What would you be IF you weren't afraid?
“In a balance of mutual terror, whoever acts first has the advantage!”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How the Predator and Prey Game evolves at the poker table

Updated 2/11/2017
Poker regulars at work.

OK, this has happened to me, probably you too.
"While the other players at the table played cautiously against one another, they were relentlessly and collectively aggressive against me. Check-raising me, trapping me, slow-playing me with big pairs, going over the top of my feeble raises and bluffing me right into the ATM machine."
It's obvious, most of the players knew one another and I was regarded as the "New Fish" in their pond.

Low-stakes cash games, like those at many of the card rooms around Los Angeles and Las Vegas, are home to the "regulars" of the area. They are there almost every night, they know how they play and they don't play against each other. They are here to work, and it's not just those "retired" old folks that frequent the tables. The lost boys and girls that had to come out of their "on-line" sanctuary when "Black Friday"   came are trolling the tables too. It's a game of cut throat pool when a new player enters the game, only at a poker table with 3 times as many sharks. If the new player isn't in the hand, they limp and check to the river, if it ever goes that far.

Before you enter a cash game, look around the room at several of the tables, if there are more than one. You will certainly find one or two tables where there is some banter among the players, like a good home game, with the usual ego trip by one obnoxious player. Avoid that table, it won't be fun.

Look for a game where people are actually having fun, and you might stand a chance. Find a poker room where there's a lot of young people drinking a lot and making a lot of noise. There are many of them in Vegas and on certain weekends in other card rooms. Look for the acton places in Vegas, conventions, holiday weekends, spring break and during their big special tournaments. You may find a few pros there, but mostly fun loving gamblers like the ones at the craps and roulette tables.

In most other card rooms, like those in Los Angeles or northern California, it's better to only buy into a newly started game, where everyone starts with the same stack size. It's easy to check the board and see how long the waiting list is. If the list is long, there may be a new table opening up. You'll still find the old players that buy in for the minimum and the loose players that buy in for the maximum, but you can choose where you want to start with your chips.

Be aware though, all the money isn't on the table. Many poker rooms won't let you buy in for more than 50 big blinds and most of the players have set an amount they will gamble, so they will reload when their stack gets low. Loose players and gamblers will often reload several times. You should be prepared to reload, at least once, if you want to be profitable in the long run. If you are winning and you decide to pack it up, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you are allowed to buy in at another new table, check with the floor man.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Phill's Little Green Book Notes

Updated 2/11/2017

I have all of Phil Gordon's books, including Poker: The Real Deal, one of my first poker books. His "little books", Green, Black, Gold and Blue, show his, as well as the game's evolution. They all have some good math basics, as well has his own "tricks", like how to play Ax. His best tip is the Gordon Pair Principle, about the odds someone is holding a better pair preflop.
Here are a few of the tips from the Little Green Book.

Psychology: Timing of Bets
Try to always take about the same amount of time to consider options and take action on a hand.  Not too fast, not too slow.
(use a clock or watch to vary your time; like when the second hand is between 10 and 12, act         
faster or way slower, like you are thinking about your outs or  may or may not have the nuts.)

Beating Tight and Passive Players
Tight/Passive players play so few hands that, while they may hit the flop, Phil says 35% with AK,
I think it's more likely they will only play a hand maybe once out of 9 hands, which means about 35 hands have to be played before they hit it. You should be able to pick up several small pots against them.
 OK, what's tight and what's passive.
Tight players only play the top 10 hands and even then bet weakly on the bottom half of that spectrum. 
Passive players will play a few more hands, but quickly fold to any action if they didn't hit their hand. 
Raises, Re-raises, and continuation bets will usually get either of them to fold.

Beating Loose Players
Play tight, wait for great flops that hit your hand, give them hope and lots of rope.

Implied Tilt Odds
You want to play against players that are easily emotional about either their bad beats or your bad beats and any hand they suck out on. Playing into their emotional outbursts and bad plays, even with a marginal hand, will eliminate them.

Tells: When they look at my chips.
Usually means they have a good hand and they think I'm weak. If you catch a monster hand, you can over-bet the pot or check-raise.

When they reach for chips
Kind of depends on who's looking. If they reach for chips after looking at my chips, but I bet first, make the raise. If they are not looking at my chips or anyone else's chips, they have something, but it's my turn to bet, I'll bet my hand strength depending on how many chips they appear to be grabbing and look for a pause in their grab, which means they aren't as strong as they wanted to project.

The Quick Call
Players that quickly play the flop, usually a minimum bet, frequently have a drawing hand. If they had a good hand, the top pair or better, they would be considering what to raise. If they missed the flop, they are thinking about folding or bluffing, which takes a little more thought.

The Slow Call
It's usually a raise with a strong hand or a fold with a weak hand. Calling, after a long pause, could be a ploy to suck you into a monster hand or a draw to the nuts.

Texture: After the Flop
What cards are in play, how will they interact with other players hands or hand ranges and what bet is likely to come based on the board texture. Most bets are likely to be 25% to 100% of the pot. Any less is usually a missed fishing expedition; any more is either a poor bet by a weak player with the nuts or a bluff at a nut draw or 2nd top pair. The more players still in the hand, the more likely someone has at least top pair.
Living up the "Weak means Strong and Strong means Weak" philosophy, Phil leans toward making weaker continuation bets with strong hands in order to entice a player to call. With weak starting hands that have good outs but miss the flop or maybe hit 3rd top pair, betting half the pot usually get slightly better hands to fold, top pair will usually re-raise though, so it's an easy fold. With medium strength hands, betting half the pot to 2/3 of the pot gets some players with slightly better hands to fold and players with Nut potential, but worse hands, to call.

After the Turn and a scare card hits
Phil likes to just check if he had the lead but it didn't help him and call a small or continuation bet, he's not liking a check-raise here.
If it didn't hit you, It may have hit them, how many players still in the hand should determine how scary the card is. If it's only you and one other player, make a continuation bet, it's still a game of fish, so you have to ask if it hit them, if you just check, they would most likely make a continuation or value bet which would cause you to likely fold. If there is more than one other player in the hand, it either hit them or helped them, if it didn't help you, you have to check, or if you do have a good hand or the nuts, check raise.

It's all about the odds to improve.
Based pretty much on your outs.
9 to 10 outs, like a high flush draw, maybe a nut flush draw, is about a 35-45% chance of hitting your draw, you should bet about half the pot, if you're the first to act.
4 to 6 outs, like and inside draw to 2 over cards, is about a 15-20% chance. Phil likes to bet about 2/3 the pot, but I think you need at least one Broadway card to even consider that bet and you need  to only have one other player in the hand.
Less than 4 outs is a real gamble. The newer professional and amature poker players are much more aggressive now and love to gamble. Phil likes a pot size bet here, to take the pot down, but I think position is the relevant factor here and knowing what type of player you are up against and it can only be one, two or more players are likely to have you beat regardless of position.

Tournament Strategies: Stealing the Blinds
Stealing the blinds is a critical element in tournaments. At a full table, you need an above average stack size to steal one every 13 hands or so, and position will likely make a more optimal timing of once every 16 or more hands a better option. In a six handed or less table, you should only be trying to steal from the last three seats anyway.
A blatant thief is easily caught.
It's hard to steal the blinds from "Next to BET" instead of "First to Bet", when first to bet actually raised. You have to not only be in position, but have a playable hand to commit grand larceny. You also have to have that gut feeling that they are actually trying to steal the blinds, which means they have to be no more that two seats on your right. More than two seats away is not likely a steal, but some type of good to great hand. If you're the button, then there are two seats on your right that are stealing seats, the Hi-Jack seat and the Grand Larceny seat.  

The Green, Black, Gold and Blue books from Phil Gordon.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT. Where is the action coming from in Poker?

Probability of action, is to your left!

"Where there is motion, there is information."

If everyone has folded before you, the probability of action from the left is 100% 
and only you can reduce it to something more manageable.
If you Fold, Check or Call, it will not change the probability of action on your left. 

There are only 4 positions on your left that are meaningful.
The Hi Jack, Cutoff, Button and Small Blind.
Tommy Angelo rates the Cutoff Seat of more importance than the Hi Jack seat. To me they are equal; I've stolen more blinds from the Hi Jack seat than from the Cutoff seat, but only slightly more.

From the Hi Jack seat, the two seats to the left are the most powerful seats.
I like to classify these 3 seats (Button, Cutoff, and Hijack) as the “IN Position” seats, because one of these seats will usually be the last to act. Most players don't give this collective seat the respect it deserves, but this is the seat that gets the most notice when it raises and can create the most fear of having a high valued hand. All other seats are “OUT of position” seats, until you get to the final 5 in a tournament, where it becomes the worst seat, the “Under-the-Gun” seat.

From the Cutoff seat, be aware that the Button will frequently raise with anything, if no one has bet before him. If it looks like the Button will fold, you will inherit the power position.  This is frequently where the blinds are stolen.

From the Button, you're immediate concern is the action from the Small Blind, but you may notice an action from the Big Blind that the Small Blind didn't.

From the Small Blind, if you look left, it's only the Big Blind that has the ability to act last, but only if he checks. You are looking to see if he appears like he is going to raise. You already know what's happened on the right. How did it influence the Big Blind on your left?

Sometimes looking to the left doesn't matter because there's no real story developing, but when there is, it’s a neon headlight.
You want the tight player to be on the left anyway so keep an eye on them.

PS: There is one seat that will usually dictate action with a raise. Many players call in the LO Jack seat, the seat to the right of the Hi Jack seat. When this seat is the first to act and it's a raise, there is usually a WOW moment at the table. I've actually stolen more blinds from this seat than any other seat, that's why I refer to as the Grand Larceny seat.
It's a seat where you can easily get sandwiched between one of the blinds and the other 4 "IN Position" seats, so if you are re-raised you should probably fold.

Here’s the deal. Raising has little significance in a Limit poker game, compared to No Limit and Pot Limit. Most players will play any two cards above a seven that is connected and/or suited.
       It just signifies a good to powerful hand, because it’s only a one big blind bet.

In Limit, it’s the 2nd, 3rd, and CAP bets that indicate a great to dominating hand.
You may have to actually look farther to the left, one or two seats, to see if anyone is indicating they may raise the bet.

In a No Limit game, the first raise could be anywhere from 2 big blinds, the pot, or All In. You can't get there, All In, in a Limit game or a Pot Limit game, on a single raise.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Updated 2/11/2017
14 World Series of Poker Bracelets
Phil Hellmuth, the "Poker Brat". Love him or hate him, I hear he's reasonably sane away from the Poker table, but you can't deny his success at the green felt arena.
14 WSOP Bracelets, to go with his 108 WSOP cashes, a record, 7 of those at the main event, and 52 WSOP final tables, also also a record! What is really amazing is that 22 of his final tables have not been at Texas Hold'em events, like Seven Card Razz, 2-7 Lowball, Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo, Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit, Limit, No Limit Omaha Hold'em and event that great game of HORSE, a mixed poker, as well as the Poker Players Championship eight game mixed event. He also finished 4th in the 2012 "Big One for One Drop" $1 Million buy-in event, for a big $2,645,333 payday, which only had 48 players, of which 9 players finished in the money. He's even got his own logo.

Up until the advent of micro cams to view a players cards while playing poker, the field of participants never got over 8,773 for a single event at the World Series of Poker. Back in those days they had only a few games that were played and only a few WSOP events. The first few years of the WSOP main event had less than 20 players. It added a few games and tables and you only had to outlast less than 100 players in the big game, which after 20 years grew to around 200 players.

This year there were 68 events, some of the poker games have come and gone, but the audience has grown every year, even after Poker's Black Friday, which actually helped increase the live game venue. The new kid on the block this year, the "Colusus", with low buy-in of $568, had 22,000 players, exceeding the projected max expected to be 20,000. The winner got $638,000 for a $568 buy in, a cool 1.123:1 profit. I expect it will be even bigger next year, and more of the WSOP satellites will include a low entry event.

Most casinos that even offer poker now, only spread a few games for the cash table players and the tournaments are mainly designed to get you to bust out early and get you back to the cash table games, same with the card rooms at places that are not full fledged casinos. The WSOP events are structured a little better now and with the 22,347 players for one event, not to mention the other 67 events, the Disneyland of the desert should be making lots of money. The entourage for each player may be an additional 2 or more people, who may spend a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each, because they have to stay around for up to 5 days for the one event. That's a lot of income for Sin City.

One of my favorite poker games is RAZZ, a great poker game, and the one Phil Hellmuth has been specializing in lately, which helped him win that bracelet this year and $271,105 for 1st place. It may only have had 102 players, but at $10k per seat I'll take a 27:1 profit any time I can. It's lots eaiser than trying to beat 22,374 No Limit Texas Hold'em players.

Now he's up to $12 million in WSOP winnings and $18.5 million in live tournaments. He's won 2 main event WSOP bracelets in No Limit Texas Hold'em, 3 bracelets in Limit Texas Hold'em, 6 bracelets in other WSOP No Limit Texas Hole'em events, 1 Pot Limit Texas Hold'em bracelet and 2 in Seven Card Razz.

Now how about that Paper Microscope!


Monday, June 1, 2015

A day at the Gardens: Hawaiian Gardens Casino CA

Updated 2/11/2017

A Day at the Gardens: Hawaiian Gardens Casino CA

I've played at most of the card rooms in the LA area; Hollywood Park, Hustler, The Bike, Commerce, even Crystal.
If I had to rank them it would most likely be:
1. Commerce Casino a slight edge over
2.The Bike,
3. Hustler
4. Hawaiian Gardens Casino
5. Hollywood Park
6. Crystal Casino.
Haven't played at Normandie yet, but from what I hear, I would put it slightly over Crystal.

Hawaiian Gardens Casino
I've been looking for more Sit and Go games and Omaha games, in my price range, and heard they had some at Hawaiian Gardens Casino. Hollywood Park advertises Sit and Go's but I have yet to see one as they keep saying they don't have enough dealers. The Bike and Commerce have them during their big tournaments, but not normally. None of the other local casinos offer them.

I tried a couple of the Sit and Go tournaments at Hawaiian Gardens. They have a couple of formats. A 6 max that pays the top 2. A full single table that pays half the table and a 3 table shoot out. They are all turbo games, 10 min rounds, fast and more gamble in them than skill, but a fun game. I played my first shoot out a week or so ago, busted out midway in a it.

This week I wanted to try the 6 max, but it wasn't starting for another couple of hours, but they had a single table Sit and Go for $175 which payed the top two. Again it's a turbo, 10 min rounds and 1500 in chips, so it's fast. Threw away a couple of marginal hands, out of position, didn't really get any playable hands that weren't already family pots by the time it got to me. Finally got a monster, AA, two from the UTG position, I'm kind of short stacked, only about 12 big blinds, and I'm sandwiched anyway, so I just called a min raise (my first mistake), and two others called. There's 5 in the pot and the flop comes like 9,5,4, and I raise the pot (my second mistake). The cutoff raises all-in, he just barely has me covered, everyone else folds, I call, (my final mistake). The turn and river are no help to either of us, he shows 44 and cracks my AA and I'm out.

Chances are if I would have gone All-in pre-flop, he would have called anyway since we were both needing chips. So I look around at some of the cash games going on. Most look like they are good games. I like No Limit and Pot Limit and Omaha 8, but my favorite is Pot Limit Omaha. Most of the local casinos don't' have one that fits my pocket book, but they have one here with a $100-$200 to buy-in and $1-$2 blinds. They had a seat open so I jump in.

OK, they are playing $2-$4 blinds because they all decided to raise them, but if I only wanted $1-$2 blinds they would accommodate  Not my favorite stack ratio now that it's instantly depleted 50$, which cuts my "M" in half and puts me below my "CM", but I decide to play at $2-$4. They have some real action players, so my normal game should do quite well. In fact I won the first hand I played and got a fair sized pot. Played a couple of other hands along the way, but didn't get any favorable flops. Some of them liked to run it twice in an All-in bet, not my cup of tea, don't really see the point of a 50% tie over a 33% win ratio. The game was going OK for an hour or so, a couple of players busted out and bought back in and a couple of players busted out, left, and others joined.

One of the players who joined was another old fogy. Most of the players know him, as the players here often know each other. This one didn't want to play $2-$4, so after hemming and hawing about it, they changed to $1-$2, but wanted a $5 bring in on the next bet or call, which was kind of OK, but he didn't really sound too happy about it.

The game was kind of up and down as far as action now. The action players would raise pre-flop almost every hand, I won a few and lost a few, but still liked the game. The only misstep was when I raised hands instead of calling post flop without the nuts. I fixed that leak after my stack was down 50%. Some of the players were starting to cash out or bust out and no new players were on the board, so after we were down to 4, the table broke. A couple of the players, including the old fogy, decided to go to the Commerce, said they were going to play a proposed PLO game, they already had some signed in as "interested". Just in time for the Sit and Go Shootout here. I came out with a slight profit in the Omaha game.
This will be one of my games to play in the future.

The Shootout was looking kind of slim, but Tina, the tournament boss said it should fill up nicely. About 10 minutes after it was supposed to start, each table had only about 4 to 5 sitting, looking kind of iffy, but after about 10 min, we filled up. One of the players at table 1 had won the 2 earlier Sit and Go's, was getting kind of loaded, and busted out early. I was in about the middle of the pack at table 2, had 5 left and 2 were already short stacked. I decided not to play anymore hands to get to the final table, but I got a couple of good ones, one was Ten/Ten, won that round, another KQ, flopped the Q, won that one. Finally the 2 short stacks busted out and we broke for the final table.

Stacks were reformatted to the beginning of the tournament, we started at $1500 with $25/$25 blinds and 10 min rounds again. I must have gotten AK about 4 times in the game, won some pots. We were down to 5 players again and I was 2nd in chips. Busted one player out and now the chip leader, though not by much. Another player busted out and we were down to 3. Forth place paid $110, so now I was in the money and 3rd place paid about $350. Another player busted out and we were down to 2 with the chip lead see-sawing back and forth due to the blinds increasing. Each hand was more of a gamble and there really no skill going now. Most of my hands have been good, at least one face card with a middle kicker, only had to throw one low hand away, 2-3o. Every hand now is All-in and after a couple rounds where my opponent folded, I finally won and came in 1st, paid $656, not bad for a $70 entry, which helped set off the $175 I lost in the first Sit and Go.

I think the PLO games at Hawaiian Gardens will be financing my Sit and Go's, and some of the other deep stack tournaments I plan on playing.

Looks like they have discontinued the Sit and Go tournaments and rarely have PLO games anymore.

Would have been a regular stomping ground for me, but not anymore.



One Flop, Ten Hands

Updated 2/11/2017

One Flop, Ten Hands
Ed Miller Explores Ten Situations On One Flop
What happened pre-flop?
You have a $1,000 stack, and most of your opponents have you covered. Everyone folds to the player two off the button who opens for $30, [a $20 raise, 2x BB, with $5/$10 blinds.] You call on the button. The blinds fold. It’s two players to the flop, and the pot is $75. 
[Seat 8 could have anything depending on the type of player. Tight players would most likely raise 3xBB with AA-TT, any raise Minimum to 2xBB is more likely AK to AJ, possibly KQ or QJ, Loose players would probably raise 3xBB with anything if everyone folded to him. Selective Aggressive and Solid players are more likely to raise 2BB with any good suited connectors or trying to trap with over pairs, below AA. The flop is the real decision maker for most players.]
10♣  6  3 (no flushes or straights made, best non-paired hand is a straight on the turn or flush on the river)
Top set, I would just call. Slow playing top set is natural, since the holding cripples the deck for our opponent. On this board, I will be raising nearly all my value hands, so it’s nice to still be able to threaten the nuts when I just call the flop. Some players would look at the possible draws and think it’s too dangerous to slow play. With most hands we aren't slow playing. Just this one.
Middle set is a raise. We’re raising a lot of hands, so we definitely should raise bottom and middle set. If we catch our opponent with an overpair or A-10, we could easily win stacks.
[Over pairs] 
Do not always reraise (over pairs like Q-Q) preflop in position, and one reason I don’t is that I like to have this hand in my range on flops like this one. This is a flop raise. If I’m going to apply pressure with bluffs, I need to have real hands sometimes also.
[Two over cards, Ace high] 
Call. We have two overcards, a backdoor-flush draw to the queen, and possible ace-high showdown value. It’s not a great hand, but recall that our strategy has us folding infrequently because of our structural advantages in the pot. I prefer calling with this hand over bluffing, as calling preserves the showdown value, and we’ll almost never end the hand with the nuts, so there’s no value to building a pot.
[Drawing hands] 
A wrong-suited gutshot to the nuts. This is a hand I’d raise. Again, we’re raising frequently to push our positional advantage and possibly to punish our opponent for continuation betting too many hands. Gutshots to the nuts make good bluff-raising hands in general, as they typically have no showdown value, and they also can justify building the pot since you will end up occasionally stacking an opponent when you hit the nuts. If you get reraised, you fold.
Top pair with a marginal kicker. This is a straightforward call. If this pot blows up, your hand is not good. It’s best suited to pick off bluffs and to protect your calling range (since you’re also calling with unpaired hands).
Middle pair with 2 card backdoor-flush and low end 2 card straight draws. This is a hand I might have reraised preflop. But if I didn’t, I’m likely raising it now. The potential to make three sixes or the backdoor draws add value to this hand in a big pot. Many turn cards add equity to this hand — any spade and any six through deuce. If our opponent calls the flop raise, we will frequently get to bet big on the turn with a decent chance of drawing out when called.
Bottom pair with the nut-flush 2 card draw. Many people raise this hand reflexively, but I prefer to call here. If you get this hand all-in on the flop, you’re likely up against a set or a big overpair — a range against which you are a slight dog.
[Gapped Low pairs, between middle pair and low pair, such as 55 or 44] 
This is the type of hand I fold. There’s a small amount of showdown value, but that’s it. The draw isn’t strong enough to risk a big pot. And it can’t handle a second bet. I also fold hands that need 2 cards to complete a straight or flush.
Backdoor 2 card flush and 2 card straight draws with an over card. I would likely call. The backdoor draws mean a lot of turn cards will justify aggression. I’m defending a hand this weak because I have the structural advantage (position), and in most cases I’m not going to let this pot go without a fight. ♠
About Flop Textures part 1 part 2 



Sunday, May 31, 2015

Laws of Combat (as it relates to Poker)

Updated 2//11/2017
Mr Lucky Poker

Basic Laws of Combat
              (as it relates to Poker)
1. You are not superman.
(Don't expect to win every hand)

2. Suppressive fires -- won't.
(Limping in can get you killed)

3. If it's stupid but works, it isn't stupid.
(Luck! Even a Donkey wins a hand now and then)

4. Don't look conspicuous -- it draws fire.
(Drawing attention to yourself makes you a target, too bold or too timid will result in challenges)

5. When in doubt, empty the magazine.
 (Go All-In when you smell fear, yours or theirs)

6. Never share a fighting hole with anyone braver than you are.
(Get out of the pot if bigger stacks attack)

7. Never forget your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
(Limping in can explode on you)

8. If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.
(Calling stations usually have something)

9. No plan survives the first contact intact.
(After the flop, all hands change)

10. All five second grenade fuses will burn down in three seconds.
(Holding on to draws usually backfires)

11. Try to look unimportant, because the bad guys may be low on ammo.
(Keep a low profile but play your good hands aggressively against low chip stacks)

12. If you are forward of your position, the artillery will fall short.
(First to act may get you shot)

13. The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.
(You are being slow played by a better hand)

14. The important things are always simple.
(Don't try to overplay a hand)

15. The simple things are always hard.
(AA doesn't win every hand)

16. The easy way is always mined.
(Catching the flop doesn't mean the Turn or River won't get trapped)

17. If you are short of everything except enemy, you are in combat.
(The less chips you have, the more likely you are to lose)

18. When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
(It's OK to declare victory before the river if you have the nuts)

19. Incoming fire has the right-of-way.
(Get out of the way of aggressive action if you don't have the nuts)

20. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
(Top 10 hands don't always work)

21. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
(You can't avoid the enemy when you are heads-up)

22. Beer math: 37 men times 2 beers each equals 49 cases.
(Chips, you can never have enough of them)

23. Body count math: 3 bad guys plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs = 37 enemy killed in action.
(You must eliminate everyone, limpers and calling stations end up as Collateral damage)

24. Friendly fire - isn't.
(Expect to be attacked by anyone, even friends)

25. Things that must be together to work usually can't be shipped together.
(Most drawing hands don't catch)

26. Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately.
(Your friends can't help you when you need them, no insurance)

27. Anything you do can get you shot -- including doing nothing.
(Being too passive is only slightly worse than being too aggressive)

28. If you make it too tough for the enemy to get in, you can't get out.
(Sometimes it's easy to get pot committed with less than the nuts)

29. Tracers work BOTH ways.
(Being too obvious can get you trapped)

30. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
(Your friends will stab you in the back, eventually)

31. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share to take.
(Build your chip stack by making good choices with good cards and steal some pots)

32. When both sides are convinced they are about to lose, they're both right.
(Calling on the river usually means the worst hand could have won with a bet)

33. Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.
(You can't bluff a bad player, suck outs happen at the river)

34. Any significant military action will occur at the junction of two or more map sheets.
(After the flop, any street can turn a winning hand into a losing hand)

35. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
(Going All-In doesn't guarantee you a win)

36. Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you.
(Playing out of turn will ruin your game)

37. Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
(Pay Attention! Looking bored will get you action)


Poker Rules Of Engagement

Updated 2/11/2017

You need to be prepared, but remember that also like war, no plan survives the first shot or engagement.

1. Bring an ACE. Preferably, bring at least two Royalty cards. Bring all of their friends who are connected to Royalty.
2. Anything worth betting on is worth a raise. Aggression is cheap. Passiveness is expensive.
3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. If your image is predictable, you're probably not raising enough nor using position correctly.
5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend(Unless you have him out gunned, then draw him in for the kill.)
6. If you can choose what to bring to a shootout, bring an ACE and a friend of Royalty.
7. Ten years from now, no one will remember the details of the game, hand, or tactics. They will only remember who won.
8. If you are not betting, you should be observingcounting stacks, and tagging opponents.
9. Aggression is relative. This is a BIG one. (Most aggressive action will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent validity of the hand)
10. Use a position tactic that works every time.  (All skill is in vain when an big stack thinks you are weak)
11. If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Timidity is dangerous, better to enter with boldness. The end is everything.
12. Always Lie; Conceal your intentions. Cultivate an air of unpredictability. 
13. Always have a plan and have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.
14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. The visible target should be in FRONT of your gun.
15. Do not give comfort or information to the enemy.
16. Don't drop your guard.
17. Challenge. The risk of never challenging is always greater than the risk of challenging.
18. Create Fear. If your opponents aren’t sure what attacking you will cost, they will not want to find out.
19. Do not fight the LAST battle: Use Guerrilla Warfare of the Mind.
20. If you have the opportunity to eliminate your opponent, you must do itIt is the rule in war!
21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
23. Everyone has a weakness. Find it and exploit it. 


Big Fish - Small Pond or Small Fish - Big Pond

Updated 2/11/2017

After all, poker is just another Liar's game of "Go Fish". 
The goal is to be the biggest fish in the pond, no matter how many fish are in the pond and AA is usually the biggest fish in any pond. You could look at the Flop, Turn, and River as food to make you an even bigger fish.

The size of the bet could be considered the bait and it takes a big fish to eat lots of bait. Lots of bait tends to attract some fish and they may just be able to grow into a big enough fish to take all the bait. The action on the Flop, Turn and River will help determine when you should just cut your bait and run.

The first one in the pond usually thinks they can be a big fish, but the more fish there are in the pond, the bigger you have to be. You really don't want to be a small fish, like most drawing hands tend to be, in a big pond, like one with many players. You can also relate the size of the splash in relation to the size of the fish and some players really like to splash their chips into the pond. But is it a big fish splashing or a belly flop, both make big splashes?

The size of the pond is important too. Position helps you determine how big you need to be or if you have the potential to grow into a larger fish. I've seen a few dead whales on the beach, so AA isn't a sure thing, especially in a pond with lots of action. If there is only one other fish in the pond, jump in, the water tends to distort the size of the fish anyway.


MISTAKES! I've made a few -- recently!!!

Updated 2/11/2017
Mr Lucky Poker
I swear that the cast from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, will all sit at my table        - sometime. 

I played in the First Annual Hollywood Park Casino Facebook Fan Tournament. Came in late because I was really looking to play some Sit-N-Go games and HPC has the only ones in town. They weren't spreading them because of the Facebook Fan Tournament, so I entered it.

I don't expect much from their tournaments, having played some in the past and even won a couple, but their tournaments are geared to Luck more then skill. Their deep stack tournaments, aren't really; and they also tend to be super fast races where your "M" will go from somewhere around 40 down to about 10 in the first hour.

This one was a little better, with 10,000 starting chips, 25/50 starting blinds and 20 minute levels, you start with an "M" of 200. The Scramble period happened as expected, about level 6, when middle stacks with loose players start trying to build chips. The Minefield happened, also as expected, at about level 11.
I had some good plays, some bad plays, and one ugly play.


Golden Rule:  Be Patient! Do not check, call, bet, raise or fold without asking yourself ~ What is this hand’s best possibility to win? Look to the LEFT, that's where the action has yet to come from!
Who is in this hand and what is their play style and stack size? Always try to take the same amount of time to make a decision, call for “Time”, randomly. Randomize Aggression.
  • OK, I BROKE THIS ONE - when I didn't listen to my gut on the last hand I played.
    Got KK, sitting on enough chips to skate into the In-the-Money portion and should have either gone all-in pre-flop, or mucked them when A67 came in on the flop and the chip leader, at my table, made about a half pot sized bet. I didn't believe he was doing anything more than betting an under pair. My instinct said, when I saw my pocket Kings, "hope an Ace doesn't come on the flop". He had A5.
Rule # 1:  Survive! Always try to take the best hand and get heads up with someone or make it expensive for someone to try to complete a draw. Use the Odds, for you and against them!  You can break any rule except the Golden Rule & #1.
  • OK, BROKE THIS ONE ALSO. (same hand, now two rules in play)
    Survive, means, "Get in the MONEY". It's ok to throw away KK or even AA, if you don't have the nuts or your are up against more chips than you have.
Rule #3: Never go all-in on a bluff until the final table and heads-up.
  • BROKE THIS ONE TOO, 'nuf said. Not really a bluff, but, broke it. (Three rules broken on the same hand, who need rules?????)
The Good: Made a couple of timely bluffs, build up chips when able and got lucky once when I got trip Kings, with a 6 vs trip Kings with a 5, and we didn't have to chop.

The Bad: Didn't pay attention by playing out of turn -- twice. One would have doubled me up if I had not played out of turn.

The UGLY: We already talked about that.

All in all, it was a great experience and Hollywood Park Casino has made some nice improvements.

Of course the track is gone now and they have changed ownership and the list time I went there, only about half of the tables were being used. I'll have to check it out and play some cash games there to see if the old crowd is back.


Loose Table vs Tight Table Strategy

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

Loose / passive table strategy.
There will usually be a gap between the hands that opponents are willing to limp and those that they will call a raise with.
passive opponents are more likely to call raises than re-raise you – so the first point is to tread carefully when you are called. possible to limp with more hands that have high implied odds value such as small pairs and suited connectors. These types of hands play well in multi-way pots.

After you flop a monster hand be careful not to blow your passive opponents out of the pot with big raises. Unless the board is particularly draw-heavy you should instead pick a bet size (see bet sizing) that is likely to be called – building the pot gradually so as to be paid the maximum.

The main problem with playing at passive tables is that it is slightly harder to build big pots.

Playing premium pairs at a passive table should usually involve raising to thin the field. Too small a raise can easily induce several of your loose opponents to enter the pot behind you with speculative holdings.

The ideal strategy to win at a loose / passive table is to become tight and aggressive – yet limp in with those hands with high implied-odds value as the situation warrants.

Loose / Aggressive table strategy. 
The only time you will be able to play small pairs or suited connector type hands is when you in position. Most hands should be folded in early position, because is too much danger of a raise and a re-raise behind you.

Bet your premium hands big. You should be looking to get a large amount of money into the pot before the flop, preferably against a single opponent. With a Loose Aggressive table, 4 or more players looking for the flop, you need to play small ball. If your Loose Aggressive player has possition on you, expect a raise or re-raise, so start with a small ball bet. The higher chance of a re-raise (or even a 4th raise all-in) makes playing these hands positively a profitable move.

Learn to be aggressive

"I kept getting bet out of the pot!"

I'd have what I thought was a very strong hand, not the absolute nuts, but a good hand, maybe the best hand. I'd make my bet accordingly, say $35 to $50 in a $75 pot, and then someone would raise me to $150 or $200 and I'd fold.

I didn't really know it, but I was what you'd call "scared money". I had trouble risking $150-$200 on a hand that was not the absolute nuts.

Scared money does not win poker chips. I decided right then and there, that if I'm going to play Cash Poker, I absolutely have to be prepared to risk the bet on a single hand or single card. Over time this small change in attitude, my mindset, made all the difference. I soon found my opponents folding to my re-raises. I was winning bigger pots, my plays earned more respect,

Cash Poker takes a different mindset than Tournament Poker, and I finally figured out what it was for me. If I bust my daily Poker bankroll, I'll just go earn some more.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6008016


46th Annual World Series of Poker Schedule Unveiled with 68 Events on Tap for 2015

Updated 2/11/2017
Rio® All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to Host Poker’s Most Popular Festival from
May 27 - July 14, 2015

May 29, 2015, Marks Debut of the “Colossus” $565 buy-in, $5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
The tournament has been dubbed “The Colossus” for good reason as organizers expect it to set new records and become the largest poker tournament ever in terms of field size. In fact, while all is speculation at this point, several WSOP insiders are setting the over-under at a whopping 20,000 entries.

Las Vegas-based pro and New Jersey native Matt Stout, who offers one-on-one poker training through his website, says his basic advice for players entering a huge field event like Colossus is to avoid thinking too much about the big numbers.

“Take it one table at a time and don't overwhelm yourself with the thought of trying to beat out thousands of players” advises Stout. “If you just focus on what’s going on at your table, you “Take it one table at a time and don't overwhelm yourself with the thought of trying to beat out thousands of players” advises Stout. “If you just focus on what’s going on at your table, you won't believe how fast the competition seems to disappear.”

“Don't trick yourself into thinking that you need to drastically change your style in order to accumulate because the field is so big or anything like that. Just play your game and focus on what you can control.”

A number of players will come into the Colossus with a plan to fire multiple bullets, looking to gamble early to build a stack or reenter in a later flight if things don't work out. Stout says there are a number of factors to consider first before taking this approach.won't believe how fast the competition seems to disappear.”

“Don't trick yourself into thinking that you need to drastically change your style in order to accumulate because the field is so big or anything like that. Just play your game and focus on what you can control.”

A number of players will come into the Colossus with a plan to fire multiple bullets, looking to gamble early to build a stack or reenter in a later flight if things don't work out. Stout says there are a number of factors to consider first before taking this approach.

It’s a real minefield out there in big field events and luck and variance play an even bigger role than normal. But Stout says that’s not something with which players should concern themselves too greatly.

Huge Increase in Starting Chips! Who doesn’t love more chips to start play? New for 2015, the WSOP has significantly adjusted upward the starting stack for all WSOP events that have a buy-in under $10,000. The new starting stacks for these events will be as follows:

$565 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (Colossus, new event; 10 times the buy-in, same as last year’s Monster Stack)
$777 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (new buy-in level this year, treated like a $1k event) – 100 big blinds
$1,000 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 100 big blinds
$1,500 buy-in: 7,500 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 150 big blinds
$2,500 buy-in: 12,500 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 167 big blinds
$3,000 buy-in: 15,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 200 big blinds
$5,000 buy-in: 25,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 250 big blinds


World Series of Poker’s ‘Colossus’ tournament sets record with 22,374 entrants
WSOP officials said Sunday the $565 buy-in “Colossus” No-limit Texas Hold'em tournament drew 22,374 entrants at the Rio Convention Center, easily surpassing the 2006 Main Event, which held the old mark with 8,773 entrants

WSOP officials said there were 25,571 paid entries for the “Colossus” event, but the official number came down due to no-shows, voids and players who survived after buying into multiple starting flights.

The winner of the “Colossus” will earn $638,880, and the total prize pool of $11,187,000 is more than double the $5 million guaranteed by tournament officials. The minimum prize is $1,096 for 2,241st place.