Poker and being nice

Kissmama - Online poker took my wife 1
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There is an under current of uncivil behavior running through this great country of ours and it appears to affect all areas of life including the poker community. I have seen a lot of belittling comments made at the online poker tables and I wonder if these same people do this at live, face to face tables? Or is it because they are able to hide behind their avatar’s that they can say just about anything they want.

I am sure there are many reasons that a person makes these rude or unkind comments. Some will say they are trying to make the other person go on tilt or that they are just kidding.

Some people play poker for fun, some for profit, some are just learning. Whatever the reason, rude comments are not helpful.

If you are a pro or a semi pro at the micro stakes level, be nice to your fellow players. They are the ones that are providing you with your income or profits.

How do you feel about players belittling other players at the table? Do the snide or hurtful comments bother you? Do you ask these people to tone it down?

Two TPT events – cashed in one

Poker #2 (remade)
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Yesterday I played in both the Twitter Poker Tour European event at 7pm CST and the regular TPT at 9pm ET.  I finished 2nd and cashed in the TPTE and I finished 16th out of 34 in the TPT.

I think I played well for the most part, especially in the first event. I had a problem dealing with an aggressive player who always entered a pot with a bet of at least 8 to 10 big blinds. I know from experience that most of the time he just has a drawing hand such as K 9 or 7 8 or even small pocket pairs. As a rule, he enters a pot about 50% of the time. This means that when I am in the big blind or small blind I am sometimes in a position where I have to fold unless I am willing to risk more chips or my stack to challenge him.  I have re-raised him and seen him fold. I have also seen him shove all in as a response. So when I do challenge him, I really like to have some kind of a made hand or a strong draw.  He actually went from first place to last place and finally back to first place in the TPTE. We went heads up but he had a 4 to 1 chip advantage that I was unable to overcome. During the game he was at my left, two persons over. So I had to have a good hand to enter a pot in the event that he came out firing.

This was true in the evening event as well. He was at my immediate left. But he was not a problem as he went out on the second hand going all in with a pair of nines and ended up being called by a pair of kings by someone else. I thought that I might have an easier time but this was not to be the case as three others to my left played in a similar style. I had the chip leader to my right putting in bets at least 5 to 10 times the big blinds. You had to have a premium hand or great draw to challenge him as well.  I was able to win a few small pots by betting at least 6 big blinds. I won some good sized pots when I was allowed to limp in with small pocket pairs. The flop gave me three of a kind or a full house. But I stayed at or below average for most of the evening. I was at a low point with less than 7 big bets left in my stack when I went all in with pocket twos that did not hold up against an A 10 unsuited.  In the second game, I was unable to deal with the aggressive players to my right and to my left. I felt like I was surrounded. I did not let them completely dominate me as I did shove all in a couple of times against their raises and had them fold.

I would say that my current style of tourney play is tight and passive and that I need to step it up to tight and aggressive if I intend to win  an event.

What is your style of play? Do you play aggressive even if you don’t have the cards to back it up? What happens when you get caught with a weak hand that you played aggressively? Do you vary your style enough so that your opponents don’t know what you are doing?Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Playing micro stakes No Limit Hold 'Em

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Of late I have been playing No Limit Hold ‘Em cash games with blinds of .05/.10 and a minimum buy-in of 50 big blinds (BB) or $5.00.  When playing No Limit I play fairly tight and aggressive post flop, if I hit. Last night I played about eighty hands over the course of over two hours. During that time, I only had two pocket pairs, a pair of jacks and a pair of kings.  I won a small pot with the jacks and went bust with the kings.

I was maintaining an average stack of 40 to 50 BB’s until a hand I was dealt in late position cost me about 22 BB’s. I had an Ace Ten off suit in late position. Three of us were involved in the hand. I raised the pot pre-flop by a pot size bet andI  got two callers.  The flop contained an Ace and two other cards lower than my ten but two of them were clubs. The small blind made a pot size bet and the middle position player called. I saw that I was getting two to one odds to call and so I called.

The turn card was low and not a club. The small blind bet out a small 10 BB’s sized bet. The middle player and I just called. The river card was a club, meaning that three clubs were on the board. The small blind bet out a 15 BB sized bet. The middle position player and I both called. We turned over our cards. The middle position player had an Ace three for a pair of Aces; I had Ace ten for a pair of Aces with a better kicker. The small blind had hit his flush draw and showed us the best hand.  His value bet at the end increased his winnings by pricing us in.

This was one of those times where you wonder if you should even play Ace Ten in late position and if you do, should you try to raise high enough to make a flush draw fold. At these stakes, however, someone with a flush draw is apt to stay in right to the river regardless of their odds of making the hand.

My final hand of evening was a pair of kings dealt to me in the “under the gun” position, UTG, right after the big blind.  I lead out with a pot size bet and got one caller. We saw the flop, which was Q 3 7. The caller raised to the size of the pot and I shoved in all my remaining chips. He turned over the cards I was hoping to see – an A Q off suit, giving me the lead at that point. The turn card was a queen, giving him three of a kind, beating my pocket kings. I felt good about my play, overall. I went in with the best hand and was outdrawn.  Being all in, I decided not to rebuy and instead left the table. I was starting to feel tired and felt that it was best to stop.

What influences your decision to leave a game? Do you leave after you reach a certain win level or a certain loss level? Do you leave when you are not playing as well as you think you should?

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Can Social Media help a new Poker site grow?

Social Media Landscape
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While this topic is almost completely out of my area of expertise, I am fortunate to have a terrific resource – my son, Chris of ChrisBrogan.com. He has given a lot of help to a lot of people over the years on how to expand one’s presence over the web-o-sphere. In just one post, he gives links to 10 articles he wrote on the subject, entitled “My Best Advice About Social Networking”. I think this would be a valuable starting point for any company looking to grow their customer base.

My question is how would that relate to a fledgling poker site? What could they do to attract more players? The site I am thinking about has a well designed and very friendly-to-use poker interface. They accept US players. Who could ask for anything more? It seems that they need more players so that more games are available to be played in.

I think that they should be announcing the fact that they have many freerolls each day; that they have many guaranteed tournaments each day;  and that they have a variety of games to offer!

How can they go about getting more players and getting the word out?

1. Twitter – they already have a twitter account, but they could use it to announce that a “freeroll” is starting in an hour or that a “guaranteed” tourney is starting in an hour. They could use a twitter hash tag of #poker as many poker players on twitter search for tweets with that tag. They could even create a unique hash tag of their own. (They did start doing that on August 31st, but since then they have only had 23 tweets overall. Even I tweet a little bit more than that.)

2. Blog – they could have a blog where they talk about what up coming games are available and also what promotions are coming up. They could keep it simple and informative.

3. Facebook – they could have a face book presence and seek friends that are interested in poker. (Not really sure how that works? This is where I am getting a little out of my area. I don’t use Facebook enough to know what I am doing with it.)

Again, these are just some random thoughts about how a new poker site could start to build up a presence in an already crowed arena. Sometimes being smaller is better. Hopefully they will continue to grow.

Do you think that social media can help an online poker site expand their presence in an already crowed arena? Is it in the best interest of poker players to have yet another site out there? Should we as players help a site grow?

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More time spent at Full Rush Poker

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I consider myself to my a Limit Hold ‘Em player. That is a form of Texas Hold ‘Em that I have studied the most and have had good results with. One other reason for playing Limit Hold ‘Em is to control the amount of variance or losses that I might sustain during the course of time. In the past, whenever I attempted to change over to No Limit Hold ‘Em cash games, the results have been disastrous to say the least.

There is quite a difference between the two styles of play. While I have had reasonable success with No Limit Hold ‘Em in tourneys and Sit N Go’s, it has not been my best cash game choice.

I mentioned in my post about “Full Rush Poker” having a new and small online poker site. While there were over 600 players when I logged in, no one was playing at the limit tables. My only choices were No Limit Hold ‘Em or Omaha Pot Limit, both the High and High/Low version.

There was little or no one waiting to play at the Sit N Go’s. I signed up for one low entry fee  Sit N Go and joined a No Limit Hold ‘Em table, where the stakes were .05/.10 with an initial buy in of $5.00.

This time my results were much better. I believe this is because I am starting to understand the game better. I would only play a hand if the cards I was dealt were strong enough to play based on my position at the table.

If I was the first person to the left of the “big blind”, I would enter the hand if I had AA, KK, QQ, JJ, or AK. In middle position I would enter only if I had at least a pair of eights or better. In the late position, I would enter with as low as a pair of twos or suited connectors.

Depending on how loose the other players at the table were, I might also enter with suited connector as low as 9 8, if I was reasonably sure that I would not be raised or re-raised pre-flop.

By playing my cards in position, I was able to play the best hands and win small to large pots. At one point during the session, I had grown my original $5.00 to $17.00. I left the table with $12.00 overall. I felt very pleased with my results at No Limit. By the way, the Sit N Go that I signed up for, never filled up so I had to un-register before logging off of the site.

I base my previous results at No Limit on the fact that I played too many hands out of position, too many drawing hands too early, in bad position. I was also unable to fold many hands in spite of the evidence that they might not be the best hand.

What is your game of choice? Limit or No Limit? Do you follow the guidelines of playing hands in position? How have your results been?

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Thoughts about posts concerning running bad

Seven day old Donkey_0715
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Some of my posts of the last thirty days have contained statements I have made about running bad. While this certainly does happen, it is really not interesting to others, other  than myself and those who are winning against me.  One of the blogs that I read weekly is DonkFestPokeer.com whose motto is “Can’t Spot the Donkey’s? It’s You!”. His post was about how he was having the worse year ever. In the past, he had posted about “running bad” or losing,  but now,  has decided not to talk about running bad ever again. See his full post here.

I intend to do the same. I will endeavor to keep my post about what is going on in the poker world around me and the the poker community that I follow. I will do this while striving to be a better poker player and blogger.

That is not to say that I won’t post about a losing hand or bad session.  I just won’t whine about it,  I will tell you what I found interesting or what I learned from it. I will share some tips of what worked for me and what did not work.

Do you strive to keep positive? Are you able to maintain that positive attitude to help keep your spirits up? What to you do that motivates you to be a better player?

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Some online poker sites use the same network as others – OMG

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In previous posts, I said that one of my original sites for playing poker was DoylesRooms. But they had stopped taking on US players and my cash account was frozen and I had moved on to other sites. At some point, late last year or early this year, DoylesRoom started to allow US players back on thier site. I liked the new software but was reluctant to deposit funds based on what had happened in 2007.

I already had accounts on PokerStars and FullTiltPoker as well as UltimateBet. As a result of being on Twitter, I heard about a poker site called PokerHost.com and gave them a try. They had some Twitter Freerolls as they called them and I was able to cash in on some of them. It was fun. While they had a small number of players, I was able to find some games that I could play. Overall, I liked the site and the interface.

I still had an account with DoylesRoom but had not used the software in months. DoylesRoom sent me an email stating that they had totally changed their site as the result of join up with the Cake Poker Network.  I went ahead and installed the software and low and behold, the interface looked almost exactly like the PokerHost site but with different tournaments being offered.

My user name is slightly different on DoylesRoom as opposed to Pokerhost but I was able to figure out that I was on the same network because the number of active players and tables were almost identical when I logged out from one and logged into the other.  I then checked out CakePokerNetwork.Net and found out that Cake Poker runs the underlying software and each affiliate gets a special look or “skin” that is tailored to their specifications. Some of the tourneys offered are different. Some are the same.  I ran into the same players on both sites while I was using a different screen name.

It was not and is not my intention to fool anyone about this. But there are some tourneys on DoylesRoom and on PokerHost that I lke to play in and they are not available on both sites. So I pick and choose who I want to be and where I want to play. I can only  be logged into one site at a time. This prevents collusion that could occur if I played as two different users at the same table. I am glad to see that their security works.

Because of my membership with a group called Railbirds.Com I also belong to PlayersOnly.com which turns out is also on the Cake Poker Network. While I do have an account, I don’t and probably won’t put any funds there. There is no compelling reason to do so – currently.

Another site that I have an account with is AbsolutePoker and it turns out that they are on the same network with UltimateBet. Again, while the screens are different I can find the same players on either site. But I can only run one site at a time  which is fine by me.

The point of all this?  I would say that before you sign up you should check to see who runs the site. Who the owners? Do what they offer compel you to sign up and play at their site?

How many of you belong to online sites that are owned by the same network? What makes you play one site versus the other? Is there any benefit to being signed up to more that one site on the same poker network?

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