Friday, June 18, 2010
This screen shot is from the PokerStars Big Game broadcast earlier this week.
The online qualifier, Ernest Wiggins, has pocket aces. I'm trying to think of what would be a good hand here--if you could pick one--to crack his aces and get all his money. It's a tough one. I'm having a hard time thinking of what hole cards would work in this spot. Anyone out there able to make a suggestion?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
My dear friend Cardgrrl played in Event #31, the $1500 HORSE tournament, at the World Series of Poker yesterday and today. I watched her through most of yesterday and all of today, though the latter was only about 45 minutes.
She played very well throughout, making few mistakes, and not particularly costly ones at that. In the end, she got her last money (maybe seven big bets) in during the stud round with rolled-up kings against the big-stacked Michael Binger, who drew out a club flush. Literally a "nothing you can do about it" situation, in which she got her money in as a big favorite.
Binger was on her right (as you can see), Jason Mercier two to her left. Her second table yesterday featured Jon Friedberg on her immediate right, Jose Barbero on her immediate left, and Robert Williamson III two to her left. As F-Train sarcastically snorted when seeing where she was positioned last night, "Easy table draw."
She held her own against one soft table (the first yesterday) and two tough ones. She simply didn't get that extra dose of run-good that is a sine qua non of success in any poker tournament. If she had--e.g., simply pairing any of her other cards in that hand against Binger--she would still be playing now, and ready to get into the money. Even as it was, she outlasted more than two-thirds of the field (828 starting, 247 returning for Day Two).
In any event, she played her very best game, maintained a good attitude and excellent discipline throughout, and I could not be more proud of her performance. Well done, my friend.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I was intrigued by the numerous references to poker in this Associated Press news story about Joran van der Sloot.
First, of course, is that he was in Peru to play in a poker tournament. (I have heard conflicting things about whether it was the LAPT or one of lesser prominence going on at the same time, though it hardly matters.)
Second, he and his victim, Stephany Flores, apparently engaged in an extended session of casino poker (plus drinking) before retiring to the hotel room.
Third, he claims that the two of them were playing online poker on his laptop when he got a message that led to the fight in which Flores was murdered.
Fourth, his Facebook page is said to have listed things he likes, including Texas Hold'em poker.
Fifth, in his profile for an online dating site he claims to have retired from being a professional card player.
Sixth, his YouTube profile says he is a professional poker player, and gives his favorite book as Barry Greenstein's Ace on the River. (Maybe Barry will sign a copy for him when he visits him in prison next time he's in Peru.)
Seventh is this sentence: "'He likes to think of himself as a gambler, but he's a loser,' said Harold Copus, a former FBI agent who worked as a private investigator for Holloway's family." It's not clear whether he has information that van der Sloot was actually a losing player at poker (live or online), but that does seem to be the implication.
In any event, it's crystal clear from this information that playing poker leads to serial killing. Just one more reason to ban the game. (This conclusion provided for the convenience of Senator Jon Kyl and the rest of his ilk. You're welcome.)
I'm in a HORSE tournament on Stars. A few minutes ago I won this pot with what I think might be the worst Omaha/8 scooper hand EVAR. It was limped pre-flop, and checked all around on every street thereafter. Even with nobody taking a crack at it at any point, I was surprised to have the winner on either half of the pot, let alone the whole thing.
By my count I had the 18th nuts on the high end (potentially beating me were 1 straight, 5 sets, 10 ways to make two pair, and aces in the hole for a higher one pair), and the only slightly more respectable 4th nuts on the low end (potentially beaten by A2, A4, and 24).
If you can tell me of a worse O/8 hand that won both the high and low sides of a pot--especially at a full table, with three or more at the showdown--go ahead and brag about it in the comments.
During breaks in tournaments on both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the timing messages do the same peculiar thing. Though the breaks are five minutes long, the message on the screen almost immediately reports "4 minutes." Eventually we get to "1 minute," followed by "less than 1 minute." (The actual wording varies a bit. On FTP, it's "Time left on break." On Stars. it's "Tournament will resume in ____ min." There. That clarification should satisfy even the most pedantic of my readers!)
Obviously, what is happening is that the screen messages are just reporting the number of whole minutes left, rather than the actual time. As soon as there's a little less than five minutes remaining, it announces "4 minutes," etc. When it says "2 minutes" remaining, the actual time remaining is anywhere between 2:00 and 2:59. In other words, there is nearly a full minute of uncertainty in how much time one really has.
It often doesn't matter, but sometimes knowing a little more precisely when things will be restarting makes a difference in whether you'll have enough time for a bathroom break, to run downstairs to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, to go fetch the mail, or whatever.
I think they should replace those prose messages with a static one that simply says, "Time remaining on break:" followed by a digital timer counting down the minutes and seconds left. If I recall correctly, this is how the now-defunct Bugsy's Club site.
I can't think of any reason that this is an unworkable proposal. It surely can't take much extra in the way of programming, server load, bandwidth usage, etc. Or is there something I'm missing that would make this a bad idea?