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

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.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Four Success Principles of Poker

Updated 2/11/2017
Four Principles of Poker

From "Action Dan" Harrington

Principle No 1: The Strength Principle
In general, you want to bet your strong hands, check your mediocre hands, and fold (or sometimes bluff) with your weakest hands

That shouldn't be too hardNOT?
Obviously you want to bet your very strong hands to build a bigger pot when you're likely to win. With your middle hands you better check because it’s harder to make money when you bet these. Better hands than yours are likely to call or raise, while weak hands probably fold. Folding your weakest hands is quite obvious. Bluffing with your weakest hands might be not so obvious, but then again if the bluff works, you've gained value from a hand that had none.

Principle no.2: The Aggression Principle
The risk of never challenging is always greater than the risk of challenging.
"War is about power and the 'card game of power' involves spilling blood, creating sorrow, abusing others, AND betraying trust, assuming success, the ability to squirm out of tight spots. Raising bets to their highest to reduce the field and making your mediocre hand better, these are the coin of power, not goodness, not light." Victor Lee
“In a balance of mutual terror............ Whoever acts first, has the advantage!"
In general, aggression (betting and raising) is better than passivity (checking and calling)

Aggressive actions have two possible outcomes:
  1. your opponent could fold to your bet, or 
  2. he could call your bet and you may win at the showdown
Passive actions, in the contrary, have just one, at the showdown

2 options are better than 1.

Principle no.3: The Betting Principle
In general, a successful bet must be able to do one of 3 things:
  1. force a better hand to fold
  2. force a weaker hand to call, or 
  3. cause a drawing hand to draw to unfavorable odds.
A bet can thus make money in three ways.
  1. If you can chase away a better hand, you won a pot you normally would have lost
  2. If you get a weaker hand to call, you've got more money into the pot
  3. The same goes if you let somebody call a draw at unfavorable odds
     If you don’t think a bet could accomplish one of these things, just don’t bet.

Principle no.4: The Deception Principle
Never do the same thing all of the time.

This is quite clear. Be surprising, don’t act predictively!
In order to be successful at poker, you need your opponents to keep guessing; about your bets, your folds, and how you play the ranges of hands you do play.

Look at your watch when you have to make a decision, if the second hand is on between the 9 and the 12, go ahead and check or limp or Call or BET.
It's a random action and it will keep them from pushing you too often. Using 10 to 12, if out of position, is about 17% (counting the 12) and using 9 to 12, in position, is about 23% (not counting the 12).
Randomness will keep them guessing and improve your tight image. You can use a different random trigger on the flop, turn, or river, like which suit to use as the trigger. Be creative, but consistent!


Monday, May 25, 2015

The Three Strategic Principles of Poker

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

Playing poker well involves more than knowing which cards beat what. It involves more than memorizing the percentages and odds. It involves more than being able to detect tells from changes in someone’s posture, or in the way they glanced at their chips. Understanding the overriding principles of poker is far more important and valuable than being “a good bluffer”. The basic principles of poker override all correct strategies and playing styles.

Here are the principles:


Patience is the key to successful poker. Whether you are playing in a cash game, or a tournament, you will need this attribute to be a consistent winner. Most hands that you are dealt in poker are not worth playing, and if you start playing trash hands, then your results will usually be trash too.

Occasionally you will be dealt unplayable cards hand after hand. It will seem that you are never going to get any worthwhile cards again, and you will be tempted to play a rubbish hand just because you haven’t played any for a while. Don’t let it get to you. All good players go through stretches where they have bad cards and have to fold, over and over again. Patience is one of the main points that separate the good players from the bad. Patience is more important in Sit and Go tournaments and most important in Cash or Ring games.

Bide your time, and only play hands when your cards and the situation are both right.


Once you get the cards that you were waiting for, aggression becomes paramount. It is no good to get dealt AA, if all that happens is that you checked and called on each round of betting, only to get beat on the river when they catch a card that fits their draw.

If you have a hand that is likely to be the best, BET!
If someone bets first, and you still think that your hand is better than their hand, RAISE. Get as much money into the pot as you can. Get it all in if your hand is strong enough and your opponent is inclined to play along with you.

When betting with a strong hand you either want to get more money into the pot when someone calls you with a worse hand, or you want to win the pot immediately (which stops a worse hand from getting lucky and hitting a card that would beat you).  Sometimes your opponent will call with a worse hand, and then beat you with a lucky card anyway. Don't let that bother you. As long as you get your money in as a favorite, you've played correctly.

Using aggression to get maximum value from good hands, is one of the most important principles of poker.


The deception principle is this: all actions you take must contain at least an element of deception.

It is very important in poker that you don’t allow your opponents to learn exactly how you play. If you are playing Texas Hold'em and raise to $20 when you have Aces, $18 when you have Kings, $16 when you have Queens, $14 when you have Jacks etc, it won't take long for your opponents to work out what you are doing.

But if you raise with Aces 85% of the time, and 15% of the time just call or limp, then your opponents can't ever be completely certain what you have. Use your watch, your second hand specifically, to make random plays.

Randomness is the key to deception.

Look at your watch when you have to make that decision, if the second hand is on between the 9 and the 12, go ahead and limp. It's a random bet and it will keep them from pushing you too often. Using 10 to 12, if out of position, is about 17% (counting the 12) and using 9 to 12, in position, is about 23% (not counting the 12). Randomness will keep them guessing and improve your tight image.

Raising the same amount whenever you decide to raise also makes it harder for your opponents to work out what you have. Let’s say you decide to raise to 2 big blinds about 85% of the times that you are dealt AA, KK, QQ, AK, or AQ, and just call the other 15% of the time. Now it becomes very hard for your opponents to work out what you have. Because you are usually raising with good hands (as you should) but occasionally just calling with exactly the same hands, you make yourself harder to read.

Let’s take the concept a step further. Let’s say you decide on a strategy that involves calling with pocket 2’s through to pocket 10s, and you decide 80% of the time is a good percentage to call. The remaining 20% of the time you raise.

Now even if your opponents knew your strategy exactly, they still wouldn’t know if your raise means that you have AA or just 22. They can't tell what you have when you just call either, because you might have 44, or you might have AK.

You have made your moves much more difficult for your opponents to read, and anything that makes your opponents’ job harder, is to your advantage.

If you can master these three principles of poker, then you should be the one walking away with the money.


The Two Primary Principles of Poker

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

Principle 1
The goal is to MAKE a PROFIT
The goal of Poker is not keeping up with the amount of hands that most players playbut to earn money.

You'll do better if you gamble less.
You should be having fun, but note the players around the table and the gains and losses for each. You'll see that most of the losers are those who play the most hands. Keep in mind that some players look for luck, and occasionally find it and their stack will grow until bad luck also finds them, because they are playing too many hands. You want to play against those players that look for luck, but play only the good hands and you will reap rewards from their bad luck.

Why? Because they often engage in more hands, as they have weak cards in hands that will not allow them to beat their opponents. They are also looking to keep the number of players who will want to see the next card down to a minimum, heads up if possible. They also look for weak players or players who don't play many hands, so you may have to play some marginal hands if you're the next to bet and the loose aggressor is the only other one in the hand. Play some marginal hands or limp, but only about 20% to 25% of the time. Look at your watch when you have to make that decision, if the second hand is on between the 9 and the 12, go ahead and limp. It's a random bet and it will keep them from pushing you too often. Using 10 to 12, if out of position, is about 17% (counting the 12) and using 9 to 12, in position, is about 23% (not counting the 12). Randomness will keep them guessing and improve your tight image.

The goal is to earn money, not to make a killing, so try not to over bet if you don't have the nuts or if you want them to think you have the balls. Be prepared to give up a good hand if you think you're beat. It's the art of "You have to know when to Hold'em and know when to Fold'em".

Principle 2 – Play the GOOD parts 

Ask yourself the question: What differentiates playing your game from your opponents play?

Answer: Your 2 pocket cards. Everything starts from pre-flop action.

After the flop, everything is a contest between a DRAW and a MADE hand.
You must commit yourself to a hand only if your pockets cards give you an edge over your opponents or a reasonable probability of success.

And psychologically in all this, where is the famous BLUFF in Poker?
Contrary to popular belief, bluffing is rarely used and not even a practice used very much by professionals in Poker, except in heads up play and shorthanded games. It looks good on TV, it's supposed to. That's why the shows are successful, but they are not really teaching you good poker. Real poker, live poker, would be boring if it wasn't for the sensational or dramatic surprise.

Before talking about psychology, think about technique and strategy. Continually read about and watch good poker.

mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker


The Peter Principle and Poker

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

The Peter Principle and Poker
 For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the peter principle states that, "successful members of a hierarchical organization are eventually promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to a level at which they are not competent." I think that this often applies to poker.

These types of stories seem way to common. Person X starts w/ a $100 initial deposit and quickly builds it up to $300 or so playing $10 NL. They then move up to $25 NL...all goes well and their bankroll swells to $1000 dollars. They, again, promote themselves to $50 NL and things go great! Their bankroll soars to $3000 and they are running hot. Then, they move up to $100 NL and...Disaster. They are getting stacked left and right. Their monsters never get paid off and their bankroll is decimated. Soon they have dropped 2/3 of their buy in and are faced with either dropping down a level or busting out completely. Now their ego comes in and tells them that they shouldn't drop down as they are "too good" for these limits etc. Before they know it they are broke and forced to grind it out w/$50 at 10 NL again.

I think that this is a situation where a poker player falls victim to the peter principle. In effect, he continues to promote himself up levels too quickly when he has not played enough hands at that level to truly judge his competence. This is worsened by the fact that he or she could simply be running hot at a level where they are not truly skilled enough to play at and when his or her game is full of leaks. Once they reach a level at which they are not competent their ego refuses to let them back off and plug leaks at the low limits and destroys them completely.

To avoid the peter principle, I suggest getting software like poker tracker and track the number of BB won per 100 hands over 30K hands or so. This will give you a great idea of whether or not you are truly beating the game. I also suggest not immediately moving up to a new level when you have the right bankroll to do it. Play a certain number of hands in each level and observe the other games before you move up. Put the oppents hands into PT and see how they play. Know what you are up against and choose your games wisely! Think of this as getting reconnaissance on the other players. Poker is a game of information and the more you have the easier it is.

In closing, Don't fall victim to the peter principle. Know your skill level, know your opponents, know your limits and don't move up just because you have a nice bankroll.

Another view comes from @CardSharp
“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence” - Dr. Lawrence Peter, The Peter Principle
“In a cardroom, every player tends to move up until he can no longer beat the game”.

Any plan for your poker career must insure that your skills increase at a rate adequate to keep up with the stakes you are playing. If your plan doesn’t account for this, it is doomed to failure.

Conservative Bankroll Management

I've chosen to call the process of managing your career such that you stay in games you can beat “Conservative Bankroll Management” but it could just as easily be “Conservative Poker Career Management” - that’s just not as catchy. In any case, here’s what I believe you have to know and do to avoid the Peter Principle trap:

All in all, "you don't raise to the level of your expectations, you actually fall to the level of your training.Archilochus


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Limping & Sun-Tzu

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

I was watching one of the poker shows on TV, I try to record most of them. One of the announcers asked the other, "I wonder what The Art of War (Sun-Tzu) has to say about limping?"
Being a advocate of The Art of War and Poker, I thought I'd take a look at it. There has already been a good book on the subject written by David Apostolico, Tournament Poker and the Art of War, and there is also a web site devoted to it. Sun Tzu's Art of Poker

From "The Art of War" by Sun-Tzu
In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack:
the direct -betting/raising- and the indirect -checking/limping-;
These two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.
The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn.
It is like moving in a circle — you never come to an end.
    (It's also an effective act of randomness to keep your opponent off balance.)

Masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.
Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act.
He sacrifices something, (so) the enemy may snatch at it.
  • Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline,
  • Simulated fear postulates courage; 
  • Simulated weakness postulates strength. It's all part of the Lying Game of Poker!
If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he (is) sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch -a wall of chips-. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve.
If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way -Randomness.
  • The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided.
By holding out baits -limping/slow playing-, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.
By holding out advantages -showing weakness- to him, he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near.

Whoever is first -to act-with -active or passive Aggression- in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle - will arrive exhausted.
Patience is a virtue in poker, more so in cash games than tournament, however, 
“In a balance of mutual terror, whoever ACTS FIRST has the ADVANTAGE!"
  • Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
Numerical weakness - lack of chips - comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength -many chips-, (by) compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.
  • Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from fighting. 
  • Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success.
If we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits.
  • When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.
Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances -Randomness and Deciet- .

Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions. He who can modify his tactics -Randomness- in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.
  • So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.
So, Limping is a weakness than can mask strength.


Hollywood Park Poker & Ponies 10k guaranteed

Updated 2/11/2017
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker

OK, now the Racetrack is gone, but the casino is still there and going thru some type of transformation. Haven't been there since the racetrack closed, so I'll have to update this if and when I go back.

The tournaments there were mostly based on LUCK, not really too much skill involved. In other words, this tournament was not “Kessler Approved.” Then again, none of the tournament anywhere were. Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler is a Team Pro for Ivey Poker. He is considered one of the most consistent live poker players with dozens of cashes and numerous final table finishes.

Kessler has become a voice for players, demanding more chips, more play, extra levels, and more. Providing further evidence that his opinions on tournament structures are valued, the fledgling Mid-States Poker Tour went as far as to Kessler out for input and now advertises that its structures are “Chainsaw Approved.”

They had a poker tournament there called Hollywood Park Poker & Ponies 10k guaranteed

This was a crap shoot.
But I actually won a couple of them and finished in the money a few times.

Patience vs Speed and Utility
Low Patience Factor makes it a fast tournament and Low Utility limits your skill.
In an aggressive game, the teaser 1st level may give you one or two hands to try to make a good play. After the 1st level you are down to 30 or less Big Blinds if you haven't doubled up. Starting the 3rd level you are down to one or two playable hands! The Minefield started at Level 5.
Good Luck, because that's what you need to make it far in this crap shoot.
mrluckypoker Mr Lucky Poker
The poker room at Hollywood Park Casino has made some great changes since the racetrack was torn down. Looking for greater games and tournaments yet to come.