It would appear that this fine state hasn't suffered enough through the drawn out court fight for our U.S. Senate seat. The Department of Public Saftey: Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division will now public humiliate us again. Running headlong into the problem that the statute they wish to enforce covers telephone calls for the purpose of making book in a sports bet. Have they learned nothing from all of the other states that have tried this. Not to mention that it's quite possible that the UIGEA could be revoked and legalized gambling be federalized?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Posted by OhCaptain at 5:09 PM
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Why aren't you reading The Goat Speaks?
"My powers are reduced when shoving."
Posted by OhCaptain at 12:59 PM
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Back in November, I reviewed the Apple Texas Hold 'em app. I'm still using it since Full Tilt and PokerStars don't have an iPhone app yet, thank god (I'm quite sure I'd get fired if they did). I do need to find a version with a little better AI. I currently have over $9 million in career earnings and can't seem to cash out. Bastards.
I did downloaded my second iPhone Texas Hold 'em app, Finding the Nuts(iTunes link), developed by Cracked Egg Productions. I was contacted by the author and asked if I might try it and review it. He gave me a code to save the $.99 the app costs. He didn't make any demands or request. He didn't even want to read this before I posted it.
The goal of this app is to get you looking for the best possible hand, or as we like to say, the nuts. The description in iTunes explains it this way,
...players should read the community cards to determine the best possible hand. Identifying the nuts allows a player to understand how his hand compares to other hands and whether or not he should continue to bet.This can be a very good skill to have. Being able to quickly look at the cards and make some quick observations will help you make better decisions faster. Allowing you to spend more time figuring out what all that information really means.
The app has a very clean interface and looks good. The cards were a nice size and easy to read on the top. The cards on the bottom could be a bit harder to read since they are significantly smaller.
I let a friend of mine that's kind of a novice poker player use the app for a little while. He found it useful for learning how to think about what is the nuts right now in the hand. Since he was still learning the game, he got a few wrong. This was good for him.
I tried it too. The amount of poker I play, I didn't find this part of the app as challenging. I'm used to just knowing what's beating me.
We did both come to our first criticism of the usability. The picture on the right is a capture of the screen. You select the cards from the lower slide area at the bottom.
I noticed in the demos linked to at their website, they appear to be using a mouse to navigate. A mouse would make this easier to use. Unfortunately, the iPhone has a touch screen and my fingers are much bigger then a mouse pointer. This slider bar at the bottom was actually kinda hard to use. It's a long way from one end to the other and it's narrow enough that thicker fingers, it could be difficult to move.
As far as using the app, outside of the slider thing on the bottom, it was very intuitive on how you got around in the app. There aren't a lot of choices.
I found that for me, I really wanted to challenge myself to get to the answer faster and faster. I'd like to learn how to just glance and know. This version would appear to be best suited for novice players just looking to identify the nuts. It might be nice in a future version to have speed modes where you only have so long to identify the nuts before the other cards disappear. Also having the app store results would be nice. Am I improving? What are my best times? What percentage am I getting wrong?
This app sports two other modes for practice, finding the 2nd and 3rd nuts. These are good. I seem to find myself holding these quite often, so they really looked familiar. These are also excellent hands to be able to identify quickly. Knowing you have the second or third nuts can be very useful when you suddenly realize you might be beatable.
All in all, for the buck this app costs, it would be a nice addition for a noob poker player to practice with. To really help them see more hands and learn to quickly identify how strong their hand is against the best possible. AA looks great unless you happen to notice that the board has straights and flushes written all over it. For the seasoned veteran, a little practice finding the nuts can be good too. I'd just recommend finding a better way of selecting the cards and more advanced modes to help the seasoned player.
Have you tried this one? Let me know. Tried any others? I'd like to hear what you think.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Finally got back to playing the Mookie, it's been a quite a few weeks. I figured I'd take a shot at it. Heck, if Hoy can win, I surely can win my second Mookie. But it just wasn't in the cards for me. Beside, watching the Twins right now isn't helping my mood any.
I had a ridiculous number of big pocket pairs early. Double up with QQ, got as high as 4th in chips, but just went to total card death. Hoy shoving the hammer several times was funny, cause, he had me beat. 23o and 62o were my two most common hands.
22nd in my first Mook in 6 weeks? I think it's my second of 2009. Geez. Shake off the cob webs...my coin flip shove was no match for the power of the 44. You just know that hand has to be good. I really like the part where I had 17 outs after the turn...nice touch. Wanna count them with me? Any ace, king, jack or nine. Sigh.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Posted by OhCaptain at 9:47 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
In poker league, I've been running like a god. The god of crap. I've lost hands (big pots) to quads 3 times. Last night, I got to go home early when my AA ran into the formidable 77. That's poker league.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thanks Kat. Successfully blew 3 minutes of a Monday morning. :-)
You Are a Cougar
You have more strength than most people, and with it, the ability to inflict a lot of harm.
Your power gives you confidence, and you find leading others to be easy.
You believe that you need to the best, and you are very driven to excel.
Most people immediately admire you, but some people feel very envious of your abilities.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Back in February, I told the story about how I got contacted by a someone working with Canadian Club, the whisky makers, and offered to send my Whiskey Club (Bourbonators) a bottle of 30 year old special reserve whisky. It was pretty nummy.
She contacted me a couple of days ago with an announcement of a contest that actually sounded pretty fun. Here's what she sent me:
Canadian Club & Thrillist are working together to find the next Damn Right Star, and it could be your dad!
The contest is called “Damn Right Your Dad Didn’t Tell you Everything” and we’re looking for the guy who embodies the spirit of Canadian Club for the next ad campaign. This is your chance to show-off your dad’s coolness and let him reminisce about those glory days. The winning photo will have a chance to be featured in Canadian Club’s next ad campaign and the winning submitter (along with everyone in the photo) will win a trip to Chicago for a “Weekend of Manliness”
Photos must be from the late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s – think mustaches, classic masculinity, great style (to be interpreted), etc. Submissions will be accepted until 4/26/2009 CC will pick its favorite three photos, then fans have the chance to vote to help select the ultimate winner.
For more details and complete contest rules, visit www.canadianclubcontest.com.
Posted by OhCaptain at 4:30 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've just recently started reading Mitchell Cogert's Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves. Mitchell is a great guy and is readily accessible. His blog The Razz Challange is a good read and discusses lots of topics about playing poker. The blog isn't as much about razz any more as it is poker in general.
This is a really interesting book to read. So far, it has been very short sections that highlight possible plays you can make in some different situations.
I've been taking my time to really read it slow and think through each play to see how I can add/remember it during play and figure out if there other ideas I should be considering when I do them.
He talks from the idea that people at the table don't embrace risk like they should. His perspective is you should accumulate chips during the early stages of a tournament. This isn't always my strategy, but I am very familiar with it. The book hasn't so far got much into optimizing these plays vs individualy opponents. I think I'd like a bit more discussion about what to consider in your opponent before making some of these moves.
As I've been reading, certain moves have captured my attention. While I'm not a big fan of the idea that with certain cards in certain positions you should make move X, I do like to have many moves at my disposal.
The first move I really thought a lot about was in the section "Pre-flop Moves: The Isolation Play", page 23.
6. In the middle to late stages of a tournament, use the isolation play with small to middle pocket pairs.He describes the play correctly as
"..a wager so big that it gets the other players to fold so you can be heads up against one opponent."So far so good. That's how I use the play. It's very important that you do this move to freeze out the rest of the table. I do it to protect my hand, but it also important to use it when you want to limit the size of the pot.
He goes on to explain:
"...you need to make a large enough bet to force the other players to fold."Yes, your object is get your opponents to fold, but more importantly, it's important to understand that in order for this to work, your opponents MUST fold. Remember, you are doing this move to protect a weakish hand. Small and medium pairs are usually facing at least a coin flip.
For me, personally, it's very important to use this in a situation when the opponent you are trying to isolate has a stack worth grabbing in a move that has a bit more risk to it. Too short a stack and you are wagering too much if the folds don't happen and too big, your stack is in danger from the move itself. Remember, you are hopefully only in a coin flip situation.
I think his first situation really highlights the risks of this move:
"You have 8♠8♣ in middle position. It is late in the tournament. The blinds are $3,000/$6,000. You have $100,000. A player in early position with $20,000 moves all-in. A second player, with $120,000 calls this raise. What should you do?"He hypothesizes that "...you don't want to call and face both opponents and since the second guy didn't re-raise, you can assume that his hand is not strong." His solution, move all-in.
This is where I think the situation is unsettled and the move of all-in needs to be seriously considered as just one option.
I personally feel that realistically, you are deciding to either shove or fold. Yes, I said fold.
The shove is by a player that is undoubtedly very short in relation to the blinds. His shove is only for ~3.3 BB's. A standard raise. Not really a big enough raise to narrow down the hands that another early position raiser would call with. I would suggest that this is an excellent situation for hands like AA, KK, QQ and AK to just smooth call and let in a bit more action or better yet, trap an isolationist.
This original raise is probably big enough to push truly marginal and speculative hands out. But most people at the table know that this guy is shoving with anything pretty. Blackjack hands and almost any pocket pair. Especially from early position.
So, we've got almost any two pretty cards, which boil down to we are surely a coin flip -> 4:1 underdog with an over pair. An isolation and capping this pot at $20,000 is ideal, this does represnt 20% of our stack, but before we go shoving our tournament into the middle, we have to make sure that the other player, who has us covered, will fold.
If I'm positive that this guy will fold to my shove...all my chips go in. If there is reasonably possibility that this guy is gonna call me too, I have to fold. I have a marginal hand versus what very well could be two coin flips. It's hard enough to win one.
How do I know he will fold? You don't, but you do know what he will fold. It's very important to understand this other caller. Know his temperament and style of play. Know what hands he would just smooth call with in a situation like this. Is he capable of trapping with a big hand?
Am I wrong? Do you think this is an easy shove?
So far, I've enjoyed this book because of the way it makes me think about the plays. Thinking about them really helps us understand and incorporate them in our game. It also helps us rehearse them in our minds. I'll keep you posted as I read this about situations that catch my eye. Have you read it yet?
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
My guess is that everyone that reads OhCaptain Poker, does so for the snappy travel recaps. I mean it's been, um what, 3 weeks since I crossed the border. Well, here's part one of my Eh Vegas recap.
While we were in Vegas in December, we got a taste of what the big gathering is all about. It was an absolute blast. We also started hearing about the smaller, regional gatherings. Kat had OhCountess sold on a trip to Canada in about a 2 seconds.
Originally, we had hoped to travel together and enjoy a Mom and Dad weekend away. OhCountess will be finishing her Master degree the first week of May, this made it almost impossible for her to go. Too much to do and very little precious time left. This meant I was going to travel for fun all by myself. I haven't travelled by myself without a business agenda and an expense account in a very long time. Weeeeeeee!
It might be because this summer, I'm hitting one of those major milestone birthdays. Watching Riggs and Waffles blaze the trail has been fun but I've decided to get some last youthful stuff out of the way. My midlife crisis seems to be resolving by me traveling while my prostate still allows for extended flight time. Blogger gatherings have the right mix of travel and excitement. There is still time to do a few more this year. Okie Vegas is out, we have a prior commitment. Is there gonna be a "Rainy Vegas" out west (looking at you WA, OR, BC)? How about a "Peach Vegas" in Georgia? Anyone? Bueller?
Travelling by myself has never really been a problem. I actually enjoy the surreal solitude you feel being alone in a sea of strangers. My itinerary had me travelling from home, to Minneapolis, to O'Hara and then to YYZ in Toronto. Only one new airport for me this time. It's almost impossible for me to travel without hitting MSP and O'Hara. Both are starting to feel like home. The picture on the left is the lovely eastern coast of Michigan.
- Why are you travelling to Canada. For leisure.
- Did you bring more the $10,000 in cash? No (but really wanted to say - to a poker game, are you crazy? Kept lips tight on that one.
- Are you visiting anyone? Yes.
- What is their names? Names of people I'm visiting. The short list, for god's sake I'm meeting up with like 20 other poker player/bloggers.
- Where are you staying? The host's apartment building has guest suites. Rather nice ones I might add...never mind.
- What's the address? Oh thank you Kat for emailing me this!
- How are you getting there? Jeebus, The host's husband is picking me up...crap this is gonna lead to more damn questions about people I know but vaguely...I'm really hoping my creative writing skills are enough here...oh, and my ability to bluff like a pro.
- What is his name? [name] - Here we go, this is one of my blogger friends non-poker playing, non-blogging husband...thank god I met him once.
- What do you do for a living? Computer Programmer - I could have given him the long form of my actual job title - Senior Analyst/Programmer, but that just leads to more questions. By this time though, I'm struggling with every once of my being to not be a complete smart ass and just start making shit up...
- What kind of car is Keith driving? Grey Mazda - Are you friggin' kidding me? I don't even know what kind of car my parents drive. I think my minivan is blue. So glad they told me ahead of time...and I thought they were nuts for telling me that.
- What do your hosts do? School teacher and a (eyes shifting up and to the left - you do this when you are thinking creatively) sound engineer. I have no idea of EXACTLY what he does for a living. This is pretty close...whew.
- How long are you staying? Would it be kosher to just give him the link to this blog? Seriously, I'm an open book...fine. 4 days.
- Do you only have the one bag? No dumb ass, I rented out the entire plane for all the crap I'd need over the next 4 days. Single guys always bring extra crap...yes sir. The one bag.
- Are you travelling with anyone else? For the love of Pete! No, I'm travelling by myself.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Presto is not gold & Jim just can't let go of A 10.
Finished 2nd in the Donkament tonight. Katitude - Congrats on the cash! How fitting for your anniversary. Gentleman Jim, getting lucky at the right time. :-)
Must sleep now. 5 am seems like it will be here soon...
In case you are defective in some way and can't read white or blue letters on a black background, tonight is the 2nd Anniversary of the Friday Night Blogger Donkament. Quite possibly the easiest way to deplete your Full Tilt bankroll while laughing your a$$ off.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It's been a week and a half since I posted? Crap! Fail. I got more stuff to write about then I have time in the day. I suppose I could give up my evening sessions playing cash and sngs and then spend that time writing...huh? I'd give up poker to write about poker?
Since we last spoke, we had our monthly Bourbonators meeting. Poker sucked, scotch rocked. More on that in another post. My Eh Vegas recap is coming, but the pictures are posing a problem. Too much dust on my sensor and an inability to find the time to fix them on a computer that takes two minutes just to open the raw files. Someone tell my wife I need a new computer and more time for this...um kay?
So the topic today is: How to have fun and make friends playing live poker. This comes from a hand I played last night in Poker League. I've said this before and I'll say it again, this stuff is great for working on your reads and skills necessary to play live poker well. I love online poker, but live poker just adds the extra information necessary to really have a good time.
My results for this last league have sucked giant rocks. 5 of the last 6 weeks, I've run the 2nd nuts into the nuts to bust. 4 of those 5, they had to draw into a two outer to get there. *sigh. You know you are playing good and running bad when it takes quads and set over set (their set hit on the river) to take you out. Going home still sucks.
This hand last night was loads of fun...but I'm not sure we will be friends.
I'm in the BB. The blinds are 50/100. I've been slowly chipping away. I've seen the flop 3 times in an hour and half. I'm thinking my table image is tight. The average VP$IP at poker league is somewhere around 60%. The table is 6 handed (they are also running a bar and frequently forget to balance tables).
UTG, a LAG, opens for a rather smallish 200. UTG + 1, a fish (loves to call with almost any two cards and then fold the flop), calls. It folds around to me. I find two black queens. I decided to show strength and raise to 700. First, this is poker league. People love cheap flops. This isn't gonna be cheap. Second, UTG likes to steal big pots with aggression. I smell a trap coming from the BB.
This is why I love live poker. My raise, and it's size are done simply to gather information. UTG goes in the tank and this isn't a fake tank. His hands are telling the whole story. He looks back at his cards and grabs them like he's gonna muck. Then he puts them down. Moves his hand towards his chips and the quickly stops. Moves them back to the cards. You can see his brain churning. These quick jerky motions are usually signs of doubt and mind changes. He sets his cards down and quickly grabs the 500 chip he needs for the call. Stops for a second and then throws it in.
I really didn't see any attempts at deception. I really think that all these motions were his thoughts playing out in his hands. I've seen this before. When you play people who play lots of online poker and very little live, you see there hands move to the buttons. This is no different.
So what does this mean? Well, AA, KK and AK he'd just snap call or raise. That's the kind of player he is. Even QQ might be a snap call for him. AQ, AJ are hands that would require thought like this and so would JJ, TT and on the very outside 99, 88. He's probably putting me on the a big hand that's not AA or KK.
The flop comes A45 rainbow. Thankfully, I was watching him, not the cards. There was definite disappointment in his face. I glanced down to see the cards and saw the ace. Cool! He doesn't have one!!! It's taken me a long time to trust my reads and tonight I did. His reaction to the flop made me believe that he definitely has QQ, JJ or TT (99-88 are still possible but in no better shape). One hand I chop, the others I'm crushing.
I've played this guy many times. He pounces on weakness but it's more like weak online information. He's not watching me. So I check. Checking should tell him I don't have an ace and confirm the likelihood I have a big pair and will be afraid. He knows me too and knows that I'll laydown if I think I'm way behind. His history tells me that he's gonna make move now. He reacts by moving his hand to check, but again, he stops and announces "All-in".
As Joe Navarro repeats over and over again in "Read'm and Reap", immediate reactions are much more likely to be true then later actions. I feel like he just confirmed JJ or TT. If he had a set of aces or AK, he's checking behind, there's no chance I'm drawing the straight. KK would have been played different a while ago and I really don't care if he's got QQ. He's got JJ or TT.
He asks, "You got an ace?"
"Nope, and neither do you. I have QQ."
"Shit! You idiot. How could call that?" showing TT. "I really think there is no way you call that there. God damn. Seriously. Queens?"
I respond, "Oops, sorry. Rookie mistake." I think I made my point. He doesn't improve and we don't send friend requests to each other on Facebook.