Two TPT events – cashed in one

Poker #2 (remade)
Image by horde.lt via Flickr

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]

Poker Resources – there are lots of them out there

poker chip bridge
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If you have a passion for poker and are always looking to learn more and experience more, there are many ways you can accomplish that goal at little or no cost.  There are also other more pricier ways as well.

The low or npcost methods to help you learn the game can be found by joining poker groups, blogs and other online memberships that are free for the asking.

Three of the groups that I belong to are: Railbirds.com, Twitter Poker Tour TPT), and American Poker Players (APP). These are all free memberships that can provide you with a lot of valuable information as well as access to online games. Railbird.com offers online freerolls; the TPT offers entry in low buy in online tourneys, APP offers online tourneys and also lets you know about local games held in their local area.

Each group is different and has a different flavor of what they have to offer but all three flourish because of a common interest in promoting poker and helping players develop their game by use of their online blogs and discussion groups. Members can post their questions and topics and get feedback. Some of the feedback may have to be taken with a grain of salt as the experience levels of the larger groups vary from complete novice to semi-professional and professional.

Many of the poker book publishers also have user forums and blogs ads well. You will find that the major online poker sites have web sites filled with information on how to play the game and some basic strategy on how to go about it. Some of the major professional players also blog and some even offer advice on how to play.

I believe that this community of poker players in the United States that can help make your poker experience more enjoyable.

Do you belong to a poker group or community? Do you find that belonging adds to your poker experience?  Do you have a favorite group that you can recommend?

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FullTiltPoker offers an online Academy for players

Screenshot of Full Tilt Poker software.
Image via Wikipedia

The following is an excerpt from FullTiltPoker about their new online FullTiltPoker Academy.
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Full Tilt Poker Academy offers a unique interactive experience that allows you to learn from members of Team Full Tilt including Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon. You’ll use a library of multimedia content – including video, podcasts, hand replayers, quizzes and tests – which is updated daily and suitable for players of every skill level.

You can begin with Lessons on key strategies and techniques, view live Sessions to see the theory in action, take a Pro Challenge online at Full Tilt Poker or put your knowledge to the test with an interactive Sit-N-Learn.

The most comprehensive training school in poker, Learn how to play poker with the Full Tilt Poker Academy and enroll for free.
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I have an account with FullTilt and I have signed up for the academy. You can enroll for free, but … you cannot play for free. However, I think that this is yet another way for a person wanting to become more professional in their play to take advantage of the experience of other pros online. I have been working on the course entitled “Sit & Go By The Numbers” and only need to win one more “Sit N Go” in first place to complete my assignments. Just this one module has helped to improve my thinking about tourney play, position play, and cards playable at different positions and times in a tourney. There are also some great training videos and pop quizzes to test your skills and knowledge. Check out the FullTiltPoker Site for more details.

Have any of you ever tried online training? Do you train in person with a mentor? How has that helped your game?

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Update – Steve takes a bad beat by Doyle Brunson – Resolved by Doyles Room Security

DoylesRoom.
Image via Wikipedia

This saga is over. Thank you Doyles Room Security.

I was a member of Doyles Room and when the conversion to Cake Poker was over, I ended up losing my balance of $15.62. I had chatted online with security and emailed many times but to no avail. The silent part of listen happened but not the way I thought. Doyle Brunson said, in one of his blogs, that silent is spelled with the same letters as listen, and to listen properly, you should be silent.

It did take a while, but the security at Doyles Room assured me that my account still had the balance of $15.62. After many failed attempts, I uninstalled and reinstalled the software. I logged in as directed, requested a new password, and low and behold my account was just as I and left it. Thank you Doyles Room, security and Doyle as well.

It may have help that I also posted my problems at the Doyles Room Blog.

I finally sat down to play using my $15.62 bankroll and I noticed quite a few improvements in the interface. It was easier to use and configure. I especially liked their last hand display. It is very informative and the graphics are sharp as well as you can see in the picture below.

dr-handreplay1

Just these changes alone have gotten me re-interested in spending some time at Doyles Room. I will report back on any other new findings I might encounter both good, bad, and ugly.

Do you have a favorite online site? What do you like most about it? What do you like least?  How about the variety of games available?

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PokerStars 25th Billion Hand Countdown

Screenshot of the Pokerstars GUI at a real-mon...
Image via Wikipedia

It was a long and sleepless night as I played at PokerStars the last two days. I watched bonuses being handed out to players at tables in which the hand number being dealt to them ended in 000,000.  Every  even million numbered hand was given a special  bonus ranging from $350 to $3000 for the player with the winning hand and a smaller bonus ranging from $250 to $750 for the rest of the losing players at that table.

It was unbelievable just how excited everybody was. At the tables that received the bonuses, they sometimes went a little wild. Everyone at the No Limit table would go all-in regardless of what their cards were, knowing that they would at least share in the smaller prizes and that the winner would take all the money in the pot and the big prize.  Some higher stake table players actually lost more than they got in bonuses because they were not thinking or they were hoping to just suck out and win everything in the pot.

The final hand for the grand prize, the 25 billionth hand, took place around 5:00 am Eastern Time and the game being played was Omaha High/Low No Limit.  The two players having the winning hand each got $50,000 and a tournament package. Three of the remaining three split $100,000 three ways or $33,333 each – one got nothing, not sure why though.

I wonder what the next promotion there will be?

Did any of you get caught up in the excitement? There were extremely long waiting lists at each of the tables in most all of the games. Even empty tables filled up so fast you could not get seated. I tried at least 5 times at empty tables to get a seat and they were gone before I could click on the seat. It was a feeding frenzy during the last hour before the major prizes were awarded. Unbeleivable!

Did you lose $$$ in the process?  I lost $9 overall – during the last two nights. I had been up in money but let my guard down in a triple draw game. I had a 12348 but my opponent kept raising and I kept calling – I should have known that meant that he had the nuts – 23457 and won the hand and I lost about $8 in that hand. Live and learn as they say. Hopefully I did learn from all this.

Nine dollars was a very low price to pay for all of the excitement I shared in during the last two days.  Just watching the news feed screen showing how many hands would be dealt before the next payout was exciting.  With more than 150,000 people playing, the stats changed quickly.  Interestingly, a 1 cent 2 cent table was one of the winners proving that everyone had a chance.  The stakes and type of cash games played did not influence the winning table except that the “head up” tables were closed because they were getting too many wins. The reason for this is that they play many hands quickly and could more easily catch a “bonus” numbered hand.

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Fellowship of the … ring games

Twitter's Update Page
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I googled for the definition of “fellowship” and one of the results that I got was “an association of people who share common beliefs or activities”.

And that is what I think the “Twitter Poker Tour” is – a fellowship of tweeple or tweeters that have an avid interest in poker and communicate via the web’s latest best thing, twitter.

I only just found out about the group earlier this month. I also saw that they have a regular tournament schedule every Thursday night at 9:00 pm Eastern Time. One week it is on PokerStars and the following week it is on FullTilt poker. This was great for me as I have accounts on both sites. The entry fee for the tourney is $5.50 and the prizes are based on how many people actually participate. Usually only the top five winners share the prizes.

The thing is, I have come to prefer cash games over tournaments but the TPT is such a diverse and complex group or fellowship, that I couldn’t help but want to join them. I have learned most of their twitter names from the TPT site and try to follow them using software called TweetDeck, one of many out there, but one that I find very useful.

So far I have played in three tourneys:

Tourney 1:  6th place, season one
Tourney 2: 17th place, season two
Tourney 3: 1st place, season two

So winning one event in first place … very exciting. I am looking forward to next Thursday’s event already. Hope to see you there!

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Book Review – "Professional Poker" by Mark Blade

So far I have read over 29 of the; most popular, interesting, easy, or difficult to understand books about poker and the various forms of the game. Some of these I have read at least three times or more. There is so much more to poker that it takes books, blogs, and actual doing just to get your head around the possibilities, the ideas, the strategies.

Early last year, in my quest for information on becoming a “professional poker player”, I found this book by Mark Blade, entitled “Professional Poker – The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living”. I highly recommend this book for both the beginner and the advanced player who might be considering turning professional.

I am re-reading it for a fourth time right now. I picked it up again out of my meager collection (there is so much more out there to get) and doing so could not have come at a better time. I really need to refresh my knowledge of what I need to do in order to become a “poker professional”

The amount of information and advice in the first five chapters including the “About the Author”, “Introduction”, and “Section 1” are enough to let you know what you might be up against if you want to turn pro. Section 2 talks about money issues such as your bankroll management and how much of a bankroll you need. Section 3 covers the education you need and, yes, more books that you absolutely need to read before turning pro.

The book is well written, easy to understand, and would make a good addition to your collection. If this happens to be your first book, you won’t go wrong. Mark’s recommendations for both required reading selections and optional ones will help make future book choices easier. This would also make a nice gift for someone who takes their poker seriously.

Getting started – the beginnings of my new adventure – blogging about my passion – poker.

King of hearts.
Image via Wikipedia

During the last twenty-five years or so I was involved in high tech – either as a programmer or systems administrator. Those days have ended and I am more or less free to pursue my interests and passions for poker – particularly Texas Holdem in its many forms.

Before I get too far, many thanks to Chris Brogan for helping me to set up and get going with this project. Even though I have been envolved in high tech does not mean that I understand blogging or marketing or social media. Enough of that – suffice to say “Chris Rocks…!”.   (yes, if you have checked further, Chris is the oldest of my two sons; the youngest is Thom. Both are great.)

My goals and objectives for my poker playing is to become more professional and profitable.

My goals for the blog are to share the successes, the ideas, the events, and yes even the failures that such a career encounters.  I will share what lessons I learn and what knowledge I  gain.  There are even going to be off topic posts as life is full of surprises … like a box of chocolates “you never know what you are going to get!”.
k

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