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?

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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?

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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?

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Full Rush Poker – a preliminary review of this new poker site

Gambling man
Image by waffler via Flickr

Based on the recommendation of fellow twitterer @Mitchell1969, I decided to try out a new poker site called “Full Rush Poker”, no association with “Full Tilt Poker”.  I tried doing an internet search on Full Rush Poker to determine who actually runs and owns it but came up empty.

I went to Mitchell Cogert’s website for more details and to use his link to download the software for Full Rush Poker.  The download and setup was easy. I registered my login name and screen name along with personal details. I made an initial deposit which was accepted within 12 hours of the first deposit. They do alert you that the first deposit can take up to 24 hours to validate and subsequent deposits will update almost immediately.

The next day, I logged into Full Rush Poker and was presented with the lobby screen.

Lobby Screen of Full Rush Poker

Full Rush Poker offers the basic poker games, such as Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud. They offer tournaments, Sit and Go’s, Steps. They even have a group called “Most Popular” which allows you find the most active games available.  Because this site is fairly new, there are not a lot of players and games available, so you might have to choose games you do not ordinarily play in order to participate.

I played in a rebuy tourney with 60 players, a No Limit Cash game and a Limit cash game my first time there. While my success at the games were not great, the experience was enjoyable and the table displays crisp and reasonable to work with.

table-view

You can try the site for free, you don’t have to make a deposit in order to play in their freerolls. They also have a twitter account that you can follow that will announce upcoming games. The twitter name is @FullRushPok.

Have you ever tried out new sites? What has been your expierence? Do you stay with them after the initial visit?

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Poker Resources – there are lots of them out there

poker chip bridge
Image by limowreck666 via Flickr

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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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It might be time for live games ….

Cártel de la frontera del estado de Nueva Hamp...
Image via Wikipedia

I live in Fremont NH and I have just found out that there are at least three poker rooms with 30 minutes of my home and seven poker rooms overall that are close to me in New Hampshire. The ones closest are in  Seabrook, Manchester, and Salem NH.  So far the only one I have visited and played at was the Seabrook room. My success there has been spotty. However, this was before I read and re-read my favorite poker books by Mason Malmuth and David Sklansky.

The following is a list of the poker rooms in New Hampshire that I am aware of and their location and hours of operation.

Seabrook Greyhound Park Poker Room, 319 New Zealand Rd, Seabrook, New Hampshire 03874, Poker room phone: 603-474-3065, Age Requirement: 18, Hours: Mon-Thurs: 3pm to 1am
Fri-Sun: 12pm to 1am

Sharky’s Manchester Poker Room, 195 McGregor Street, Manchester, New Hampshire 03102, General phone: 603-606-4456, Age Requirement: 18, Hours: 11am – 1am

River Card Poker Room, 185 Elm Street, Milford, New Hampshire 03055, General phone: 603-249-5548, Age Requirement: 18, Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5pm to 1am, Friday: 3pm to 1am, Sat-Sun: Noon to 1am

Rockingham Park Poker Room, 79 Rockingham Park Blvd, Salem, New Hampshire 03079, General phone: 603-898-2311, Age Requirement: 18, Hours: Mon-Wed: 3pm to 12am, Thursday: 2pm to 12am, Friday: 2pm to 1am, Saturday: 12pm to 1am, Sunday: 12pm to 12am

Sharky’s Dover Poker Room, 887b Central Avenue, Dover, New Hampshire 03820,General phone: 603-749-090, Age Requirement: 18

Sharky’s Keene Poker Room, 401 Winchester Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03431, General phone: 603-357-3038, Poker room phone: ext. 195, Age Requirement: 18

Lodge at Belmont Poker Room, Route 106, Belmont, New Hampshire 03220, General phone: 877-872-2501, Age Requirement: 18, Hours: Wed-Fri: 4pm to 1am, Saturday: 2pm to 1am, Sunday: Noon to 1am.

In the next few months, I plan to visit each room and play some Limit Hold ‘Em and try to get a feel for each room. I am aware that each room may have a different group of players and that the day of the week and the hours of the day that I play might make a difference in my results. I will collect my notes for each room and le you know what I find out.

Do you have poker rooms near to you? Do you have a favorite one? Do you prefer face to face play versus online playing?

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Online note taking – some sites give you more.

visual note-taking conference call notes
Image by Austin Kleon via Flickr

All of the online poker sites that I play allow note taking on specific players. That helps me as I play on different sites and I don’t always remember how my opponent played the last time we met.  Not so much for the #TPT players as we have played dozens of times over the last few months. Just a few notes can make all the difference between losing and winning a hand. The following is a list of sites I have played and their note taking capabilities.

Absolute Poker allows notes only, no color coding available.

Bodog Poker offers notes only, no color coding available.

Carbon Poker has a very detailed graphics bot that allows you to type notes and choose a picture tag to represent the player, including shark, fish, on tilt and others.

Doyles Room and PokerHost allow you to take notes and categorize the players from “Unknown” to “Hot player” with a color assigned to each designation.

FullTiltPoker allows notes and you choose a color code. There are no pre-assigned meanings to the colors so you get to decide what they mean.

PokerStars offers notes only, no color coding available.

TruePoker allows you to label the person and write notes as well.

Ultimate Bet allows just note taking, no color coding available.

I am currently spending a lot of time on Doyles Room and PokerHost whose sites are part of the Cake Poker Network.

While on these sites I use the player notes once I have determined the type of opponent I am playing. I can choose from the following labels and add my own notes. Each label is color coded.

Unknown – white – I use when I am not sure. I may want to include a note that the player likes suited connectors or some other drawing hand.

Tight – purple – have seen only a few of these types

Easy Money – green – I use this label for the limpers, and callers that have a hand or a draw. Maybe they cannot value bet and just call, hoping that their hand is good enough to win.

Fair – brown – just a grade above Easy Money – they might raise entering in a pot but don’t know what to do after the flop.

Good – yellow – raises or calls pre-flop, raises or calls after the flop. Usually knows how to value bet and sometimes check raises as well.

Very Good – pink – plays very few hands, usually plays well, knows how to raise and re-raise to get the most value out of a hand.

Hot Player – red – sneaky player who can flop the nuts but will check to the rest. Usually bets on forth and fifth street, when the bets are double and also uses the check raise.

Do you have a site that you like best? How do you rate their note taking options? Do you even take notes?  If yes, do these notes help?

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I had discussed this topic in a previous post, only I shared the why’s in more detail. See my previous post here.

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