by Russell Fox
Yesterday, Adam and I decided to play in a no-limit hold’em tournament. Neither of us plays many tournaments, but we wanted to get in some practice before the World Series of Poker.
The first lesson of tournament poker is that for every player, your most likely result is losing your buyin. I don’t care if you’re the best player in the world, or the worst: Variance is high in tournament poker. Only ten percent of the field gets paid, and most of the money is at the very top of the pay ladder.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
Nobody likes to lose a bunch of chips in a tournament, whether it’s from withstanding a bad beat, losing a race, or just getting it in with the worst of it. Poker players’ mental acuity often tends to decrease along with their stack - that’s a nice way of saying, many players go on tilt. There is no better time to play your A-game than after losing a portion of your stack.
For one, you have less blinds now, which essentially means each blind is worth more on the margin. Secondly, at this point, players are expecting you to be tilted and accident-prone. Playing the opposite of how your opponents believe you to be playing reeks of profitability.
by Andy Clark
All right, readers—I started this column in January, and since then have visited a number of casinos, resorts, and card rooms. Many of you have contacted me via email and asked my advice where to play in the Pacific Northwest. Well, here are my top picks for places to stay, visit, eat, enjoy, and play poker in and around my region: Northern Quest, Wildhorse, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, and Suquamish Clearwater, in no particular order. I pushed my luck at all five establishments and was nothing less than impressed with everything they had to offer.
by Paul ‘Dr. Pauly’ McGuire
California is broke and struggling to pay its bills on time. Many of its politicians would rather “kick the can down the road” than risk losing their foothold on power by introducing unpopular legislation, cutting back services, or raising taxes. But right now, a few politicians are turning to gambling to help solve a colossal $9 billion budget deficit. After all, at the height of the poker boom, it was estimated that more than 2 million California residents played online poker, wagering over $13 billion annually.
by Tom McEvoy
This is my very first column for Poker Player Newspaper. I feel it is appropriate that this issue comes out at the very beginning of the World Series of Poker—the biggest and the best poker tournament in the world. I have had a love affair with the World Series of Poker ever since I stumbled into the Horseshoe in the Spring of 1978 and saw a young Bobby Baldwin take down the dapper Crandall Addington. Standing in the crowd, all I could think was, “wow, that is where I want to be someday.” I am living proof that sometimes your dreams can come true. Five years later I was in that situation, and winning the main event was, and always will be, the high point of my poker career.
by Lou Krieger
To some players, poker is deadly serious business. To others, it is a gamble and a lark—just another form of casino gambling where the idea is to have lots of fun, and any money you happen to win is just icing on the cake. If you have a choice of games, you figure to do better in games where players are having a good time, are in a party mood, have lots of chips in front of them, and they’re not at all reluctant to scatter them about with any and all manner of poker hands. Compare that to a tight, hunkered-down table, where the party atmosphere looks more like a hangover, and each player seems to be clinging to their chips until they squeak.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
An opponent bets. You raise, increasing the size of the bet. In a limit game, your raise is an additional amount equal to the size of the original bet. You may get reraised. In nolimit games the size of the bet can be many times larger than the original bet, even all of the chips in front of you— “Going all in!” Casinos generally limit the number of raises for each betting round in a fixed-limit game to three or four. A player is said to “cap” the raising when he makes the final raise allowed. But there is no limit to the number of raises if the hand becomes heads-up (just two players remaining in the pot), nor is there any limit on the number of raises in a no-limit game.
by Diane McHaffie
I’m frustrated and upset! I know Mike is too, because he argued against me writing this column.
Many poker people have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame since 1979. With all of Mike Caro’s contributions to the poker world, he still isn’t in.
Criteria. The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are as follows:
• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
• Played for high stakes
• Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
• Stood the test of time
• Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
Mike played poker successfully for 14 years as a pro. He is often called the greatest draw poker player alive, including by Doyle Brunson, in his book Super/System–A Course in Power Poker. He’s certainly played for high stakes.
by Barbara Rogers
The Northeast is such a happening place, it’s practically bursting at the seams. Even with a new issue of Poker Player coming out every two weeks to keep you up to date on poker news, it’s still difficult to keep up. But I’m doing it! Ohio is poised and ready to take its rightful place in the gaming world, with the brand new Horseshoe Casino Cleveland—whose opening will be followed closely with that of three other new full service casinos. Located in the historic building that once housed Higbee’s department store and which appeared in the classic holiday film, A Christmas Story, Caesar’s Horseshoe Casino will offer a world of excitement to patrons, and you won’t even worry that you’ll “shoot your eye out.”