Saturday, November 12, 2005


"Black Thursday" in New York

Apparently there were two raids on some large poker clubs in New York last week. Phil Hellmuth pointed out that the reason there are so many people playing in illegal cardrooms in New York is because they want to play poker, and there are no legal places to play.

The authorities say that their main concern isn't that people are playing poker, but that criminals are profiting from their play in these underground cardrooms.

Seems like a simple enough solution. Legalize it and regulate it.

Worked with Prohibition.


Starting Hand Selection in Heads Up Poker Games

I play an aggressive poker game. Too aggressive apparently.

I've been playing these heads-up poker tourneys over at Pokerstars a lot lately, and I just kept getting killed there. (I was losing about 60% of the time, which surprised me, since I normally do pretty well at SnG's. I place ITM around 50% or so of the time.)

Then a buddy of mine and I were chatting about it the other night, and he told me that I was probably playing them too aggressively, and too loosely.

So I tightened up my approach a LOT, and suddenly I'm winning about 65% of the time. And when I say tightened up my approach, I mean I started limiting my starting hand selection to good quality starting hands.

Wizard of Odds has a great chart showing how often particular starting hands will win when playing heads up. Worth checking out.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 Announces They're Shutting Down

No surprises here.

Looks like they're just folding up their tables and calling it a day. Too bad. It was a neat concept for a poker room, and I never even got to play there.


Card Odds, Pot Odds, & the 3 Billionth Hand on Party Poker

Most people have already seen this, but I thought it was funny enough to post a link to here. Apparently 4 of the 6 players at the table where the 3 billionth hand was dealt at Party Poker folded before the flop. Obviously none of them understand the concept of pot odds. (The winner of the hand was getting $50,000, which would make calling almost any raise at the table a good bet.)

Party Poker's 3 Billionth Hand

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Paul Phillips Says Good-bye to the Two Plus Two Forums

Paul Phillips once said that if the folks at the Two plus Two forum ever deleted one of his posts he'd leave for good, and it looks as if he's not only willing to go through with that, he's announced that he's leaving Two plus Two on his blog.

Having been a moderator on some forums, I understand that a moderator's job is tough, but I've also spent a lot of time lurking at Two plus Two. And I lurk because I'm afraid to post. Someone over at Paul's blog mentioned that every time someone new makes a post at 2+2 that the inevitable response is that "this questions has been asked millions of times before, why don't you use the search function, and I make $200,000 a year playing poker".

I tend to agree that this is the prevailing attitude there. While I've found an incredible amount of useful information at Two plus Two over the last couple of years of poker playing, I've also found the atmosphere there to be less than welcoming. It seems to me like there's no reason you can't be smart and helpful at the same time.

When I read the post that got deleted at Two plus Two over at Paul's blog, it surprised me that it had been deleted. I've seen far worse there on more than one occasion.


Heads Up Poker at

I've been playing almost exclusively the heads up sit-and-go's over at lately. The $5.25 buy-in is the level at which I've been playing, and yesterday I played 20 of these. I lost 12 and won 8. I haven't calculated with the vig included how many of these I have to win on a regular basis before it becomes positive EV, but I'm reasonably sure that it's more than 50%, and so far I'm running at about 40%. So I've got a long ways to go.

But as the other poker pundits point out on a regular basis, the long run is a lot longer than you think. So there's plenty of time.

Why did I start playing all the heads-up sit and go's? I got interested in that Michael Craig book, The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King which is an abolutely fantastic read. If I didn't have a respiratory infection, I'd probably be finished with it already.

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