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.…
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.…
Down on your poker luck, who doesn’t think of the famous Jack Straus maxim “a chip and a chair”? Twenty-nine years ago, in the 1982 World Series of bandar judi pulsa tournament, Jack Strauss was reduced to nothing but a $500 chip and his chair. Days later, creating the legend of one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of poker, Jack Strauss won the tournament, and a $500,000 purse.
“A chip and a chair” is all you need to make your comeback. And in 2011, there are already some serious underdogs writing their own comeback stories …
The one-time-lucky, seven-year-bust, comeback-accountant
Who doesn’t know the story of Chris Moneymaker? He is likely the single greatest reason for poker’s popularity boom in the last 8 years. As a total unknown in 2003, and working as an accountant in Tennessee, Moneymaker bought into a $39 satellite tournament on PokerStars. He ended up winning a seat a the World Series of Poker Main Event, the most revered and coveted tournament in the world, and became a legend.
Moneymaker bested a field of 838 players. In the final heads-up match, he faced Sammy Farha, a well-known and highly successful poker celebrity. Moneymaker took first place, and the enormous $2.5 million grand prize. He quit his job to become a professional poker player, and went on to live the dream!
But, Moneymaker was a total bust.
From 2005 through most of 2008, Moneymaker didn’t record just about any live tournament cash worth talking about. In 2008, he recorded two cashes for just over $150k. In 2009, he recorded one cash for $15k. Considering living expenses, and regular poker losses, these types of cashes after 4 years of running dry were nothing but blips on the radar. (2010? No real cashes.) People have looked at Moneymaker as an amateur who got lucky once, and just didn’t have what it takes to be a regular winner. Generating mostly losses for seven years (not like he couldn’t afford to) does not earn you respect.
Enter 2011… Moneymaker hired a mental coach. He began leaning on his experience of 8 years of regular play. He developed strategies, and studies regularly. Moneymaker has decided to stop being a lucky player, and start being a smart one. The result? 2011 is only three months in, and he won second place in the National Heads up Championship (to the tune of a cool $300,000) and 11th place in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event (for a respectable $130,000). In these three short months, he has pulled in more significant tournament money than in the entire seven years prior.
His rate of winning far exceeds anything he has ever accomplished to date, and his consistent performances suggest a totally new style of play. With determination, and the willingness to invest in developing his skill, Moneymaker has taken a whole new tack and completely upended all the negative opinions. Moneymaker is on the comeback trail, and just might be earning the respect of poker professionals by the end of 2011.
The Finnish Rollercoaster
2009 was the year of Patrik Antonius. Up $9 million, almost all of it in online winnings, the Finnish pro put up a stellar performance. But later that year, he admitted in an interview that he “lost millions, millions, millions of dollars with other stuff last year.”
2010 didn’t get any better. He lost $3.6 million in the year from high stakes cash games alone, going nowhere about as fast as you can go. In addition to his poker losses, Antonius reportedly lost millions in sports bets, and millions on the golf course. To cap it all off, Antonius began suffering seriously from his back problems, and was forced to attend rehabilitation sessions twice a day. Antonius summed it all up pretty simply: “I hate these moments when everything just goes bad.”
That’s what they call a tailspin.
Enter 2010… Antonius plays Draw Poker. A lot of Draw Poker. It’s March, and he’s won more almost $2 million at this game alone. With his other online poker efforts, he pulled in by the end of February a huge $3 million in profit. That’s more than Moneymaker made in one of the world’s largest tournaments in 2003!
Let’s put this in perspective: last year in March, Antonius was negative $3 million. That is a $6 million difference year-to-date. That is more money than most people will earn in two lifetimes! Antonius credits his intense focus and work ethic for his ability to create such a turnaround. But come on Patrik, what poker secret do you know that we don’t? Regardless, we’ve only got respect for a player who can comeback like this.
Just remember poker players: no matter how bad it gets (losing $3 million in three months is pretty bad!), there is always another comeback story waiting to be written. All you need is a chip and a chair……
It shoves a poorly-manicured thumbnail in your navel and twists. It drags you by your nose into dark corners where ne’er-do-wells skulk and rodents feed on trash. Perhaps more dangerous, it hangs you from a mountain summit and says, “So, you wanna play, huh? Well, then let’s play.”
Limit Hold’em has been boring me recently. I usually play slot hoki limit on Empire. The variance has been a little high recently. That was of little concern to me. Variance is variance. I was getting a little tired, though, of playing perfect poker and losing. And, of course, even the most disciplined among us tend to tilt a little when the bad run runs too long. When that happens, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not playing perfect poker.
I was on the verge of something we all do from time to time. I was about to take a break. I was going to try to wrap my head around the game without playing it. Bobby Baldwin’s chapter in Super System was about to get some serious work. I like to call myself a a limit player who dabbles in no-limit tourneys. If I was going to talk like that, I needed to back it up.
In the spirit of Al Can’t Hang, Pauly, and Iggy, perhaps a drinking analogy is appropriate here.
I see Limit Hold’em as a beer drinker’s game. It’s a steady game, well-paced, with little room for disaster unless you choose otherwise. Sure, it’s possible to have a few too many and wake up wicked hungover. But there’s little doubt, you made the choice to do that, and the hangover usually isn’t that bad.
No-limit, as we all know, is for people who like to ride the lightning. It’s a shot-drinker’s game. If you choose to have one drink and wait for the nuts, you’re going to be okay. But if you’re really committed to playing the game, you’ve got to be willing to be hungover for three days. You’ve got to be willing to go broke.
As a semi-professional drinker, I know both games pretty well. I’ve suffered the victories. I’ve suffered the hangovers. I’ve made some decent money and I’ve almost gone broke a couple of times.
Simply put, those are the devils I know. And, frankly, I’ve been a little bored.
A bored poker player can be as dangerous as a bored drinker. When one gets bored, he starts to experiment. That brings us to Otis’ latest experiment in chasing the high.
Two-hundred dollar buy-in Pot Limit.
After a recent final table finish in Empire’s $25,000 guarantee Sunday night tourney, my bankroll was such that I could afford to lose $200. On a bored evening, I recently sat down at the $200 PL and decided to play.
I won $350 in a 45 minute session.
I stood up, and rightly, went out for a drink or ten. I ruminated over the possibilities for most of the evening. It seemed way too easy. I had hit and run the table for a sizable chunk of cash. There was a part of me that thought I had just found a poker utopia. Like anyone who buys a lottery ticket, I had visions of grandeur. The 45 minute session had just crowned me king of the poker world.
Of course, when I was thinking, I was drinking. I was no king. I was a guy sitting at a bar and trying to negotiate with the bartender. The Bait Shack had recently increased its draft price by 50%. I argued that since I had been drinking there since they opened, I should be grandfathered. I should get every third beer free. They didn’t see things my way.
The next day, I sat back down and lost every bit if my winnings in two hands. Most of it left my stack when a guy called $150 against my king-high spade flush with AJo. He held the ace of spades and the fourth spade came on the river.
I considered myself no worse for the wear. It was an experiment in riding the lightning. I survived and vowed to return to $3/$6 limit as soon as I stopped cursing.
Had it not been for Pauly asking me to write a little something for his blog-zine, I might never have ventured back into the world of $200 PL. But since he asked, and I was writing, I thought I’d sit and play a little more. I entered a $20+$2 multi and sat at a $200 PL table.
It became a four-hour session. I wrote the piece (hopefully to be featured in an upcoming edition of Truckin’) and played steady poker.
When I stood up, I had placed 9th in the tourney. What’s more, my $200 buy-in had turned into $733.
So, here I sit, 12 hours after a very nice winning session. It was not a hit and run. It was steady poker, played well. I remember laying down top two pair to a $90 bet when there was a possible straight on the board and two to a flush as well. I had my head wrapped around the game and didn’t feel like I was riding the lightning. I felt confident and sober.
Still, as the title of this post suggests, I know I’m walking a fine line. While my bankroll could stand a slight correction, I don’t know that I’m qualified or wealthy enough to play at that level.
Here I sit, sober and staring at an open bar. I ask myself, what would the great experimenter Pauly do? What would pro-drinkerAl Can’t Hang do? What would tee-totalling poker pro Felicia do?
More interesting, however…what is Otis going to do?…
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