by Barbara Connors
CORRECTION: I gave an example where you call to see a flop with A-7 suited, but you’re concerned an opponent may hold a bigger ace. I explained that if you could push that opponent out with a raise, the remaining aces would become good outs for you, and thus you would gain three more outs. Oops. Obviously if you have an ace, and your opponent has an ace, you would gain no more than two outs with that move. I had a good education so we can’t blame the school system. Mea culpa.
It’s one of the most famous axioms in poker: drawing hands play best against a large field of opponents. When you’re drawing to a big hand like a straight or a flush, you want lots of other players in the hand with you, so you’ll get paid off in case your draw hits. But in poker, where everything is situational, even the truisms are relative and this seemingly universal rule doesn’t always apply. There are times when you actually want to thin the field with a drawing hand. For example, when you have the opportunity to buy outs.
Say you call to see a flop with A-7 of spades and the flop comes down J-8-3 with two spades. You have nine outs to the nut flush, which is pretty simple and straightforward, except that the flush is not the only draw you have going for you here. You could also hit one of the remaining three aces, which would give you top pair. Problem is, your top pair would be married to a mediocre kicker. If one of your opponents has a better ace, say ace-king or ace-queen, your three ace outs are tainted, because spiking an ace will only bring you heartache and an expensive second-best hand. But if you think a wellplaced raise can push this particular opponent out of the pot, you’re effectively buying three more outs for your hand, giving yourself a total of 12 good outs to win. But before you decide to push out that raise and buy yourself a few more outs, you need to look for certain conditions. First and foremost, you want a large pot. If the pot is still on the smallish side, those extra outs aren’t worth the price of your raise. When the prize you’re competing for is still just a piddling pile of chips, the extra equity you gain by giving yourself a few more outs is not worth the cost of putting in a raise. But when the pot is hefty because somebody raised preflop—as tends to be the case when one of your opponents holds a big ace—that’s a different story.
by Ashley Adams
I spent two days playing poker in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi—in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis. My first port of call was the IP, the first place off Interstate 10 coming from New Orleans, Louisiana. I wrote about it in my last article. Across the street was Boomtown, a small locals casino with the distinction of not having a hotel. No matter, they had a poker room, and so I enjoyed myself.
Boomtown’s poker room, the only smoking room in the area, is on the second floor of the modest casino. They pride themselves on their $1-4-8-8 spread limit hold’em game. When I arrived at 7:00 PM on a Saturday night, it was filled. The game has a $4 maximum rake with a $2 drop for bad beat jackpot and other extensive promotions. Players earn $1 an hour for live play and are provided with free hot dogs and popcorn.
Today’s word, “win,” relates to poker in ways that aren’t clearly understood by many players. In fact, what the word means to them is dangerous, so dangerous that it actually keeps some wouldbe professionals from winning. Confused?
Well, when we’ve finished with this selfinterview, you won’t be. This stuff is important, so I’d consider it a personal favor if you zoomed in and focused on what I’m about to share.
Question 1: I don’t get it. How can players be confused about winning?
When you win, you win, right? Maybe you’re the one who’s confused. You aren’t exactly making yourself endearing as an interviewer. What’s your question?
Question 2: I thought my question was clear. Winning is winning, so why are you telling me that it isn’t?
There are different kinds of winning in poker. Some of them cost you money.
by A.C. Clark
In north central Washington, the poker room at Okanogan Bingo Casino has been hosting a Thursday no limit Texas hold’em tournament series with its final tournament to be played on January 9th. I played in the last of the big Thursdays on January 3rd and was pleased with the rather new poker room and pleasant staff. In addition, there’s a fine group of locals who enjoy plenty of action on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This small, but clean and spacious poker room is loaded with eager gamblers, ready to play. Any visitor can expect a steady game of $3-6 limit with no limit Texas hold’em tournaments on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 5 pm, and Saturdays at 11:30 am. The poker room is conveniently located in the bar and offers excellent service by a warm waitressing staff. I felt very welcome and enjoyed visiting with players and dealers. Anyone can order from the bar, and manager Tony Posey is poker knowledgeable, friendly, and very hardworking, helping behind the bar or dealing at a table. You can reach the poker room at 509.422.4646 or visit their website at www.colvillecasinos.com.
By Barbara Rogers
Back by popular demand, Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana, welcomes the Heartland Poker Tour. The chance to play with the pros, be on television, and win an anticipated six figure first place payout for less than a hundred dollars (by qualifying through events) is just about irresistible, and will surely be attracting players from all across the US. The nationally televised Heartland Poker Tour plays out at Belterra Casino Resort March 15th through March 25th. You can play special qualifiers from February 15 - March 14th. For more information, see Belterra’s ad on page 7 of this issue of Poker Player [PDF].
By Barbara Rogers
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware scored their own touchdown during Super Bowl weekend. I told one of my poker buddies, Jeff Mazza: “watch, the bad beat, it will go this weekend.” Sure enough, it did! It was over one hundred thousand, and it goes often at Dover Downs. This time it is more interesting than most, well worth mentioning. One player had pocket kings, one had pocket aces. The flop brought brought the bad beat with AKK which was quad kings vs. aces full of kings, the minimal qualifier. The aces full hand WAS winning $55K and the quad kings were getting $27K... (drum roll here). The river brought the last ace and the positions were reversed! The quad kings went from the best hand to second best hand.... what a whammy! This cost the pocket aces $27K. I rode the elevator with the guy while he was lamenting what he had won and lost, and he kept reminding himself to be grateful for what he did get.
by Debbie Burkhead
This isn’t just any poker tournament! The excitement of the Wynn Classic poker tournament returns February 28 through March 2. The 22-day series begins with a $550 buy-in opening event which guarantees a $250,000 prize pool. The tournament culminates with the Main Event on March 17. This year, the prize pool for the Main Event is expected to exceed $1,000,000. Buy-ins range from $300 to $5,180. All tournaments begin at 12 pm and are re-entry events. All events are two day events except the championship event is a four day event.
“We’ve hosted The Wynn Classic for seven years and its reputation continues to grow and attract more players from around the world,” said Joe Vigurs Director of Poker Operations at Wynn Las Vegas. “We offer a competitive rake structure and guaranteed prize pools, making the Wynn Classic one of the most highly anticipated poker tournaments in Las Vegas.”
Located in the Forbes Five-Star rated Wynn Las Vegas, The poker room features 26 tables and variety of games and limits to suit all levels of play, including daily tournaments. Players can enjoy traditional games in a comfortable setting and dine without leaving their seats. Power stations and outlets are conveniently located at all tables. For a complete listing of events see the Wynn ad in this issue of Poker Player Newspaper [PDF] or Wynn Poker Room.
By Debbie Burkhead
The first of four Deep Stack Extravaganzas for 2013 began on January 31 with 733 players vying for a 1st place win of $54,827. Jason Lee of Hobe Sound, FL took home the cash and a handsome trophy. This event is known for drawing a mix of players, including tourists, locals, professionals, and amateurs. The event runs through February 27, so there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action. Players can choose from four start times on most days: 11 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and 7 pm with buy-ins ranging from $200-$2,500.
John Colville, Poker Manager at the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, reports the signing of another contract with Poker Player newspaper to sponsor their second annual tournament, the 2013 Poker Player of the Year. The event will be held on July 4th, Independence Day, at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. The total Buy-in and Entry fee is to be $600, with no re-buys. Seating is limited to 600 players, so early sign-up (to guarantee your seat) is recommended. The event is scheduled before the main event of the WSOP begins, so a large number of poker tournament players will be in town. Last year’s event was won by John Parker of Auckland, New Zealand. Satellites are expected to be held for this event at the properties of various Poker Player advertisers, on dates leading up to the event. A schedule will be published in Poker Player newspaper as it develops.
The Hollywood Poker Open (HPO) regional qualifying tournament at the M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas has concluded and the top two finishers from the Main Event – Las Vegans, Visnja Luetic and Romeo Samblero—will be returning to the M Resort later this year to compete in the $500,000 guaranteed HPO Championship on June 28-30.
Luetic and Samblero chopped the pot and earned $12,170 each, along with a $2,500 seat at the championship. Results from the three M Resort regional qualifying events follow:
The next HPO regional qualifying tournament will be held March 21 – April 4 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (West Virginia) followed by the regional qualifying tournament at Hollywood St.
Louis on April 4 – 14. Poker players can enter the HPO Championship with a $2,500 buy-in or by qualifying through a regional event or local promotion such as a satellite or drawing.