Sunday, July 27, 2008

Free Poker Evaluation

I have posted a free poker evaluation of your no limit tournament game.

It is at

There are 15 questions to answer. The answers hope to guide you on the right way to approach no limit tournaments and identify any leaks in your game.

Good luck.

Entered the Full Tilt Sunday big event

5,000+ players...

Got down to 200 or so players, and the guy to my right moved all-in. I thought it was a steal. I had A-Q and called. He showed 9-10 offsuit. He hit the 9 and crippled my stack.

Oh well...and it was going so good....would I do it again....yeah. But, after I called, I just had that feeling he was going to show Q-9 and beat me. Instead, it was 9-10...

I didn't think it was possible but it looks like a guy in China downloaded my no limit ebook. Maybe I can offer him a multi-level marketing deal--I mean there are like a few billion people living in China.

Maybe I should advertise the book during the Olympics--but only on the Chinese feed.

Or, maybe this guy is just going to email the pdf to a billion of his best friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

News: London Bookstore now sells my poker books

The High Stakes Bookshop has added both of my poker books to their store.

It is the High Stakes Bookshop. Located on Great Ormond Street in London.

The other bookstore that carries both my books is Gamblers Bookstore in Las Vegas.

They keep running out of my books, which is a good sign.

It's tough getting noticed against the "name" brand authors. But, I thank everyone who have bought my books and who have given me positive feedback.


My No Limit Poker Book--a positive post

From Two plus two poker forum:

Re: Tournament poker: 101 winning moves
Take it how you want it, but the book is great. There were so many tips in this book that I didn't know that have helped my MTT play tremendously. Reading this book together with "Every Hand Revealed" will definitely teach any player how to play LAG successfully.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Razz Poker-Got back what I lost...

The largest win was that I ended up playing heads-up and hitting some nice hands.

The table started with 4 players, but two opponents went broke and left. My opponent got most of their money.

It was obvious how my opponent was playing, which allowed me to take advantage.

Got back $600 on that $20-$40 table.

When i could sneak Razz into my day, I played and picked up a hundred here and there.

I still think I got incredibly unlucky that other night...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Got beat up at Razz....

Too many close beats on 7th...lost $1,000...oh well.

The annoying thing was how it was really against the same guy--

I let him be aggressive and let him raise me on 5th. He thought he had the better drawing hand each time, although I actually was the favorite. He would sometimes improve on 6th and sometimes not. I'd check...and if he thought he was ahead he'd bet. If not, he'd check.

And on 7th...he would hit perfect.

I lost with 8-4 to his 7-6.
I lost with 7-4 to his 6-5.
I lost with 6-5 to his 6-4.

I did bet my 7-4 hand on 7th..and called his raise.

I called the other hands.

If I played it more aggressively, I don't see him going away.

You can't win them all...oh well, I'd been running good at Razz the past week so it was meant to go south sooner or later.

Oh my...I forgot to move my seat!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Razz poker-Here is the key to winning....

Are you ready?

This is only good advice for cash games.

The key to winning in Razz is....get a good seat.

Tonight--some more proof:

I took my seat at $30-$60.

I ended up with almost 40% of the bring-in bets.

I was the favorite after 4 cards and bricked...on 3 different hands.

Down $400...bummer....what did I do?

I totally changed the way I played Razz and ended up the evening ahead $400.

Ok...I lied...I just moved my seat and I ended up the evening ahead $400.

I told a player, who says he is a semi-pro online player, that it's all in the seat. He told me I was an idiot. Maybe so...

But if you sit down at any table online and things are going bad--my advice is simple...move your seat.

Some people say that gambling is a long term thing. I disagree.

Gambling is all about brief moments in time where luck runs good or bad or neither. If your luck is running bad...move your seat...leave the game...whatever is change your luck for that short period of time.

When I play poker and things are running good...I will stay as long as the luck is going my way...when it changes...I put in a stop order to myself so I can "lock" in a gain for the period. Try it. If you always leave a winner your attitude is so much better.

One last point: Sometimes I start to play and realize I'm playing bad. So I just leave...I know when I come back there will be a game somewhere.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Razz Poker--you need to have a sense of humor

Playing this game.

You can have a great hand for the first 4 cards, and the bricks fall so you can't win.

And you can start knowing you have the worst of it, but your opponent or opponents all brick on you.

Tonight...I must be a lousy player, because I lost $200 at one $20-$40 table. I move to a new table and win $400. Did I play better at the new table? No. Just got a lucky seat.

You just need a sense of humor about the game or it will drive, it will make you pissed.

One story or two: When online poker started years ago, the first time I played I joined Ultimate Bet. I set up my laptop on the kitchen counter and played in a no limit tournament. It wasn't a big tournament. I think it may have been like a $20 or $30 buy-in.

The tournament was going on for maybe an hour or so, and I make it to the final table. I am in 3rd place.

I get dealt A-A. The player under the gun raised and I am figuring out how much to re-raise when the power goes off in my apartment.

I had never lost power in that apartment before. There was nothing I could do. I waited for about 40 minutes...or maybe it was longer.

When the power came back, I immediately powered up the laptop and logged back on. I frantically searched for the event. When I opened up the table, I was no longer at the table.

I contacted Ubet via email. They quickly replied that I got paid 8th place money. Of course, I wasn't happy about it at all...I was in 3rd place and had A-A. I guess if I had 7-2 I would have been calmer.

In retrospect, it's funny that of all the hands to have when the power goes off...

Not happy with Ubet. I opened an account at Paradise Poker. After about one month on Paradise I had been winning at Limit hold'em and had a big enough bankroll to try either their highest limit or maybe it was next to the highest limit. I think it may have been $30-$60 or $40-$80. I quickly learned that my bankroll was not nearly big enough.

Anyway, I recall the first time I played at this high level and one of the first hands I was dealt was pocket Q's under the gun. I raised and was called by the player seated next to me, and the big blind.

On the flop I hit a set. The first player bet, I called, the 2nd guy raised, and the betting was capped. On the turn, there were all sorts of draws possible, so when the first guy bet, I raised. But once again a raising war started and the betting was capped.

I wasn't happy when a card that could make a straight and/or flush hit the river. The BB bet into me, and I just called. The next player raised, and the big blind re-raised.

I knew I was beat so I folded. I figured one of them must have a straight or flush.

The player to my left...folded without hesitation!

I jumped out of my seat and shouted "What the F@@K!" My sister came into my room, and I kept yelling at the computer while also trying to explain to her what happened.

She didn't care and left me alone to suffer.

To this day, I think it was collusion.

No, I did not have a sense of humor that day.

A week later I returned--making sure not to play with those guys again--figuring I'd just win the money back. Wrong. I lost the rest of my bankroll...and never returned to Paradise.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Razz $20-$40

Like I said good seats and bad seats....tonight the seat was bad...lost $300. Couldn't win while ahead on 4th, or 5th or 6th....oh well.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Razz Poker $30-$60 cash results, a tip and learning

Decided to play some more Razz...

One player was super aggressive. Since the table was only 5 players, his theory was to raise with the second lowest or lowest card. It worked as no one played back at the guy.

I got involved with him and a third player. We went to 4th street and the aggressive player hit a King, while the third guy and I both improved. The third guy bet since he was in the lead, and I raised wanting to get the aggressive guy out. But he called. On 5th street, I took the lead and the aggressive guy was still sporting King low. He called my bet, and the third player called. On 6th, I was in the lead and bet. Only the aggressive guy called. I had the better hand and even a better draw. On 7th, he hit his card and won a big pot.

On the next hand another player beat me as well; yeah, coming from behind. I had lost $600.

Here's my tip: There is such a thing as good and bad seats. It is not being superstitious.

I moved to a new table. The aggressive player was at this table. I sat to his left and decided to call almost all his raises.

Since there was only 4 or 3 players during this time it was a smart strategy on his part to be aggressive. Well, I beat him up most of the time and made back the money I lost. He was beating up on the other players, so when he lost to me the other players seemed to giving away their chips to him.

I learned a lot from the aggressive player. When he left, I used his theory.

Overall for the night I won $ I was satisfied.

Some learning:

Short handed it is best to try to be the aggressive player at the table by betting the lowest exposed card or the second lowest exposed card pre-flop 90% of the time.

What this does is it allows you to steal and accumulate chips, and you win when you hit good and the opponent hits bad.

When you run into one of these aggressive players, slow play him even when you are ahead on 3rd street. Wait till 4th street. If he hits good and you hit bad, you can still call. In fact, you can assume he has a card higher than a 9 in the hole when you play the hand.

If you take the lead and you bet and he doesn't fold, there is a chance he actually has a real hand.

If he has the lead and checks, you can assume he has a really bad hand so bet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Razz Poker--cash game $30-$60 and a big tip on 6th street play

I played some Razz poker tonight. It's been a while. When the table was full, there were a few things worth noting...

Part 1: Two players decided to be the sheriff at the table. The sheriff is the guy with the second lowest card and nearest to the right of bring-in bettor (meaning acting later). If the lowest card raised, these guys would re-raise to get heads-up. Heads-up if they hit good and their opponent hit bad that would collect the pot.
Of course, this play is obvious when you do every single time.
The bad news I had both of these guys to my left, so I had to be more selective.

What happened for me was that I bought in for $600, and got it to $1,000 and was going to play one last hand. It was a good hand, but one of these guys beat me on 6th and I had to fold. So, now I was staying.

Part 2: The table became 4 handed, and only one sheriff remained at the table. The guy just kept beating me. I was down to $130.

Part 3: A new player sat down and this time I shot the I knocked him out. The funny thing about these guys is that they think because they play aggressive and bluff a lot, they think everyone else is doing the same thing. Well, guess what? Sometimes your opponents have hands!

I built my stack to $1,400. I lost two more hands, and decided to leave with $1,200--ahead $600.

One last comment: On one of my favorite blogs (brickin' the nuts), I tried to help by posting advice on how to play 6th street on the example provided. Unfortunately, the other Razz players don't get it since it is such an uncommon move in Razz--checking when you are ahead on 6th street.

However, the fact is that checking is the right play when you and your opponent have mediocre lows and you know your opponent is going to call your bet on 6th, and fold on 7th if he misses but call or bet when he hits better than you. Essentially, here are the outcomes:

Common Play:
Bet on 6th, and get called.
On 7th you hit and he misses....still win 1 bet.
On 7th you miss and he lose 2 bets, since you will call since he may be bluffing.
On 7th you both hit good...but you are not sure, so you check. He would only bet if he can beat you. Therefore, either up 1, down 1, or you lose 2 bets.
On 7th, you both hit good...he is going to win 2 bets.
Net--this is not a good bet on 6th, even if you are a big favorite. A 10 low versus an opponent's J low is not all that good, when you know he is going to call the 6th street bet.

Uncommon Play:
Check on 6th.
Now you will either win one bet, lose one bet, or break even--given all possible outcomes.

This situation happens all the time in Razz and everyone continues to play it wrong.
If you have a mediocre or worse low on 6th and are ahead of your opponent's almost equally mediocre or worse low, and you KNOW for sure he will call your bet...don't bet! Check!

How often in Razz do you see that guy in the lead bet on 6th get called, and then check when he misses. If his opponent bets, he always calls. Loses two bets. If his checks, he only loses or wins 1 bet.
When he bets, his opponent is only going to call if he thinks he has a better hand. The bet on 6th, will result in most cases you winning one bet or losing two bets.
The check on 6th, will result in a 0, +1, or -1 outcome.

I decided against taken up the Brickin' the Nuts blog with a large post to explain. I understand why players always think when they are ahead on 6th, they should bet. But it's not always the best play. Really, even if you are a 60% favorite.

Oh yeah, this one change in your game will really save you money and result in better results. I mention this in my book as an advanced play for 6th street. Another way to look at it is if you were the other guy, given your draw, the mediocre low of your opponent and both the pot and implied odds, you are going to call.

Let me know if this is clear or not.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Review of Tournament Poker book

Author and poker player, Mitchell Cogert, sets down 101 “Winning Moves” for no-limit tournaments in a thoughtful, meticulous manner. These moves fall under three main categories: Pre-Flop Moves, Flop Moves and River Moves. The premise of the book is handy, and it makes you feel “armed” for your next tournament.

Part of what Cogert succeeds at is illustrating his conviction that playing aggressively is the way to win no-limit poker tournaments. And he supports his argument by giving good advice on various types of raises and bluffs.

Cogert teaches the “No-Look” Blind Steal, Under-the-Gun Steal-Raise, Leave-Something-Behind Re-Raise and the Naked Ace Bluff, among others. These are tough, but needed, moves to pull off in a no-limit tournament, according to Cogert.

Throughout the book, Cogert gives little quizzes at the ends of each section and chapter. What’s great about these little tests is the amount of detailed information given in order to make your decision. Cogert sets up scenarios well. He tells you how many chips you and your opponents have, your seat position, blind amounts and what table images you and your opponents might have, and of course what cards you’re holding.

The only place to really fault Cogert is that his full-throttle approach to tournament poker doesn’t leave much room for tight, conservative play, or anything in between. Yes, you have to make some risky plays in order to win in tournaments, but Cogert preaches a “Risk is Good!” sermon almost to a fault.

This book has its fair share of stats and percentages, which are useful in the way Cogert uses them, and he doesn’t just throw numbers at you because he can. Another useful tool Cogert offers the reader is a two-page Appendix called “Planning: Boring But Necessary.” In this section Cogert gives the potential tournament player a little “pep talk” by listing key questions the player should be thinking about before and during the tournament. It boils the book down nicely, so if you can at least walk away thinking of those questions your tournament life should improve.

More fun little sections in Cogert’s book are the little stories he writes between a few of the chapters about hands he played against pros such as David “The Dragon” Pham, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack and others. Cogert doesn’t take himself too seriously in these stories, so it’s a nice distraction from the rest of the book.

As far as poker books go, this is an easy one to relate to. It’s based on real experience, a little theory, and a lot of courage! At about 200 pages, it’s a quick read and worth picking up.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's true: I've been playing more no limit poker

tournaments than razz events to prepare me for that $1,500 WSOP no limit event...which I didn't get in.

The other mistake I made was that once I got into the Full Tilt main event 150 seat give away, I didn't play any events to get a seat. In that event when it got down to 650 players, I re-raised a player all in with pocket Jacks thinking he was on a late position steal. Wrong! He had A-K. I was happy, though, when the flop missed him, the turn missed him...yeah, on the river he hit his Ace. That hand sealed my fate.

I tried the steps on Poker Stars three times. I did get as far as the 4th or 5th step one time...I can't recall which one it was now. On the third hand, I had A-K and a player slowplayed his pocket Aces. When the King hit on the flop I was too aggressive and did myself in.

The good news is that a couple of players have left positive reviews on "Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves."

One player said he cashed for the first time ever at the WSOP and credited my book for getting him past the bubble.

Another player said he was very skeptical that the moves in the book would work, but has not only cashed but won a lot of events.

I did get an email from a player who said he can't understand why the word hasn't gotten out on my book since he thinks its one of the best he's ever read. I told him it's because I don't have a bracelet...maybe next year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My trip to the World Series of Poker

I flew into Vegas to enter Saturday's $1,500 no limit event. The event started at noon.

I missed the 11:15 am bus from Harrah's to the Rio, so I took a cab instead. The cab drove about 100 yards from Harrah's when the police pulled over the taxi. It wasn't the cops but a Vegas Taxi Commission officer. It seems that the taxi wasn't suppose to pick up passengers in the area--he was a restricted cab.

After asking the cabbie a few questions, the Taxi Police had me get out of the cab. He got me another taxi, which let me out in front of the Rio.

After the long walk, I was at the Registration Window about 11:45am. But the event was sold out. I was told the event sold out about 30 minutes ago.

Bummer. They capped the event at 2,700 players.

The extra taxi stop didn't matter. It was just not meant to be.

What's Your Poker IQ?