Sunday, December 12, 2010

Revised Seven-Deuce rules

These rules supersede the previously published rules.

* The Seven-Deuce game is on by default for the midweek Hold'em game. It is optional at any other time.
* Any player may opt out of playing. They would not owe anything if losing to 7-2 nor would they win anything if they win with 7-2.
* It is not necessary to have unanimous participation for the game to proceed. If there is not unanimous participation it is the individual player's responsibility to know who is or is not playing. In accordance with the "one player per hand" rule no one else may assist a player asking if an opponent is playing 7-2 while in the middle of the hand. If a player asks his opponent directly the opponent may answer with whatever response he wishes regardless of its accuracy.
* In order to win the Seven-Deuce game, a player must show hole cards consisting of a Seven and a Deuce (off-suit or suited) and be the sole winner of the main pot.
* Any player who played their cards in the same hand that 7-2 was shown owes the bounty to the player holding 7-2.
* The bounty for scooping a pot with 7-2 is $2 from each person.
* Winning an uncontested pot with 7-2 due to the rest of the table folding qualifies as winning the hand.
* The procedure for a 7-2 hand is the following: After all betting action has completed, if a player with 7-2 qualifies for the bounty and shows the hand to the table then every player who is playing the 7-2 game and took action in the hand puts the the $2 bounty in front of them. The dealer will sweep the bounty chips to the winner(s) first then award the pot. Do not throw the chips or splash the pot with the 7-2 bounties.

[The rule below is effective as of January 10, 2011]
* If a player loses to a 7-2 hand they owe no more than the balance of their stack at the end of the hand. In other words, a player who ends up with .25 to $2.00 after losing to 7-2 just owes the rest of their stack - they will not need to go in to pocket or owe any of a rebuy. If a player completely busts out to 7-2 they owe nothing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seven-Deuce game payoff in split pots

This topic has come up multiple times recently so let's hash it out. Given that a person winning a pot outright and showing 7-2 gets $2 from each player, the question is how much a person holding 7-2 should be paid when the pot ends up being split. I believe the amounts and rationales on the table are listed below.

$0 - The player did not "win," they tied so they deserve nothing.
$1 - The player only won half of the pot (in a two way chop at least) so they should only get half the bounty.
$2 - The player did not lose any of the pot so they deserve to get the full bounty amount.

There are also fringe cases of two or more players winning with 7-2 and/or chopping with other players not player 7-2.

Do we also want to stipulate that at least one of the cards must play? That would prevent 7-2 from collecting a bounty when everyone is playing the board.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving week poker

Next week is Thanksgiving week and that means a bunch of days off i.e. opportunity for some cards. Since most of us won't be working on Thursday we could move TuNP to WNP that week and maybe play a little later and/or change format of the game. We also could play over the weekend if there is enough interest. Some of us might have family in town and wouldn't be available...then again, those with family in town might be itching to get the heck out of the house.

Anyway, I wanted to get people's input on poker for the week Thanksgiving week. If you have an opinion on what to play when then leave a comment. If you are interested in playing then leave a comment about that too and make sure to specify what days you could or couldn't make it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Pain of Poker

Jay Kang has a gambling problem.
Twelve thousand dollars lay wadded up in the glove compartment. I was trying to decide if I had what it took to drive home. To help delay a decision, I remember turning the radio to a Dodgers game. I don't know how long I sat there listening to Vin Scully sing his nasally song of balls and strikes, which, even in the age of digital radio, still sounds as if it is being transmitted through a tin of victory cabbage. I remember thinking some nostalgic, self-pitying thoughts about my younger days. I forced myself to say out loud, "You are a degenerate gambler," but doing so only made me giggle. I opened the glove box, pocketed the cash, and walked back through the sliding doors of the Commerce Casino, back to my table in the Crazy Asian 400 No-Limit Game and to the eight friends at my table who had kindly managed to save my seat.

Some time later, I drove home. All the money, of course, was gone. As I drove home through the network of highways that tie up a concrete bow just east of downtown Los Angeles, I felt no compulsion to slam the Outback into a guardrail. In fact, losing almost all the money I had in the world in six hours stirred up only a cold, scraped-out feeling of knowing-the calm that freezes out your brain when you watch someone younger make the same mistakes you made at their age. Staring out at the empty skyscrapers, I tried to figure out what might be the right reaction to losing $12,000. At the 7-Eleven on Venice and Sepulveda, I bought a bottle of Nyquil, drank half of it in the parking lot and drove the rest of the way home in a warm, creeping fog.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cake Challenge III

Adam had posted about how he was targeting the $1000 bankroll figure and that got me interested in targeting that goal as well. He was thinking a challenge like Cake II where there would be a certain deadline. I was proposing a race to $1000 instead since I think it would enforce better bankroll management than having a set date. Case in point, when Adam went for broke (the first time, around June 1) because that was the *only* way he could have a chance to win the Q2 prop bet.

There are pluses and minuses to both but I was trying to think of a different mechanism. *Assuming* that the challenges are about bankroll management, then there are many options that could be used to help enforce that notion.

* Make it mandatory that certain bankroll management rules are followed like not exceeding x% of your roll on a table at any one time. The first person reaching $1000 without breaking BRM rules would be declared the winner and that would prevent players from taking excessive risk in order to try to win the prop bet.

* Lowest negative variance. Not sure how this would be done but I have to think there is a statistical measure which would allow us to determine who had the swingiest chart without penalizing positive upswings from big tourney cashes, RB payouts, bonuses, etc.

* Smallest negative downswing. Could just say that the person with the smallest (or smallest 10 or whatever) downswings percentage-wise would be the winner. That would allow for unlimited huge upswings and only measure negative bankroll movements.

I'm sure there are many more ways we could structure it to keep BRM as a defining factor in the challenge. Or it could just be a no holds barred race if we don't want to make BRM such a factor.

Bottom line is that I know that I do much better when there is a carrot in front of me to chase after. Ever since the April 1 deadline came and went I have lost focus and incentive to play well or manage my bankroll well so I would welcome some sort of competition to get me over the $1K hump.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Death of Cake

Well it looks like a good run has more or less ended for me. I plan to cash out most all of my remaining balance on cake after a rough run post WSOP. The final straw was not being able to fire up any O8 tables and then having to multi table $1/$2 PLO with Wind Tunnel at my table.

Wind Tunnel is an exceptionally good player who typically plays the highest stakes available on cake. I would typically see him at $5/$10 and $2/4 and even $25/$50 when it used to run.

Everyone rousted him for playing so low to which Wind Tunnel responded "Come on guys there is nothing running". I then asked him if he was up for the year. He said he was about even after being down $100K earlier. If a player like Wind Tunnel can't make any money then I had to ask myself what I am doing here.

I plan to more or less stop playing on line for the summer and then will evaluate the options available in the fall. I can't beat the game on Poker Stars and am not motivated enough to try to make Supernova this year. The game has clearly evolved from the 9 high callers on the river who thought they had a low in PLO8 to 24 tablers in PLO and PLO8 ( I have now met 3 people who claim to do this profitably).

In any case. I am most thankful for an amazing journey and an amazing run.

For the stat junkies out there, here are the stats on player traffic at cake and other sites:

Poker Traffic Article

Monday, May 3, 2010

Reminder to handle only your own cards and chips

I know that I mentioned this before in the etiquette email but I think it bears repeating that you should only handle your own cards and chips.

Last weekend there was a significant error in the size of the pot which was only detected due to the two players being all in and having identical stacks since the session had just started. In that hand a player had made his own change from the pot. Money in the pot no longer belongs to the player and should not be touched except by the dealer. Though it may take longer for a strap to be changed out for stacks of chips it is done to help eliminate pot errors such as the one that happened Saturday.

Also, you should not touch another player's cards as this 2+2 thread so eloquently demonstrates.

Just a reminder that the etiquette protocols are there for a reason and not just so I get to play OCD rules nazi. Thanks in advance for everyone's cooperation.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New seating procedure

Since the weeknight game has bigger with two tables becoming more and more common there will be a new seating procedure which should speed up and simplify breaking into two tables. This supersedes the previous seating procedure.

* Everyone gets a seat card assigned to them. Players without a personalized seat card use the Guest cards which are assigned alphabetically with Guest 1 going to the person whose first name is earliest in the alphabet.

* All cards are randomized so that everyone is equally likely to sit to anyone else's left or right.

* The cards are spread to establish the seating order for that session.

* The first nine players will start at the main table.

* When the tenth person arrives they will take their spot at the table temporarily then every second player, starting from the immediate left of the dealer, will move to the second table. All players moving to the second table will keep their same relative positions to each other.

* Tables will be kept balanced to within one player whenever the number of players changes.

* The next player to show up sits at the table with fewer players or at the larger table if tables have equal amounts. They will sit in between the two other players as dictated by the original seating order for that session.

* If a group of players show up all at once their order will be based on the alphabetical order of their first name.

* We will combine tables if we get down to seven or fewer players. If we get down to eight or nine players the floor will decide if we combine depending on how much time is left in the session.

This new procedure should streamline the process of handling the larger groups of players we have been experiencing lately so we can spend more time playing and less time managing seating.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hold'em Derby blinds format

Last weekend's tourney introduced the latest incarnation of the T4000 deep stack blind schedule. In this latest revision I flattened out the curve a little and shortened the blinds slightly to compensate. The tourney had 15 runners across two tables and though the result was a chop between the last two players it still ended sooner than estimated.

I have always felt that the deep stack format allows for adequate splashing around early on and permits a miscue or two while still remaining viable and I think the new schedule supports that as well. I don't think anyone felt that they *had* to go with ATC and everyone was pretty much able to exit on their own terms which I think is a trademark of a good structure. The shallower jumps also takes some of the bite out of getting hit by an increased blind since it is not as drastic between blind levels.

One factor that I feel contributed was playing 8 players or less at the tables and combining at 7. That allowed for many more hands/hour than a full ring would have and therefore more action for everyone.

I think the only change I would make for next time is to bump up the round lengths to their initial lengths of 30 minutes before the first break and 20 minutes after the break.

Any input on the format is welcome. For your reference, both the latest blind schedule and the previous one are listed below.

Latest blinds schedule:
5/10 (first three rounds 25 minutes)
15 minute break - color up 5s
25/50 (this and all other rounds 18 minutes)
10 minute break - color up 25s
10 minute break - color up 100s

Previous blinds:
5/10 (first three rounds 25 minutes)
15 minute break - color up 5s
25/50 (this and all other rounds 20 minutes)
10 minute break - color up 25s
10 minute break - color up 100s

Sunday, April 18, 2010

HOHA format

So the topic came up last Saturday about the HOHA format. As you all know it is currently one orbit of Hold'em, one orbit of Omaha hi/lo, another orbit of Hold'em, then finally an orbit of Omaha hi only. Adam had suggested that we go to two orbits of Hold'em in between Omaha rounds. After the table was queried the results ranged from supporting two orbits to indifference to opposition of two orbits. As some of you may recall the original format was AHO with one rotation of each game before repeating until the second rotation of Hold'em was put in.

I spoke with Adam afterward and the crux of the issue for him was shifting gears back and forth. And as we all recognize, Hold'em orbits go faster than Omaha and especially Omaha/8 orbits.

So I'm opening the floor to discussion about what we want to do. SOME of the options are below:

* HOHA - leave it as is.
* AHO - switch back to previous.
* HHOHHA - proposed double Hold'em format.
* AHHO - put both Hold'em orbits back to back so there are only three game changes each cycle instead of four.
* AHHHO - Compromise between HOHA and HHOHHA.
* Timed rotations - 20 minutes of Hold'em, 20 minutes of Omaha, 20 minutes of O/8 (or 30 minutes, whatever)
* Blocks of the evening - First third of the evening is Hold'em, second third is Omaha, final third is O/8.
* Omaha then Texas - First half of the night is Omaha and O/8, second half is Hold'em.
[Edit to add:
* HHOOHHAA - two orbits of each per Jeh's suggestion.

I'm sure there are other options as well so feel free to contribute any other ideas you may have.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seven-Deuce payoffs

NOTE: the rules below have been superseded by the revised rules.

Now that the Seven-Deuce game has become a fairly regular addition to our cash games I feel the it would benefit us to implement a little order to the process especially after last night where we had chips being thrown off the table. So in order to make sure that no eyes are put out and that all payoffs are properly accounted for, please place the chips owed in front of you as though you were paying an ante and the dealer will handle the rest.

So for future reference, here are the house rules for the Seven-Deuce game.

* The Seven-Deuce game is on by default for the midweek Hold'em game. It is optional at any other time.
* Any player may opt out of playing. They would not owe anything if losing to 7-2 nor would they win anything if they win with 7-2.
* It is not necessary to have unanimous participation for the game to proceed. If there is not unanimous participation it is the individual player's responsibility to know who is or is not playing. In accordance with the "one player per hand" rule no one else may assist a player asking if an opponent is playing 7-2 while in the middle of the hand. If a player asks his opponent directly the opponent may answer with whatever response he wishes regardless of its accuracy.
* Any player winning any portion of the pot with Seven and a Deuce as hole cards is owed a bounty by everyone else at the table who played cards in that same hand. It does not matter if the Seven and Deuce are suited or off-suit.
* The bounty for scooping a pot with 7-2 is $2 from each person.
* If a player holding 7-2 chops the pot with anyone else they receive $1 from each person.
* Winning an uncontested pot with 7-2 due to the rest of the table folding qualifies as winning the hand.
* The procedure for a 7-2 hand is the following: After all betting action has completed, if a player with 7-2 wins any portion of the pot and shows the hand to the table then every player who is playing the 7-2 game and took action in the hand puts the appropriate bounty size ($2 for a scoop, $1 for anything else) in front of them. The dealer will sweep the bounty chips to the winner(s) first then award the pot. Do not throw the chips or splash the pot with the 7-2 bounties.

Thanks in advance for everyone's cooperation.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Heads up tourney wrap up

As requested by Marshall, here's the post-morten thread about this year's HU tourney. I made some changes to this year's format and I'll give some background on the rationale since I'm sure it will come up.

* Deeper stacks/more blind levels - We started with T5000 instead of T4000 this year and more levels were added before capping. I'm trying to increase the skill factor and made a slower schedule to try to achieve that.

* 100/200 > 200/400 jump - This came up more than once and it seems like inserting a 150/300 level in between would smooth out the transition.

* Wild card spot - This was new this year. The idea was to offer a spot in the bracket round based on a hybrid of skill and chance. The better that someone did in the preliminaries, the higher chance they will get into the bracket round if they did not qualify. However, everyone still had a chance to get in regardless of their performance. This is intended to provide incentive for everyone to do as best as they can at all times so that players don't tank it in their last couple of games. Previously I tried to achieve this by offering game money but I think a lottery approach is preferable because the game money depleted the bracket prize pool and it offers a shot at something potentially more valuable than a few bucks in game money.

* Time limit - This didn't really come into play at all. It was put in this year in order to address last year's issue of some games taking much longer than others and pushing back the entire schedule. So in order to make sure that the bracket round started at a reasonable time I put in a 20 minute cap.

* Six person bracket round - Also new this year. I assumed we would get somewhere around 12-14 players for the tourney and felt that sending eight players through would be too many and four would be too small so I settled on six which was actually top five plus wild card. Having six players go through also provided byes to the #1 and #2 seeds which guaranteed them at least 3rd/4th place money as a reward for doing well in the prelims.

* Stopping the prelim games after the blinds cap - The idea here was to add a skill/strategy element. In a winner take all affair the short stack has nothing to lose by shoving with ATC as the blinds near the end of the schedule. Crediting a player based on chip count at the end of the schedule was intended to prevent kamikaze play by short stacks since they would be jeopardizing getting at least partial credit for the game. The secondary benefit of this was to create a tie breaking criteria since people would likely end up with an odd chip count along the way.

* Blind schedule escalation - Bumping up the blinds each orbit instead of by time has been a staple of the HU format. It is designed to allow for many more games than timed blinds would while also allowing games to happen at start independently of each other instead of using a mutual clock for everyone. I feel that having everyone go through eight games of low/middle/high blind escalation in the prelims is a better indicator of HU performance than a standard single elimination bracket format where someone could get knocked out in a cooler.

* Diversity exception - Any player who could not start at the beginning of the tourney was given a modified schedule of playing only six players instead of all eight. The two player he would have played ended up playing each other instead so that everyone else still played eight games in the prelims. This was also why the format was changed to average scores instead of point totals so that six game and eight game scores could be compared on an equal footing. However, the high score of the six game schedule was dropped and the remaining five scores were added together in order to not allow someone playing fewer games to benefit from not being in attendance for the while event. Dropping the high score dings the player but is nowhere nearly as severe as forcing them to take losses for two games. Having the two opponents play each other prevents them from benefiting from a forfeit and throwing their numbers off too much.

* Payouts - I bumped spread the 1st/2nd place money out a little more this year from 40/30 to 45/25. As it turns out they last two players chopped it up so it didn't matter but I made the payouts a little steeper this year to put a little more on the line. Generally though I favor flatter payouts and perhaps the chop is indicative that the difference between 1st and 2nd was too great.

* Antes - In order to continue adding pressure to the blinds in the bracket portion of the tourney I added in antes after the blinds capped. The antes started off small but they would eventually force an end to the game since they would ultimately end up equaling the BB. I felt that adding in antes would be a softer hammer than having the blinds continue to escalate. If people don't like the blinds capping in the prelims then maybe adding antes would address that.

I think that's all of the news for this year. If anyone has opinions on any of the aspects of the format then chime in and I'll incorporate feedback into the next HU championship.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sushi Book update for April 2010

With the information that is available it appears that Martin finished with the largest bankroll as of April 1. I don't have exact numbers on everyone but the numbers below reflect the best numbers I could muster. If anyone has any numbers which change the order of the list below please let me know.

$239.55 - Martin
$158.76 - Adam
$150 (est) - Marshall
$ 80 (est) - Chuck
$ 62.90 - Royal
$ 50 (est) - Drew
$ 0 (est) Ryan
$ 0 (est) Woody

If anyone is interested in participating in a Q2 milestone based on percentage increase and/or wagering then just send me email and I'll get it set up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Who is in favor of adding this to the Dealer's Choice rotation? Personally I liked it and as stated before I prefer the Ace being high in 2-7 though I'm a little disappointed that we didn't try it that way. Seems like the key is to get a great Ace-less Badugi then draw to get a good 2-7 hand to go with it. Since the Ace only helps in Badugi it is a one way card and not part of a scoop hand. I still think that making it a declare game would be a real interesting variation.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dealer's Choice game selection

We've been playing Dealer's Choice for a while now. We started with the qualification that the game needed to be a WSOP game with Pass The Trash and Badugi grandfathered in. We also discussed the possibility of working in a new game each time on a trial basis which we have strayed away from. So I'm here to put it out to the group to discuss whether we should change the lineup of games available on Dealer's Choice nights. If you have any input go ahead and speak up now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bankroll Management vs. Expected Value

Let’s say you start with $100 in you’re account and you can play one of three games.

You can flip a dime 20 times per hour. The dime is weighted so that you win 502 times out of 1000 flips.

You can flip a 50 cent piece 20 times per hour. The 50 cent piece is weighted so that you win 550 times out of 1000 flips.

You can flip a $20 bill. The bill is weighted so you win on Andrew Franklin, which comes up 565 times out of 1000 flips.

If you bust out, something relatively bad happens like you get a wart on your nose and a hangnail for a month.

If you get to $500 playing this game, you have a 60 percent chance of getting to a meaningful dollar amount in your bankroll, say $5,000 or greater over the next 12 months.

Which game would you choose?

I think most gamers would flip the 50 cent piece. It has a pretty high expected value and your chance of busting out, despite the higher variance vs. the dime game, is probably lower given the higher expected value on each flip. The $20 bill game is cool, but you have a relatively high chance of having a wart and a hangnail for a month.

My point is this: The charts, graphs, and hand analysis on each blog are fascinating reading, but where are the graphs, charts, analysis, or at a minimum, intuitive thinking on which game am I constantly beating and where is my expected value the highest?


Marsh, are you a better 4 tabler, 8 tabler, 9 tabler or 2 tabler. Do you know?
Chuck, is your expected value higher at playing .02/.04 NLHE or .02/.04 PLO?
Adam, is your expected value higher from playing .02/.04 NLHE or MTT?
Martin, is your expected value higher from playing micro stakes NLHE, or stud games?
Royal, have you tried low stakes MTT as you enjoy them in person, if not, why not?

The challenge is still early so the stats may not be statistically significant. What I would recommend is that serious challengers at least keep the stats and then play more games at higher expected values.

For the record, the current leader in bankroll as of yesterday is Mike Thomas, who is up about $60 without receiving 10 cents in rakeback money. I know there was some controversy as to whether or not Mike should be allowed to compete as his starting bankroll exceeded $100.00. Mike is completely aware that if he loses the $100 of challenge money he is out. He also has zero $ on himself so he can’t cheat for his own benefit. Martin’s book took Mike out with his parlay auto adjustments but in an odds maker’s book the only fair thing to do was disqualify him with no refunds, or let him play. I decided to let him play and if he wins, Chuck and Jeh will both get good payouts as the odds on Mike were relatively long.

Mike only plays one game. Equal pay sit and goes for the top 5 finishers. He does not play PLO, NLHE ring games or anything else. On Bodog, the stakes are only $7 buyins with a double up to $14 and $14 buyins with a double up to $28. Though these stakes may seem high, the variance is not that bad as an average player will win half the time, eventually losing money to rake.

I would guess that Mike has played 200-300 of these sit and goes and has been very successful, even before the challenge started.

On Cake, they have $2 double up tourneys, $5 ones, and $10 ones. The $10 one runs often, the $5 less often, and the $2 one rarely.

I played in all 3 last night and won 6 out of 9 times. I will say that I ran really good so I am unsure if they are profitable on cake, especially with such a small sample size. The $10 one is probably a bit high in stakes for the challengers’ current bankrolls but the $5 one sure seems manageable.

My only claim to fame with on line poker is that I found a game where the villains sucked and I was better than they. PLO8 was really easy to beat 2 years ago but now my EV is just slightly positive, the players have significantly improved. PLO players have improved as well. Perhaps these double up sit and goes are the new PLO8. We shall see?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Rush Poker" for die hard action junkies

FTP has just introduced Rush Poker. It is a ring game where you can play a whole lot of hands per hour because you are moved from one table to the next as soon as you fold so there is not waiting for the rest of hand to play out. And if you are really in a rush you can click the auto-fold button and leave *before* it even gets to you though your cards will look the same to the rest of the table. Stakes are .05/.10 to .25/.50 currently. Tables are averaging about 300 hands/hour! Perhaps ironically, the 6 max tables average fewer hands/hour than the full ring tables.

Not sure how exploitable this is. Is it EV+ enough to basically fold anything but AA, KK, or AK and then shove with a min-buy? Or how about squeezing from the BB pre=flop on any limped pot? Since players will likely be dumping any junk hands does that just make it an arms race between premium hands? I tried to sit down and watch but it is not allowed so I don't know how it plays.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rake and Rakeback

I signed up for Full Tilt so I can participate in the Cake II challenge and I made sure to do a rakeback deal. The best FTP offers is 27% compared to the 33% that Cake gives. I'm OK with the trade off because FTP spreads more games, both in variety and quantity. Marsh showed me HoldemManager and one of the features it has is to show what your earnings are including the rakeback so you can see the graph with and without rakeback included. It is sobering. If you want to see something comical try plugging in your rakeback as 100%, in other words, no rake, just like at our home games. That graph really makes you want to cry.

Nothing new here. We all know the relentless erosion of money that rake exacts on our bankrolls but when you see the disparity illustrated it really drives the point home. I'm sure that I'll periodically lament that extra 6% that I'm not getting compared to Cake but I will have to keep reminding myself that I am OK with the compromise.

Double Stakes Fixed Limit Dealer's Choice

We played the aforementioned format on Saturday. Some observations:

* I liked the change from the normal format.

* I was thinking of doing 5/10 and using $5 chips but I am convinced that it would play WAY differently than with $1 chips so I figured 4/8 would be fine and it would not offend my OCD nature by having 2/5 blinds. I think 4/8 was a decent stake level though I think it still played a little too loose at times, especially as the night wore on.

* I am a donk for making crying calls when I know I am beat just because I know how much it's going to cost in advance. As Marsh pointed out, I was not playing fixed limit correctly. The point is to save chips, especially the big bets. If you think you're behind, fold, don't just spew chips.

* It's a much different game. Not better or worse, just different. There is only so much pressure a player can apply in fixed limit. I didn't get a very 1st person good feel for how the games played at double stakes since I was fairly card dead and didn't get overly involved.

I'm looking forward to the next time we do this. Any other comments on how it went?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cake Challenge II: Electric Donkaloo

OK, I'm in. Last night I bit the bullet and started up an FTP account and topped off the tank to the tune of $100. The first hand that I played put me in the hole when my trip Jacks/Ace kicker lost to, I kid you not, Jacks full of Threes. Ick. But I ground my way back up and am now sitting above water.

I also took the time to review some of my posts from the last time I built up a roll so I can learn from my past mistakes without having to repeat them. I know there are some new Cakers who likely haven't read through the whole blog so here are some links to a couple old posts in hopes that it can help others.

How to lose $30,000, a cautionary tale

Moving back down

It's good to be part of the Cake Challenge this time around. Good luck all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Overall comments from the peanut gallery

OK, I may not be an on line god, but I have had some success and amazingly have not busted out in 2 years of play. So I hope you all take these comments as good constructive advice and wish you all find the road to 4 and 5 figure bankrolls.

I have read Adam Royal and Marsh's blogs. Amazingly, you all picked .02/.04 NLHE as your game of choice with a $100.00 bankroll. I understand Royal as he is a darn good NLHE player, but both Marsh and Adam have had success with PLO and did not attempt the microstakes of PLO. Yes, it is way more swingy and maybe a $100 bankroll can not support it. I will confess I have lost 20 percent or near 20 percent of my bankroll on numerous occassions (probably 5 or 6 sessions) and I am still surviving. Maybe 10 percent is the limit for one night of running bad given the more strict bankroll management you wish to use. So far though it looks like no one is dominating the .02/.04 tables (I know it is still early).

I only see a couple comments of super horrible play by the villains (rivernit) who stacks off with QJ preflop against Adam and another dude who stacks off with 55 preflop. Where is the game selection? It looks like Marsh had the unfortunate circumstance of running bad and finding good players at a .02/04 table. Is there not an option of leaving the table and trying to find a softer microstakes table?

If I find a PLO8 table with OMG Adderall, OJ Didn't do it, hollowman, and I push u pay, I will generally get the hell out. I may be as good as these guys but I do not consider myself to have a material advantage.

Now if I find a table with this bozo I want to stay forever. Playing against Bozo calling station

Adam looks to be running good as he gets it all in with QQ against JJ and AA against 55. But I have yet to see comments like I know I can dominate this table because the players are just awful.

Winning poker is mainly about finding a game that you are better than others or finding a specific table with donks willing to give away their money. Finding these games is not easy but should be the goal of everyone in the challenge.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When’s the next tourney?

Looking down at the posts below, it looks as if it’s been 6 months since our last tourney. That heads up tourney was a lot of fun, but I’m also open for another format. Of course it’s all up to the host(s).

Is there going to be a SuperBowl tourney this year?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sushi Book update

As requested by Jason, here are the current odds for the Sushi Book action on the race to April 1 for Cake Challenge 2: Electric Donkaloo.

Current odds for a 1 "dollar" bet (remember that odds will float up or down as more action is taken and that return will be based on final odds, not the odds when the wager is placed)

Current odds based on confirmed paid wagers:

  11:10 Martin
 4.3:1 Marshall
 7.8:1 Chuck
 9.4:1 Adam
17.3:1 Royal
17.3:1 Ryan
  30:1 Drew
  30:1 Woody
Action voided*: Mike

As of Jan 25 09:20

Action on Mike has been reversed due use of comingled funds and the inability to be able to provide an audit trail for his bankroll.

Read ’em and weep

That’s right bitches: I’ll teach you all to not bet on the true dark horse.

Let the record show that I am currently in the lead.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Record of Action Last Night on Cake Handicapping

Here is the action I have:

Marsh betting on Marsh $20 @2.7:1
Woody betting on Woody @20 @ 9:1
Adam betting on Adam $20 @ 7.33:1
Mark betting on Marsh $20 @1.7:1
Jeh betting on Adam $10 @ 7.33:1
Chuck betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Jeh betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Chuck betting on Chuck $5.00 @5.25:1
Adam betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Adam betting on Marsh $5.00 @1.63:1
Adam betting on Chuck $5.00 @5.25:1.

The race will be between Marsh, Adam, Chuck, Mike, Woody, and Royal.

The winner will be the person with the largest bankroll from their starting roll of $100.00 on July 1, 2010.

If anyone needs me to fund their account please contact me at I believe I need your screen name and your email address assigned on cake. I can then transfer money into your account from mine and you can reimburse me at poker.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cake Challenge II: The Cakening

It has been over a year since the last Cake Challenge.

I was just browsing over some of our blogs for it, and realizing how much we all learned and gained from it. I have been fooling around a bit online, but mainly been focusing on live play as of late. Some of our most regular players (Chuck and Woodrow for example) weren't really around for the heyday of the Cake Challenge.

I am proposing the Cake Challenge II today. I am going to lay out some groundwork for it, but I think anyone who is interested should give their input, and we can pick the terms as a group.

For me, there are 3 main reasons to do a challenge like this.

1. Motivation. I am a competitive person and always seem to do better when I am being put against someone else than when I am on my own. I doubt I am the only one in our group that feels this way.

2. Bankroll Management. The #1 most important factor for the Cake Challenge is simply managing your bankroll properly, which is a skill that has applications in real life poker and also outside of poker.

3. The Grind. One of the most important things in poker is just putting in the hours. This often goes overlooked, but if you want to succeed at poker, you have to be willing to put in the time, and this urges you to do that.

So here is the deal as I see it:

You start with a set bankroll. In the first challenge we started with $50.00, but I think maybe $100 or $200 is more appropriate this time around. This initial buy-in represents your ENTIRE poker bankroll for the purposes of the challenge. This means that if you lose this amount, you are busto, broke, out. No re-buys are allowed. You are challenged to treat this relatively small amount of money as if it were your entire net worth.

This isn't easy. You can't have a moment where you just say "Ah fuck it, it's only a hundred bucks" and just punt it off cause you are steamed.

This also means that playing within your roll and game selection will be key.

Last time around, most players chose around 5% of their current roll as the most they were willing to put on the table at once. Percentages for tournaments varied amongst participants.

Part of this challenge is to come up with your own bankroll management system. This can include stop-losses, shot taking, capping your wins etc. You have to come up with something that works for you while protecting your roll at the same time. There are no set rules for this at all.

I am proposing that this happen on Cake again for 2 main reasons:

1. Most of us are comfortable with Cake and the player pool is generally kinda bad.

2. Rakeback.

The downside to Cake is that they don't allow HUD's on their site. (Although Hold'em Manager does work now for capturing your own data and analyzing it).

One other part of the challenge is that you are expected to keep track of your progress accurately (again, HEM should be great for this).

So who is in?

For those interested, what do you think the buy-in should be? Any other suggestions?

Limit Hold 'Em -- Flopped Trips

Setting aside the fact that most (all) of you stay away from Limit Hold 'Em, I still play it often (~ once a week) and would like your input on a hand.

A little background that may/may not be relevant. I play $8-$16 (sometimes, $4-$8) at Diamond Lils. From 2005-2008, $8-$16 @ Lils was a great game. The biggest game in the house was $12-$24 (meaning, the better local limit players went to the Muck), and $8-$16 was more the game that $4-$8 players went to "stick their toes in," rather than the waiting spot for $12-$24 players. As such, it was a very easy game. I could sit on my hands playing Adam ABC poker and rake it in (relatively speaking). More recently, it's become a much tougher game to beat (or, I've gotten considerably worse), as Lils is now dominated by $20-$40 players (Lils introduced that game about 2 years ago), and there are fewer "lower limit" Limit players left, at least at Lils. Accordingly, the $8-$16 game is often populated by a fair number of $20-$40 players waiting their turn.

Ok, so here's the hand. I had just sat down. Approx 8 hands into the session, I'm in the SB with 5-7d. Two limpers, I call $4 more and BB checks. ($32 in pot)

Flop is 5-5-6, two hearts (no diamonds). I bet out, hoping to induce "raise for a free card" or some other raise..... Somewhat hard to put me on a 5 (only two 5's left, and why would I bet out?). Don't want to check and let draws get there for free and want to build pot. BB calls as does cut off. Other guy folds. BTW, I know very little about my opponents. I don't know the BB at all, and I recognize the cut-off as a $20-$40 player; I think he's solid, but am mostly guessing. ($56 in pot)

Turn is an off suit Q. I bet out again and my two villians call. ($104 in pot)

River is an off suit 9. Being me, I assume at least one of these yahoos might've hit his draw. Or, that one of these two has been slow playing a bigger 5. The latter seems less likely, but I don't want to get raised. So, I check....intending to check call ($16) when one of these two bets. The BB instantly bets and the cutoff raises! How can I be good? If the BB wasn't left to act behind me, I would've for sure called the $32. But I figured one of these two had to have me beat, and with the BB behind, it might cost me three or four $16 bets to find out. Fold.

Um, bad fold (at least in a results-oriented sense). BB, who called the raise, proudly turns over 8-9o for the win! He had overs and a gutshot on the flop and "got there" on the river to make measly two pair. The cutoff had 8-8, which he showed after the BB showed his superior cards first (despite having called the cutoff's river raise). (Pot ended up $168.)

Agree with my play, regardless of result? Let me have it.