WPT BootCamp Training for Cash Games completed

An image of a person playing the poker varient...
Image via Wikipedia

I spent two enjoyable and information filled days at the FoxWoods Casino attending the WPT BootCamp for Cash Game Players. There were 40+ attendees with almost 20% of the audience being female.

Our instructors were:  Lee Childs, Rick Fuller, Nick Brancato, and Eric ‘Rizen’ Lynch.

Rebecca Joy, Event Coordinator at WPT Boot Camp, was the person behind the scenes that help to make things happen. Thank you, Rebecca.

The training took us from Pre-Flop play right down to river play.

The format was lecture, questions and answers, and then labs for each topic.

We were all giving a chance to play several hands of No Limit Holdem poker and then explain why we took the actions we did.

Being able to discuss my game was great and the pros told it like it was.

I took back some great ideas and concepts that I will work into my game.

I will let you know how it works out.

Have you ever had a chance to talk with the pros about your game?

What would you most important question be?

Do you feel it would help?

Enhanced by Zemanta

"Full Rush" tables at Full Tilt Poker

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

It would be hard to imagine that anyone who plays online that has not heard about “Full Rush” poker being played at FullTiltPoker.Com, an affiliate site of mine.

The concept is very simple. You can “quick fold” any hand when you are not the big blind and be moved to another table and get dealt a fresh hand. If you are the big blind, you can “quick fold” as soon as you are raised. You can also advance click a fold option selection, which is helpful if you are playing multiple tables.

The basic idea of the quick fold is to allow you to see more playable hands while folding away the junk … unless of course you crave the action and like playing position poker against the unsuspecting.

There are opportunities to steal blinds if you are the first raiser in the pot, say from middle position.  The blinds may defend button and cut-off raises so you cannot always count on the blinds folding to a pre-flop raise.

There are opportunities to defend blinds with air .. if you re-raise instead of flat calling and then make a pot size bet, the player trying to steal the blinds from the button or cut-off position will usually fold, although not always.

Play the Full Rush poker tables at FTP is a way you build your bankroll and experience action the likes of which you have not seen before. It is also a easy way to lose your bankroll when you make bad decisions. You are also going to run into maniacs and you will have worse hands hold up and beat your good hands.

Be prepared for a roller coaster ride as you end up having to play all styles of players and if you are unable to adapt, you will be losing out on a chance to chip up.

Where do I stand today … I am down about $25, but am now getting some of that back as I have adapted to the many styles of play needed to master these tables. A word of advice: If you lose more than two buy-ins, give it up for a while; if you are winning, keep playing until you start to lose your edge. Because of the increased number of hands you play, you will find that you might to lose your ability to concentrate after a couple thousand hands and that your decisions are not the best. So keep that in mind.

If you have not tried Full Rush poker tables and are a FTP member, give it a try. If you are not an FTP member,  click on one of the FullTiltPoker.Com links and join me at the tables. Look for StevieTrips. But you might have to look quickly as I jump from table to table.

Do you play online poker? Have you played at FullTiltPoker.Com? Have you tried playing at the “Full Rush” table? What were your results?

A “Full Rush” table tip! If you want to see how hands play out at the table you are currently on, click the “Sit out” option before folding. This way, you will be able to see the action at the table. This is helpful when you want to find out what someone was playing when they went all-in and were called.  I once saw an 83 suited go all in against a K8 suited. A three hit the board and the “83” won. These players wagered over $20 each on what was a coin flip.

The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King – a review

Cover of "The Professor, the Banker, and ...

Cover via Amazon

I have just finished an interesting book written by Michael Craig entitled The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time.

This story details perhaps one of the biggest cash games ever played, in excess of $20 million dollars and these events occured between 2001 and 2004 between some of the best professional poker players in the industry and an amateur, a banker by the name of Andrew “Andy” Beal.

Before reading the book, I had not heard a word about this event and yet it involved almost all of the poker superstars that I follow and read about.

The cast of players included the likes of Doyle Brunson, Ted Forrest, “Chip” Reese, Todd Brunson, John Hennigan, Jennifer Harman, Chau Gang, Howard Lederer, Bary Greenstein,  to mention a few.

For the most part, these pros would play heads up or one on one with Andy Beal.  These were his demands and he made them so that he would not feel that he would be cheated. He tried to make them play in games with the blinds being at least $100,000/$200,000 or higher in order to get the pros off of their comfort levels.

Overall this book gives a good insight into the type of lives and thinking the poker pros use on a daily basis. This was a real eye opener for one who might aspire to reach their lofty ranks. You better bring plenty of gamble to the table with you and be prepared to lose as well.

This was a hard book for me to put down. I finished it within a week.

Do you read any poker books that are about the history of the game and about the players?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Small Ball Poker – a tourney strategy!

Daniel Negreanu at 2005 World Series of Poker ...
Image via Wikipedia

I have just finished reading Power Hold’em Strategy written by Daniel Negreanu. He has five other contributors including himself in the book.

There is something there for both the amateur and the semi-pro as well as secrets that even the poker pros might be able to use to increase their wins. This book is intended for those players that participate in playing tournaments, both online and in a casino.

The bulk of the book is an explanation and tutorial on how to play “Small Ball Poker”, written by Daniel, who excels in that type of play,

On the surface, “small ball” is about winning small pots and building up your stack. It is about avoiding the all-in crippling confrontations that face all of us from time to time. He does not say to totally avoid those situations. But it is best if you only go all-in when you have the “nuts” or the best hand.

While his style of play was for tournaments, I have tried it in cash games with limited success.  This is certainly a book that belongs on your bookshelf if you play lots of tourneys.

Do you already play using “small ball” techniques?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Initial thoughts on ClubWPT – an affiliate site

Play online poker with thousands of real people for FREE

I signed up for a two week trail subscription on ClubWPT.com and decided that I liked the site. Based on what I saw, I also decided to be an affiliate member as well, meaning that I earn chip money if someone else signs up with ClubWPT using the ad on this site.

The software reminds me of the older UltimateBet site now known as UB’. The table interface and options are the same as the older UB software, including the detachable chat, a feature that I enjoy.

For $19.95 a month I get a minimum of 500 tournament points per day to be used for buy-ins for Sit N Go’s and scheduled tourneys.  Just today, there were over 50 events available with buy-ins ranging from zero to 400 points with most of the events priced at 25 points or less. You can earn points that can be used to play more games.

This site is geared up for the player that aspires to play mostly in tournaments. The “cash games” on this site are using only “play money”.

Based on this weeks schedule, there are daily $1,000 prize tourneys with top place being paid $150. There are also events that can win you a seat to an upcoming WPT event or even a spot at a WPT Boot Camp!

There are even Sit N Go’s with buy-ins set at 10, 25, 100 or 250 points.  The point games are either No Limit Hold ‘Em or Omaha Pot Limit. The “play chips” games selections include those and Stud, Stud 8/b, Triple Draw and Omaha H/L.

To find out more check the following links:


The best part of the site is that it is an absolutely legal online poker site for US  citizens.

Have you looked over Club WPT? Do you already play there? What is your player name there? (mine is stevebrogan)

I play in fast tournments – and some are faster than others

The poker tables in the Trump Taj Mahal
Image via Wikipedia

I have just completed a book about tournament poker that has turned my thinking upside down about how I should play.

The book,  The Poker Tournament Formula by Arnold Snyder, stated that the type of tourneys with levels increasing in 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 minute increments are considered to be “fast tournaments” by his definition.

Snyder states that fast tourneys require more luck than skill due to the fact that the blinds and antes increase quickly to the point that all players, except perhaps the chip leader at the final table, will be short stacked.

In order to survive a fast tourney, Snyder says that you must play aggressively at the start of the tourney while the value of the blinds and antes are low in order to accumulate chips quickly. He does suggest that stealing the blinds and taking shots at winning pots are one way to amass the chips that you will need at the end of a tournament.

The style of play that he suggests for a fast tourney is not one that I am used to playing. In fact, I usually tend to be a little more careful when I play. When I tried to use some of the ideas and methods that he suggested, I ended up busting out of the tourneys rather quickly. Perhaps I need more practice?

He does state that the style of play needed to win will actually see you busting out early but states that this is better than surviving only to make it to the final table without enough chips to win. Winning back your buy-in should not be your goal – winning first place is the goal. You cannot just wait for good cards as they do not come around often enough in a fast tourney. However, if you have large starting stacks of double or triple the normal 1,000 – 1,500 you can be a little more selective about taking shots and risks.

The skills that he teaches in this book, he says are also useful in slow tournaments such as the WPT five day events. All tourneys at some point towards the end become a fast tournament. If you have the skills necessary to win a fast tourney you should do fine at the slow ones. The more skills that you have, the better off you will be.

Do you play in both fast and slow tourneys? How does your style vary from each type? How do you go about accumulating chips?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Switching Gears!

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Today’s post is a bit off topic as I share with you some of the blogs that I like to read and that I think have value. I use Google Reader and subscribe to about 50 poker related blogs. Using Google Reader allows me to preview the current postings and then choose the ones I want to read in detail.

One of the blogs I read is the “Poker Bankroll Blog”, which uses guest writers. There is usually something there that I find educational or at least very entertaining.

This week I read Swyyft’s posterous blog and was entertained by the story he shared concerning the chat during a session with a high stakes online poker player.

The Mystical Jett is another blog site that contains very interesting and thoughtful posts and reviews.  Jett’s twitter account is @mysticaljett. I play poker online from time to time with him.

Paul Ellis writes on Pablos Place where he brings a lot of passion about poker, putting a “Bad Beat on Cancer”.  On twitter he is known as @coolwhipflea. We also run into each other on the online felt.

Bill Rini, a professional poker player is currently living in Thailand and always has something interesting, and very often, important to say about the state of online poker around the world at Bill’s Poker Blog.   Just visiting to see what pictures he has posted there is an adventure.  Follow Bill on twitter, @billrini.

Goeff Manning, aka @cprpoker on Twitter, has at least three great blogs. Complete Poker Rules contains recent stories regarding poker as well as sections about the rules of various poker games.  The Twitter Poker Tour site is both a forum and a resource for those of us who play on the #TPT tourneys. You will find the leader board, schedules and lots lots more. His latest site, Worth Cause Poker is dedicated to getting out information about fund raising poker events for charity. If you know of any local or national events, please let him know so that he can include it in his blog.

These are just a few of the many blogs that I check daily. Do you have any favorite blogs that you go for poker news or entertainment? Do you have some that you would recommend to me or others?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Playing some No Limit cash sessions at Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt Poker
Image via Wikipedia

For the last two months or so I had been playing mostly on DoylesRoom.com. I was playing at the cash games and the satellite tourneys for an entry to an upcoming WPT event. This week I decided to mix things up a bit. While I continued to play the Step tourneys, I went to other sites to play No Limit Hold ‘Em cash games.

Since my play and success had improved on Doyles, I wanted to see if my adjustments to the game would work on other sites. While I know that on any given day even a good player can have a bad session, I have had good results this week at DoylesRoom, Bodog and now at Full Tilt Poker.

I like the FTP interface, the detachable chat and easy access to the stats. The tables look normal, at least to me. The only technical problem I have is that my avatar does not express emotion. That might seem silly, but my opponents have the ability to make their avatar seem happy, angry, confused or just normal. Mine just sits like a bump on a log. I have tried a couple of different ones but to no avail. But this is not the important thing.

For the last six months, the only reason I log onto FTP was to play in either Twitter Poker Tour or Railbird.Com events. I had given up playing the cash tables because I always seemed to lose if I played.

Last night I bought into the .10/.25 cash tables and played in the style I have been accustomed to playing for the last two months, which is a tight but aggressive style playing mostly premium top 16 hands or when in position, drawing hands with great potential.

Last night I played for over 3 hours and was able to increase my bankroll by 50% before leaving the session and retiring for the night. I might have done a little better but my propensity for misplaying pocket Jacks of late cut into my winnings.  Maybe I should read some more about how to play with pocket Jacks? You think?

How many poker sites do you play on? Are they all the same to you? What is your favorite site?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Chipping away at Bodog …

Bodog 15-Year Anniversary Emblem
Image by BodogCom via Flickr

I decided to take a break from playing the cash game at DoylesRoom.com and play at another site, Bodog. My account there allows me to play the .05/.10 No Limit tables without jeopardizing my bankroll. Based on my success at Doyles, I decided to try my skills out at Bodog.

I had forgotten that I don’t really like the site interface. Just the overall table view puts me off. But the players there are fairly loose. You might get 6 or 7 players out of nine in the pot with everyone limping in. That can cause problems if you have good hands like pocket Aces or Kings. If there are too many people in the pot, there is a greater chance that someone might out draw you and beat your hand. Overall, I was able to increase my bankroll by 10% before calling it a night.

While there appeared to be plenty of tables available at the stakes I was playing, I would join a table and within 15 minutes, people starting leaving. I know it could not have been my deodorant as we were online? With my style of play, I do not like to play with less then 8 people because the blinds will start eating away my stack while I wait for the best hands to play in the proper position. So when the amount of players got to less than 7, I would sit out and then leave the table to find one with at least 7 or 8 players.  As a result, I might have had to put in the large and small blinds without winning. This happened at least three times before I was able to find a table that played for at least an hour.

Overall, I think that a good player can do well at Bodog at the micro stakes level. Once my bankroll increases to about 3x it’s current amount, I will consider moving up to the next cash level of  .10/.25.

Do you play at more than one site? Do you have a favorite? Is one site more profitable for you than another?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Professional No-Limit Hold 'Em Volume 1 – a preliminary review

Poker night - Who's gonna win?
Image by Philofoto via Flickr

In my never ending quest to learn how to play the many forms of poker that are available, I am currently reading a recently published book, Professional No-Limit Hold ’em: Volume I, written by Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, and Ed Miller.

While I have finished only half of the book so far, this one fixes a lot of the holes that I have in my No-Limit cash game. The book is divided into five sections:  “The Basics”, “The Fundamentals”, “The REM Process”, “Planning Hands Around Commitment”, and “Planning in Practice”.

Each chapter is well thought out, containing an introduction, explanation of the concepts being discussed. Examples of how to use the concepts and a summary or wrap up.

Even though I have not finished this book, I found it to be of value already. Just some of the basic and fundamental concepts were enough to help me focus better on my game of No Limit and has been of great value.

I hope to include in my final review of this fine addition to my poker library how this book has improved my overall results at poker.

Have you ever started reading a book and found that it made an immediate impact? What poker books have help you in your game?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]