It won't be business as usual at Commerce Casino for the 2010 L.A. Poker Classic. This year's annual event, which begins January 20 and concludes March 4, will include 51 events-up from 35 last year.
$335-Buy-In No Limit Hold'em, Four-Day-Start, $1,000,000 Guarantee. For starters, the 2010 LAPC opens with a new $335-buyin no limit hold 'em, four-day-start tourney featuring a $1,000,000 guarantee, and players may re-enter on subsequent days if they bust out early.
I don't blame you if you doubted my claim that you can successfully bluff in low-limit games. After all, so many poker experts have shouted loud and clear: "You can't bluff in low-limit games!" Well, I told you that these experts were dead wrong. My bluffs succeed in games as low as $3-$6 limit, and work for me more than 60 percent of the time-where break-even is 20-30 percent. So bluffing is a significant part of my winnings.
You take a seat at a table, ready to play poker. Curious about your adversaries, you glance around. Your observations will determine how you'll play.
Stereotyping players. You make some immediate determinations, realizing all the while that these initial guesses may need to be modified. Still, you're willing to stereotype, because it gives you a starting point, which is usually more profitable than making no assumptions at all.
One of the players is clothed in a vivid Hawaiian shirt. You muse that he's probably going to play rather loosely, making it easy to get calls.
The deadline loomed over the poker community, and the ominous cloud seemed to darken as the days of November passed. The pieces of legislation introduced in Congress by Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Robert Menendez to overturn UIGEA and legalize online gaming had been shelved indefinitely due to pressing issues in Congress like health care. No action meant that UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) was to require enforcement by financial institutions on December 1, 2009.
I've been penning the column Improving Performance for Poker Player Newspaper for six years and sometimes I wonder if I will run out of ideas for the next installment. To prevent that, I developed a habit of scribbling down stray ideas whenever they hit me and developing them into a column when I sit down at the word processor. Recently I was rummaging through several scraps of paper with ideas that never developed into columns. At least not until now ... today's effort will be a potpourri of quick tips that I hope you will find to be thought provoking. OK ... here we go.
The bounty tournament, aka headhunter tournament, brings a little something extra to the prize pool. Additional prize money is awarded to any player who busts a particular opponent, typically somebody famous. Before the event begins, tournament officials designate a small percentage of players as having prices on their heads, and these bounty players start the tourney with a "bounty button."
"We live in a black-box society. What I mean by this is that we do not know how many things work; we simply know how to use them. TVs, computers, cars, cell phones, and microwaves are just a few of the myriad black-boxes that we take for granted." (Killer Poker by the Numbers, p. xix)
Seems like the Millennium was only yesterday, when we watched televised celebrations from one time zone to another before it reached California. The New Year's Eve Party I attended turned into a poker game at the stroke of twelve-the first poker game of the new century.
Sometime after midnight we checked the computer to see if those dire Y2K warnings were true. But we were all still here, alive and well, and able to log on to the internet, and all seemed right with the world.
Playing poker during the holidays-or any time, really-is like burning a candle at both ends. First of all, candles are not meant to be burned like that. And second, if you are holding a lit candle at both ends, you will eventually get burned.
Playing poker is similar. Eventually, you will get burned and either be caught doing something stupid or your luck will run out. After all, even good batters will miss more times than they hit. Getting a good poker hand also happens less often than getting a bad one.
[Editor's Note: The initial article in this series appeared in our November 9, 2009 issue. Regretfully, we lost track of the concluding segment until now. If you would like to, revisit... part one]
In the first installment of my "Deal or No Deal" series, I introduced some of the questions about whether a tournament deal is inherently fair or unfair. In this, the second part of that article, I'll attempt to answer those questions.