Monday, March 30, 2009

Mini-WSOP tourney format

That didn't take as long as projected. Given the stack sizes and blind structure I had expected the tourney to go longer than it did. Previously I had poo-poo'ed the idea of using the same structure from a large field event for a small tourney but by just cutting down the round lengths the blinds are OK for a little one or two table affair. I think part of the accelerated conclusion came from the antes which drain off people's stacks faster than just blinds alone. Starting off with two short handed tables would seemingly have sped up the action as well. Overall I thought the progression was smooth which is again partly due to the effect of antes bleeding off chips more gradually instead of lopping off a chunk once an orbit. I still prefer deeper starting stacks but 90xBB stacks were workable. I cannot fathom how they played $1500 buy in events with T1500 in chips and 25/50 starting stacks. That sounds like pure donk-fest poker in comparison.

Any feedback? We can throw this structure into the rotation if there is enough demand.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monthly poker night schedule

Here is the general schedule I'm going to follow for poker nights. Keep in mind that this is subject to change.

*New* Dime Night Poker .10/.20 $20 buy in the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month

Wednesday Night Poker .25/.50 $100 buy in every Wednesday night except for the Wednesday after the second Tuesday of the month.

Wednesday Night Poker Double Stakes .50/1 $100 buy in on the Wednesday following the second Tuesday of the month. This is often, but not necessarily, the second Wednesday of the month. For those of you who are calendarily challenged, that would be Apr 15, May 13, June 10, July 15, Aug 12, Sep 9, Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 9, etc.

Other assorted formats such as High Stakes, Deep Stack, Dealer's Choice, Tournaments, and Mixed Game nights on Friday or Saturday nights.

The idea of Dime Night Poker was bandied about during the Stakes and Chips discussions. Joe and Brant finally pulled the trigger this week and it was a lot of fun. The lower stakes allowed people to open their games up a little more (as in shoving with 2.83% to win) while still playing for real money. The first Dime Night of the month is the same week as .50/1 stakes night for Wednesday Night Poker so players who want to play that week but don't want to play .50/1 now have an option.

Again, this is subject to change but it will be the default schedule I will be using going forward.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Dealer's Choice Games?

Jason sent me a link to a CardPlayer article by Doyle where he welcomes anyone to play some lesser known games for high stakes in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio. (I'm going to link to the Poker Road article instead because CardPlayer doesn't know how to properly set up deep links.)

In the article he lists a dozen or so games, many of which are variants of games that we are familiar with. And within the list, all lowball games can be played in one of three flavors: A2345 nut low, 23457 (Kansas City), or A2346 (London Lowball). It also includes different betting structures like Pot Limit Razz.

The general guideline that we have used so far is to only include WSOP games in pool of games for Dealer's Choice nights. Badugi and Pass The Trash are clearly exceptions but less face it, those are awesome games that *should* be in the WSOP. I wanted to forward on the article that Jason found so that we could discuss the pool of games that we have when we play Dealer's Choice. If we want to trial a new game we could play it at low stakes so we can all get our feet wet without it costing too much to dabble with a new game. Then if we reach consensus to add a game we can raise it to full stakes status.

Some of the games that caught my attention:
* 2346 Badugi - Badugi is such a screwy game to begin with then why not adapt Kansas City lowball rules for defining the nut low?
* Greek Hold'Em - Hold'em but you must use both hole cards so it's kinda like Omaha a bit. No more one card straights or flushes and full houses get trickier too.
* Poppyha - I'm still researching this one but it sounds like everyone gets two hole cards on the flop, a third hole card on the turn, and their last hole card on the river. Doyle refers to it as a "FUN Game" (*his* capitalizations, not mine!) so that's good enough for me.

Comments welcome.

(I should also add that none of these games are crazy wildcard or pass cards to your neighbor type of games)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some good news, some bad news

Bad news first. An appeals court has rejected a case calling for the Washington state online poker ban to be repealed. Apparently our fine state thinks it's too important that we be protected from the evils of online gambling. Why not enjoy one of our fine brick and mortar casinos instead?

And in slightly better news, two congressman are planning on introducing pro-online poker legislation in "2-3 weeks." Ironically, one of the congressmen is from Washington state.

Monday, March 23, 2009

High Stakes Poker Season 5 - Episode 4

Orange Belt on UD

Orange belt.

Come on, give it some thumbs-up love. ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Options in how to handle Pot Limit betting

House rules differ in how they handle Pot Limit betting as described below (excerpt from Wikipedia's article on betting in poker).

Some pot-limit games make exceptions to the method described above when calculating the maximum raise in the betting round before the flop:

* Some structures treat the small blind as if it were the same size of the big blind in computing pot size. In such a structure, a player can open for a maximum of four times the size of the big blind. For example, if the blinds are $5 and $10, a player may open with a raise to $40. (The range of options is to either open with a call of $10, or raise in increments of five dollars to any amount from $20 to $40.) Subsequent players also treat the $5 as if it were $10 in computing the pot size, until the big blind is through acting on the first betting round.[7]
* If the action folds all the way around to the small blind, the maximum amount the small blind can raise is also not universally agreed upon. Some games treat the big blind as a "raise" of the small blind for the purpose of calculating the maximum raise—the small blind is allowed to call the big blind, and then make a pot sized raise of twice the big blind, for a total bet of three times the big blind. Other games treat the blinds as dead money for the purpose of calculating the raise, and allow the small blind to make the same size raise as any other player, i.e. a total bet of three times the big blind plus the small blind.

So if there are no objections I would like to switch to the method where the SB is treated as the same size as the BB so that the opening bet can be 4 times the BB instead of 3.5 time the BB. In a .50/1 game this would mean an opening bet of $4 instead of $3.50. For example, an opening raise and two calls followed by folds from both of the blinds would result in 4 + 4 + 4 + .50 + 1 = 13.50 but the SB will be rounded up to 1 so the pot pre-flop would be an even 14 and all betting afterwards would be based on a $14 pot. Handling the betting this way would speed up the game by making the pot bet calculations faster.

I would also like to explicitly adopt the method of the SB being able to raise to 4 in an unopened pot.

Would people be OK with treating the SB as a BB in our Pot Limit games?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Game changing new procedure

Unless there are serious objections I would like to implement a new procedure for any time we are doing either Dealer's Choice (one orbit of a game called by each player in sequence around the table) or Mixed Game format (a pre-determined set rotation of games).

The new procedure for game changes would be:

* Button starts on me for each orbit of a game. This is so it will be easier for me, and everyone else, to remember when a complete orbit is complete. Since we always play a complete orbit of each game there would be no advantage or disadvantage to having the button start in a specific spot since everyone would have one one hand in each position at some point in the orbit.

* For Dealer's Choice nights we will still draw high card to decide who picks their game first since each player does not necessarily get the same amount of picks as everyone else.

I would like to implement this effective immediately and use it on Saturday. Let me know if you have any input on the matter. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

High Stakes Poker Season 5 - Episode 3

They're getting better at cracking down on hosting the episodes, even the pokertube links to season 5 have been disabled, but papa's got your medicine right here:

Get it while it's hot!


An interlude

OK, this isn't about poker specifically. But it features cards, and it's pretty cool. So there.

Take a look:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stakes and Chips IV

Now that we've completed the transition to .25/.50 $100 I wanted to ask if people still felt that we should do a .50/1 game once a month.

Where to play, which day to play on, and when to start

I wanted to do a temperature check on the location/day/time aspects of the midweek game.

* Location - I think the current location has been great. Plenty of room for two tables, easy access, nearby street parking, uber-convenient for players who work there, nice view, accessible smoking porch, etc. etc. As long as we have a host I don't see a reason to play anywhere else. The trend lately has been for Chuck to maybe play, Joe to leave earlier than midnight, and Brant to take breaks from poker from time to time. Not that I'm complaining, everyone has the right to play whenever they want and I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that having Chuck, Joe, or Brant host at the office is very much appreciated. And I certainly don't want anyone to feel like they are obligated to host or stay later than they would like. All that said, if we could find an alternate location and a host who plans to play the entire session on a regular basis then we'd have a backup plan for those weeks when we do not have a host at the normal location. Enough room for two tables would be a bonus but having any second site at all would be a good thing. Does anyone have suggestions for an alternate location?

* Day - I know there are some like me who largely don't care if I play on Tuesday or Wednesday. However, I know that one day works out better than the other for some people. I also think that people's preference should be weighted based on attendance. If there is a strong preference among the players who show up almost every week then I think that would carry more influence than an occasional player's preference. Does anyone have preferences for which day we should play?

* Time - The time listed to start is 7pm though we basically never get going by then. Sometimes I don't have everything set up by then but we rarely have everyone ready to play by then either. Is 7pm too soon or would making an 8pm start just mean that we're going to start as late after 8pm as we are doing now at 7pm? I know that many players like playing Magic as well and that it is hard to determine the end time of a game but people who do show up on time cannot start until we have enough players. Personally I wouldn't mind showing up earlier and playing a little extra on the front side instead of going past midnight. At what time do people feel they will be ready to play by?

Thanks in advance for everyone's input. Hopefully we will get a smoother running poker night that works out better overall for everyone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How many handed at a table?

There are evenings when we end up with a number of players where we are either crowded at a single table or short-handed at two tables. It is convenient when we either have clearly enough for two tables or clearly not enough for two tables. Take for instance tomorrow. We have nine commits. Jason said MB is "likely," Mike "may come," and Chuck said he is 50/50 which leaves us with anywhere between 9 and 12 players. Further complicating the issue is the recent trend of two players playing Magic. So I would like to bounce the following rules of thumb off of you (exceptions could always come up of course).

* In general, with 0-9 players everyone plays at the large table, with 10-17 players half play at the large table, half at a round table. Large table gets the extra player if there is an odd amount.
* A pair of Magic players welcome to leave the table when we are 9-11 handed and we will stay at one table as long as it seems likely that there will be enough interest in keeping two players out playing Magic.
* Magic play discouraged if we are 8 handed or less so that we can keep a full table of poker.
* If we have at least 12 people say that they are in for poker then we will start at two tables. Anything short of that we will start at one table and break out a second table when we reach 10 players present.
* We will keep both tables balanced to no more than one player difference with the extra player being at the larger table in event of an odd amount.
* If a player needs to be moved, the player and the new seat will be determined by random draw.
* If we are at two tables and enough players leave to bring us to 9 players we will condense down to one table.

Do those guidelines sound OK? I don't think they differ much if any from what we have been doing but I wanted to see if that was working for everyone.

Monday, March 2, 2009

High Stakes Poker Season 5 Premiere

GSN has posted the first episode of the fifth season in full to youtube!

Watch and discuss in comments.