by Lou Krieger [Read Part 1 and Part 2]
Implied odds and reverse implied odds are both proverbial slippery slopes, particularly when considering all those marginal holdings—the kind that make up the majority of hands you encounter. With a marginal hand, you generally want to go to a showdown relatively inexpensively—and so do your opponents. With your big hands and a sufficient number of weak bluffing hands to balance your betting line, you want to play big pots. That’s generally the plan for most nolimit players. When you have one of those all-too familiar, good-but-not-great hands—the kinds of hands that have only a scant chance of improving—and your opponent either has a better hand already, or is drawing to complete a big hand, future betting rounds could cost you a lot of money. Now the implied odds favor your opponent, and what’s worse, you might never know it.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
Sometimes the hardest poker decisions you end up making are when you should (or should not) act aggressively. The looser we play, the more tough decisions we’ll end up encountering. I feel like this is one of the reasons some players stay tight for their entire playing career - they know they’ll be put in a bunch of tough spots if they get involved in more hands.
The way a loose aggressive player approaches the game, they’re forced to view tough decisions as part of the process toward profitability. In essence, they feel they are getting paid more to make tougher decisions more often. It’s akin to playing a harder level on a video game: when you beat the harder level you get a better reward. When should we put pressure on our opponents; pre-flop, post-flop, or both - and to what degree? General logic follows that the less pressure we put on an opponent pre-flop, the more often we’ll be facing them post-flop. Meaning, when we make small re-raises, our opponents will fold less often pre-flop than when we make larger re-raises. If we just call our opponent or over-limp after they’ve limped, we’re deferring the opportunity to put pressure on them. In these hands, we’re only distributing our hand strength across the equation, as there is no fold equity we’re benefiting from.
by Barbara Rogers
Next stop on this whirlwind tour of poker action: the fabulous M Resort in Las Vegas. Pony up, Penn National Gaming invites you to participate in the qualifier and the guarantee tournaments of $10,000, $20,000, and $40,000, playing out in January, 2013. Blinds are thirty minutes. The first event (Friday, January 25th, with the $10,000 guarantee) has a buy-in of only $125, with the top 5 winning sets to the tournament the very next day. The following day, Saturday, the 26th has a pay-out of $20,000 with a buy in of only $225. Here the top 5 finishers will also win an entry into the tournament of the next day, Sunday, the 27th. The buyin is $335, and the pay-out is $40,000. In this event the top 2 finishers win seats to the big main event in June 2013. If you happen to stay at the four star M Resort Spa Casino, don’t worry about spoiling yourself as you indulge in the luxurious environment, since the world premier event returns to the M Resort in June. But in the meantime, to access more information on these January events at the M Resort, see www.themresort.com or telephone 702 797 1777.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
It can cost you a big pot. It’s not illegal – though it may be immoral in some cases. It happened to me, and it could happen to you, too. In fact, it may already have happened without your realizing what was going down. What’s more, the dealer played a role. (He might have been complicit in the scheme; but that’s just speculation.) Let me explain by describing a hand I played in a low-limit hold’em game at a local casino.
I was in a middle position with Q-J offsuit. Along with four opponents, I stayed to see if the flop would help my hand. Yes, it did!
by Barbara Connors
Arguing with a fool proves there are two —Doris M. Smith
It’s a foolish mistake that happens all the time at the poker table. First, an experienced player bets to protect his hand. Then some know-nothing bonehead calls with a piece of garbage longshot that doesn’t even remotely have the odds to call in this spot. Not that the bonehead will ever know what a terrible play he made, because his miracle card falls on the river and he drags a huge pot. But that’s not the foolish mistake. No, the foolish mistake comes a moment later, as the bonehead is stacking his chips, and the experienced player can’t resist getting up on a soapbox and giving the bonehead a stern lecture about how wrong it was for him to make that call.
Criticizing your opponents is foolish because the repercussions are almost universally bad for your long-term profitability. What happens when you tell an opponent how badly he is playing? Generally, one of the following: A) thanks to your instruction, the bonehead learns from his mistake and begins to play better, or B) he leaves the game altogether because it’s not relaxing and fun anymore, or else C) he gets seriously ticked off at you. The first two outcomes are terrible because they ultimately deprive you of the very thing your poker survival depends upon — a weak opponent. Only the third option has the potential to maybe work in your favor if you can put the bonehead on tilt.
I was discussing President Barack Obama’s reelection the other day, not from a political standpoint, but from a strategic one. And it related to poker in a big way. How come? It’s because you have to understand that not one thing makes the difference between winning and losing. A large number of things determine your fate. But each factor can sway the result all by itself. And that’s the topic of today’s self-interview.
Question 1: How does the Obama vs. Romney race tie into today’s word, “Difference”?
A number of factors made the difference in the 2012 presidential race. Some favored Romney. The biggest ones toward the end favored Obama. Weighed together, they provided Obama with a victory.
It’s the same in poker— competing factors. The right ones lead to eventual profit, if they aren’t overwhelmed by the wrong ones.
Question 2: Just curious— what factors are you talking about regarding the presidential race?
Just when you thought all of the presents were unwrapped and it was time to take down the tree, Delaware Park delivers a few more gifts: 18 gifts to be exact. 18 Championship events will take place during Delaware Parks 2013 Winter Poker Classic, starting January 2nd and continuing through January 15th. The tournament series will kick off with a $400 No Limit Hold’em event at 12 PM on January 2nd and feature a $100,000 guarantee.
Due to the expected large turnout, Poker Room Manager Kevin Castora suggests early registration through pokertickets.com to guarantee a seat.
by Haley Hintze
ZYNGA SEEKS NEVADA ONLINE POKER LICENSE
Leading smart-phone application developer, Zynga, maker of the widely popular Facebook app, Zynga Poker+, has formally applied to the Nevada Gaming Commission in hopes of offering real-money poker services in that state. Zynga hopes to convert its millions of play-poker fans to real poker, and has also reached a separate UK-based deal with bwin.party to offer real-money services there. Zynga’s move comes in the face of declining stock values and the need to further monetize its extensive social-networking brand awareness; the firm also markets the popular Farmville and Words with Friends apps, among several dozen prominent titles. Zynga Poker boasts four times as many active play-money players as leading online site PokerStars, according to one measuring site.
FULL TILT’S FURST REACHES CIVIL SETTLEMENT WITH DOJ
By Rhue R. Reis
The $600 No Limit Hold’em Mega Stack Challenge had 313 players start play on Saturday vying for a piece of the $160,913 prize pool. Twenty eight returned at noon on Sunday, taking four hours to reach the final table. Play continued for another six hours before the final two reached an agreement that gave Neil Murphy of Leeds, NY 2nd place money of $26,381, while Anton collected the top prize of $34,815. The two finalists continued to play for the trophy, and in the end Anton Rusin of Middle Village, NY secured the Championship Trophy to go along with his Top Prize money.
Though the tournament isn’t yet over, we have results through the tenth event.
FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO
EVENT 1 12/8/12
NO LIMIT HOLD’EM
BUY-IN $530 + $70
by Ashley Adams
Folks often ask me which poker room I enjoy most. My answer is usually “Foxwoods,” as well as the last place I’ve played poker. Such is the case now, as I have just finished playing poker in the seven poker rooms on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. Each of the seven rooms offer something different. Overall, I loved the experience – and I recommend it to anyone looking for a great poker vacation.
Let me tell you about my experiences: It’ll take a few columns.