Friday, April 22, 2005


A Short Winning Streak & Bankroll Update

I took 1st place in a $20 SnG at Party night before last, and I took 1st place in a $30 SnG at Party last night. Total Winnings of $250 in two nights. I love it when the cards fall my way.

Party Poker bankroll is now $662.25. I'm feeling pretty good about that amount. I guess I'm becoming a winning player.

Haven't really played much of anywhere else lately. Done a little bit of play at Noble Poker and at Full Tilt Poker, but nothing interesting going on at either of those. Just slogging away at it, trying to get enough raked hands in to clear my bonus.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Cheapo Vegas - Site of the Day

Today's site of the day is sortuva poker site, but not really, but since it's Vegas-themed, there is a little bit of a connection. Cheapo Vegas is an irreverent travel guide to Las Vegas with all-original and entertaining content. I highly recommend planning your travel using the Cheapo Vegas site--they're good guys running the site, and they deserve your support.

Most destination guide sites are devoid of any meaningful original content, and merely republish data that's available everywhere else, but Cheapo Vegas offers all kinds of completely original and sometimes off the wall information and opinions related to travel in Vegas. Definitely check it out.

Also, today only, you get two sites of the day, because I also want to mention The Big Empire Guide to Vegas on 25 cents a day, which is owned and operated by the same folks. It's an even more irreverent guide to Las Vegas.


Bankroll Updates

I deposited an additional $200 at Full Tilt Poker, and I've almost doubled that up. I'm playing to cash out my bonus at this point. They release your deposit bonus in $20 increments as you play raked hands. It's pretty slow going to get the $20 cashed out unless you're playing fairly high limits.

I've seen a bit of a losing streak at Party Poker, but I'm still doing okay. I've been trying to learn how to play seven card stud and omaha high low there, and obviously I don't really know what I'm doing since I've lost $130 at it so far.

I haven't been playing much at Ultimate Bet or at Absolute Poker lately.

Here are the numbers:

Party Poker $473.25
Full Tilt Poker $339.40
Ultimate Bet $149.38 (I also have $14.37 in pending bonus dollars here, so I need to do some playing to release that amount.)
Absolute Poker $316.08 (And I have $180 in bonus money that I need to play in order to release too.)

I'll probably make a $50 deposit at Pokerstars today just to get back in the game over there, and I'll also probably make a deposit at Interpoker before too much longer too. (They have a silly use it or lose it deal at Interpoker, where if you don't play, then the money in your account just gradually goes away each month. I have $90 from a bonus sitting in there that I can't play with because I haven't played enough raked hands yet.)


World Poker Tour Gets a 4th Season on the Travel Channel

The World Poker Tour has been renewed for a 4th season on the Travel Channel. The World Poker Tour airs on Sunday nights at 9pm ET/PT. This is great news, since the WPT is a big part of the reason for the recent growth in poker's popularity. The show is seen in 60 countries worldwide.

"We are thrilled to extend our relationship with The Travel Channel," said Executive Producer and Founder of the WORLD POKER TOUR, Steven Lipscomb. "Their commitment further reinforces the WORLD POKER TOUR as the preeminent brand of poker while maintaining Wednesday night as Poker Night! Together we will continue to build poker as a mainstream sports sensation.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Party Bankroll

Played 4 SnG's at the $30 level last night and placed 1st in one of them, and lost the other three. Didn't even place in the money. Still profitable though.

Party Poker Bankroll = $643.25

Find out here how you can get a free copy of Doyle Brunson's Super System 2 when you sign up for a new account with Party Poker.

That's it for today.


Poker Magazines - Cardplayer - All In - Bluff - Poker Pro

You know something's big when magazines start springing up left and right like weeds. Poker has gotten big apparently. Even when I visit my local 7-11 now I see new poker magazines. I've picked up copies of most of them, but only subscribe to one of them, and that's Cardplayer magazine, which is my favorite. I probably shouldn't lump Cardplayer in with the rest of the poker magazines though, because it's a publication that's been around for quite a while.

The inaugural issue of All In magazine happened at the World Series of Poker last year. I know this because my lovely aunt picked up a copy for me while she was in Vegas. I hadn't seen it and wouldn't have known about the magazine if she hadn't brought me a copy. A one year subscription to All In magazine is $17.95. They focus on poker players, strategy, and lifestyle.

Absolute Poker

Bluff is another new poker magazine that seem slicker than the other publications. So far they've featured Kevin Nealon, Donald Trump, and James Woods on the cover, so they're definitely celebrity-biased rather than poker player biased. Compare that with All In or Cardplayer magazines, which both invariably feature actual poker players like Chris Ferguson on the cover.

I've read that in a couple of months we'll be treated to another new poker magazine called Poker Pro. Doyle Brunson will be on the cover, which is probably a pretty good way to get started. I hope the magazine is good reading. But right now, I'll continue to pick up the new magazines asa they come out at the newsstand, and keep my Cardplayer subscription current, because they're still the best poker magazine as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Non Poker Site of the Day

Michael Bluejay is one of the internet's good guys. I've been following his posts over at Casino Affiliate Programs lately, and I've exchanged emails with him a few times over the last year, and I'm constantly amazed at his wisdom and his wit. He's the webmaster and ad sales guy for Michael Shackelford, who is also known as the Wizard of Odds. Bluejay runs a few different sites, most of which you can find out about at his main site above.

Michael Bluejay also runs what I think is one of the funniest Google Adwords ever, under his own name. Google search for Michael Bluejay . Michael's ad is over on the far right, for those of you who don't know what a Google Adword is. I think it's better to see the ad in its original context rather than reprint the text here. (That, and I don't have Michael's permission to use the text here either.)

Hey--wait a minute. That's 3 non poker sites of the day! I guess that makes up for my forgetting to post any sites of the day this week. (And there's a bonus here that's not really a site of the day--it's a link to a cool Google search.)


Best Texas Holdem Starting Hands - Edward Hutchison Point Count System

New texas holdem players normally play too many hands before the flop. I know I did. (Sometimes I still do.) There are different ways to determine what the best texas holdem starting hands are. The one I'm writing about today is Edward Hutchison's point count system, which is one I haven't tried yet, but I'm going to try soon.

Here's how it works: instead of memorizing a starting hand chart or a set of starting hands, and whether or not you're going to bet or fold based on position and the hand, you're going to give each opening hand a score and make a decision based on the score of the hand. Edward Hutchison originally devised this system and was gracious enough to allow me to present it here.

Determining the point count of your starting hand

  1. Add the value of your two cards together using the following scale: Ace = 16 points, King = 14 points, Queen = 13 points, Jack = 12 points, Ten = 11 points. All other cards have points equal to their face value.
  2. If you have a pair, add 10 points to your total. (Both cards are the same rank, like JJ.)
  3. If your cards are of the same suit, add 4 points to the total. (Both cards are of the same suit, like clubs or diamonds.)
  4. If your cards are connected, add 3 points to the total. (The two cards' ranks are adjacent, like 9-10, or 10-J.)
  5. If your cards have only one gap between them, add 2 points to the total. (Examples would be 9-J, or 5-7.
  6. If your cards have two gaps between them, add 1 point to the total. (Examples would be 6-9, or 10-K.)

Unraised Pots

Premium Starting Hands

Any total of 30 or more is a premium starting hand. These hands can be played in unraised pots from any position. If you're a new player, then you should stick with premium hands ONLY. This will result in tight play, and your raises and bets will get respect, and you'll be less likely to get sucked out on.

Premium hands have an edge over almost all other hands, so you're giving yourself a mathematical edge by only playing those hands. In a full ring game of ten players, if you stick to only playing premium starting hands, you'll win 17% of the time if all players go all the way to the river with you. (And most of the time people will fold both preflop and on the flop, so your chances will actually be much better than 17%.) That 17% number is significant, because if everyone played every hand they got all the way to the river every time, then everyone would have the same chance of winning the pot--10%. (Since there are ten players.)

Other Starting Hands

If you have some experience, you can loosen up a bit and play some lower-scoring hands from different positions.

In middle position, you can play unraised pots if your starting hand scores 27 or better.

In late position, you can play unraised pots if your starting hand scores 25 or better.

Raising and Raised Pots

In early position, you can raise or call a raise with a hand that totals 34 points or more.

In middle position, you can raise or call a raise with a hand that totals 31 points or more.

In late position, you can raise or call a raise with a hand that totals 29 points or more.

Don't Cold Call

This is my recommendation, not Hutchison's. I don't think you should cold call much at all, if ever. A cold call is when you call a raised bet. In my opinion, it's better to be aggressive and re-raise if your hand scores high enough to be played against a raise. This post doesn't cover post-flop play in Texas holdem at all, but my attitude in post-flop play is the same: raise or fold. Don't just call.

Absolute Poker

More Starting Hand Info

Phil Hellmuth's Top Ten Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

David Sklansky's Starting Hands in Texas Holdem (This is actually more commentary and observation than a listing of Sklansky's starting hands chart.)

Hutchison's Texas Holdem Starting Hands Article (This is the original article that was the basis for the post above. He also has scoring info for Omaha starting hands, Omaha high-low starting hands, and Holdem high low.)

Friday, April 01, 2005


Party Poker Bankroll Update


Played 4 or 5 SnG's tonight. Placed 1st in one of them and 3rd in one of them, and lost all the rest. This $601 figure is the best my bankroll's been since I started playing at Party, except for when I had won 5th in the big multitable tournament. I think I'm finally getting the hang of the SnG's. When I make a mistake in a SnG, it's usually something dumb like playing a weak hand from early position too hard early in the tournament.

Here's what I've learned. Tight as hell early. Gamble like hell late, especially if you're short stacked.


Aldav's DrunkFish Bunny Auction - Pink Bunny Poker Parody

Since the pink bunny poker auction fared so well, other people are trying to get in on the action. Aldav has posted his DrunkFish Bunny Auction today, although I don't expect eBay will leave the auction live for long. (eBay has a policy that you actually have to be selling something instead of running an auction just for the sake of visibility in the marketplace.) Anyway, now that people are parodying Jeremy Enke, it's become clear that his pink bunny poker auction was a big success. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Although I don't know that I would call Aldav an imitator; he's actually a parodist.)

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