Damon Runyon is a distinguished writer for his talented perception and portrayal of an America not commonly given to glory. In the years between World Wars, he wrote of bettors, bootleggers and Broadway.
After the scandals of political corruption and payoffs of the 1920s, the Stock Market collapse in1929, and ensuing Great Depression "30s, Runyon's tales of gamblers and gangsters who endeavored to beat the odds found a sympathetic audience.
One of the most perplexing problems facing a sophisticated poker player is when to stop raising. Should you elevate the pot one last time or call a truce and see what happens? Often there are advantages to just calling. But there are advantages to taking the initiative with a re-raise, too.
What should you do? Well, here's a lecture I gave years ago that can give you some valuable insight.
When should you raise AGAIN?
What I'm going to teach you today will earn money for you in all forms of poker, but we're going to use seven stud as an example.
Less ego, less expectations, less demands, less lies, less resentments, less jealousy and less 'BS' means MORE MONEY.
BEING PRESENT is the ultimate blessing in poker and life. Just get rid of those distractions that keep you from being who you really are. If you are not who you really are, you are no one and nowhere. Call Mapquest for driving directions. Without your current location, they cannot help you.
So it's Boxing day morning and I'm chilling out by playing a little online poker.
The problem with early mornings is that the selection of games is limited. I therefore decided on the ultimate chill, heads-up challenges.
In the first part of this series, we told you how the course came to be and how it evolved; and why the classroom environment is ideal for teaching the game of poker.
About the course. In all, the course consisted of seven sessions, each 1 and a half hours long. The first hour was spent on lecture and class discussion. The last part of each session was devoted to actually dealing and playing hands of hold'em. That gave the students hands-on experience and an opportunity to ask questions in real time. We played only with chips. No money was involved.
Yeah I know you're an old hand. You read these columns more for amusement than instruction. Hell, let's face it. With all of your experience and common sense at the table you could write the column. I know. I know.
Even so, every now and then, it helps even the most seasoned veteran player to return to the basics - if only to remind himself of the rudiments of good play. It is possible, after all, that even the best of us, in our desire to be tricky and unpredictable, stray too far from the core elements of winning play. So with an eye toward fundamentals, let me return to the basics.
I've often wondered from where the name of Texas Hold 'Em came. How often have you played the odds and waited for decent cards to play and been beaten by a player who was playing garbage? It's not unusual for a pocket pair of Aces to get beaten with two small pairs. The frequency of this made me want to re-name the game to "Texas Flop 'Em." A lot of players in both low limit and high limit will play "no fold 'em hold 'em" just to see the flop. I know that when the antes and blinds are so large in tournaments, this attitude prevails.
On a busy Friday afternoon in mid-winter in my local poker room, I folded my hand in a ten-handed $4-8 Hold'Em game. Just on my left, LindaMae raised and everyone except the Big Blind folded. The Flop came [Ah]-[6s]-[7d]. The Big Blind bet $4 and LindaMae mucked her pocket Kings. "Damn Ace-magnets!" she swore quietly. While I waited for the next deal, I wondered whether Kings really do attract Aces the way funerals draw politicians. Given that she held pocket Kings, the probability that one or more Aces would flop is (1-C(4,0)*C(46,3)/ C(50,3)), or .2255.
You came into the home stretch of a major tournament with five times as many chips as the average amount. You had your eye on the top prize, but things went awry along the way. You flopped the nut flush, only to lose 1/5 of your stack when a guy's flopped set turned into a full house on the river. Soon after that, you lost more chips when you put some lady all-in preflop with your pocket Aces, only to see her Jack-10 turn into a straight. Now just about average in chip stack, you are still focused on winning the whole event.