Friday, May 13, 2005

Good Hand/Lesson Learned

I sat down at an Omaha $1/$2 H/L table last night at AP. I only need a few points to knock out another $10 in bonus so I thought I would sit for a bit and clear it.

I sat with the minimum $20 thinking I would fold a few hands, get the bonus and go to bed. 70 hands later I have $1.88 left. So I decide to blow that and grumble off to bed $20 lighter and still short of bonus. I work myself back to ~$9 when this happens (Talk about BB Special!)

STAGE #124156438: OMAHA HI/LO NORMAL $1/$2 [ 2005-05-13 00:02:33 ]

Hero - Pocket [Qd,9h,2c,5c]
UTG+1 - Calls $1
MP - Checks
SB - Calls $0.50
Hero (BB) - Checks
*** FLOP [4c,7c,Ah] ***
SB - Checks
Hero - Checks (Not the best low or flush draw)
UTG+1 - Checks
MP - Checks
*** TURN [4c,7c,Ah,6c] ***
SB - Checks
Hero - Bets $2
UTG+1 - Raises $2 to $4
SB - Folds
Hero - Calls $2 (Worried I am getting quartered now and my flush is weak)
MP - Calls $2
*** RIVER [4c,7c,Ah,6c,3c] ***
Hero - Bets $2 (I officially have no worries now )
UTG+1 - Calls $2
MP - Raises $2 to $4
Hero - All-In $1.82
UTG+1 - Calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
UTG+1 - Show cards [7d,9c,Kc,9d]
Hero - Show cards [Qd,9h,2c,5c]
MP - Show cards [Kd,8c,5d,8h]
*** RESULT ***
Total Pot($27.82:$27.46,$0.36) Rake ($1.25)
Board [4c,7c,Ah,6c,3c]

Hero - Total ($26.21) All-In HI - ($13.11)Straight flush, six [Qd,9h,2c,5c - B:6c,P:5c,B:4c,B:3c,P:2c] Lo - ($13.10) [B:Ah,P:2c,B:3c,B:4c,P:5c]

UTG+1 - Total ($0.18) HI:Straight, four to eight [Kd,8c,5d,8h - P:8h,B:7c,B:6c,P:5d,B:4c] LO - ($0.18) [B:Ah,B:3c,B:4c,P:5d,P:8c]

MP - Total ($0.18) HI - ($0.18)Flush, king high [7d,9c,Kc,9d - P:Kc,P:9c,B:7c,B:6c,B:4c]

Just wanted to clear bonus and went from $20 - $1.88 - $45.15 when I finally finished. (Including bonus)

I am very happy with the recovery but would like to point out an error in retrospect. It was late when I sat at the table and to be honest, I sat down for all the wrong reasons. To play to clear a few hands for bonus did not put me in an "A" game frame of mind. Then I sat with the minimum $20. Again, I had the wrong motive and wasn't set up to take advantage of any situations. After a few misses and some unbelievable suck outs, I was down to $1.88. I went into BB and incredibly enough, it was folded around.

Forgetting about the results, this is where I made the biggest error of the night. I should have quit or reloaded. The reality of it is...I should have quit. I was tired and frustrated with the cards I was getting beat with and to top it off I wasn't going to get to the hands I needed to clear the next $10 bonus.

I’m not trying to be over critical but I reviewed the session in the new Poker Tracker Omaha while I was getting this hand to post and found out that the run from $1.88 - $35.15 (without bonus) COST me about 12 bb's. That’s $24 more I could have had if I would have reloaded and been able to fully bet the hands I had. That’s almost double what I came out of this with.

I only point this out to show that having a proper buy in at all times is important. Now I don't think you need to top off like in NL when having the max buy in available really counts but keep and eye on your buy in even in the limit games and keep enough at hand to fully take advantage of every situation.

Till Next Time!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A "Telling" Hand

I pay attention to internet tells. The more I play with a player the more credence I give them. There is a lot of information out there on internet tells. With that you hear some players blow off the idea that you can use them because of all the information you can find. There is a lot of poker books out there also, doesn’t mean people read them.

I like to pace my bets, checks or raises. I use the same pace each time (or try to) no matter the situation. It doesn’t take long at a table to see who has a bad connection and who pauses before a check or bet. It’s a small edge if you pay attention and in this game every edge counts.

What brought this up was I was at a table today that was pretty loose/passive. I limped in MP with A8s and was raised by CO. 3 saw a flop that was ten high and gave me a backdoor straight and flush draw along with over card. It was checked to raiser who bet. BB folded and I called. The turn was an ace and I checked. I was prepared to check/call it down and see if my ace would hold up when there was a pause by the raiser. This was out of the norm and then he finally bet. I raised and he called. I bet the blank river and he folded. I knew my ace was good when he paused. It had been a lack luster session and that hand was the difference between being up a few bb’s and down a few bb’s.

You have to know a little about your opponent before these tells will work. I like to use them if they represent a play out of the ordinary pattern of betting. Like above when I was sure the ace scared him with the pause and it wasn’t a connection problem. There is a list of some of the tells here.

To me, every little bit of information helps and knowing these tells and being able to apply them is just more ammunition. Again though I caution you not to apply them to every player in every situation because the connection speed and site software has a lot to do with delays in betting. I do lean on them with more conviction though if it is out of the normal betting pattern of a player.

Hope they help.

Till next time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Not just another day

Not just another day today. Nope, today is special. It used to be a day of weeks or even months build up of anticipation surrounding it. It used to be a day that took a year to get to but only seconds to come and go. Now it seems like they are coming way to fast.

Today is my Birthday. Today I am 38.

All I can say is that I have enjoyed the ride so far and can not wait for the rest to unfold.


Like Mr. HalversonI have also kept looking for the article about the WPT creator Steve Lipscomb and it is finally postedonline.

Mean Gene thinks we bloggers are missing a golden opportnity for some exposure and should back Jay Lovinger of ESPN fame in his quest for the WSOP.


I have been on a steady roll lately on the poker front and have increased my roll to a very healthy state along with paying my half of the monthly bills. Lacking a full PLO8 table as of late I have sat at the $1/$2 O8 tables. I am just learning this game and was worried I would be donating more than winning but decided I would have to pay my dues to start getting better sometime.

I found out a few things. The bonus clears at incredible rates at PLO8 and though I do not consider myself a shark yet, I found out I am one of those fish that eat other fish. I was updating my freeroll calendar at Absolute Poker the other day and noticed a full table (only table) of O8 going. It was $1/$2 and a seat was open. I sat and used the Hutchinson System to evaluate starting hands and before a hour was up I had doubled my by in and cleared a part of the bonus. The table started to break up and I left soon after. I believe the double up was just good cards but was very pleased with the bonus clearing rate it produced. With so many people limping, 90% of all hands met rake requirement pre flop. By the time the hand was over, very few didn't meet rake requirement at all. I decided to look and see if there was a table going later. There was a few going that night, I sat and though I didn't double this time, I did increase my by in 50% and cleared another $10 of bonus.

I am going to continue to play these O8 limit tables this week and see where I stand. Might as well download the Omaha Poker Tracker and start gathering information so someone smarter than I can write a guide and teach me how to use it. Maybe AL and Mean Gene can write one. It was their posts that got me into this to start with.

Till Next Time!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What Went Wrong?

Bonus whoring has come under fire lately. Last month or so Ultimate Bet canceled some bonuses for players that the deemed were taking advantage. Now Empire, if some of the reports are correct, are canceling the accounts of what they deem are players that only play for their bonus.

So what went wrong with this marketing scheme? Here’s what I think:

Company A

Head of Company: “We need more players!”
Marketer 1: “How about we offer a bonus to people who sign up with us!”
Accountant: “Well, it is possible that we could lose money but if they stay and play with us forever, we could make millions”
Head of Company: “Millions!”
Marketer 2: “What happens when they go broke?”
Marketer 1: “We can offer periodic re-loads to ensure they keep playing”
Marketer 3: “Brilliant!” (Boss’s son)
Accountant: “Maybe 10’s of millions”
Head of Company: “Make it so!”

Company B

Head of Company: “We need more players!”
Marketer 1: “See what they are doing over at Company A?”
Head of Company: “Copy that!”

Company C

Head of Company: “We need more players!”
Marketer 1: “See what they are doing over at Company A and B?”
Head of Company: “Copy that!”

This cycle continues until they only thing left is bigger and bigger bonuses. Then one day they all remember what the accountant said:
“Well, it is possible that we could lose money but if they stay and play with us forever, we could make millions.”
Wait, as a player, no need to stay and play. There are so many more bonuses out there, lets just go to the next one.

So now a dilemma: Can’t stop giving bonuses because everyone is doing it. Can’t just give them out to whom we want (that’s what they are trying to do) because players might go elsewhere to play (which is what you should do). So what should they do?

First off dear reader you must understand that this is not about loyalty to the site. If they could come up with a bonus that made them money, they would care less if you came and went. This is about profit. So I offer everyone my simple solution.

X% bonus up to $X to everyone. (20% up to $100)
X% bonus up to $X to players with X amount raked hands in prior month. (50% up to $200 for 1000 raked hands played the prior month)

Now the bonus whores can do their thing and it can't be that bad a lost to the sites for this to happen and the sites feign like they are rewarding loyalty and actually give something worthwhile to those that do stay and play.

Now that all is right with the world again, I’m going to play some poker.

Till Next Time!