I don't know if you noticed, but earlier this month I once again failed to win the World Series of Poker.
What a disappointment.
As New Jersey joins Nevada in offering internet poker, I'd like to be encouraged, but I'm not. It's like they're trying to reinvent the wheel -- but with crappy software and a tiny player pool. Ok, that was a terrible metaphor, but still, when we asked for online poker back in the US, this was not what we were hoping for. I don't know about you, but I was hoping for a second Party Poker boom, with a huge player pool and easy money movement.
It's not going to happen.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, at peak times the player pools of Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com (the two Nevada online poker sites) might be "roughly 250 to 300 participants combined." And the people the government is allowing to obtain even state licenses are as crooked as the people who screwed online poker up for everybody the first time around. In some cases they're the exact same people.
If you've been holding out hope for online poker to return to this country, it might be time to give up and transition to live full time.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I hope you have much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for the opportunity to do the things I love and make a living at them. I've been very lucky, but I've also worked hard to get to this place. I've written an article on the three things I think you need to be successful at poker.
I'm often bored when playing poker. I try to keep it interesting, chat with the other players, have some fun, but often it's a group of quiet guys who won't engage, or (shockingly) don't appreciate my sense of humor. I see a lot of people who seem to be having a lot more fun than me, so I compiled a list that ignores profitability and gives you tips that make the game more fun.
With Running Aces' Rake Rebate promotion running (which is awesome and you should be out there grinding right now! Seriously, go. I'll wait...........) I've been grinding a lot of cash games. They have some juicy kill games out there, and I continue to see the same mistakes over and over regarding playing with the leg up. And I'm not talking about a new yoga stretch players are doing at the table. I'm talking about the lengths players will go to in an attempt to get the kill. And what do I do when I see all those mistakes? I write an article about them.
Continuation betting online was easy. Look at your opponent's Fold to Continuation Bet percentage and if it's high, fire on any flop. If it's low, only bet if you hit. Since I can't play online anymore, I've had to figure out my continuation bet frequency without the benefit of a heads up display. Here's my thinking (picture the poison drinking scene in the Princess Bride):
- Most hands miss the flop. Therefore I should bet.
- But my opponent knows this, too, and may raise. Therefore I should check.
- But if I bet, it would indicate I don't fear a raise, meaning my hand is very powerful. I should bet.
- But knowing this, I should check, as that would show I am unafraid of a free card, indicating even more strength.
- But a strong player would bet even with a very strong hand to get maximum value. I should bet.
- But a strong player would also be very tricky and would vary his play. I should check.
...I could go on and on. But a funny thing happens when you go out too many levels. Eventually you return to optimal mathematical play, which should be the basis of every decision. Bet your good hands and check your bad ones. Only deviate when absolutely necessary.
But if your opponents know you're doing this...
Here's the last set of FPC notes. I'll try to continue to do this. It makes me play better, and I think it provides a good insight into the workings of a tournament player's mind.
On another note, I double-barreled in the Hallowscream tournament and got called. Can't remember last time this move worked. I need to reassess when I'm using this move or drop it from my repertoire entirely.
Took a quick break from my FPC Notes series to write about an interesting hand that came up in the Hallowscream tournament and why it was my fault that an inside straight drew out on my set of queens.
I was not able to get to as many FPC events as I would have liked to. Not even close. I made it to three. But I final tabled the last one I played, so I've got to call the series a success. During the tournament I cashed in, I took extensive notes on the hands after I played them. I've copied them over to my computer and am currently annotating them, interpreting my shorthand and explaining my thinking during the hands. I've finished up to the first break and think it makes an interesting read.