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...
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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?

——————————————

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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Poker Essays by Mason Malmuth – A partial review

Cover of "Poker Essays"
Cover of Poker Essays

I currently own Poker Essays, Poker Essays, Volume II, and Poker Essays, Volume III written by Mason Malmuth. I acquired the first volume by purchasing it and I received the other two as gifts from my wife, Diane.

So far, I have read the first volume completely, and 95% of Volume II. These books could not have come at a better time. Currently my results at poker playing are in the red. This can mean one of two things. I am either having a run of “bad luck” (in poker, there really is no such thing as luck so lets say I am have a losing spell) or I am a poor player.

It is entirely possible that both statements are true. I may be having a downturn and I may also be a poor player. The good news is that I have some tools that might help me discover which problem I really have and could help me to turn it around. One of the problems is that poor results can cause a good player to play poorly and a poor player to become a worse one. That is quite a dilemma for the aspiring poker professional.

As I stated, I have help in the form of these essays. Mason Malmuth discusses various aspects of a player’s game. He presents poker ideas in a simple and easy to understand format. He gives examples. He gives quizzes. He instructs and above all he challenges the players who read his books to think. To think about how to act; to think about why you should act. Above all, he also tells  you he does not have all the answers. But many of the answers he does have are worth the cost of acquiring these books of essays.

I also have a spreadsheet showing my results. And I have a plan using these essays. My goal is to be come a more consistent winning player. To do this, I must think about my game and plan to act accordingly. In fact, based on Poker Essays, Volume II, I play to stay at the levels I am currently in, which are the micro levels of .10/.20, .25/.50 and .50/1.00. More than likely, the .25/.50 will be fine unless I continue to loose, then I will step down to the next level.

These problems and solutions come at a good time for me because they give me the opportunity to effect change before I damage my bankroll and before I give up on the idea of poker as a profession. I have these tools and more to help me develop as a player.

Do you ever have losing sessions? Do you wonder about your skill as a player? Do you blame bad luck for your loses? Do you have any tools or aids to help you improve? What do you do to try to turn things around?

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These are a few of my favorite things – Poker Books

My last couple of posts have been about Poker Books. I currently own 30 or more of these books and have a shopping list for at least 12 more that I would like to own and read. I have read each of these books at least once and have gone back to some of them many times for specific tips to help me with my game.

The following is a list of my Poker Books, in no particular order:
Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth, Jr.
Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living by Mark Blade
Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves: Expert Plays for No-Limit Tournaments by Michael Cogert
Omaha Poker by Bob Ciaffone
Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker, 3rd Edition by Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker by Doyle Brunson
Online Poker: Your Guide to Playing Online Poker Safely & Winning Money by Doyle Brunson
Middle Limit Holdem Poker by Bob Ciaffone
Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker by Bob Ciaffone
Caro’s Book of Poker Tells by Mike Caro
Caro’s Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker by Mike Caro
Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play by Dan Harrington
Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 2: Endgame by Dan Harrington
Cash Games (How to Win at No-Limit Hold’em Money Games) Vol. 1 by Dan Harrington
Harrington on Cash Games, Volume II: How to Play No-Limit Hold ’em Cash Games by Dan Harrington
Farha on Omaha: Expert Strategy for Beating Cash Games and Tournaments by Sam Farha
World Poker Tour(TM): Shuffle Up and Deal by Mike Sexton
Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Texas Hold’em by Phil Gordon
Winning at Internet Poker For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
Weighing the Odds in Hold’em Poker by King Yao
How to Win at Omaha High-Low Poker by Mike Cappelletti
Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide by Barry Greenstein
Tournament Poker for Advanced Players (Advance Player) by David Sklansky
The Theory of Poker by David Skyansky
The Psychology of Poker by Alan N. Schoonmaker
Poker Essays by Mason Malmuth
Improve Your Poker by Bob Ciaffone
Hold ‘Em Poker by David Sklansky
Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big With Expert Play by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth
Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker by Annie Duke

Do poker books help your games? Do you find too many conflicting ideas? Do you have recommendations for books not on my list?

Review: World Poker Tour: Making the Final Table – Erick Lindgren

In my quest for self-improvement in tournament poker, I read the book “World Poker Tour(TM): Making the Final Table“.

Erick Lindgren took me through all the steps of getting to a World Poker Tour event. He explained that you can gain entry to the events by buying into it directly for $10,000 to $25,000 or you can win a satellite game costing as little as $60 or so and advance a stage at a time, providing you win each stage. In fact, his first WPT tourney was through a satellite.

The book is divided into nine chapters; each one showing the progression from just considering a WPT event, to the winning concepts needed overall. It covers the start of the tourney, Day 1. Erick discusses his methods of playing after the flop. His takes us through the middle stages of a tourney; getting past the bubble and making money; the final table, heads up play, and if you are successful, living the life of a pro.

The appendix contains a wealth of World Poker Tour History; poker math and poker bluffing tips by Matt Matros.

If you are interested in winning tournaments and learning from one of the best tourney players, I recommend this book to you.

Do you have goals to play in a large tourney such as the WPT or WSOP? How have you prepared your self for that goal? Can you imagine playing in a event requiring you to play up to 12 hours per day for at least five days?

Review: Caro's Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker.

I have just recently purchased and read Caro’s Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker written by Mike Caro, the “Mad Genius of Poker”.  The book contained only 158 pages but there was a lot of meat to be gleaned for both the amateur and the professional poker player. Mike’s writing style is interesting in that he likes to use blackboards to highlight his main talking points and he has a lot of them.

This book contained tips and thinking points and sayings. Some of the tips pertained to seven-card stud, seven-card stud high-low, Hold ‘Em, and draw poker. He had tips about why you can really win at poker, how to play poker, general winning advice, money management tips, and much much more.

For example, one of the tips pertaining to bankroll management said “Protect your bankroll! Money you don’t lose is the same as money you win”. He talked about not going on tilt and just throwing your money in the pot, trying to get even after you had a series of bad beats.

There is a lot that can be learned or re-learned just from reading this book. If nothing else, you get to catch a glimpse of what is in the mind of Mike Caro. I highly recommend you read this book.

Have you read any of the other Mike Caro books? How has that helped your game?

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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Small Stakes Hold'em by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth – A review

Flop, turn and river in community card poker v...
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I started playing Texas Holdem online about three years ago. I think that my interest in the game took hold as the result of watching the “World Poker Tour” TV shows on the Travel Channel. I would be mesmerized for hours watching the likes of  Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivy, Gus Hansen, David “the Devilfish” Ulliott, Jennifer Harman, Howard “The Professor” Lederer. The game seemed so simple back then … you could see each of the players hole cards and just about knew what was going to happen.

When I started playing, it turned out that it was not as easy as it looked on TV.  It took about 10 sessions of losing my entire stack at each session to realize that if I wanted to continue to play, I needed some help.  I already had a few books on the rules of Texas Holdem but it appeared that I needed to know more. So I started my search for more advanced poker books and I came across one written by a trio of authors; Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, titled “Small Stakes Hold’em”.

Some of the earlier books I’ve read said that poker was not gambling, it was a skill, like a sport, etc. But right up front this powerhouse of authors stated that “Poker is Gambling” in no uncertain terms. But the line that really caught my attention was the following: “As long as you understand fundamental gambling concepts and make correct decisions, winning will be inevitable.”  Well, I liked that phrase a whole lot. So I started reading the book and I found out that the book is geared especially for the Limit Holdem player, which I had not played before.

This book covers everything you need to know, from poker theory, poker odds, starting hands based on position, preflop play, post flop play, and river play. There are discussions about pot odds, implied odds, reverse implied odds, pot equity and more.

I believe that the most helpful part of the book is that they have a very defined table of starting hand selections for both the tight tables and loose tables that you might play at.  There are also hand quizzes and answers to many of the types of hands you are likely to run into. Whenever I get into a rut and realize that I am not making good decisions in Limit Holdem, I always come back to this book for a refresher course. This is one book that I heartily recommend that you have in your poker book collection.

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