by Diane McHaffie
I learned a new Mike Caro poker word the other day: teetering. I can hear you now, you think you know what he is referring to. I believe your definition is going to be way off. Teetering is described in the dictionary as wobbling or moving unsteadily. Those from the poker world might expect it to mean that you’re on the verge of going on tilt. Ah, but that’s not Mike’s definition. So, poker aficionados as well as the dictionary would be wrong. Mike says teetering is a decisionmaking concept.
Goaded. Now, a borderline decision is one in which your choice of whether to fold or call, call or raise, or check and bet is a real toss-up. Mike describes teetering as “a state in which near borderline decisions exist.” It seems the really vital part of the meaning is near! To qualify as a teetering choice does not mean that the decision is borderline, but instead that it has to be goaded, encouraged, shoved into teetering, otherwise it remains intact, just merely borderline.
by Ashley Adams
Thank you Jet Blue. I had no intention of traveling to Texas, but Jet Blue announced a new non-stop route from Boston to Houston’s Hobby Airport. To promote it they offered $93 round trip fares. So I hastily booked a flight. Only then did I ask myself, “What can I do in Texas”?
Texas, the birthplace of the world’s most popular poker game, Texas Hold’em, makes playing poker a crime. Yes, it’s absurd. So all the poker that is played is done illegally—with one exception. That exception is the one legal casino in Texas, the Lucky Eagle in Eagle Pass on the Kickapoo Reservation. So I decided to take advantage of my cheap transportation and play poker in Eagle Pass.
Unfortunately, Eagle Pass is on the other end of the state—on the southwest border with Mexico—and about a six-hour drive from Hobby Airport in Houston. Nevertheless, for a poker-playing road warrior like myself, the distance was not daunting. So, after a Texas-sized breakfast of chicken-fried chicken with grits, off I drove.
I teach five levels of winning in poker. Together they define a path to success and, eventually, to world-class play. Today, we’ll examine those levels, so you can see where you are now and plan for future improvement. There’s nothing sacred about these levels. And five isn’t a magic number. An intelligent poker trainer could define different levels—maybe 2, maybe 30—and they could include other sets of conditions and goals. Still, I think my plan is superior, and I want you to understand it. I’ll share it today.
Remember, I said “five levels of winning.” These don’t cover the total poker experience, because—for most players—there are requirements that come before winning. Like what? Well, you need to know the rules. You need to be comfortable with acting in turn. You need to learn the common language of poker. Fine. Let’s say you’ve done that. Now it’s time to win.
Winning at level 1
You can be a lifelong winner as a Level 1 poker player. You really don’t need to do anything else. It’s just that you won’t win as much as you should.
This level requires you to play very conservatively and to choose opponents who are weak and who play too many pots. This is largely the arena of smalllimit home poker games.
Extremely tight is right at this level.
Why does it win? Even though you’re sacrificing many hands that can be proven to have an expectation of profit, you aren’t sure which they are. So, you stick to the obviously strong hands. By contrast, your opponents are dancing into pots with cards that are clearly unprofitable. If they aren’t, you’re in the wrong game. This is the level where you first learn the importance of always finding players who play worse than you do.
When you enter pots only with superior hands, you usually have such a great advantage that it overwhelms the disadvantages of not playing other facets of poker effectively. Find a weak, loose game. Play super tight. You’ll usually win, but not nearly as much as you could.
Winning at level 2
Wendeen Reports Further Update here
Communications arms of both PokerStars and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement have come forward to insist PokerStars' licensing application remains active without disputing reports in Poker Player Newspaper that regulators have determined to keep PokerStars off the list as of this time as part of the starting line up of Internet gaming companies that will begin full operations in New Jersey beginning November 26.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Update Bulletin: PokerStars Faces Red Lights in NJ
After months of investigation by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the regulators have made their determinations and are expected to step up to the plate today with announcements of the companies licensed for Internet gambling in NJ, on the opening date of November 26.
The lead up to the announcement has been accompanied by plenty of turmoil among warring parties. Throughout this period, however, PokerStars and its boosters including various state officials, PS private lobbyists, and high placed friends, have exuded confidence without interruption, only to hear of their failure to secure a license at this time.
Regulators are said to have railed against pressure to turn a blind eye on the outstanding criminal case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, arising from his indictment dating back to 2011. Word has also leaked out through sources close to officials in Atlantic City and in the Statehouse of growing concern as to the role of PokerStars founder in the Company's current activities.
While Isai Scheinberg is described by the Company as a "Fellow" and not part of management various opponents to PS licensing are continuing to argue that Scheinberg still operates within the Company as if he is in charge, with respect to matters that interest him. If true, this would violate the Company's settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice in connection with its legal troubles arising from the indictment and companion civil case U.S. v Scheinberg et al.
Zeke Ramirez Wins Event 3 of Liz Flynt Classic
Zeke Ramirez bested Leroy Lee to take Event 3, the Main Event, of the 2013 Liz Flynt Tournament at the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California last weekend. While other Los Angeles card rooms are not meeting prior year’s entry numbers, Hustler keeps on breaking records. In this case some 2,798 players entered the main event. The limits on day 1 finished $8000-$16000 or higher. What made this tournament unique was on Championship Day 2 the blinds would not start higher than $3000-$6000. Players on Day 2 with a relatively small stack of $50,000 - $70,000 had a much better chance to cash higher, according to Craig Kaufman, Hustler Tournament Director.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
PokerStars has failed to secure a gaming license this week for opening date of online gaming in New Jersey according to three insiders with direct knowledge--on both sides of the pond.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is said to have become increasingly concerned about the open criminal case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg who has yet to face charges arising from his indictment of April 15, 2011, brought by the U. S. Department of Justice. More details tomorrow.
CAESARS EXITS MASSACHUSETTS CASINO RACE AFTER RUSSIAN MOB LINK EXPOSED
A minor link to an alleged Russian mobster was enough to torpedo the efforts of Caesars Entertainment to snag a sought-after Boston-area casino license, according to published reports. Caesars had planned to partner with Suffolk Downs Racetrack in a planned billion-dollar casino project, but exited after Massachusetts regulators recommended that Gansevoort Hotel Group, another partner of Caesars, not be recommended for any Massachusetts license. Gansevoort, a Caesars subsidiary which operates Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has seen one of its investors, Arik Kislin, tied to Russian Mob money laundering operations in German court documents. Caesars subsequently terminated its relationship with Gansevoort, but bemoaned the strictness of Massachusetts regulators in citing an unrelated business deal in its background checking.
GOLDEN NUGGET ANNOUNCES SOFTWARE DEAL WITH AMAYA GAMING
By Shari Geller
On November 4, the November Nine sat down at the final table of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event at the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. After sevenand- a-half hours of play, just two remained to return on November 5 for the ninth and final day of play, 23-year-old Michigan State grad Ryan Riess and chip leader 29-year-old Vegas club promoter Jay Farber. It took 90 hands of heads-up play for Riess to overcome the chip disadvantage to take down the title, the bracelet and the $8,359,531top prize to become the 2013 WSOP Main Event champ.
The Waterford, Michigan native and former poker dealer was the youngest player at the final table that was led by twotime bracelet winner JC Tran and included a talented field that boasted another WSOP bracelet winner, Amir Lehavot, former online phenom David Benefield, talented pros Marc- Etienne McLaughlin, who finished 30th in the 2009 Main Event, and Mark Newhouse, who has seven WSOP cashes and one WPT title to his name.
Lehavot took down the first hand to get the action started and it was an active final table right off the start with threeand four-betting pre-flop as well as the short stacks putting their tournament lives on the line, with first Newhouse and then Benefield going all in with the worst of it and sucking out. Just before the first break, Newhouse was all in again with pocket nines against Riess’s As-Kh but lost the race and became the first player eliminated. He was followed shortly by Benefield who ran a suited king into the Ace-King of Farber and missed his flush outs when the river blanked.