Archive for January, 2010

Some Observations between Live and Online Poker pt. 1

I’ve been playing more poker lately and have the urge to write a little more on this subject.

**Disclaimer- I haven’t played a huge amount of live poker (in a casino setting). I’ve played many hours in home games (before I was even allowed to play online) but that’s a bit different.I have however played enough hours at a casino to give some tips/inferences with regards to the adjustments one must make.

Casino poker and online poker are two different beasts. Same game, yes, but the quality of play (and the manner) is so so different. I’m speaking from the perspective of a primarily online 6-max NLHE/PLO player, and 9-handed 35 hand per hour casino settings are much much different. Some observations and notes on live poker:

1. Make live observations. Look at the clothes of your opponents, the mannerisms, their age. Look at the way they conduct themselves, the way they stack their chips, etc. You can usually make some general inferences based on this alone.

When conducting yourself at a live table, don’t shell up into one of those tightwad/glasses wearing/super quiet/ipod wearing homos…talk with your table mates, enjoy the setting, order some drinks. If you want to be a silent assassin do it at home in your boxers 6-tabling.

2. ALWAYS TIP YOUR DEALER. (I know this doesn’t really fall into the poker category yet). Don’t be a cheapass.

3. Preflop- Many online poker players have fantastic fundamentals with regards to both preflop (and early postflop) play. Many of us know not to limp/call J3s from UTG, etc. In a live poker setting, these rules go out the window. Live poker is infinitely more passive, both pre AND postflop. You’ll see tons of people limping and limp/calling with all sorts of garbage.

Online, we like to isolate those limpers…1-2 limpers to us and we have QTo? RAISE

isolating live is less effective (unless you have deeper stacks). If you just have 100bbs, you’ll get probably 4 callers + when you do decide to isolate some limpers. Suddenly you’re in a quandary where you have QT on a T56ss board and you get jammed on by one of those silly donks.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that overlimping stuff like KJ/QT/etc etc is perfectly fine (depending on players, stacks, etc of course). Stacks/pot sizes get so marginalized so quickly in a live setting, both due to larger preflop raises (you’ll probably see anything from like 4xbb to 8bb+ opens) and the number of people involved in each hand.With that said, it’s probably important to raise more preflop for value than for deception (ie. stuff like KQ is obviously better in this sense than 67s).

Unlike online poker, AK is not the nuts preflop…at least at lower stakes live games. 1/2 and 2/5, people still sigh alot when they get it in with KK preflop. I remember a hand a while ago where I opened AKdd 7-handed, the bb reraised as a 60bb stack, I jammed and he thinks (while muttering “I don’t know anything about this guy”) and folds QQ face up. I show him AK and he screams “I guess he DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME EITHER!!!!” then storms off.

What I’m trying to say is that preflop is fucking nitty when you’re getting it in live. Sure, people will limp all the time (and call raises with incredible crap), but when they are the ones being the aggressors, they usually have it. I remember another time when this tank bitch limped UTG, some mexican raised, I reraised KQ (he was really really bad), tank bitch FLATS, mexican folds. flop xxx, tank bitch check folds AK faceup and screams “IT NEVER HITS!!!”

so yeah…typically, it’s not good to get it in with AK/JJ/etc for 100bbs in a 10 handed setting.

With that said, you can be pretty liberal with your limping range in position. 4 people limp to you, go ahead and limp K3s or 6Ts or whatever. As long as you’re competent post flop, you’ll do well.

In summation:

-isoing isn’t as vital as it is online, nor will you find as much success doing so (depending on the circumstances of course). people are 100x more passive preflop than online and you’ll see a ton of limping.

-getting it in preflop with AK/QQ/etc is going to be an ick spot alot of the time…at least at the lower limits.

-limping preflop is fine (which is a bit rare in online poker).

guess I’ll write the other parts later, this is getting kindve long.

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meh

I’ve been doing pretty piss poor with regards to some of the goals I set forth. Haven’t been playing a ton of poker lately (though, the last two days I’ve played decently enough, by my standards at least)…work out has been meh overall (I have a 5x a week prop with a friend though)…eating out alot and not really too happy with my diet.

I am getting a better idea of where I want to go in the next few months. There are probably 3-4 trips I have in mind within the next few months…I probably will end up in Seattle for a little while, visiting some family up there. I also think I’ll go to Mexico with my friends in early March (hopefully).

I still haven’t decided where I’m going to go for my long trip. I was thinking going to bangkok to meet a friend there and go around SW Asia with him…I’m also thinking about maybe Australia/NZ too. hell, South America sounds pretty fun too…I’m still unsure of what to do/where to go.

Still searching for something to put my time and efforts into…going to try and dabble in new things though, we’ll see if they come to fruition.

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Starting Poker

sup guys, sorry haven’t posted in a while, haven’t found the motivation to post here much lately.

I’ve decided I want to write an article on starting poker (in a serious manner). All of us have friends who play poker in a casual sense…and many of our friends look at us (poker players) and say “it’s easy, I could do that…so I will”

My first advice to anyone who would want to play poker in a serious manner (meaning primarily online): Be dedicated about it. Don’t do it for the money alone…you’ll never succeed. So if you’re saying to yourself “hmm, this guy’s just sitting there and making money, I can do this if I really really try!”…no…you most likely won’t, and you’ll spend many wasted hours stressed out of your mind.

When deciding whether or not to play online, please please please scrap the “online is rigged, it always seems like donks get there with draws, I always get outdrawn’ mentality…unless you’re playing high stakes UB (where potripper played under hacked software and poker literally was rigged), your money is safe and you aren’t going to get cheated (playing at the bigger sites such as party, stars, FTP are going to pretty much guarantee this). SCRAP the mentality of ‘online is rigged’, it’s the same retard mentality that fish/donators have…

What the hell is that picture? Well, it’s an ev graph…an equity graph on the “luck” many people encounter over a million hands. Sure, one can experience drastically bad luck over a small sample size…but this graph shows that it really does somewhat “even out in the end”…now, a million hands is much more than your average poker player will ever play,but I think it’s a good image to show with regards to luck, variance, and equity. So, go into online poker with a fresh mentality.

rule #1- PLAY POKER BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT!

Alright, so now that that is established, how would you go about doing it? Obviously in order for one to want to get better at poker, one must at least know the rules, have played several times, etc. Since that is established, know that reading is ESSENTIAL in learning poker (as with all things). If you aren’t willing to read forums, some books (to start), immerse yourself, you probably won’t have a chance.

For one, I guess I’d read THIS POST first off. This thread gives you a ton of good articles to read initially, and a general idea of some of the stuff one should study when getting ready to make the big jump in depositing.

So most of someone’s experience in poker is probably playing a homegame or two with friends…online is a completely different game. ( I’ll probably write a post later on on some of the observations I’ve seen while playing live (in comparison to online)). I would probably start by thinking about how much you want to deposit. For some people it’s $50 every time, and they lose it slowly…do not do this.

From the beginning on, it’s important to understand good bankroll management. Usually, the standard advice is 20 buyins for each limit ($200 for a $20 buyin that is). Obviously if you are playing as a professional poker player, more is absolutely necessary…but when you’re starting out, 20 works fine.

So first I’d probably research some rakeback service. Rakeback is a percentage back of the rake you pay from the poker tables…it’s usually pretty standard for you to get 25%+ back, depending on the site. Google ‘rakeback poker’ and you’ll get a ton of various sites that you can sign up with. Follow the directions and deposit/get signed up with rakeback…I cannot emphasize this enough. Don’t go download the software like a moron and deposit $100 and hop right in…get rakeback…it’ll save your ass many a day and help with downswings.

rule #2 – GET RAKEBACK THROUGH THE HUNDRED OF SITES AVAILABLE
Alright, so you have your rakeback, you have the plan to learn and study. What’s next? I guess familiarizing yourself with the software is pretty essential. Playing play money tables for a bit probably would help with regards to this would help. Once you figure out the reloads/the auto-rebuy settings/etc, go hit the tables.

How much should one deposit? obviously this is up for debate…I think alot of it depends on how much you don’t mind losing. Yes, even though your poker playing friend makes alot of money, the vast majority of players lose. I would say a good starting amount is probably like $400 or so…starting off playing something like $10NL ($.05/.10NL) and moving up to $25NL when ready.

So yeah, play a bit…familiarize yourself with the software. READ forums, blogs, books, etc…immerse yourself with poker. Watch it on t.v., think about why someone is doing a play.

Posting on forums is a great way to interact and discuss poker hands/theory. As you dwell further and further in the game, you’ll realize that poker is incredibly complex, and that while very easy to learn, it’s difficult to master. I suggest posting on forums (or at least reading) and thinking about why someone gives x reasoning or y reasoning. Alot of the times when I talk to noobies about posting in forums, alot of them say “I don’t know who to read, there’s so much differing advice”.

I guess I’d just start reading and figuring out who knows what he’s talking about and continue to read that person’s posts. obviously poker is a logic game, and if someone can back up their statements with excellent logic, they are probably going to be right (though, this is obviously not always the truth).

There are many small groups being set up all the time for poker…poker study groups are a great way to learn and talk with friends. Something that isn’t done enough is poker discussion when first learning…when you are debating with someone why a play is right or wrong, you learn.

step #3- FIND A POKER BUDDY AND STUDY! SAVE THE HANDS THAT YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH AND GIVE REASONS WHY YOU THINK YOUR PLAY WAS EITHER GOOD OR BAD

I can’t really stress that enough…All highstakes regulars will tell you that they’ve discussed hands before with friends (though, I think that isildur said he didn’t do that, beastmode)…this is very vital. There is a section in the deucescracked forums on study groups labeled “ninjas anonymous”  where you can find others who play your limits (the link to DC is on my links bar).Try and discuss hands, talk on AIM or skype, sweat sessions using www.mikogo.com or www.teamviewer.com (obviously make sure you’re semi trusting with said person, don’t do it to a complete stranger…some people can get scammed at times by using screen sharing devices…someone had his friend tell the cards of the sweatee and had his friend play him, nasty stuff).

Alright, so you have your rakeback established, you have the software down, you’re studying like a fiend, you have a friend or two (or more, the more the better) to discuss hands with. Hopefully you’re playing maybe 2 tables by now (though, there isn’t any harm in playing just one). I would say that by now, you should have some of the basic fundamentals down (ie. don’t limp J2s in EP).

I guess the goal for the first few weeks should be simple: survive. Don’t go busto, move down in limits as needed (once confidence, bankroll, etc) is shot. You’ll probably lose a bit when you first start…this is okay. It’ll take a little while to learn and be able to play confidently.It’s time to upgrade some software-

step #4- BUY POKERTRACKER 3 OR HOLDEMMANGER

This is pretty vital for one’s development as a poker player. I know it’s a bit confusing and sometimes a bitch to set this stuff up, but it’s important to track your progress as well as track hands for later use. Getting HUD stats up is important too…it helps alot when you are multitabling. It allows you to (typically) figure out who the target is and allows you to make necessary adjustments.

So yeah…get all your software up, establish a good network of friends, work hard. Working hard is going to be the biggest reason for success. It’s helpful to make friends who are better than you at poker, people who you can ask on AIM “is this right?” or what have you.

As you play more and more poker, learn to understand more and more tactics, theory, etc, you’ll find out how much of a grind it can be. You’ll understand some of the terrible things tilt can lead to, you’ll understand why your friend is playing for 8+ hours on his computer instead of hanging with friends (trying to go rostucko). My biggest advice for those who are trying to start out is to not become a robot…this can hamper your growth immensely, and I’m a victim of it (lately)…don’t get the basics down then up your table count to like 10+ right away…it’s probably the worst thing you can do.

Play a short amount of tables, learn and understand why you’re doing something, take shots when needed (at higher limits).

That’s all for now, I’m sure I’ll think of more later. Not sure if anyone is going to read this either, but I think it could be useful for those who are just starting.

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Bored out of my fucking mind…

So my days are spent reading forums, watching t.v., playing video games and occasionally a hand or two in poker. The days are long, muddled, and very very boring.

For the longest time, all I could think about was ending school. I was ecstatic when I graduated, not only because I got my degree but because I’d have alot of free time.
Well, free time is overrated…at least right now. I suppose I could have a skewed view of things, having not really ever had a ‘real’ job perse…I’ve been told that the freedom that poker offers is priceless, though I have yet to really experience it.

I’m sure there are many like me right now…sortve in a transitional stage, have some extra cash from poker and not really a clue what to do. My degree in history is relatively useless and I’m not too hard pressed to get a real job quite yet…I still have enough money to live fine for the next year or two.

I don’t know how much longer I see poker as a viable ‘profession’. I haven’t played many hands in a long while, and poker has lost some of its luster in my life…I don’t have nearly the passion and drive I once did. The variance and swings are annoying as well.

I’ve gone hard at every hobby I’ve pursued. That is, when I really enjoy something, I go all out in it…pour my heart and soul into it, to learn new ideas, techniques, to improve. Now that poker is ending a bit in my life, I need to find something else…another productive hobby/passion to fill my time.

Basically, I’m fairly lost…I don’t know what I want to do with my life, I don’t have a great degree, I’m losing the only source of income I’ve known the last few years (well, not totally, but you get the picture).My days are filled with the same old boring stuff, and I’m bored.I live a loser lifestyle right now and I really need to fix it.

I’ve been thinking about ways to remedy it…the clearest way out of this mild depression is to find new hobbies and learn to occupy my time. I’ve been toying with the idea of going up to see my grandfather and learning about stocks/trading/etc…he’s been fairly successful and it seems like a good skill to learn.

I also am planning on going with my friends to Mexico sometime in the next few months. Hopefully sooner rather than later, I can’t stand Nebraska that much longer…at least with this weather. My plans in the next few months are pretty muddled though, and I’m not quite sure what I want to do. There are alot of ideas I have with regards to travel, and alot of options.

I want to eventually take a trip out to Thailand again and go around Asia…maybe to Nepal. I’m not quite sure if I’ll do Vegas this year, we’ll see. Further, I hear that my family might take a cruise trip or something in early July.

Will I play flag football in the spring? Will I have had enough of Nebraska (right now) and spazzily go buy a ticket somewhere? I don’t know…I just know that with my friends all having real jobs, there isn’t shit to do during the day…and I need to do something. Climbing/working out/computer stuff can only occupy so much time.

/end rant

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cfb finale

No more cfb, sucks ass…season has been a pretty fun one and I’m disappointed that it’s done. I suppose there is another month until signing day and later spring ball…meh.

I”m happy with UF’s season, and I’m glad UF finished well. I must say there is a slight bit of disappointment not being able to play for the NC game- expectations were at some of the highest levels ever. But a 13-1 season, I’m definitely happy about it.

Some early predictions for next season from ESPN and rivals

It will be interesting to see how good UF will be next season. We lose (off the top of my head):

Offense- Tebow, Nelson, Cooper,  Hernandez, potentially both of the pounceys…I think that’s it.

While the loss of Tebow will hurt, I’m confident that John Brantley will be just fine. He’s shown glimpses of brilliance in his short playing time (though, most all of it was mop up duty) and I’m really excited to see him play. He’s much more a standard pro quarterback than TT is, with a faster/sharper release.

The loss of Hernandez hurts alot…he was one of the best receivers on the team this year and his versatility with the shovel triple option was really great too. With that said, UF will be moving towards a different form of offense this coming year (I think), mainly toward a heavier passing game. The zone read won’t be AS MUCH of a staple as it was this year, but I still expect to see it. JB isn’t as big of  bruiser as TT was, but he’s still quick enough to gain some yards on the ground. There is also some speculation that Jordan Reed, our QB recruit from last year might come in and do some short yardage stuff, a role that TT had when he was a freshman.With that said, TE is a thin position and one in need.

The loss of the Pounceys hurt as well…anytime you lose two great OL, it’s going to suck. There still isn’t any confirmation on whether or not they are leaving, and it could be that Maurkice Pouncey that leaves early and Mike will stay back. With that said, their backups are highly rated recruits who have been in the system for a bit, so I don’t expect there to be TOO much of a drop off (considering they are interior linemen and not a more vital spot such as tackle).

The loss of Nelson and Cooper hurts, as UF WRs haven’t really stepped it up (other than Cooper). Deonte has shown flashes of an excellent player but isn’t consistent. I really hope some WRs can step it up.

Defensively, UF loses alot. Dunlap is expected to go, Spikes is gone, same with Stamper. Cunningham is gone as well, leaving us with both of our DEs gone. I expect the DT production to increase a bit, as it’s yet another year in the system. UF has a few good DT recruits as well and I think that DT is a position that will finally see some big production. Sure, they weren’t horrible the past few years (Marsh and Sanders along with a few defections)…but I wouldn’t mind having a Suh-like linemen in there.

Justin Trattou returns though, and he has been a starter/semi-starter his entire career. Dunlap loss will hurt, but we have  few good players who are in the same mold as CD. UF’s recruiting the past week has also reaped strong commits, and I think we’re in good shape in the next few years.

LB- two starters gone. Spikes obviously is a big loss, though, this past year, he hasn’t done a ton…a bit underachieving than he was in previous years. This was probably due to injury as well as being out for a few games. With that said, UF still has a few decent returning LBs, many of whom have played significant playing time. I don’t expect a tremendous amount of drop off…though, the leadership quality of Spikes will be missed.

DBs- I hear that M. Wright is thinking about going early…a big mistake imo. He’s not athletic enough to go high and he’s not productive enough either…Sure, he’s a decent player, but I think expecting to go in the first few rounds seems a bit much. I think another year would help him alot. The loss of Haden sucks alot…he was not only a great cover corner but a fantastic tackler as well. As with many other positions, UF has recruited cb pretty well. While I think there will be some pretty big drop off from Haden, the veteran play of A. Black and J. Jenkins will help…and even more so if Wright decides to stay.

Overall, I don’t expect there to be as much of a drop off in defense as there was in 2007…the cupboard was left empty, so to speak, and a ton of true frosh played that year. It’ll be a bit different in 2010, where UF now has a few good recruits at said positions.

The biggest question going into 2010 are:

-Urban Meyer and health…not really much to say about this…when he’ll be back, how hard he’ll go, etc. Hopefully he can get his life/health together.

-Coordinator turnover- UF has lost a ton of coordinators to other programs moving up, and it hurts with the continuity of this team. With that said, some of the guys coming in are highly touted, and I’m excited to see how Edwards molds his D.

-Schedule- is harder than it was in 2009, as UF plays bama in the regular season at their place. Yuck…

-J. Brantley- how good is he going to be?

Well…another month or so until signing day. Hopefully it’s a good one…UF currently has the #1 rated class, with a few more potentially signed. I’ll have to think about what UF game(s) I want to go to as well…

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