I was invited to play in several tournaments at the recent "Beat the Pro" series held at the Gold Coast as a columnist for Poker Player. The tournament personnel did a good job overall considering it was their first big tournament (the Gold Coast was a very popular room for $100 buys in tournaments in the past). Given that I have played in a number of major tournaments it would be unreasonable for me to compare this tournament to them. Tagg and Jack did a fine job and I really appreciate their hard work.
Since it is easier to observe others flawed behavior, I am merely going to point out some glaring weaknesses I see in others - predominantly in the casino realm. We are all -to some degree - aware that the losses that we incur during the course of a gambling session, rooted in the same losing soil, so why not make a conscientious effort to stop the crying!
You know it happens every time there's a surge of interested in one topic or another. The information gap is deeper than the Grand Canyon. And in gaming, the current hot topic that begs for a dictionary of the lingo is poker. As the legion of players from the newer generation of actionseekers enters the foray, the need for facts and definitions increases. Newcomers are bound to have questions about the derivation of many of the unusual poker terms.
Five hours crammed inside of a plane on a budget airline is never something to look forward to. Since I fly from the east coast to Las Vegas several times per year, this uncomfortable trip has become a familiar one. I usually spend the time before I board the airplane doing a bit of people-watching. I consider witnessing mildmannered grandmas slyly butting into the front of the "A" boarding pass line to be quality entertainment. After settling into the seat onboard, I immediately break out the latest poker book that I'm reading and a small notebook to log some key points.
LindaMae swung past me muttering, "I don't know how he does it because my daddy told me never draw to an inside Straight, but George did it and won a big pot on the River, having raised before the Flop with a three-gap, suited connector and acted like he played the hand correctly, smiling as he stacked a big pot at that $2-4 Hold'Em table I just left because I couldn't stand it any longer." "Stop," I said, patting a chair, "park your caboose on this siding here, and let off steam by telling me what happened."
Mike Gainey is the Mr. Rogers of Poker. A kind, gracious, friendly gentleman, he's loved and admired by all the boys 'n girls of The Game.
The Director of Poker for the Seneca Casinos in New York State, Mike is also one of Poker's most knowledgeable, experienced and innovative individuals. When the Great History of Poker is written, the chapter devoted to him will be one of the most important and interesting.
They say that in many families the middle child has the most trouble competing for attention. More focus is on the first born and, also, on the newest arrival. Now, I'm not an expert on sibling interaction, being an only child, but I am an expert on poker. And in poker, being that "middle child" - the player who must make a decision between the first opponent to act and the last - definitely makes it harder to compete for profit.
In the past, we've discussed being in the middle position in the wagering chain. Often, it's uncomfortable and awkward being in the middle, right?
At a recent book signing, a young woman came up to me and asked what she could do about her being stuck as a writer. She is a nurse and was writing about some of her experiences with various medical procedures. She was writing a book about the psychological conflicts and aftermath of abortions. I told her that such a book would appeal to both pro-life and pro-choice readers. About the writer's block problem, I encouraged her to keep writing. I told her to sit down and start writing even if she didn't have a thought to write about.
Would you ever play 5-6 offsuit? Generally speaking, that's a "garbage" hand and deserves being thrown into the muck. But if you are in the big blind, and there has been no raise, then you can see the flop without any further investment. Never pass up a free shot at the flop. You never can guess what might fall on the flop. . .
But, what if the pot has been raised preflop? Is there ever an occasion with 5-6 offsuit in the hole that would warrant your calling to see the flop? I'll share a recent experience with you. . .
Today we will end our discussion of straight draws by looking at hands containing double connectors with no gaps, one gap and two gaps. We will look at all combinations of how the hand may be suited and include the non-suited variety.