Thursday, May 29, 2008

Razz Poker article in Las Vegas Sun by Jeff Haney

Jeff Haney discovers razz isn’t a ‘miserable’ poker game, and finds an expert who says it can be the best way for many players to consistently make money

By Jeff Haney

Many recent converts to poker fandom had a dubious introduction to the game of razz, thanks to the televised final table of the 2004 World Series of Poker razz tournament at Binion’s.

Tournament veteran T.J. Cloutier emerged as the winner from a final table loaded with top-level pros, but only after a succession of lead changes and busted draws that prompted third-place finisher Howard Lederer to famously call razz a “miserable” poker game.

Mitchell Cogert, the author of a new book on razz, disagrees with that characterization even if he can empathize with Lederer’s frustration.

“You have to go deeper into a hand of razz than you do in other games because you’re always on the draw, and I think that’s what drives people crazy,” said Cogert, author of “Play Razz Poker to Win.”

In Texas hold ’em, for example, if your first two cards are a high pair you essentially have a made hand.

In Omaha, seeing the flop, or first three community cards, gives you a good idea of where you stand.

In 7-card stud, your first three cards could give you a made hand.

Not so in razz, or 7-card stud for low, where the object is to make the “worst” possible poker hand. (The best hand is 5-4-3-2-A, the second-best hand is 6-4-3-2-A, and so on.)

“People start with three good low cards and they think it’s the nuts,” Cogert said. “It’s not the nuts. It’s the nut draw. There’s a big difference. They have such a good draw they think they’re going to win, and that’s not always the case.”

Lederer found that out the hard way in a key hand at the infamous 2004 final table, drawing to a 6-4 but catching a series of “bricks” (useless cards) and losing to Cloutier’s 6-5.

Such painful hands notwithstanding, Cogert maintains that playing razz cash games, particularly online, is the best way for many players to consistently make money. One big reason is that good information on razz is scarce compared with more popular games such as no-limit hold ’em.

“In hold ’em everyone seems to know all the percentages, what hands are a coin flip, which are 60-40 ... we’ve all studied that and seen them so many times,” Cogert said. “Nobody knows anything about razz. If you start with a 5 (showing) and I start with a 4 and we know three exposed cards, who’s the favorite and why?

“You need a bankroll to play poker, but it’s very hard because there’s so much good information out there. It’s like a rising tide. Everyone’s getting better at hold ’em. But no one has said, what about razz? For a knowledgeable player, the easiest way to build a bankroll online could be razz.”

In researching “Play Razz Poker to Win,” Cogert found some solid advice in previously published material — usually just a chapter in books on various forms of poker — but also some erroneous information. For example, some poker writers thought a draw on fifth street is always favored against a made 9, Cogert said, meaning proper strategy would be to reraise with the draw to get more money into the pot.

“I would do that and I would lose,” said Cogert, a business consultant from Northern California. “It turns out it isn’t true. It depends on what you have and what other cards are out. So I started to get into it more and realized a lot of the information out there needed to be updated. There are new tools out there, so why not use them?”

For example, a player with a made 9-8 is a small underdog against a 7, 6, or 5 low draw — but a big favorite against an opponent with an 8 low draw, Cogert points out in the book. Similarly, a made 9-7 is a small underdog to a 5 low draw but a big favorite against an 8 low draw.

Cogert also examines “card duplication,” or the effect of which cards have been dealt on the odds of winning the hand, as well as the concept of “stealing” in razz.

Regularly scheduled razz tournaments are difficult to find, although Cogert thinks that could change if one of the major online poker sites launched a weekly razz tournament with a guaranteed prize pool.

Meanwhile, Cogert plans to travel to Las Vegas for this year’s World Series of Poker razz tournament, a three-day, $1,500-entry event scheduled to begin June 13 at the Rio. Razz, the “R” in HORSE, will also make an appearance in several mixed-game tournaments at the World Series.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Razz event $5,000 Guarantee

Finished 4th, and won $475.

On last hand, I had the lead with 7-5 and got rivered by a 6-5....if my hand stands up I'm the chip leader...major bummer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to Improve Your Poker Tournament Game

Video ad for the no limit book promotion

New Promo idea for No Limit: A Free Poker Evaluation

The promotion is for my new book Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves. Here's the concept:

How many times have you entered a no limit poker tournament and not cashed? Or have you cashed a few times but never won an event?

Perhaps it's time for you to get outside help so you can stop making the same mistakes and improve your tournament play.

Here are three options to improve your game:

1. Ask friends for help.

The advantages of using friends is that it will not cost you any money and they are nearby. They can watch you play online or sit behind you while you play at a casino. The disadvantages is that your friends may not be poker experts and may not be able to identify where you need help. Also if you compete against them, you may not want to give away how you play.

2. Hire a poker coach

The advantages of using a poker coach is that they are experts and can help you improve your game. The disadvantage is the cost. The big seminars from Poker Pros often cost thousands of dollars.

3. Get a Poker Evaluation.

The advantages of a poker evaluation is that is totally free and you take the exam at your leisure. When you have completed the test, you review not just the right answers but also you get specific advice on what your wrong answer means as to how you approach a poker tournament and a given situation.

Getting help means knowing answers to questions like these:

1. Do you have the right mindset to win a poker tournament?

2. Do you know how to play in early stages of a poker tournament?

3. Do you know the best way to play pocket Jacks?

4. Do you know when it is the right or wrong time for a continuation bet?

5. Do you really understand how to use a semi-bluff?

6. Do you know when to bet or check on flops?

7. Do you know how to take advantage of scare cards?

8. Do you know how to approach heads-up play?

If you are not making any money playing poker, get help. Ask friends, hire a coach or start with a Free Poker Evaluation.

Take the Free Poker Evaluation at
To watch the Poker Evaluation video ad go to:

Hey, it's just an idea...

Friday, May 16, 2008

How To Build Your Poker Bankroll

Is Play Razz Poker to Win helping poker players?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

About to be knocked out of the

FTOPS Razz event. Tried to build a big pot to win with A-2-3 and bricked it. Next hand A-2-4 tried again...and bricked again.

Full Tilt has been beating me up non stop since I won a 45 person no limit event. Right now, 4th time in row for a bring in bet. Unreal what the software can do to you...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Am I out of practice with Razz....

I entered the $5,000 Guarantee...played weak...and lost.

I need to read my book again!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Got a great reco for the book on Ante Up

Ante Up is both a funny and informative show.

The show was on the game of HORSE. I've posted the link on the left. I called into the show with some Razz poker tips.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

PokerStars IntelliPoker selected Play Razz Poker to Win

for their international website. It will be translated into different languages and available as an ebook for their members.

I believe Katja Thater mentioned my book to IntelliPoker.

I am also looking into doing videos for them as well on Razz Poker.

I missed the Razz event because gettting ready for news

Ebook of Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves press release this am. I wonder how many hits I'll get.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

FTOPS Razz Poker event is May 15th 21:00

I won a satellite to get into the game tonight. I just have to remember to get to the game on time. I think 21:00 is 6pm Pacific.

As to the satellite, only one seat was being given away since there were only 6 players.

When it was down to 3 players I was low in chips. But the chip leader thought I was weak when I had him board locked on 6th. Got me back in the game.

Won a couple more heads-up matches when the player in 2nd place over-played his position and I caught him on 5th street.

I beat him one more time on 5th street and became chip leader.

After that point it seemed the other two players tightened up, so I loosened up my play. I had a big chip lead and we were 3 handed still.

Finally, the prior chip leader was low in chips and moved all-in against me. He had the better hand but bricked. He was out.

My lead extended and the the last opponent just folded and folded and folded.
Finally, he had to take a stand...he won!

But he folded, folded and folded, and he was right back to having to take a stand. This time he lost.

I wish they all could be that easy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Posted a video poker quiz on youtube

The link is:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Razz Poker radio interview with Lou Krieger is posted

You can find the link right on this blog, as it's listed to the left under Play Razz Poker to Win. It went well. If you get a chance listen and see what you think. thanks.

What's Your Poker IQ?