I'm writing at the close of February 4, a date traditionally abbreviated in the United States as 2/4. Naturally, it is the holiest of holy days on the liturgical calendar of the Sacred Order of the Deuce-Four.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
In this segment it is my intention to take up the issue of the alleged illegal activities of poker celebrities Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, et al. I say "alleged" because no indictments have been handed down, and everyone should be granted the supposition of innocence until proven guilty.
On the other hand, Howard, Chris, and their cohorts have been publicly silent, apparently hiding from their usual public exposure. This activity tends to support the proposition that they are guilty.
So in the interest of justice, I will delay subsequent editorials for two more weeks and invite the named parties to communicate with me, lay out their position, and tell our readers what happened. And I will print their statements exactly as rendered.
They edited down my comments about Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson, but they definitely got the gist of my vitriol towards them. I'm disgusted by them and what they've done to smear the game with putrid decision making. Ray is a buffoon, Howard is arrogant, condescending, and incompetent, and Chris is a liar and has the warmth of a snow pea. These were never my friends, I never cared for any of them. I never trusted them for a second, and my "read" was always that these were not my kind of people. Why are they different from the rest of the group? These three were on the board, admittedly making all the decisions, and jeopardizing millions of dollars worth of players money that still hasn't surfaced. You guys suck. I hope to never see any of your faces at the WSOP anymore, and I hope you live with the shame you deserve for the rest of your lives. Your own personal, private hell. You deserve all the wrath you've received from the poker world, and much more. You are scum and each of you absolutely deserves a few swift baseball bat swings to the groin area, old school Vegas style.
Friday, February 03, 2012
The Silverton is the latest casino to close its poker room:
Thursday, February 02, 2012
I've seen and written up my fair share of bizarro hands, but I think this story from Las Vegas Poker Dealer may top them all:
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Tony Bigcharles (TBC) recently posted this hand history on his blog:
the final hand i had aa and made it $12 in EP. 3 guys called, all of whom had a decent amount of chips, none had me covered. flop comes up JJ4 rainbow. well i figure im either behind or so far out in front im not worried about a free card, so i check for pot control. i did think the one young kid behind me with about $350 in chips liked the flop. we all checked. turn comes Q again we all checked, and this might be where i should bet, but probably too late to do any good. river comes Q, we all check to the guy in late position. i hate that river. he bets $50 and i pay him off, he has Q9, and i leave when the blind gets to me.
The AA hand was played really badly. It is admittedly scary to be out of position, and have to decide to lead out into three opponents. But a flop of JJ4 rainbow is about the most perfect kind of flop you can hope for in that situation. It cries out for a continuation bet. You will get called by only three kinds of hands: Exactly 44, any J, and some pocket pairs who are suspicious that you missed with AK or AQ. The last category will be much more frequent than the first two, and is, of course, exactly what you want calling you: players with only 2 outs to win. This is a 100% c-bet situation, and it was a bad mistake to check there. In fact, even with 3 opponents and out of position, there are very few flops that you should not c-bet with AA. Of course, once in a while you'll lose to somebody who called you with 44 or KJ, but the amount you win most of the time will more than compensate for those losses over the long run. At least it will if you actually win the pot when you're ahead.
What's the best way to play fearless? First and foremost, you have to divorce yourself from how you traditionally think of money. Money outside of the poker room is different. That is money to be spent wisely or invested discriminately. The money you bring into the poker room is your means to winning. Do not think of this as money. Think of it as the tools of your trade. You should no more think about the dollar cost of an individual chip than a carpenter thinks about the cost of the nails he's driving. That carpenter will drive all the nails he needs to in order to do the job. That is what I am going to do at the poker table, and that is what you should do as well.
Consider your chips to be the cost of doing business, nothing more and nothing less. As with any buiness, you will have overhead. Think of bad beats as your overhead. Furthermore, as Doyle Brunson once wrote, when you make a big bet, you cannot think, "Oh man, I'm betting a Cadillac." Even if you're a recreational player, if you're thinking of the steak dinner you could buy with the chips you're betting, you're dead money. So look at those chips as the tools of the trade. You will free yourself from the fear of losing them, and then you can go win more.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Last night I made one of my occasional ventures into the Imperial Palace Sunday night 10-game mix. On my immediate right was a player there for the first time. He openly admitted that he had played some of these games for microstakes a few times online, but never live. That this was true was confirmed when he made common rookie mistakes (the same kind I made the first few times playing the unfamiliar games), such as getting confused between the betting rounds and drawing rounds. In the first hand of 2-7 triple draw, he announced his hand prior to the third draw, thinking the action was all over with. Oops!
Little did I know that this was just the beginning of an epidemic of bad headlines in that publication. The three images above are scans of pages from the January, 2012, issue. If one wanted to be picky, one could gripe about a couple of others, too, involving the use (or lack thereof) of a comma here or a hyphen there. But I'm not including those, since they are arguably correct, depending on the exact sense that was intended, and they are at worst small errors.
1c : to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose