by Tom 'Time' Leonard
While there is certainly a place in poker for hunches, gut feelings and the occasional WTF flyer, a solid understanding of the math involved is paramount to success. But before we continue, the acronym of WTF in the last sentence stands for “what the fudge,” in case you were uncertain. When a beginning poker player begins to use pot odds in his decision making process, he has turned a critical and necessary corner on his road to success. When he knows by rote or understands how to figure his drawing odds on the spot, he has added another critical attribute to his arsenal. As he continues to grow stronger and adds the concept of implied odds to his knowledge base, he may be well on his way to becoming a force to be reckoned with.
by Sarah Hale
In recent columns I’ve written about poker tips. Today I’d like to touch on the topics of collusion and soft play.
Collusion and soft play are often overlooked at the most common poker games. How many times have you played against a group of friends or even just a group of regulars? If you can remember any of these situations, chances are you’ve run into soft play, if not outright collusion. You might even be guilty of it yourself.
by Richard Burke
explained that she experienced few rewards from playing three-gap connectors and asked my opinion about them.
A standard poker deck has these three-gap connectors: A-T, K-9, Q-8, J-7, T-6, 9-5, 8-4, 7-3, 6-2, and A-5. By inspection you can see that three-gap connectors can make a straight only one way: A-T needs K-Q-J to make a straight; 5-A needs 4-3-2 to make a straight; and so on. Although they have fewer gaps, these doubletons also can make a straight only one way: A-K, A-Q, A-J, 4-A, 3-A, and 2-A. Counting suits, a standard poker deck has 256 doubletons that can make a straight only one way: 19.3 per cent, about one in five of your starting hands. Of course you play A-K, A-Q, A-J, and A-T, for their high card strength, welcoming the occasional straight. What about the other one-way connectors?
By George "The engineer" Epstein
Here’s an e-mail I received awhile back from reader L. J. in San Diego:
“I read your column in Poker Player and think you must be a really quick thinker to be able to figure odds so quickly when playing. I am a novice player and like the excitement. Would like your opinion as to whether a player can be a loser almost always—a chronically unlucky player—or is it possible to change this condition? Will appreciate your reply.” Here’s my response to her, edited for Poker Player Newspaper: Every player is unlucky sometimes, but when it’s always the case, something needs to be changed. It takes considerable patience and perseverance. And you have to be dedicated to becoming a winner. Most players are long-term losers. The difference is a matter of skill. While you cannot control luck, you can influence it to be more favorable. Here are some ways I teach my students.
By Wendeen H. Eolis
Any poker player worth his salt knows better than to say, “When I win, it is skill, and when I lose, it is luck,” but until the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, by and large, the poker community ignored the significant legal conundrums now playing out as high drama in the US Department of Justice’s vigorous prosecution of online poker.
By Haley Hintze
ONLINE POKER MEASURE DROPPED FROM TAX-BILL TALKS
An effort by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to attach an online-poker bill to a “must pass” payroll-tax bill under discussion in late February failed, leaving any such legislation less likely for 2012. The tax bill, briefly eyed by Reid, was designed to extend unemployment benefits and tax cuts. Despite its controversial nature, the bill was eyed by some as an omnibus measure to which some special-interest measures could be attached. The short-circuited move mirrored Congress’s 2006 passage of the UIGEA, which sailed through without opposition after being added to a needed port-security measure.
EVERLEAF DEPARTS US MARKET
by Debbie Burkhead
Get in on the Sam’s Town $5,000 Freeroll. Play 45 hours from March 1-31 to qualify. Earn double hours between 4-6 p.m. Participants who play 45 hours during the qualifying period will receive 2,500 in starting chips. Participants who play more than 45 hours during the qualifying period will receive 500 additional chips for every five hours of extra play, with the maximum of 60 total hours played receiving an additional 1,000 chips. Double-hour play will not apply to extra chips. Sam’s monthly freeroll tournament will be held Sunday, April 8 at 1 p.m. Nine places will be paid, with first place receiving $1,400.
At least it seemed like money was flowing over the falls. But that was just the championship event at Seneca Niagara Casino, where William Vogel outlasted a field of 217 players to prevail heads-up against Lucio Procopio and take down first place money of $71,825 in Seneca’s $1,500 buy-in championship event. For his second-place finish, Procopio went home with $43,928.
Nicholas Goetz won third place money of $31,161. Finishing fourth and fifth were Michael Wachowski and Thomas Krol who won $22,245 and $17,802 respectively.
Raymond Snell captured the $350 buy-in event, prevailing over 266 players to go home with $22,542. Andrew Spears finished second to win $13,260, while Brian Osbei’s thirdplace finish was worth $8,679.
The $240 buy-in event attracted 234 players and was won by Gaetano Guercio, who tallied $12,852. Second and third went to Richard Cheng and Michael Steinhauser who took home $7,560 and $4,914.
Keith Ferrera Wins Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event Extravaganza Main Event Local player Keith Ferrera had himself quite a payday, taking home $139,720 to win the $2,500 no-limit hold’em main event at the Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza. This win was the second largest of Ferrera’s career, topped only by his $348,036 payday for winning the 2009 Wynn Classic.
John Taitt, of Littleton Colorado finished second, which was good for $86,161, while third-place finisher Kenneth Auker of Rock Island, Illinois saw the door with $58,217—his biggest payday to date.
Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza series has been wildly popular since its inception, so much so that they run several of these events each year, including one that runs concurrently with the World Series of Poker with events generally priced below those of the WSOP.