Annual predictions are every writer's stock-in-trade, and my look at 2009 is all about the future of your local poker game, and mine too.
Most successful players don't win because of their own innate genius at this game; they win because of their opponents' stupidity. Some opponents give money away by making a continuous run of loose calls with hands they should have folded and by exhibiting a penchant for looking us up time and time again on the river. Why? Maybe they sleep better knowing that no one ever bluffs them in a poker game.
Humans usually fear change, but once a year they embrace it by making New Year's resolutions. More often than not, people lack the discipline and patience to follow through on their resolutions and some even break them by January 2.
1. Focus on the game: Remain completely focused on the action at your table, even when you are not in the hand, and while you're focusing, develop a personal method to periodically refocus your attention on the game. It is too easy to become just distracted while not even realizing it!
2. Don't be stupid: We all can make mistakes, but stupid mistakes are the worst! Remember, players who make stupid mistakes are not called "donkeys" for nothing. It usually happens because they do something exceptionally stupid, and draw attention to themselves in the process.
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People overestimate the importance of odds in poker. Knowing the statistical chances of making hands can be helpful, but players with good judgment and years of experience aren't usually sacrificing much if they don't know the exact odds.
Today's self-interview-one in a series of columns in which I get to ask and then answer my own questions-focuses on odds, chances, and statistics.
Seth Fischer overcame some touch competition at the final table to win the main event that concluded the Trump Taj Mahal's 2008 Trump Classic Poker Tournament in Atlantic City.
The final event attracted only 16 entrants, but it was a $5,000 buy-in, no-limit hold 'em event and Fisher had to carve his way through a final table that included former World Series of Poker finalist Michael Binger and well-known pro Chris "Syracuse" Tsiprailidis.
Bad boys bad boys/
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when
they come for you?
[This is a work of poker fiction set ten thousand hands in the future. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.]
Gertrude Stein coined the term "Lost Generation" to describe the cynical and disillusioned writers and artists that gathered together in Paris in the aftermath of The War to End All Wars.
On the heels of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission's decision regarding to the UltimateBet cheating scandal, the current owner of UltimateBet had the opportunity to claim its own small victory. At least it was small in relation to the massive scope of the entire scandal. Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, the company that owns UB and Absolute Poker, filed a lawsuit and received a settlement from Excapsa Software, the company that sold UB to them with the cheating activities already firmly in place.
One of my students, Jim, is a consistent winner in low-limit hold 'em. Recently, while playing $3-$6 limit at a local casino, he was accused of greed.
There are a few protocols and policies that you may know, may not know, or maybe have forgotten, so I thought I'd tickle your memory bank.
Showdown. Suppose you make it to the showdown after betting, and your opponent asks to see your hand after winning the pot. It is correct protocol to flip your cards up nicely, allowing your opponent to satisfy his curiosity. What you may not be aware of is that you must show all your opponents.