Friday, February 24, 2012

Session report generator

Andrew Neeme is a local grinder with whom I have played at the Palms Pokerati game a few times. We were both there again last night. A short time ago he tweeted a link to something about a report of his session. I was blown away when I checked it here. As you can see, it's an iPhone app that lets you generate a poker blog post consisting of hand histories, photos, and your commentary while you're still at the table playing the game. I had not known that any such software existed. (I apparently didn't do anything worth being featured in the post.)

While it's technically impressive, I'm personally not feeling inclined to adopt the practice, even if the same or a similar product is available for Android--and I don't know if it is. I think it would take too much of my attention away from the game. When there's a hand the details of which I want to remember, I still just pull out a pen and the piece of scrap paper I always stick in my pocket before leaving the house, and jot down a few notes.* Then, if it's something worth blogging about, I can later write up what happened as carefully and colorfully as I'm capable of, taking whatever time is required, without my attention being diverted by trying to make money simultaneously.

But even if it isn't my cup of tea, I'm glad to know the product exists. I suspect we'll all be seeing more posts composed this way in the future.

*I keep a stack of printed-on-just-one-side paper next to my computer printer to be used as scratch paper. Before I leave the house for poker, I grab one sheet, fold it up, and put it in my pocket. Its primary purpose is to record buy-ins, cash-outs, and playing times, which I then enter into spreadsheets when I get back home, as I detailed long ago here. I know that there are smart-phone apps that I could use for this, but this system works just fine for me, and I don't feel like investing the time it would take to transfer more than five years of session data to something different.

Addendum, February 26, 2012

Here's another example of the genre from my friend Dave:


I'm leaving tomorrow for a week in D.C. visiting Cardgrrl. Take care of the place while I'm gone.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tropicana update

I was at the Tropicana today to see some friends who were involved in the weekend festivities celebrating the official designation of the Trop poker room as the Jamie Gold Poker Room.

I played in a cash game for a few hours. I was surprised to learn that they have had some rule changes. When Gold started playing there on salary, they instituted special rules for his games. Those rules have now been extended to all $1/2 no-limit hold'em games played in the room.

These include:

1. Straddle for any amount from any position. Action starts to the left of wherever the straddle is. I don't know how they resolve it if more than one person wants to straddle, as I never saw that come up.

2. If all betting is complete because players are all-in, they can agree to run the board (or whatever remains of it to be put out) twice. I assume three or four times is also OK, though I didn't ask that specifically.

3. Players are more free than usual to discuss their hands during play, though it's not clear to me exactly how far they have moved the boundary on this point.

4. No chopping the blinds. (I think this was actually not a Gold rule, but was put in place to address the lack of action when they started the pay-players-by-the-hour promotion. However it originated, it is now the standard.)

If today was any indication, these rule changes make for some wild games. Sitting down in the first one was like being yanked off my feet by a tornado. A couple of very aggressive players were trading off straddling every hand for $15 or more, then following that up with a big raise over any callers. Players frequently were all-in before the flop with hands that in a normal $1/2 game would have gotten no more than one standard raise.

My guess is that if they keep these rules in place for the long haul, the Trop poker room will develop a deserved reputation that its $1/2 NLHE game, while nominally the same as is spread in all of the other 50+ rooms in town, is actually an entirely different animal. If you decide to try it out, bring a lot of cash for rebuys, and prepare for maybe the highest variance you've ever encountered.

Another change: One of the dealers there, Shannon, heads up a "dealer's-choice" game on many weekends. They will now be standardizing that to every Monday night. That makes a lot of sense, since that tends to be a quiet night for other poker. It also won't conflict with the Sunday night mixer at Imperial Palace or the Tuesday night HORSE tournament at M Resort or the Wednesday night HORSE tournament at Green Valley Ranch or the two weekend HORSE tournaments at Orleans. In other words, mixed game enthusiasts can now find their favorite form of poker on a regular, scheduled basis almost every day of the week now.