When is enough, enough?

The question is on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.

When have you lost enough? (Session, week, month, year?)
When has your opponent contributed enough? (or can he?)
When have you won enough? (session, day, week, month, year? To move up to?)
When have you played enough? (hours, days)
When have you sucked out enough? (can you?)
When have you learned enough? (to move up to the next level?)

Ever really thought about these? I haven’t in a while. I think I need to revisit some of them.

Upon Further Review™

New Poker related Product coming to an airport near you. UPON FURTHER REVIEW™ The new privacy product for your laptop. Play poker at the airport without revealing what you are doing to those around you! Essential when traveling through Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and Spokane (GEG)!

So I am sitting at Logan International Airport waiting for my departure to Chicago. I've been here all week for business and had planned on getting away a bit early yesterday so I could slide on down and play at Foxwoods. Unfortunately, the combination of getting out of work late, snow fall, a 2.5 hour drive each way to get there, oh and having to ensure I made it to my early morning flight on time was just enough reasons to forego the ride down.

So what does any poker player do when he has a lap top...has an internet sitting in the boarding area with an hour and a half to kill?

I sit down to play Full Tilt and low and behold I get involved in a hand with a double gutter/flush draw and some guy is lead betting top pair on the flop....with an all-in move in first position. Of course I just have to call his last $34.00. The turn brought my straight and the river brought my flush. I think to myself...sucker...and then I hear a little cheer from behind me. (OK, maybe it was just a groan, but it clearly was in response to the outcome of the hand.) It seems that I had attracted a little crowd who was sweating my play.

Well if you have ever played with me, you will know that I just HATE someone sweating me. Call it superstition; call it insecurity; call it trying to keep my play a mystery; what ever you want to call it...I call it annoying. Not only does it make me feel like my every move is being scrutinized, it also let's people get poker lessons for free.

The next thing I know, this guy is telling his collegue that he wouldn't have played it that way, that I was a typical internet player who gets rewared for bad play. Huh? I'm not quite sure how I could have played it any differently other than to fold. And if I had done that, I wouldn't have learned how inexperienced you are. You can play with me anytime.......

But now I had to move, because I wasn't giving this guy anymore free lessons. Funny thing is, I kind of think he would not have learned anything from me as it was....since he clearly didn't get the concept of how the game works. Or is it I have a warped sense of how to play...maybe that's it.

Let's check the replay.....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Alien vs Predator Poker

Wonder what they would do if they took a bad beat.

News Clip on Jacksonville Poker Game Bust (1/15/07)

Robbery of poker game leads to game being busted.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Why did you raise so much? Donkey.

I was recently playing in a 2/5 NLHE game. The table was fairly tight until we accomodated 11 players when we squeezed in 2 Asian kids who were known to give lots of action. Up until this point in the game, a $25 pot was a large pot. After about 20 mins, the game began to loosen up, and it was becomming the kind of game in which my style of play works best.

One of these players was in early postion and raised preflop to $15. There were 4 callers in front of me and so when the action came to me, I found As9h in my hand and smoothed called. Two more called behind me.

The flop came 10s. 8s. 7s. The initial raiser led bet with $51. Two players reluctantly called and 2 dropped out. Having the A high flush draw and open end straight, I decided to narrow the field as the original better only had another $80 in front of him - so I raised the pot to $250.
The two players behind me quickly dropped and the initial raiser called all in with his $80. The two remaining players in between us each folded, albeit reluctantly. It was now heads up and I was guaranteed to see the next two cards without putting in anymore money.

The player turned over Js7h - having the NUT flush draw and bottom pair. He was currently ahead but by my calculations, I was a favorite to win the hand. Unfortunately, I didn't hit and the younger player more than doubled at my expense.

It was then after the hand was over that an older gentleman immediately in front of me who was in to see the flop said, "Why did you raise so much? Weren't you afraid of getting called?"
I said, "He only had $80 more to call with."
To which he replied, "yeah, so why raise it so much? There were people behind you."
To which I said, "yeah, and they only had $15 committed to the pot."
To which he replied, " not the guys who already called the $51."
To which I replied, "you said behind me, not in front, sir. "
To which he said, "You weren't afraid of them calling?"
To which I just said, "No".
He then went on to mumble something like about being a moron, who didn't know I was beat and was just throwing away money.

Yes, that's it...I was throwing away money. Or could it be that he doesn't understand how to play NLHE? NO, couldn't be that....I must just be a big DONKEY.

What do you think?

Illegal Casino Raided In North Carolina

Poker Tournament Robbed in Pittsburgh

Poker Game Robbed in San Marcos, Texas

Police Raid Poker Game In Gainsville, GA

Denver Poker Bust

Chicago - my kind of town

It's been a while since I've put anything here. I wonder if any of you even come here anymore. No matter. I never really cared who read or didn't read this blog anyways. Although I know of at least on person who would email me regulary to tell me to update. But even he has stopped emailing me as my blog wasn't updated for months. I guess I never wanted this thing to be a chore, but rather an outlet for the creative side of my brain. Not that I was very creative here, but it did allow me to throw some thoughts on paper so to speak.

At any rate, alot of changes have happened in my world since I last posted. I've accepted a transfer within the company I work for and have moved from Texas to Illinois. I will miss Austin for a few reasons, although the one that tops the list is I will miss all of the friends and poker players I have made and played with in my time in that town.

I now reside in the very far northwest suburbs of Chicago. In fact, we are so far out, I sometimes wonder if saying we live in Chicagoland is even accurate. I'm not sure what the official radius of Chicagoland incorporates, but I would have to think we are either outside it or right on the edge.

In my short time here, I believe I already have a fair picture of the poker scene here. There are casinos all over the place, but not all offer live poker. Within about a 2-3 hour drive there must be 8 or 9 casinos, some of them are indian, some are not. Of course the closest one to me doesn't offer live poker...go figure. But within a 2 hour drive there are 2 casinos that do. The shortest drive would be to Potawatimi Casino which is actually in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The only casino in Northern Illinois that has poker is Hollywood Casino in Aurora, but it is a small room of 6 tables and about a two hour drive for me. Probably the best casinos for poker action are in Indiana: Resorts (formerly Harrahs, formerly Showboat) and Majestic Star and Majestic Star II. However, these could be anywhere from 3-4 hour drive for me depending on traffic in and around Chicago.

There is also Rockford Charity Games, which is a traveling casino night for various charities. I've been to several of these and they offer lots of action, both tournament and cash games. This is a great way for charities to raise funds and allow poker players to play poker. They are usually held in the northwest suburbs of Chicago or in and around Rockford. They tend to be the closest organized games for me to go to.

Lastly there are home games. Home games here seem to be a tad different than in Texas, but fundamentally the same. I've been to 4 different locales since I have been here, and all of them leave something to be desired. There are loads more, but I seem to be having a hard time finding any way out here where we live. The closest I have found is about 15 miles from me, which isn't a bad drive at all, but it is on a night that I can't always play.

I haven't found a single home game that has any kind of security. But I guess not enough games here have been robbed to necessitate game runners from instituting it. Besides, if you want security, I guess you can just go to a casino. And there is always the unlikely chance that a home game will get raided too. Of course, I am told no one can remember a home game getting busted here in many years.


Just this week, a home game was busted in Loves Park, Illinois (west of Chicago outside the city of Rockford). I don't know much about the game or who ran it, I've never played there. Of course "home game" is a bit of a misnomer here as I believe this game was operating on commerical property. Players tell me that the police took all of the poker items - tables, chips, etc. - and all of the cash....including whatever players had in their wallets and pockets at the time of the raid. (I wonder if all of the money actually made it into evidence. ) Some players believe another game turned this game in...eliminating competition. I can't say for sure, I don't really know, so your guess is as good as mine, but it does sound likely. The incident hasn't gained any press but you can be sure it is talked about quite a bit in poker circles.

It seems to me, that we will be reading and hearing about more and more busts as time goes on, since poker has become so popular. I also expect to hear about more robberies as would be robbers find poker games to be an easy target.