Downstream Casino’s third annual Four-States Poker Championship running from May 27 – June 4 will likely exceed the 1,300 players that attended last year, increasing prize pools and action on the cash tables.
Like most poker players, I am far more familiar with and comfortable playing Texas hold’em than any of the other poker variations. But, unfortunately, most of my opponents at the table are equally skilled in the game. But what if there were a poker game that, if you learned its unique complexity and nuances, you could become better at than most of the people you played against? That is the simple, yet intriguing, proposition behind the new book Mastering Omaha/8 Poker (2011, ConJelCo) written by Mark Tenner and Lou Krieger.
Linda Mae upbraided me outside our local poker room. “You assured us that suited connectors have a 50 percent chance of hitting the flop, and that you would explain it later, but you never did. What’s up with that!?”
Many, many moons ago I penned a column right here in this publication entitled The Sniper Syndrome. Players who succumb to this style of play always imagine the worst case scenario and tend to freeze up and miss value bets, fold winning hands and, through fear, tend not to make their opponents fold their winning hands. All in all, it’s a poor way to play poker. We all know it is not very frequent that we hold the absolute, stone cold nuts, so why do some embrace the fear that every opponent must hold them? The cure to this malady is to place the likelihood of an opponent holding the nuts in perspective. We do that by assessing a range of hands that the villain is likely to hold, thereby demonstrating that it is more likely that he does not hold the Brazils.
I put down my cup of coffee to answer my cell phone. “Hi, Joe. I forgot to tell you, Muriel is coming this morning to do me. Are you interested?” Hobby asked.
Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, Muriel is a 60 year-old lady who, once a month, goes to Hobby’s yacht, Lazybuns II, to give him a haircut, manicure, and pedicure. She also acts like she’s his mother, bossing him around and chiding him for any slackness. He gives her a bad time too and they both enjoy the badgering. I sometimes have Muriel do my hair and a get a manicure. After a quick assessment, I decided it’s about time. “Yeah, I could use some touching up. I’ll be over in about an hour.”
There’s a guy who emails me frequently with poker questions. They’re usually along the line of, “What’s the smallest pair you would play under the gun in a no-limit game,” or “Would you raise from middle-position in a fixed limit game with K-J,” and “Can you win playing A-Q in early position?”
Arranged marriages often fail because the couple agrees to the pact to please others. There are ulterior motives, and the individuals often know little about each other before the marriage. Thus was the short-lived story of online poker partnerships with Vegas casino conglomerates.
Russell Crane, from Howell NJ, a man who’s won more than $650,000 on the tournament trail, had his biggest pay day ever when he captured the main event— a $2,500 + $200 buy-in hold’em tournament— at the Borgata Spring Open in Atlantic City. His victory was worth $276,949, marking his biggest career win to date, and he overcame a field of 447 players to accomplish his feat.
Crane vanquished second place finisher Adam Cook, of Annapolis, MD, heads-up to capture the championship. But Cook had a nice pay day himself, taking down runnerup money of $159,886. Finishing third was Alex “Diesel” Bolotin who won $97,558. The fourth and fifth place finishers were David Stefanski and Jason Deutsch, won $78,588 and $61,787, respectively.
Taking the style from Mike Caro, I am writing this editorial today to discuss an important issue for the poker industry:
Is poker a game of skill or a game of chance?
Before I write any further, I think it is important for you to know my credentials. Although I read and approve nearly everything in this paper, I only write on important occasions or issues but rarely write about myself. Last summer I reached a milestone in life, my 75th birthday. I was going to write then about my career, but we were too busy successfully launching our new subsidiary, Poker Player Cruises.