by Richard Burke
In our local poker room, we often have to wait for tables for a half-hour or more. If we want to play the slots or another game while we wait, then the poker room lends us a pager which vibrates when our seat becomes available. Fred signed up for a few games last Saturday and headed for a blackjack table after he got his pager. Fred just loves action, so he not only plays Twenty-One, he also makes Lucky LuckyTM proposition bets.
Many other casinos offer Lucky Lucky prop bets. The last time we went to the Strip we saw it at Excalibur, New York New York, Rio, Treasure Island, the Venetian, and others. Casinos and Racinos in California, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota also offer it, so beware. Fred figured that if he hit three sevens suited or the three-card straight flush of 6-7-8, then for a measly dollar he could win his buy-in at either $4-8 limit or $1-2 nolimit hold’em. Lucky Lucky works this way: in a six-deck shoe if three cards, your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard, sum to nineteen, twenty, or twenty-one, then you win; otherwise you lose. The odds table nearby shows all the winning combinations.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
In many aspects, poker players are predictable. Players’ general characteristics generally don’t differ greatly. Take 100 novices, show them the absolute basics, and let them play for a couple of months. When viewing their play, general patterns will emerge. The term, “ABC player,” gets thrown around often, but it’s really true that the vast majority of people who sit down at a poker table have a tendency to play along conventional lines. So what are some unconventional lines we can take in tournaments, and how we can use them to our advantage?
by A. C. Clark
So you live in Vancouver B.C. (or are traveling on business…or pleasure) and want to play some poker? Take my advice and drive south on I-5 to the Anacortes exit (Highway 20) to experience the Swinomish Casino and now Lodge (more to come later about this extraordinary new property). Enjoy unparalleled Las Vegas style casino action and personal service from the most rewarding Player’s Club in the Pacific Northwest. Ideal for entertainment, weddings, meetings, and dining – two local favorites are the Two Salmon Café (full menu and buffet) and, for a more fine dining experience, 13moons offers outside seating with a spectacular view of Padilla Bay, Mt. Baker, Swinomish Channel, and the San Juan Islands. Fish is a must with hand-cut Alder wood grilled seafood, and don’t pass on the dessert, my favorite… best sundae ever! The poker room is small, but quaint, and conveniently located in the non-smoking section. Current action includes inexpensive ($20-$30 buy-ins and no re-buys) tournaments at 12:15 and 7:00 pm. In addition, play live to participate in the Poker Olympics, where players qualify through tracked-action with the top 50 players qualifying to buy into a $10,000 added Poker Tournament on September 9th at 3:00 pm.
We’ve all heard the saying: Hindsight is 20/20—Which is just another way of saying that it’s easy to predict the future after it has already happened. Psychologists call this phenomenon the hindsight bias, also known as the I-knew-it-all-along syndrome. Whatever you call it, this bias influences us in subtle, but dangerous ways, especially at the poker table.
For example, a crying call that’s immediately followed by an exclamation of, “I knew that’s what you had!” The details vary, but the basic story remains the same: An otherwise sane and knowledgeable poker player makes a call on the river, despite the fact he suspects his hand may be beaten. And when his opponent flips over the winning hand, our hero declares he knew all along his opponent held those exact cards. Though it’s clear he didn’t “know”—or else he never would have made the losing call in the first place.
by Tom McEvoy
In this column I would like to offer another tip on how to win poker tournaments. The tip is simply this: “there is no magic formula.” Countless times over the years I have had students ask me for advice on what to do in the latter stages of a tournament. They get thru over 80% of the field, the blinds and antes are much higher and they are short-stacked. They either fail to get into the money or get only a small payoff. Don’t forget that the big money in poker tournaments is usually in the top three spots.
I can tell you that if I had a sure way to get more chips and survive I would do it. Come to think of it, I probably would be very reluctant to broadcast that fact to anybody else. The truth, of course, is that I don’t have a strategy that works all the time. That being said, there are things you can do to increase your chances. Just remember you can’t manufacture a good hand out of thin air.
by Lou Krieger
Poker has its own little rituals and unwritten rules that smooth the game, speed it up, and eliminate confusion. It’s all part of “poker etiquette,” and while this etiquette won’t do much for you if you’re invited to take tea with the queen, it will get you through a poker game without any disruptions. Understanding poker etiquette and procedures gives beginning players a lot of problems, simply because it’s all new and the game is played at a rapid pace.
Act in turn. Each player is expected to act in turn as play proceeds clockwise around the table. If someone bets and you plan to discard your hand, wait until it is your turn to act before doing so. Acting out of turn gives your opponents a big advantage. Knowing you will fold makes it easier for an opponent to bluff, and is unfair to the rest of the players. In poker, as in most things, it’s considered polite to wait your turn.
by Diane McHaffie
The first time I saw Greg Raymer at the poker table, wearing his obnoxious, animated sunglasses, I thought, “What the hell! Those are the most distasteful sunglasses I’ve ever seen! They are so creepy! Why would anyone want to be seen wearing those?”
ET. In movies and on TV we’ve seen extraterrestrials portrayed with huge eyes, and that is definitely what Greg reminds me of: an alien! Why would he want to appear to be an ET at the poker table? Well, it seems that his bizarre glasses are designed to weird out players and make them uncomfortable, thereby giving him a distinct advantage. Yes, I’m aware he’s a world-class poker player, but would he be as good without the glasses? Would he be able to stare an opponent down without flinching or blinking? How would he like to sit across from someone wearing a motorcycle helmet with a face shield and gloves?
by Ashley Adams
I have been reporting on poker in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. I complete this four part series by describing my poker trip through South Dakota and back to Minneapolis where it began just a short six days earlier. I left the poker mecca of Wyoming for the legendary Deadwood, South Dakota—home to famed poker player and lawman Wild Bill Hickok. I had read a lot about the place—most recently in Jim McManus’ poker tome Cowboy’s Full. I wanted to experience the place for myself.
by Barbara Rogers
I just returned from Turning Stone in Verona, New York. $99,000 was the first place prize in the always popular Empire State Tournament. I saw some pros in the crowd- including Lee Childs, who tripled up early, but was walking around visiting with people by the afternoon. Turning Stone is very generous with their giveaways: two cars were handed out while I was there, and at least forty thousand more in cash prizes. It was a beautiful drive home, though it would have been a lot prettier with $99,000 in the jeep with me. I decided to stop in Cortland, New York to visit the New York Jets training camp. I thought I would break up the trip by watching them practice. I was especially looking forward to watching Tebow. But they broke camp on Friday.
By Barbara Rogers
Being the state champion for any sport, whether wrestling, baseball, or football, would be sweet! But you may be past the weight allowance for wrestling, or maybe your knees can’t take any more football. If a sports championship doesn’t seem to be your destiny, there may be another game you can master. The Crown Royal Poker Room at Dover Downs will crown their new champion on Saturday, September 8th. The tournament will start at noon.