Dealing poker is different than playing …

Deutsch: Dealerbutton

Deutsch: Dealerbutton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been working as a poker dealer at a local poker room, The Poker Room NH, at least two days a week, since January 3rd 2012.

I also play at the same room, “The Poker Room NH” on my days off, schedule permitting.

My dealing skills are improving, albeit slowly, but I am getting better.

How do I know?  My supervisor, Chris, tells me that he is getting less complaints from the players. I even have had some players tell me that I have improved from when I first started.

I still have a long ways to go. Who knew that my math skills would be needed and that these same skills have eroded from non-use over the last four years.

My dealing goal is to have one perfect session per day. A session consists of when I sit down at a table and perform all of the duties as a dealer until my replacement comes.

We are usually moved from table to table in 30 minute plus intervals. This is done for many reasons. It keeps dealers fresh, it keeps the players happy if they think the reason for getting bad cards is the dealer.

Some days, I come really close. On other days, I don’t even want to talk about it.

The reason I wanted to work there is still valid. The staff of dealers, floor personal, wait staff, and custodial staff, are all nice and friendly people. They are who inspire me to be a better dealer. I am even getting to know the regulars by name (we are encouraged to do so). It is a friendly place and a lot of smiling employees who really love what they are doing or if off duty,  playing.

Plus it is fun dealing, I never know what cards the players are going to get. The cards that I flop always amaze me – like flopping three of a kind or three cards to a flush and then watching what the players do afterwards. Are they bluffing or did the flop make their hand that much better..

All in all, I think I found my perfect type of employment. Did I mention that if I am dealing, I am not losing at the tables? Another plus!

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No Dessert for me

Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae, Sweet Potato,...

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Yesterday I planned to enter the 7 pm Railbirds.com ranking event on LuvinPoker.com. To that end, I took a nap just before the tourney to assure that I would be at my best.

Of course, I had failed to let Diane know of my plans so when I woke up 30 minutes prior to the event, she thought I was being quite helpful in getting dinner ready.

I started to prepare the sweet potatoes while she pan fried the pork chops. I did not have much time before the event, so I wanted to speed dinner up.

With the potato in the microwave, I then warmed up our soup appetizer and served it. We ate the soup and by that time I had told Diane about the tourney.

After we finished the soup, I got online and quickly registered for the tourney. I hastily cut up my pork chop into bit size pieces and prepared the sweet potato for easy eating. I sat down on the couch with my meal and my laptop just as the tournament started.

My first two hands were easy folds. My third hand was a pair of Kings. When it was my turn to bet, I raised to $30, which was three times the big blind. I got two callers.

The flop was 5 6 10. When it was my turn to bet, I lead out with bet of $65, about 2/3 of the current pot. The two players called and the turn was a 7. Not a good flop for Kings. The pot now had about $280 and I bet out again with $160 and this time I got one caller.

The river card was an eight, a terrible card because this could complete a straight for my opponent if he already did not have one. I checked, he raised and I folded. I know my opponent and he does not bluff much, so I saved the rest of my chips for later.

My next two hands were uneventful except that I was dealt a 4 7 off suit one hand and a 7 4 off suit the next. Then I was dealt a pair of pocket Aces, AA. There were two players ahead of me that called the minimum bet of $10.

When it was my turn, I bet out $40 or four times the big blind, hoping to get only one caller. But the two players that had limped in quickly called my bet. The flop was 4 5 6 offsuit. This was not a good flop. The two players ahead of me checked. I thought it over and decided that the board looked two scary to allow either of theses players to stay in the hand and catch up to my pair of Aces.

I decided to go all in and force them to fold. Well that worked for the first limper. But as always is the case, when you get called in these situations, it is usually by somebody with a better hand.  My opponent turned over 7 8, showing a straight on the flop.

My only hope was for either of the two remaining Aces to hit the turn and the river or for an Ace and a card paring the board to give me a full house. Otherwise I would be out of the tournament.

No miracle cards hit and I was out. Just like that.  I had lost 40% of my starting stack with KK and the rest with AA.  I did not feel too badly about my play. At least I made decisions that I felt gave me the best chances based on what I thought my opponent had. I was wrong, but I could accept what had happened and not let it bother me.

In less than 10 minutes from the start of the tournament, I was out. And I was not going to reward myself with dessert.

Do you play with a plan for every hand? Do have ideas on what you will do pre-flop, flop, turn and river?  Do you also take into consideration your position at the time?

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Father's Day Poker

Diane and I have been going to The Poker Room in NH.  Check out their FaceBook page by clicking this link.

Diane’s account of our Father’s Day outing is slightly different than mine.  See it at MomPopPow.com later today.

Our results in the prior visits were not too good. We lost half or more of our initial buy-ins at the limit table.

Getting used to playing Limit Hold’em when you have worked hard to play No Limit Hold’em correctly is a bit tricky.

Some people have even renamed Limit Hold’em to “No Fold’em Hold’em” and for good reason.

You see, some players will call all bets or raises right to the river with any two suited cards, no matter how small.

I have seen a player stay in the hand with a 3 4 of hearts even on a flop of A K Q of hearts and they would win, reinforcing their behavior that they did the right thing. After all, they won didn’t they … and that is all that counts, isn’t it; the number of chips that you have at the end of the session, regardless of how you had gotten them

So both Diane and I were victims of not having enough Limit Hold’em experience. But we were learning. The last time there, Diane had lost only 20% of her buy-in and I had lost only 51% of mine. As Charlie Sheen would say: #winning .

For Father’s Day, Diane suggested that we go to the poker room and who was I to say no. She was being kind to me.
You see, her idea of gambling is putting a $20 bill into a change machine and getting back $20’s in change. So going to the tables is not exactly her idea of fun and enjoyment.
On the tables today, I had actually won $21 more than my buy-in. She was not as fortunate.

At our table there were two brothers who were hoping to play a Sit N Go tournament. They needed more people to register in order for the table to start up. The buy-in was $40 and Diane suggested that I give it a try. So I did.

A Sit N Go, unlike a tournament, would last only an hour or two. It was a 10 handed No Limit Sit N Go and the starting stack was $4,000. The blinds started at $100 and increased every 10 minutes. This event was geared to move quickly. And it did. Four others busted out before I did.

The brothers were playing fine together until … The older brother was upset with his younger brother, because the younger brother bet his hand against his older brother. I guess the older bother did not know the unspoken rule,  “there are no friends at a poker table”. But that is another tale for another time. Eventually the two brothers were gone.

At one time I was down to less than $1,600 hundred in chips and went all-in with A 5 of spades. Luckily I was called by someone having an A 3 and I doubled up. But the blinds were now at $2,000 and $1,000 and I would only have chips for one or two more cycles of play before I ran out of them.

Again I was down to about 1,600 in chips and I went all-in with 10 10. I was called with someone having King 9 off-suit. The flop contained a King and no tens appeared to help me out and I was out in fifth place. Only three winners would receive money.

I watched the remaining four players until only three players remained. I left and felt happy with my play, although I was not happy that I had lost. Time to go home.

Thank you Diane for a great day and allowing me to play some Father’s Day poker.

How did you spend Father’s day? Did you spend it with family and friends? Did you play some Father’s day poker?

Post #blackfriday actions

Beispiel für eine Omaha Hold'em Hand eines Spi...

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I am currently trying to cash out of all but two sites and so far only PokerStars has settled with me.

I am waiting for Bodog, DoylesRoom and TruePoker to “show me the money!”.

I cannot request funds from Poker Host and Carbon Poker because I am below the minimums that they allow for withdrawals. So either I deposit more money so that I can withdraw it (that is not going to happen). Or I need to win enough or lose enough to resolve those issues. I am trying the latter, winning.

As far as UB (formerly known as  Ultimate Bet) is concerned, I am probably going to lose my funds there. Maybe even FullTiltPpker will not be able to payoff their US players, although it seems like they are trying to settle up.

I am currently playing on only two sites, LuvinPoker.com and BlackChipPoker.com. LuvinPoker.com is the site chosen by Railbirds.com, a group of which I am a member.

BlackChipPoker.com has a deal with Dusty Schmidt and I got a good bonus and three free poker books to add to my 60 plus collection already. See Dusty’s blog for more details.

I really love poker and need an online poker outlet. My local poker room has only limit games and I cannot seem to beat those yet. So I have two sites left and hope that I can continue to play there, withdrawing my earnings as I go along. Hopefully.

Oh yes, I am still playing on FullTiltPoker.com. I am playing Omaha 8 on the Rush Poker Tables. I am only using play money and have built my play money bankroll to 100,000 from the 1,000 that they started me with.  I will probably continue to play at FTP as it works on the Droid phone and I can play in the middle of the night.

How are your post “black friday” plans working out for you?  Have you had any luck cashing out? What are your next steps?

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Online Poker is just about gone for US based players

No surprise if you are an online poker player, but our options of playing online have effectively been taken away from us. The UIGEA law enacted in 2006 made it illegal for banks and financial institutions to transfer funds to and from online Poker sites.

On April 15, 2011, the DOJ used that law and stopped all online play by US players from occurring on two or three of the major US facing online poker sites. This event was named “Black Friday”. US players were no longer allowed to play for cash on either PokerStars or FullTiltPoker. These sites were charged with fraud and money laundering.

These charges are basically true because credit card companies and banks were restricting the transferring of money to and from poker sites. So the sites got creative and coded the transactions so that it appeared that the product or service being purchased was not “poker”. As in all creative accounting ventures, they eventually got caught. Well, actually the person who taught these companies how to process the money ended up as a government witness against them, or so the story goes.

The DOJ has made it hard and even next to impossible to withdraw our funds from these sites. It may take several weeks or even months before US players can even request their funds.

In all likelyhood, it will probably be two or more years before we will be able to play on an online poker site for cash legally.

Yes, I know that Carbon Poker, Cake Poker skins and others online are available., but we still have the same problem of legally depositing and/or withdrawing our funds. We know that the DOJ will be watching and going after the next largest violator of the law. In reality none of the offshore sites will be truly safe for US players until there is legalized online poker in the US, regulated by either the State or Federal government.

So in the meantime we need to contact our local and national government officials and let them know what we want to see happen to online poker in the US. This is not an easy task but we must all do our part. Bickering and complaining about won’t help. Even organizations like the Poker Players Alliance needs to step up their efforts and work for us in an effective manner. They should be thinking about more than just public relation efforts to support our cause.

I still have funds on Bodog, Carbon Poker, DoylesRoom, PokerHost and TruePoker. I will play on those sites and I will withdraw whenever I have $250 in profits. I may take a shot at playing larger tourneys or higher level cash games if the games look beatable. I will certainly start withdrawing any winnings on these sites before they are also locked out to us.  But I will certainly try to keep my risk of loss as low as possible in any case.

The next few years won’t be easy and they will not be as fun as they were prior to April 15, 2011.

I will not be making anymore deposits until online poker is legal in the US. This is getting easy because there are practically no deposit options left that I can use. There were online payment processing companies that allowed you to either deposit by credit card or bank transfers from your banks. Then you could transfer the money to the poker sites. Most of these companies have had their funds seized.  This was very similar to what happened with NetTeller a few years ago. But at least with NetTeller, I was able to get my money back after about a year wait. This time, I lost all that I had on account with the two payment processor that I was using.  One of them offered to wire transfer my money to me but were going to charge me a $50 processing fee which was more than I had on the account.

I will probably visit my local New Hampshire poker rooms three days a week or more.

What are your future poker plans since “Black Friday”?  Where do you go from here?

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Two's and Ten's

BAD BEAT Storyboard - Shot#12

I don’t often talk about bad beats but sometime you just can’t help yourself. While traveling from Fremont to Amesbury, I discussed the hand with Diane. She videotaped the following:

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What was your worst experience?