In hold’em, when you suspect an opponent might be bluffing, what’s the lowest hand with which you can call? In the big blind against a suspected blind steal, it may not be as much as you think.
In a $20-$40 hold’em game in Las Vegas recently, I was in the big blind. An extremely aggressive player sat two seats to my right. Everyone around the table folded to the aggressive player on the button, who made the expected raise to $40. The small blind folded. The next decision was up to me.
Much has been written about what it takes to call (or raise with) in this spot. When facing a suspected blind steal, it’s sometimes necessary to defend your blind, albeit selectively — or you’ll be identified as an easy target and get run over by aggressive players. Something told me the player raising my big blind didn’t really have much of a hand. In fact, the way that he thrust his chips forcefully into the pot convinced me that I wouldn’t need much of a hand to outplay him after the flop. I called.
The flop came rags, 8c 5h 3d. Although I didn’t have a pair, I considered tokyoslot88 betting-out and going for a steal. But I still wasn’t convinced that my opponent didn’t have a real hand. Before I could rap the table signaling my intent to check, the aggressive player reached quickly for his chips. From the way that he seemed to be so eager to bet, I was becoming increasingly more confident in what my first instinct had told me — that he was bluffing.
Then and there, I made a decision based purely on instinct. Barring unforeseen developments, I was going to play my hand all the way to the river. It appeared my opponent was aggressive enough to blast away at the pot all the way to the end in a desperate attempt to recover what he already had invested. If my assessment was correct, I didn’t want him going anywhere. Indeed, I wanted him to continue bluffing, with me hemming and hawing, playing the role of the hayseed tourist as though I was contemplating seriously whether or not to call his bet.
The turn paired the board. This presented some wonderful options for me. In standard game situations, when the board pairs, a bet or check-raise can be a very powerful play (even without three of a kind). However, I suspected my opponent was simply going to continue shoveling his money into the pot, which I would gratuitously accept — if my presumptions proved to be correct. He bet and I called.
The river was a blank.
I checked again, and sat completely still. I didn’t want to give my opponent any indication that I was fully prepared to call. Again, I wanted him to bet. Many players in this spot who are head-up against an opponent who is smooth-calling all the way to the river simply will check behind and reveal a hand. A bet, especially a forceful one coming from a very aggressive player, just screams, “I’m bluffing!” It’s the final act of desperation. The player bet and I called.
“I missed,” the player sadly announced as he turned up Q-10.
Suddenly, I felt like a proud peacock, swelling with pride. “King high,” I said, revealing K-9, which seemed to be a stunningly weak hand with which to be calling in a muscle game like $20-$40 hold’em. The other players at the table were in disbelief. The modest-sized pot was pushed to me. More important than the money won was the table image that I had established for the remainder of the session. The success of my bizarre play accomplished two things: First, the aggressive player on my right now would be neutralized and no longer would threaten to steal my blinds. Second, I had telegraphed mixed messages to the other players — that I was either a complete baffling idiot or a very solid player who shouldn’t be messed with, which — although contradictory — isn’t a bad image to have at any poker table.
Of course, my instincts just as easily could have been incorrect. Critics may even suggest that I was lucky. My decision to call down a pure bluff with K-9 would have been atrocious had I guessed wrong and the player shown me a real hand. Worse, he could have shown me a weak hand (such as a small pair or ace high), and I would have been forced to concede the pot and face embarrassment.
My blind defense raised interesting questions. Afterwards, I was eager to discover the long-term value (if any) of calling suspected steal attempts with relatively weak hands, based purely on mathematical principles. In other words, with how LOW a hand could I have called with in the previous scenario to ensure positive expectation? Could I have called my opponent down with any king high? What about a hand such as Q-J? Or, Q-2? What about J-10? As you are about to discover, hands that are playable in this spot (under the previous assumption, that the opponent is bluffing) may be surprising.
The following examples assume two things: (1) You are playing against a very aggressive opponent, and (2) The player must be capable of raising initially and running a bluff with any two cards. Otherwise, none of this applies. These conclusions do not apply when facing typical players, so-called “tourists,” or tight players. The recommendations apply only when playing against semi-sophisticated players and maniacs who are aggressive enough to consistently blast away at the pot. Since a fair number of middle-limit hold’em games around the country are comprised of players fitting this description precisely, the following recommendations are hardly inconsequential. In fact, calling down a suspected blind steal may be quite profitable if certain guidelines are examined carefully and selectively applied.
I consulted with J.P. Massar, who made the final table at the 1999 Tournament of Champions and has won and placed high in a number major events. Massar has as solid math credentials as any poker player I know. Massar noted that the calling requirements on the turn are stricter than those on the river (which is no surprise, since you will have to call two big bets to get a showdown). Therefore, Massar had to construct his examples in terms of calling on the turn, assuming a call on the river, instead of just in terms of a call on the river. Given the anecdote above, Massar reached some interesting conclusions:
The effective odds of calling a bet on the turn (assuming that my opponent will bet and I will call on the river 100 percent of the time) are $80 to win what’s in the pot now — which is $170, plus my opponent’s bet on the river of $40, or $210 total. The math says that one needs to win at least 28 percent of the time at the showdown to make a profit.
Suppose that the board on the turn is 8-5-3-5 (rainbow). Computer analysis shows that J-9 is enough of a hand to win at least 28 percent of the time!
Instead, suppose that the board on the turn is Q-8-7-3 (rainbow). Now, analysis shows that K-2 (that is, any king high) is good enough.
Suppose that my opponent is not a total maniac and will raise only initially with the best 70 percent of his hands instead of every single one. How does this affect the quality of hand that you need to make the call? In the 8-5-3-5 example, one needs a Q-7 (as opposed to J-9) to call him down. In the later Q-8-7-3 example, a K-9 (as opposed to any K) is good enough.
Note once again that these results are valid only when using the assumptions listed above. Furthermore, any particular board may present flush possibilities; the examples above use boards with no flushes possible on the river. If flushes are possible and you cannot make a flush, the quality of hand with which you need to call down will go up. Also, there are hands such as low straight draws with which it would be correct to call the turn but not the river if you miss.
Finally, I don’t claim that calling down with hands at least as good as the threshold hands given above is always the most profitable play, only that it is “profitable.” Betting or check-raising the turn or the river with some of the hands might turn out to be a better play than simply check-calling.
When it comes to giving or taking poker advice, every situation is unique. There is certainly no such thing as a situation in which it is 100 percent correct to make a “blind defense.” In most cases, when the bet is raised before the flop, it’s proper to give up the blind and wait for a better opportunity later, since you are placing money at risk and will be out of position throughout the hand.
But as you can see from my K-9 story, and probably from your own playing experience, you should be able to recognize the signs of a blind steal. It’s easy to run a bluff. It takes quite a bit more sophistication to call down a bluff and make the correct decision, based on good instincts combined with sound mathematical principles.
Many casino games can be traced to antiquity; still others are associated with specific historical moments in time and place. Today’s casino game of Keno is one such, with its roots in Chinese prehistory and history, as well as having a specific historical significance for Americans. In China, a game very similar to Keno has been played for several thousand years—by emperors, warlords, merchants and peasants—even communists have been known to try to make some capital from picking “the numbers” although such activities are frowned upon by the party bosses (known in Chinese as party poopers). The name of the Chinese game was/is Kino.
In the 1800’s, when the American west was being conquered and then connected to civilization, and the railroads were being built, cheap labor was imported from China, and with it was also imported the game of Kino. It was so popular with the Chinese laborers that soon enterprising Americans, seeing the incredible profits that could accrue from winning said laborers hard-earned pay, took over the game, changed its name to Keno, and set up “Keno parlors” throughout the west. Keno was known as the “Chinese Lottery,” and like any lottery it was a boon to its owners and a bane to its players. At one time just about every town in the west had its Keno parlor.
Still, for those of you who enjoy playing lotteries, or local charity chance books, or if numbers are your thing, the casino game of Keno might hold some interest for you. It is indeed the equivalent of a lottery but much faster! You don’t have to wait a few days for the results, just a few minutes. Of course, like the lottery, Keno comes in with very high edges for the house—25 percent, more or less, depending on the casino where the UFA game is being played and the type of wagers being pursued.
The players’ tickets are numbered one through eighty. You can choose to play between one and twenty numbers on a given ticket. The numbers to be played are “X’ed” out in crayon (back to childhood we go!). To win a multi-number bet, you often don’t have to select all the numbers, just some of them. Here are some of the most popular betting options at Keno:
Types of Bets at Keno
- Straight Ticket: A player can mark one, two, or more numbers on a ticket.
- Split Ticket: Player can bet on two or more groups of numbers on a single ticket by circling the groups to be played.
- Way Ticket: Combining several groups of numbers on the same ticket.
- Combination Ticket: The player selects two or more groups of numbers and indicates how the groups are to be combined to form many tickets within one ticket.
- King Ticket: One number is selected to be used with all the other groups that have been indicated.
- Multi Race Ticket: This is a ticket that indicates that it will be played for two or more sessions in a row.
Sometimes I receive mailings from individuals who are selling systems to beat Keno. They claim that they have found patterns to the numbers that can be exploited by their “super-seven Keno buster” or their “Keno pyramid” method or their “ping-pong power play.” The costs of these systems are—to say the least—exorbitant. The claims of the systems are—to be frank—bogus. Is there a magical system for beating Keno? Sorry, no. The system sellers are scamming us. The Keno numbers are selected randomly, either by air-driven ping-pong balls (just like many state lotteries) or by computer. The fact that some numbers may have hit several times and other numbers may not have shown their faces for quite awhile is no indication that a number will continue to hit or is due to hit. Picking numbers is sheer guesswork.
So why play Keno? First, it offers a relaxing atmosphere. Keno lounges are usually pleasantly appointed places, with comfortable chairs. You can drink a cup of coffee, pick your numbers in a leisurely fashion, and not worry about other players telling you what to do or what not to do. Played properly for small stakes, Keno, even with its abominably high house edges, will not drain your gambling bankroll any time soon as it is the snail of casino games.
And like anything in life, there is a better or a worse way to approach a Keno game. Walter Thomason, in his excellent book 109 Ways to Beat the Casinos (Bonus Books, $13.95), gives some great advice when it comes to Keno. “Don’t select more than eight numbers on a straight ticket. The odds of hitting all eight are 230,000 to 1—but the odds of hitting all nine out of nine numbers are 1.3 million to 1! Bet way tickets rather than straight tickets. The odds are the same, but you’ll hit more payoffs.”
The 5-Step Keno Strategy
- Play the minimum amount allowed, which is usually a dollar or two, as the house edge is very big at Keno—25 percent more or less. Luckily the game is slow, maybe one game per 6–10 minutes.
- If you are betting on several numbers, always have them in some kind of small or large sequence as you’ll note how often numbers run in sequence (but the game is still random!). This can be done on “way” tickets as well.
- Use Keno as a break from more adrenaline producing games when you want to stay in the action but you need a little rest from betting serious money.
- Video Keno, while much faster than regular Keno, has much better paybacks—more like your typical slot machine. However, you can play video Keno so fast that the speed makes up for the decrease in the house edge. My advice is to stick with the slow game and relax, have a cup of coffee or read a paper between games.
- Avoid betting the multi-race ticket. Don’t get caught up in Keno mania, the desire to hit your “lucky” numbers. Some people obsess that if they play the same numbers over and over, sooner or later these numbers will hit. They then fear not to play lest their numbers hit when they aren’t on them. To forestall Keno mania, don’t play the same combination of numbers all the time. Mix them up and try, do try, not to remember which numbers you played in previous games. Bet one game at a time only!
Big Denny, as usual, was in a foul mood. “Look at dis joint,” he grumbled, waving his hand at a nearly deserted Barstow Card Casino. “It’s as empty as … as …”
“As empty as the pan section on a Jewish holiday,” I said, helpfully completing his thought.
“Yeah, dat’s right,” Big Denny replied, not really understanding the witticism. “Boy, you sure got a way wit’ words, Maxey. Too bad da best ya kin do wit’ all dat talent is ta write fer peanuts fer dat cheapskate poker magazine.”
“Oh, it’s not all that bad,” I said defensively. “Sometimes we get nice bonuses and stuff.”
“Yeah, like what?” Big Denny asked.
“Well, I once got a swell tee shirt for Christmas.”
Oh, yeah, da one dat said, ‘Advertise in Card Sbobet88 Player.’ Dat Barry Shulman is a real philantropolis. Anyway, dat’s your problem. Mine’s gettin’ more customers into da casino. Kin ya figger out anyt’ing dat might stand improvement here?”
What wouldn’t? I thought to myself. The place hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned, much less redecorated, since the War of 1812. It was a snatch joint, with dealers paid a percentage of whatever they grabbed out of the pots. The cards were marked, the staff were all thuggish ex-cons, and any player who miraculously made a big score was lucky to make it alive to his car.
“Well,” I offered hesitantly, “you might try to improve the buffet a bit.”
Big Denny bristled. “Our Four-Star Buffet? What’s wrong wit’ it?”
“Well, for one thing, admissions to the emergency room went up 50 percent after it opened. For another, the only items I’ve ever seen you offer were meatloaf and mashed potatoes.”
“Oh, yeah? Well, it so happens dat our executive chef, Fingers, was da head cook at San Quentin fer five years, until his parole. Took me a while ta break him of da habit of addin’ saltpeter to da food, though,” Denny grinned. “Hey, lemme introduce ya ta him an’ maybe ya could give him some ideas.”
I was not terribly anxious to meet chef Fingers, but Denny grabbed my arm and hustled me into the kitchen. I staggered back as the aroma of rotting meat, rancid cooking oil, and garbage from an overflowing can washed over me. Rat droppings spattered the floor, and a cockroach the size of a small hamster insolently trotted away from us. On the wall, The Barstow Department of Health had posted a list of about 50 sanitation violations, which, it was obvious, nobody had bothered to read.
“Maxey, shake hands with Fingers Finnegan, our executive chef,” Big Denny told me.
Fingers was even more ape-like than Big Denny, if such a thing were possible. His long hairy arms were covered with tattoos, and his apron was covered with stains. Shaking hands with him was no easy task, either, since he had only two digits on each hand, the result of his ineptitude with a carving knife.
“Maxey says dat yer chow stinks,” Denny announced diplomatically.
Fingers’ eyes narrowed, and I saw his hand inching toward a butcher knife. How do I keep getting into these situations? I asked myself in panic.
“My grub stinks, huh?” Fingers growled menacingly. “Would it be askin’ too much to be a little more specific, punk?”
“I never said any such thing, Mr. Finnegan,” I protested. “I only suggested a bit more variety, to perhaps make the buffet a little less, well, a little less boring.”
“BORING!?” Fingers screamed, as my life flashed before my eyes. “You … you … brute! Oh, my heavens, I’ve never been so humiliated in my entire life,” he sobbed, dabbing at his eyes with his two fingers. “And as for you, Mr. Big Denny, you can just go and find yourself another executive chef!”
With that, Fingers tossed his filthy apron into the soup kettle and stormed out the door.
Big Denny glared at me. “Now ya really done it, Maxey. Ya better find me a new chef by the weekend or else I’m gonna sit on yer head till it hatches.”
Frantically thinking, I remembered that my friend Pierre le Tutu, the French fashion designer, was an avid amateur cook. He had some free time until his next line came out, so I decided to phone him to see if he could fill in for a while.
“Barstow?” le Tutu said suspiciously. “Where is zat?”
“Oh, it’s a very cosmopolitan town,” I assured him. “The folks here would just adore your French cuisine.”
Le Tutu drove up in the morning and spent the next few days assembling exotic ingredients and bustling furiously in the kitchen. “Dis better work,” Denny told me threateningly. “In two days, dat guy spent more on food den I spend in two months.”
Posters had been put up all over Barstow to announce the grand re-opening of Big Denny’s Four-Star Buffet, presided over by the world-famous French chef, Pierre le Tutu. At 6 p.m. the buffet opened, and a crowd of curious, overall-clad farmers shuffled in. At the entrance, le Tutu stood beaming alongside the opening menu he had proudly posted:
“Caramelized breast of guinea hen, stuffed with baby Brussels sprouts, pine nuts, and Belgian truffles, served with a light cream of asparagus dressing and garnished with wild arugula.”
The farmers stared blankly at the menu and gaped at the food as if it had just come from Mars.
“Sorta looks like fried chicken they forgot to bread,” one commented, scratching his head.
“Wouldn’t eat that dang stuff if they paid me,” another declared.
“Where the hell’s the meatloaf?” a third farmer demanded.
As the customers shook their heads and streamed out, an angry Pierre le Tutu began walking toward me from one direction while an even angrier Big Denny came at me from another. I bolted out the door and ran into the parking lot, where Fingers Finnegan, who had been staking me out, joined the chase. Dodging curses, meatloaf, and carmelized breast of guinea hen, I barely made it to my car and took off for the freeway at high speed.
And that, dear readers, marked the end of my stint as a restaurant critic.
The last two decades have witnessed an explosion in the number of poker books available to the aspiring player. This has significantly impacted the way poker is played in today’s casinos and card rooms. However, just because poker has grown like wild over the last several years doesn’t mean that the first poker book was written in 1979. One of these earlier books was A. D. Livingston’s Poker Strategy and Winning Play, written in 1971. This book was reprinted in 1991 as Poker Strategy. So, how does it compare to more recent works?
Overall, most of Livingston’s strategic advice is sound, including the admonition to play tight. Many of the concepts he writes about have been echoed by more contemporary authors, including his belief that bluffs should pay for themselves. That is, that Livingston believes that bluffing just for advertizing is a mistake. On the other hand, it will come as no surprise that some of his notions are very much dated. For example, the high-low split games discussed in this book never require a qualifier for low. Also, it’s amusing to hear Livingston talk about an exciting new form of poker called “Hold Me” played with two cards dealt down and five community cards dealt face up on the table. His advice on strategy for this game isn’t any good by contemporary standards, but even without a great deal of experience in the game, the author realized the importance of kickers, which shows some general understanding of the game in question.
The second section of the book covers mathematics. His introduction to determining event probabilities using combinations is reasonably well explained, but much of Livingston’s calculations aren’t very important in the ป๊อกเด้ง ไฮโล games that are commonly played today. The general focus of the book is not on the games that are typically found in the modern card room, but rather on home games. Therefore, determining the probabilities of events in Cincinnati or Deuces Wild Draw is on topic for the book, even if it won’t seem terribly relevant to most poker players.
The third section of the book is a description of many kinds of poker played in home games, including some brief strategic information about each game. Much of this would be pretty obvious to the veteran poker player, for example, that one should play awfully tight without the ace of spades in the hole if the game is Chicago. At the same time, some of it is insightful. Occasionally, the terminology used in the book may be a little confusing to people used to the vocabulary of contemporary poker literature. When speaking of games with community cards, Livingston refers to every round of betting in which a new card is exposed as a “turn”. As long as the reader is aware of this, it probably won’t be too distracting.
By today’s standards, nothing in Poker Strategy would be considered ground breaking. There are some strategic errors in the text, but at the time it was originally written it probably contained some of the better poker advice available in print. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, no updates have been made to the original printing. Poker Strategy might be useful to those players who either want some pointers on how to improve their chances when someone calls for Baseball in a home game, or if they want to learn about some different and unusual games they might want to play next Friday night. Poker book junkies might find this book an amusing read, but I believe that $15 is a little steep for a book that hasn’t been updated in over 30 years.
Poker Strategy is a reprint of A. D. Livingston’s 1971 book Poker Strategy and Winning Play. While the book shows its age, it does contain some insight, especially when it comes to the wilder varieties of poker often played in home games. There’s nothing fundamental in this book that isn’t repeated more carefully in the contemporary poker literature, but for those who just like to read poker books it can provide some entertainment.…
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With over 26 classic games to choose from, Aspinalls.com offers players the choice of two casinos – London Casino and Caribbean Casino. The emphasis at the London Casino is on high-rolling table games, the maximum bet being $2000 – one of the largest online. The emphasis at the Caribbean Casino is on big jackpot slot machines, the maximum bet being $200.
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Microgaming Comments on Departing Licensees
Microgaming – Microgaming advises that two of its operator groups have ceased using the company’s online casino software.
It is well known that Microgaming imposes very strict regulation on its operators. Microgaming’s service provides continuous upgrades and improvements, PricewaterhouseCoopers reports, and programs allowing the players maximum information, control, and protection of their play. New features incorporated in software about to be launched will enhance these advantages.
Microgaming software also provides some of the highest player jackpots in the online gaming industry.
Microgaming’s Roger Raatgever stated that since Microgaming is the largest supplier of , it is inevitable that the company will lose operators from time to time.
Microgaming is confident that its operators will continue to prosper and grow from the use of its unique software. Microgaming pledges to continue to play its part in providing its operators and players with software and services to ensure entertainment of utmost integrity, security, and pleasure.
Microgaming considers the key to its success to be the continuous development of innovative value added products, and the associated intellectual property. As a matter of general policy therefore, Microgaming also announces a standing reward of up to US$ 500,000 for information leading to the successful prosecution, civil or criminal, of any person or corporate entity that has pirated or unlawfully profited from its intellectual property.…
Tomorrow, I am heading to Sin City, a short four-hour drive across the desert. I’m going to meet a friend and her boyfriend, who make the pilgrimmage from New York every year for the first weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m an avowed slot demo player, having already logged 125 hours of live and online play this year, so I’ll be sure to get over to the Bellagio poker room at some point while I’m there (and maybe to the 6-12 game at the Mirage, if I do well at Bellagio). The rest of the time I’ll just be hopping from sports book to sports book, watching the games.
Having made this trip three times in the last nine months, I can honestly say that “The Fertile Valleys” is starting to lose whatever appeal it once had for me, especially since there are at least five perfectly serviceable card rooms in the Los Angeles area. Vegas trips are becoming more and more about meeting up with friends — mainly New Yorkers — I might not otherwise get to see.
Someone’s got to pay for my gas, though, and it’s certainly not going to be me.
Cats and Visitors Smell
Where do the boundaries of friendship, hospitality and common courtesy intersect?
Tonight I’m hosting what was originally supposed to be two friends from New York, which turned into 3 friends from New York a week ago, which I learned in a phone call four hours ago has increased to 4 friends from New York. Now, I live in a 700sf one-bedroom apartment. Said apartment is furnished with a queen-sized bed, a couch, a little loveseat-ish type thing, and a large wicker chair with foot rest. It is all extremely crappy furniture, but none of it is mine, so I don’t really care. The point is, I am not exactly built for hosting four people.
I suppose one person can sleep on the couch, one person can sleep in the bed with me, one person can sleep on the air mattress I borrowed from my girlfriend’s sister, and one person… gets the wicker chair? Or the floor. Whichever. My poor, flatulent cat is going to have to sleep in the bathroom, because she can’t sleep with me like she normally does and she can’t sleep in the living room, as it will be chock full of scary New Yorkers. (She spooks easily.)
All of this is bearable, I guess. “Couldn’t they have chipped in $30 each and rented a hotel room?” my girlfriend asked me tonight. The answer is yes, of course they could have. But originally, when there were only going to be two people staying here, a hotel room would have been twice as much and it would have been no problem for them to sleep here. Plus, they are my friends, and I am trying to be hospitable.
What’s not bearable is that one of them called me about twenty minutes ago to say that they were just leaving the Bay Area and don’t expect to arrive to my apartment until about 3:30 in the morning. This means that I am either going to have to wait up until 3:30 for them to get here (not likely) or have them wake up me and my flatulent cat (man, she really does stink) at 3:30 in the morning to let them in.
Someone’s going to die if they insist on going to Burbank at 7:30 tomorrow morning to get Jay Leno tickets.…
The Bicycle Casino Stars and Stripes Pragmatic Play Tournament takes place annually at the popular Bicycle Casino card club in Southern California. The Stars and Stripes poker tournaments begin about the third week of June and go through the first week of July.
The poker tournaments generally have guaranteed prize pools of between $10,000 and $50,000. Buy-ins are $100 (plus a $20 entry fee). A variety of poker games are offered including Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud poker, and Omaha poker tournaments.
The Stars and Stripes Poker Tournament is one of over twenty annual poker tournaments hosted by the Bicycle Casino. The Bicycle Casino is a member of the World Poker Tour and the Stars and Stripes tournament is followed by one of the Bicycle Casino’s major poker tournaments of the year, the Legends of Poker.
Erick Lindgren is the World Poker Tour Player of the Year
The World Poker Tour has named Erick Lindgren the WPT Player of the Year. The 27 year old Lindgren, a Las Vegas resident, won two WPT poker tournaments – the Party Poker Million and the Ultimate Poker Classic – and made it to the final table at the Grand Prix de Paris for total prize winnings of $1,560,568.
Lindgren made it to the Party Poker Million championship tournament in March after winning a $162 satellite tournament on Party Poker. He won the tournament championship and took home a million dollars. Lindgren will be easy to spot at the World Poker Tour tournaments this season. He will be the one wearing the WPT Player of the Year jacket, a perk of the position.Matt Matros Finishes Third in World Poker Tour after Entering Party Poker Satellite Tournament
Matt Matros, a 26 year old graduate student in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, finished third in the World Poker Tour Championship, winning $706,903, after entering a $100 poker satellite on Party Poker. He played consistent smart poker against a table of top players, only outlasted by poker pros Martin Deknijff of Sweden and Hassan Habib of California… Matt Matros World Poker Tour
A New Vegas Horseshoe Casino?
Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.’s top executive today said prospects for opening a fourth hotel-casino in Las Vegas using the “Horseshoe” brand look good and that the company is “taking a look at growth prospects for Las Vegas.”
World Poker Tour
The second season of the World Poker Tour culminates Friday, April 23 at Bellagio in Las Vegas when one winner will walk away with $2,728,356, the largest-ever prize paid to the first place finisher in a televised poker tournament or North American sporting event. The World Poker Tour Championship attracted 343 players to Bellagio for a record-smashing $8.6 million prize pool, the highest ever in tournament poker, with the player finishing 50th earning $33,266. The buy-in for the tournament was $25,300, the largest in the sport. Last year’s WPT Championship at Bellagio drew 111 players with victor Alan Goehring taking home a $1,011,886 slice of the more than $2.6 million purse.
Organizer of Televised Poker Tournaments Files for IPO
WPT Enterprises Inc., the organizer of televised poker tournaments, officially filed for an IPO on Thursday. WPT is a subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment Inc. in Minnetonka which currently owns about 80 percent of WPT. In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, WPT said it hopes to raise about $32.2 million by offering 4 million shares at $5 to $7. The money will be used to expand WPT’s activities.…
As I have said many times in the past, if you are going to reseat the players then random is wrong. What is the purpose? So if you are going to reseat them, why not balance the tables?
As BJ has pointed out below, going into today’s Final Three tables the chip counts per table look like this.
Chip Count Per Table
Table 1 … 34,010,000
Table 2 … 24,135,000
Table 3 … 30,101,000
Now you are never going to get a perfect balance when the chipleader has just a monster stack, as Jamie Gold does today. But the Sommerfeld Reseating System helps a lot. Jamie would be at the first table, then the next chip stack is at two, and the third at table three. The order is reverse and chip stack four is at table three, five at two and six at one. Reverse again and keep going. Do that with these final tables and even with the monster chip lead you get more reasonably balanced tables.
Chip Count Per Table
Table 1 … 32,880,000
Table 2 … 27,846,000
Table 3 … 27,520,000
Yes, you could in theory almost completely balance the tables but that would mean putting most or all of the short stacks with the huge chip leader and that would spell disaster for the short stacks and the rest of the field as the Sihoki Slot pounds them into submission. This actually is close to the situation we have today; Jamie Gold is on table #3 in today’s draw, so he has 13M of the 30.1 M at his table and will be blasting away at those short stacks.
Analysis of Chip Counts and Table Draws – Final 3 Tables
Here are the breakdowns, by seating position, of the final 27 players. Poker Shrink gave you the view in chip count order, but this gives us a different perspective.
There were three players with different “official” chip counts released by Harrah’s and CardPlayer.com. Looking at the errors, the most likely scenario is that one person read the chip counts to somebody typing them in, and the typist misheard or transposed a few numbers.
I listed Harrah’s numbers first, with any CP discrepancies noted after the player’s name. Later, in my analysis, you’ll see why I believe the Harrah’s numbers are more likely to be correct.
1 … 3,275,000 … Richard Lee … (CP shows 5,275,000)
2 … 2,650,000 … Allen Cunningham
3 … 3,670,000 … Kevin Aaronson
4 … 2,130,000 … Kevin O’Donnell
5 … 7,735,000 … Erik Friberg
6 … 1,785,000 … Eric Lynch
7 … 3,275,000 … John Magill
8 … 3,765,000 … William Thorsson
9 … 5,725,000 … Michael Binger … (CP shows 5,275,000)
1 … 1,685,000 … Rob Roseman
2 … 1,100,000 … Luke Chung
3 … 6,905,000 … David Einhorn
4 … 5,430,000 … Dan Nassif
5 … 2,265,000 … Leif Force
6 … 1,210,000 … Dustin Holmes
7 … 1,190,000 … Sirous Jamshidi
8 … 3,715,000 … Jeffrey Lisandro … (CP shows 3,750,000)
9 …… 635,000 … Mark Garner
1 … 13,000,000 … Jamie Gold
2 ….. 3,595,000 … Doug Kim
3 ….. 1,700,000 … Lee Kort
4 ….. 6,400,000 … Rhett Butler
5 ….. 1,850,000 … Prahlad Friedman
6 ….. 1,611,000 … Fred Goldberg
7 …….. 675,000 … Siddharth Jain
8 …….. 700,000 … Paul Wasicka
9 …….. 570,000 … Richard Wyrick
For analysis of the chip counts and table draws, click “Continue reading…”…
I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE PARTY YET SO JUST BEAR WITH ME
Let’s just skip to the final table shall we. It’s the main event, the part we all came to see. Actually very few of us came here to play poker, but this is the best of it and it certainly deserves a telling.
10 players remained and 5 were sbobet Palmetto proud (This is a South Carolina expression meaning they’re homeboys). In fact, 40% of the final table was comprised of members of the Smith family. I’ve tried all afternoon to think of any event where a single family has shown so much dominance and the closest I can come up with is the Corleones.
The entire table looked like this :
Wes Nile Virus
Team Scott Smith
The Wolverine (also a Smith)
Uncle Brian (who knocked me out)
Honorary Feature Table bubble and 11th place finisher = Al Can’t Hang
At the start DoubleAs held a massive chip advantage and Daddy was close behind. The Wolverine cut into both stacks with some very crafty plays. Then shortly after Uncle Brian (Stupid pocket Kings) busted out we had the hand of the century….******* For Much Greater Detail on this hand you must read the END of this post a future post [ed’s correction], but here’s the short version:
Only two players, Daddy and The Wolverine see the flop :
The turn is a rag.
The river is a 7.
Daddy bets the river and The Wolverine pushes all in. Daddy says, “You have quads don’t you?” Then he lays down, FOLDS, pocket aces.
The Wolverine shows the hammer, Quad 7s.
Meanwhile, the party was rockin’ outside. Four pretty girls dressed, oddly, as Hooter’s girls arrived. They brought dozens of their closest friends. My buddy Ted and his parents arrived and his mother who has very nice Hooters herself begged me to touch the muscles of her thigh. She’d been working out and, while I was uncomfortable, I hate to be rude.
Eva’d made me another LIT and a coupla carbombs too. I’d started tinkering with SoCo and had a head full of beer. After the previous night, it was easy to get the stupid flowing. Dr. Jeff calls it the “shampoo effect”.
THE SHAMPOO EFFECT
You know how when you lather your hair and then rinse, you get a pretty mild lather of bubbles on the hair.
If you follow the directions and actually REPEAT the process you almost instantly get a full head of giant bubbles. The previous wash made the second one quicker.
Likewise, if you still feel last night’s booze, today’s is coming FAST.
Friends my buzz was moving like my Head and Shoulders and Al Can’t Hang is a lousy conditioner. Therefore, I’m a bit sketchy on the EXACT tournament details but I can tell what I remember. Most of my memories begin at the DRUNK OLYMPICS…
SANS CHEESE BALLS
WHAT I REMEMBER
Pauly beat Wes (The Big Pirate). They chopped the pot and then had one had to determine a champion. It was Pauly.
Within moments the gospel spread and the great game was over. Millions of devout Pauly fans shed tears of joy, millions of pirates returned to their jobs at Capital One. Better still, the DRUNK OLYMPICS were ready to begin.
Otis, Al and I dragged a PA system with two speakers to the upper corner of the driveway, Otis plugged it in, and said, “Hello” to the crowd. They were all there by then, and even the Hooters girls perked up.
CJ and BG were the referees.…