by David Chicotsky
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, in poker, in the vast majority of situations—you can. For the most part, players are very straightforward with their intentions, and when you have a read on someone (assuming you’re competent at gauging other players’ tendencies) you can usually use that info against your opponent in the future. In my previous articles I’ve highlighted how important it is to shift-gears, since playing the same way throughout a tournament makes us predictable. Despite this advice, be aware that the average player doesn’t shift gears enough.
As a good training exercise to work on shifting gears, play a tournament and alternate between playing loose and tight every other level. Obviously there is no other logic behind this exercise than to get you comfortable switching gears. Normally, you’d want to switch gears during opportune times of a tournament, but in this case it’s easy enough to go from tight to loose at the start of each level. In tournament poker there is a perceived need to reconfirm information to help substantiate our thoughts on various opponents. I caution you against this...and here’s what I mean. If you think someone is loose, and you’re correct let’s say 80% of the time, you’re better off treating him accordingly right away (by re-raising the player on our right in this example). If you reconfirm this information by not re-raising and deciding to wait until the player has made another loose open, you’ll be that much more sure the player is loose (let’s make up a number, say 90% sure). The problem is, now this player realizes you’ve seen him play loose and can adjust accordingly. So even though you’ve increased your hypothetical certainty percentage from 80 to 90, the effectiveness of using that information against your opponent drops drastically. Essentially, the longer you wait to counter-act your opponent, the easier it is for your opponent to be conscious of this and adjust accordingly.
by Barbara Rogers
You may not be able to beat these guys in a hockey match but you sure could beat them in a poker match. March 29th at 7pm at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh will be your chance to play against hockey hot shots; famed hockey alumni Frank Leroux, Pierre Larouche, Bryan Trottier, Kim Clarkson and Duane Rupp are some players you could thump. All for charity, fun and winning money with unlimited buys of 5,000 in chips for $25. The starting stack is 10,000 with 20 minute levels and a total buy-in of $205 (the breakdown is $125 entry fee + 50 charity + 25 house fee + 5 dealers pool). Visit Rivers Poker section for the latest information. Pending PGCB approval.
by Barbara Connors
Everybody has to start somewhere. For poker players, just as for readers, the journey begins with ABC. Literally, of course in the case of readers, while aspiring poker players cut their teeth on a style of play known as ABC poker.
As the name implies, ABC poker is about building-block fundamentals. It’s poker played strictly by the book. But ABC poker can be best described by what it is not—it is not creative, it is not deceptive, it doesn’t make adjustments for your opponents’ playing styles, and it’s often not the most profitable way to play a given hand. And if all that’s not unappealing enough, because ABC poker dictates that you play by the book—following somebody else’ script— there’s little sense of personal satisfaction or accomplishment, even when you win.
by Barbara Rogers
You’ll want to be a part of Seneca Niagara’s 16-event Poker Challenge from March 16th thru April 6th . With buyin’s ranging from $100 up to $1,100, new pay-outs and blind structures, this 9-day winter festival of poker will heat things up for you. There is even a Step 1 satellite for only $40. Step 2, a $150 qualifier, sends one out of eight players to the main event. Step 2 is offered Fridays at 9pm and Saturdays at 3pm and 9pm. The main event buy-in is $1,100, with a $100,000 guarantee. See page 11 of this issue for all the details (Download the PDF). I should note that Events 10-16 will allow 18-year-old players this year.
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is AAA Four-Diamond rated, and the largest hotel in Western New York, with 604 newly renovated rooms. Call 877-8-Seneca or 716-278-6300 to reserve your room. Say “hi” to Amanda Scarcelli and Jason Brooks—They and their staff take excellent care of this poker room. This year you may see something different in the spectacular view of the Falls, just a short walk from Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. As of this writing, they are partially frozen. Because of the Polar Vortex, the Falls are a rare spectacle to behold. Bundle up and take a hearty walk to view this winter wonderland. Sure, it’s hard to leave the warm lodging of this Four-Diamond hotel and the hot action at the cash tables, but it will invigorate you to witness one of nature’s great gifts.
by Barbara Rogers
Just when you thought this powerhouse of poker couldn’t get any livelier it did! Live from Arundel Mills Maryland, it’s “Poker Night In America.” The Maryland Live! One Million Dollar Live Poker Classic will have the final table of the main event filmed for television. It gets better— the crew will stay to film two very lively cash games. Gavin Smith will play, joined by 2012 WSOP champ Greg Merson. Maryland native Merson will be joined by another Maryland fellow, logger and 2009 WSOP champ Darvin Moon. Darvin will come out of the woods to play in the min. $5,000 max. $20,000 buy-in cash game under the lights. This isn’t the biggest cash game in house either. It’s the $100-$200 with a mandatory $400 straddle. While this cash game is by invitation, there is an open casting call for players. If you have a lively personality and the money, honey, get in touch at castingcall@ pokernight.com
by Barbara Rogers
Bringing you the best news in Floridian poker—bestbet Jacksonville is a good start. The newest and largest Florida poker room has 70 tables and is bringing on the World Poker Tour with a $500,000 guarantee, March 7-25. This WPT event offers plenty of NLH and a couple of Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better events, one of which has a re-buy and three guarantee events. They are $50 grand, $100 grand, and the main event of $500,000.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room open from 10am to 4am daily has the Heartland Poker Tour on their schedule. With a $1,650 buy-in for the main event, the dates for the run are March 21-30. Winner of 13 World Championships, Phil Hellmuth Jr. will be at the Daytona Beach Deep Stacks Charity Classic during the Extravaganza Weekend April 25-27. This is one of his preferred stops during the Extravaganza. Like his style or not, Phil has generously chaired and emceed poker charity events that have now raised over 20.4 million for charity.
Battles At The Beach are now in progress and a guaranteed $1 MILLION is worth fighting over. If you want to get in on the action, head over to Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. This poker room has the highest return for hourly play in South Florida. March 5th-25th are the $1,000,000 guarantees.
So many misconceptions muddle poker that I sometimes make lists. Today, I’d like to share three favorites from my collection, hoping that your game will improve, once you understand the truth.
Where should we start? How about bluffs. Whenever I warn about the badness of bluffing, some players get confused and think I’m telling them never to bluff. I’m not. There are clearly profitable times to fire a bluff into the pot. And there are specific opponents who make the best targets.
Fine. But I’m warning you that most players lose money for their lifetimes by bluffing. In that sense, yes, it would be better for them if they never bluffed. Here’s the strange part. Among all those millions of players who lose money bluffing, most probably think they earn money. I’ll tell you why that is in a minute.
by Haley Hintze
An industry group serving as a collective legal advisory source for many of the online-poker sites targeted in a 2008 domain seizure by the Commonwealth of Kentucky has succeeded in gaining associational standing in the case. In late February, a three-judge Kentucky appellate court ruled in favor of an appeal brought by the Interactive Gaming Counsel, returning it to the court of Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate. The appellate court found that Kentucky’s prosecutors wanted to have it both ways – bringing a collective case against the targeted domains while denying them the same sort of collective response. The initial domain seizure targeted 141 domains, 132 of which remain a party to the complaint, though Kentucky officials were noncommittal about whether they would continue the prosecution.
by Haley Hintze
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell recently signed into law a deal making the two states official partners in the first interstate online-poker agreement within the US. Sandoval traveled to Delaware’s capital of Wilmington for the groundbreaking pact, with both states hoping that the deal will provide extra player liquidity in the future. Details of the pact have yet to be hammered out, though the deal for now is online poker-only. No live date for the commingling of players from the two states has been set.
by Haley Hintze
Competing California Online Poker Bills Introduced – Two California intrastate online-poker measures were introduced in late February in the state’s legislature ahead of a deadline for 2013-14 consideration. Both bills are supported by competing tribal-casino factions. One of the two is the reintroduction of an earlier bill (now known as SB 1366) by State Sen. Lou Correa, with the backing of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. A newer and competing bill, AB 2291, offered by State Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, is backed by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and other tribes. One possibly controversial element of the Jones-Sawyer bill is language that would make the playing of online poker on unlicensed sites a misdemeanor. Both bills were submitted as urgency measures, meaning two-thirds approval is required.