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Views: 912
Date Posted: Jun. 29, 1:12pm, 1 Comment

One of the most interesting aspects of attending the Portland Poker Championships this past Sunday was talking to some of the players.  I don't spend much time in live poker environments, besides my yearly trek to the World Series, so it's fascinating to hear their perspective.

 

Funny enough, they generally feel that online poker is rigged.  That is certainly a sentiment that gets casually bandied about by both online and live players regularly.  And while some cheating, corruption, and collusion occur online just as is found live, it is my strong feeling that the poker sites put on fair games.  I say that after 4 years of being around the online game.  I say that despite being in a downswing presently where the suckouts and bad beats sting particularly hard.  I say that after working with many online pro players who have tremendous experience with the game.  And most importantly, I say that because what I witnessed yesterday at the Portland Poker Championships was exactly the same as you see online.  The only difference is that online you see a much greater volume of hands and thus anomolies come up more often.

 

In the 79 player tournament yesterday there were numerous suckouts and bad beats.  In my very small sample size of hands witnessed, I watched runner runner straights beating top set all in on the flop.  I watched one drunk amateur lady get Aces dealt to her two hands in a row.  The hand that broke the money bubble was a three way all in with Q's, K's and A's.  The hand that created the final table had a 3 outer on the river.  Somehow, in the moment, these players accept these hands and return to play again live, but when it happens online, they feel the game must be rigged.

 

I also found it interesting that they play significantly higher live.  They can win or lose $100-200 playing 1-2 NLHE without much thought, but are loathe to deposit any money online or willing to play stakes like .05-.10 or higher.

 

Live players don't necessarily feel they should have to make adjustment to online play.  Personally, I equate it to playing any other game.  You always have to make adjustments.  Each game (MTT, SNG or Cash) requires adjustments to your game.  Each level you play, each game you play, requires adjustments to playing style and strategy.

 

Ultimately it comes down to a comfort zone.  Just as I am uncomfortable in a live setting because I don't play live, these live players feel out of their comfort zone playing online.  The natural inclination it so attribute that discomfort and poor results to it being rigged, but from my experience, it is not. 

 

There continues to be a vast disconnect between live and online players.  Live players will focus their experience much more to TV poker and the celebrities that are created by the mass poker media.  They are relatively unaware of the online personalities and sites that are even larger and more profitable because they toil away online.

 

In the end, I think there is opportunity for Poker Curious to try and help bridge the gap.  They are an audience that if you give them a comfortable easy to use environment with all the online poker resources at their fingertips, they might reconsider the online poker world.  We shall see in the coming months...

Views: 911
Date Posted: Jun. 28, 6:01pm, 1 Comment

Today, I'm attending the Portland Poker Championships.  They are being held at the Copper Monkey restaurant and bar in Beaverton, Oregon. There are 79 players entered for a prize pool of about $16,000.  It is being filmed to be prepared for Pokerstars TV.  Poker Curious will be working with the sponsor, West Side Portland Poker Club on some upcoming promotions for their members and ours.  It got off to a late start due to set up issues with the film and lighting crew.  It is a deep stacked event with lots of play in it.  Play will go deep into the night to determine a winner.

 

It is an interesting cross section of people.  As the hours roll on, I may blog about some interesting aspects of the tournament. 

 

An older woman has this t-shirt on...."You don't need balls to play hold'em, but it sure helps to hold the nuts!"

 

The TV hostess, her first time around poker, on her first called all in hand in front of the cameras 'hey, he has a pocket full of aces".

 

 

Views: 900
Date Posted: Jun. 25, 9:44pm, 4 Comments

Please excuse me if my logic doesn't translate, as I'm several mojitos deep, but an interesting thought occured to me tonight.  Today, Michael Jackson died prematurely at the age of 50.  He was a pop music icon that changed the way we viewed music.  He is one of the most famous musicians in the world, over my lifetime.

 

How are we to judge him?  In fact, do you really have the right to judge him at all?  Personally, I have been very harsh on him during the second half of his life as he made very questionable decisions in his personal life.   He certainly seemed to embody his nickname, wacko jacko.  But it made me think about what should a person be remembered for?  Should it be for the good he contributed to the world, or the bad?  If I were in his situation, what would I want others to remember?  How do we balance our contributions versus our negatives?  No person is all good.  No person makes all good decisions.  Where and how do we balance what we have done?  He positively affected many people, and negatively impacted a lot of people too.  I don't condone his behavior, but I'm curious what is the best way to view him.

Views: 475
Date Posted: Jun. 22, 11:08pm, 2 Comments

I'm not sure what it is that makes me a good railbird.  Is it my desire to see other people succeed and achieve their dreams?  Is it that I like to live vicariously through others?  Is it that I don't like the spotlight?  Is it that I realize I don't have what it takes, so it's better to back someone else?  Whatever it is, I enjoy watching other players play poker well.

I can recall some of my most enjoyable times during the 2007 WSOP was befriending Lee Childs as he made it to the final table of the WSOP main event.  Every day, for hours on end, I would check on his results and give him support as I did my rounds reporting on CardRunners members playing.  I became friends with him and his family.  His nice $700k cash for 7th propelled him to be a full time poker professional.  He now teaches at WPT boot camps, gives private coaching, and tours professionally.

My desire to support players is no different at Poker Curious.  One of our early members Nathan 'questphenom' Doudney is having a great WSOP this year.  He has cashed for nearly $300k; getting 4th in the $10k HU event, as well as 10th in the $10k PLO event.  I've watched some of his play on the Bluff.com feeds.  He is good friends with my admin, zagnut31, and they share a strong Gonzaga connection with a number of PC members.

Read his PC interview we just conducted with him at the WSOP.....HERE

Views: 533
Date Posted: Jun. 18, 2:48pm, 3 Comments

I've had a busy morning, today.  I conducted my first radio/podcast interview with Ante Up Magazine based out of Florida.  Scott Long and Chris Cosenza are really nice and funny guys who love all things poker.  I got bumped from tomorrow's show because they are interviewing Greg Pappas, the director of the PPA, to discuss the recent seizure of online funds.  My interview will go up July 3rd instead, while I'm out in Vegas for the main event.

 

The purpose for today's post is I wanted to share a great poker video with you.  When I was looking around the poker world after departing CardRunners, I identified DeucesCracked as a business and team of guys who are trying to do really good work.  They think outside the box.  They are conscientious.  They have a good perspective about poker and poker education.  They work hard, but like to have a lot of fun.  They are currently filming their 2M2MM (2 Months, 2 Million) G4 shows.  They are creating compelling content for poker fans of all kinds so I wanted to give them some props.

 

http://deucescracked.com/robusto

 

The video is 30 minutes long and very professionally done.  I love the format of trying to relay a fuller portrayal of one individual's journey in poker.  The first documentary features Greg 'CaptnZeebo' Lavery who used to blog on CardRunners.  I am hoping this becomes a regular series, as the production values are top notch.  It was so well done, I found myself wanting it to go on and on in greater depth.   People inside and outside of poker should really get access to a variety of these video documentary poker player portrayals to better understand our game and industry.

Views: 494
Date Posted: Jun. 15, 1:57pm, 4 Comments

A few days ago we reached the first month since Poker Curious launched.  While it is a constant learning experience, there have been both positives and negatives.  I'm excited about the response we've received, the original content we've been creating, and the community we are building.

 

I thought I would share some of our latest happenings:

 

1. Good interview with Dusty 'Leatherass' Schmidt of StoxPoker HERE.

 

2. Humorous article with Karim Wilkins, CEO of RakeTheRake, the largest rakeback company HERE.

 

3. This past Sunday we held our 7th freeroll on FTP and our first on BetUS (cake network).

 

4. We awarded our sixth free one month membership to a poker training website to someone who referred 5 friends to the site (many more prizes are available).

 

5. We've given away prizes and prize pools in excess of $1500 to members.

 

6. We reached over 1200 signed up members and 10k visitors.

 

While we are just beginning, it's exciting to reach the first month and appreciate how far we've come.  Thanks for your interest and support.

Views: 1473
Date Posted: Jun. 9, 6:05pm, 5 Comments

This is the best time of the poker year.  The six weeks during the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas brings together so many people and energy, that no other time can compete.  Instead of writing out in great details the reasons, I thought I would do it briefly in pictorial fashion.

 

1. The Location

the strip

 

2. Cash and Glory

winning wsop

 

3. Railing the best in the world

railing the best

 

4. The Restaurants

tao

 

5. The Clubs

the clubs

 

6. The pool parties

pool parties

 

7. The Hotels

the wynn

 

8. The Casinos

bellagio

 

9. The Sights

Venetian

 

10. The Girls

the girls

 

And while the list could go on and on, did I mention the girls?  LOL

more girls

more girls 2

more girls 3

more girls 4

Views: 569
Date Posted: Jun. 5, 7:17pm, 0 Comments

I think one of the key goals of any poker player should be to have fun.  Sure we all want to win.  Sure we want to make money.  Sure we want to make the optimal moves.  The problem with all that is it can make you too serious.  When you take the game too seriously, you are in jeopardy of excess stress, pressure and likely tilt.  The game's inherent qualities provide many opportunities for bad beats and suckouts.  You can play reasonably well for long stretches and not achieve much success. It is important to balance those more serious times with more relaxed fun poker time.

 

At the end of the day it is a game of cards.  It is an opportunity to interact with others.  You don't always have to focus on that singular goal of making the most money or winning the tournament each time you play.  Some of the most enjoyable times I've ever played have been when I get together with friends, drop down in stakes, and play wildly.  Playing live with friends can be a great relaxing time too.  Personally, I've never enjoyed taking my friends money, but if they are small stakes, you can have a good time and really mix things up.

 

When Poker Curious was checking out various poker rooms on the iPoker Network (the largest poker network in the world) to become an affiliate of and review, we ultimately selected Paddy Power Poker.  They weren't the largest or most well known, but they had a good reputation and had a fun and progressive attitude.  This picture is evidence of not taking poker too seriously and having fun. 

first person out in the World Strip Championships

Paddy Power sponsored the World Strip Poker Championships in Ireland.  Check out their Poker Curious review.

Views: 479
Date Posted: Jun. 1, 2:21pm, 0 Comments

I found it interesting that on the last blog where I shared a number of marginal situations at high stakes PLO, most of the established players commented that they were 'standard'.  I think the fact that marginal hands and decisions are considered standard show how different PLO is from NLHE.  I recall when I played NLHE that there was usually a clear EV+ move to make.  The decisions seemed more clear cut.  The great disparity of being ahead or behind makes certain moves more obvious.  In PLO anything falling within the 60-40 realm (even less) implies that you continue in the hand.   You are often 'near flipping' over and over.  Sometimes you are on the slight plus side, sometimes not.

 

One thing that MichaelSC from DeucesCracked mentioned on one of his recent Poker Commonalities videos struck me.  You want to avoid getting in 30% of your stack (4 betting essentially) as a 60% favorite with a hand like A,A,x,x and then get the other 70% as a 30-40% dog.  Even if your opponent has a pair and a gutter they have enough equity to call it off against bare aces.  This makes for a lot of variance and also prioritizes hitting hands before continuing hard post flop.

 

Since the last high stakes PLO blog seemed popular, I thought I would share eight more hands I watched a few days ago in a session of the forever long dragging Durrrr challenge with Patrik Antonius.

 

1. Another 'standard' nearly 160k pot.  Durrrr has 60-40 equity pre-flop, but on the flop it becomes a true flip as the pot builds to 50k.  On the turn durrrr has 75% equity but Antonius pushes his pot sized stack into the middle and sucks out on the river.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 2 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi 
Seat 1: durrrr ($78,798.50)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($81,196)
Patrik Antonius posts the small blind of $200
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Patrik Antonius raises to $1,200
durrrr raises to $3,600
Patrik Antonius calls $2,400
*** FLOP *** [Qs 3c 8c]
durrrr bets $4,800
Patrik Antonius raises to $21,600
durrrr calls $16,800
*** TURN *** [Qs 3c 8c] [3s]
durrrr checks
Patrik Antonius bets $50,400
durrrr raises to $53,598.50, and is all in
Patrik Antonius calls $3,198.50
durrrr shows [Ts Js Jc Qh]
Patrik Antonius shows [Th 9c Ac 6s]
*** RIVER *** [Qs 3c 8c 3s] [Kc]
durrrr shows two pair, Queens and Threes
Patrik Antonius wins the pot ($157,596.50) with a flush, Ace high

 

2. In the second hand, durrrr has a decent AA hand with as much of an equity edge as you can typically have preflop at 66%.  On the flop he reaches 80% equity but Antonius has the betting lead and keeps betting while durrrr plays it soft.  With only 30% on the turn Patrik check raises in the rest of his stack and doesn't catch his 13 outer.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 1 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($137,791.50)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($62,189.50)
durrrr posts the small blind of $200
Patrik Antonius posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $1,200
Patrik Antonius raises to $3,600
durrrr calls $2,400
*** FLOP *** [6c 9d Qh]
Patrik Antonius bets $6,000
durrrr calls $6,000
*** TURN *** [6c 9d Qh] [3d]
Patrik Antonius checks
durrrr bets $19,200
Patrik Antonius raises to $52,589.50, and is all in
durrrr calls $33,389.50
Patrik Antonius shows [Js 5d Jd 5h]
durrrr shows [Ad Kh 8s Ah]
*** RIVER *** [6c 9d Qh 3d] [3c]
Patrik Antonius shows two pair, Jacks and Threes
durrrr wins the pot ($124,378.50) with two pair, Aces and Threes

 

3.  Durrrr gets in half his stack pre-flop against Patrik's double suited K's and Js and holds (57% equity pre).  On the flop it became a flip with Patrik picking up the flush draw, but pot odds would have dictated his call with almost anything getting 3-1.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 3 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($61,280)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($168,415)
Patrik Antonius posts the small blind of $200
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Patrik Antonius raises to $1,200
durrrr raises to $3,600
Patrik Antonius raises to $10,800
durrrr raises to $32,400
Patrik Antonius calls $21,600
*** FLOP *** [4s 5c 6s]
durrrr bets $28,880, and is all in
Patrik Antonius calls $28,880
durrrr shows [Ac 9h 3c Ad]
Patrik Antonius shows [Kh Ks Js Jh]
*** TURN *** [4s 5c 6s] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [4s 5c 6s 7c] [4d]
Patrik Antonius shows two pair, Kings and Fours
durrrr wins the pot ($122,559.50) with two pair, Aces and Fours

 

4. In this hand, Patrik is short and puts half his stack in pre-flop with his double suited J's hand against durrrr's aces with 69% equity.  When Patrik pushes, he gives durrrr 3-1 odds to call even if Patrik had caught his set or flush draw.  As it was durrrr had 75% equity.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 4 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($139,059)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($20,914)
durrrr posts the small blind of $200
Patrik Antonius posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $1,200
Patrik Antonius raises to $3,600
durrrr raises to $10,800
Patrik Antonius calls $7,200
*** FLOP *** [7s 2h 5h]
Patrik Antonius bets $10,114, and is all in
durrrr calls $10,114
Patrik Antonius shows [Jc Jd Qd 2c]
durrrr shows [Ts Ad Kd As]
*** TURN *** [7s 2h 5h] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [7s 2h 5h 3c] [7d]
Patrik Antonius shows two pair, Jacks and Sevens
durrrr wins the pot ($41,827.50) with two pair, Aces and Sevens

 

5. Another 3 bet pot where durrrr flops well with 71% equity, but Patrik pushes the action on the turn with his 3rd pair, backdoor flush draws, and open ender straight draw.  Durrrr holds.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 2 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($81,798)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($268,169.50)
durrrr posts the small blind of $200
Patrik Antonius posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $1,200
Patrik Antonius raises to $3,600
durrrr calls $2,400
*** FLOP *** [Qc Ts 5d]
Patrik Antonius bets $6,000
durrrr raises to $19,200
Patrik Antonius calls $13,200
*** TURN *** [Qc Ts 5d] [4s]
Patrik Antonius bets $45,600
durrrr raises to $58,998, and is all in
Patrik Antonius calls $13,398
durrrr shows [Kh Tc As 5c]
Patrik Antonius shows [5s Js 9c 7c]
*** RIVER *** [Qc Ts 5d 4s] [Jc]
Patrik Antonius shows two pair, Jacks and Fives
durrrr wins the pot ($163,595.50) with a straight, Ace high

 

6. They get it in pre-flop with two strong hands and Patrik short.  Patrik had nearly 70% equity and holds to double up.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 3 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($199,113)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($30,574.50)
durrrr posts the small blind of $200
Patrik Antonius posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $1,200
Patrik Antonius raises to $3,600
durrrr raises to $10,800
Patrik Antonius raises to $30,574.50, and is all in
durrrr calls $19,774.50
Patrik Antonius shows [Ad 9d As 9h]

durrrr shows [Kc Qd Kh Ac]
*** FLOP *** [8h 2d 7c]
*** TURN *** [8h 2d 7c] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [8h 2d 7c Jd] [9c]
durrrr shows a pair of Kings
Patrik Antonius wins the pot ($61,148.50) with three of a kind, Nines

 

7. Although the pot is 4 bet pre-flop, they play it cautiously on the flop and turn before durrrr tries to steal it on the river.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 4 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($146,141)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($53,822.50)
Patrik Antonius posts the small blind of $200
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Patrik Antonius raises to $1,200
durrrr raises to $3,600
Patrik Antonius raises to $10,800
durrrr calls $7,200
*** FLOP *** [Ks 4s Kc]
durrrr checks
Patrik Antonius checks
*** TURN *** [Ks 4s Kc] [Ts]
durrrr checks
Patrik Antonius checks
*** RIVER *** [Ks 4s Kc Ts] [4d]
durrrr bets $14,200
Patrik Antonius calls $14,200
*** SHOW DOWN ***
durrrr shows [9h 7d 9d Kd] three of a kind, Kings
Patrik Antonius shows [Ah 7s As 5h] a flush, Ace high
Patrik Antonius wins the pot ($49,999.50) with a flush, Ace high

 

8. In the last hand, Patrik hits a nice flop and has 78% equity and check call.  On the turn durrrr leads pot with his overpair and gutter.  Patrik pushes and holds.

 

Full Tilt Poker - Table durrrr Challenge 4 (heads up, deep) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: durrrr ($164,771.50)
Seat 2: Patrik Antonius ($35,200)
Patrik Antonius posts the small blind of $200
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Patrik Antonius raises to $1,200
durrrr raises to $3,600
Patrik Antonius calls $2,400
*** FLOP *** [4d 5c 9d]
durrrr checks
Patrik Antonius bets $5,200
durrrr calls $5,200
*** TURN *** [4d 5c 9d] [Jc]
durrrr bets $17,600
Patrik Antonius raises to $26,400, and is all in
durrrr calls $8,800
Patrik Antonius shows [3c 5d 4s Ad]
durrrr shows [3d 7h Qs Qh]
*** RIVER *** [4d 5c 9d Jc] [2c]
durrrr shows a pair of Queens
Patrik Antonius wins the pot ($70,399.50) with a straight, Five high

 

 

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