Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Full Tilt is ready to go

With worldwide re-launch slated for November 6, USA players will at least be able to enjoy the best poker software for play money only. I just downloaded and logged into Full Tilt, and found that Rush Poker is almost as addictive with play money.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reviewing the Reviewer

Andrew "Foucault" Brokos, professional poker player, coach, and book reviewer, writes a very interesting article titled "Stop Worrying About Draws" in Card Player magazine (October 17, 2012), the gist of which is that just because there is a potential flush or straight draw on the flop, the likelihood of someone actually having such a draw is not as high as it would appear.

He shows how for different flops the number of possible combinations of potential draws are relatively small compared to the total number of actual possible combinations.

In doing so, however, he slips up a couple of times with his calculations.

"There are six times as many ways to be dealt 9-8 offsuit as 9-8 suited, though admittedly many players will fold the former to a raise."

This is clearly wrong. There are 16 combinations of any 2 different ranks, 4 of which are suited. So there are 3 times as many ways to be dealt 9-8 offsuit as 9-8 suited.

A little further on, Brokos states :

"Two-card straight draws are almost always less likely than two-card flush draws because they require two cards of a particular rank. Whereas any two of eleven remaining hearts (110 combinations) produce a nine-out flush draw on a Th 7h 2c flop, a player must hold one of four eights and one of four nines (16 combinations) to have an eight-out straight draw."

Once again he errs. There are 55 combinations, not 110. Nevertheless, his conclusion is still valid :

"Thus protecting your hand from straight draws is generally less important than protecting from flush draws."

All in all, a thought-provoking article.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Poker Hall of Shame X

At the Venetian, Myrna deals me AcKc and I end up in a pot with 2 other players. The flop comes

9s 9c Tc

It is checked around and the turn is


But wait a minute! The imbecile who is first to act claims that he never checked. Myrna then calls the floor and explains that she didn't know he had a hand. Floor rules that the next (river) card will be the turn card and that the 4c will be shuffled back in the deck and a new river card will be selected. What happened to "significant action" having taken place?

Also note that the imbecile is in Seat 10, I am in Seat 1 and the last to act (LTA) is in Seat 2. So it's not as if I acted out of turn. I only checked when Myrna turned and pointed to me. Needless to say, Seat 1 rarely can see what Seat 10 is doing and relies heavily on the dealer for prompting.

New turn is 6h.

Imbecile checks, I check, LTA checks.

New river is 4d.

Check, check, check.

Both players table KTo and split the pot. Myrna sees my AcKc, sighs and apologizes to me. I say nothing.

Myrna was not paying attention and cost me money. A good dealer should know that there were 3 players in the hand. Had this occurred in Bobby's Room, it could have meant instant dismissal. I am not as critical of the floor decision as I am unfamiliar with the exact criteria for applying "significant action".

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beware of the hidden gutshot

I raise with AKs in late position and the big blind is the only caller. We see a flop of

A K 3 (rainbow)

Bingo! Pretty safe flop for me so let's slowplay this and not chase away our quarry.

BB checks as do I.

Turn is a harmless 2.

BB checks again so it's time to start trying to extract something from this hand.

I bet and get checkraised. WTF?! The bastard is surely making a play. Apart from a set, I don't see any other threat so I push.

BB insta-calls, river is a useless 8, and I am shown 54s for the wheel.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The House of Pain

It was rare to see so many grizzled veterans sitting at the poker table with their mouths agape, yet this is what happened at the Bellagio the other night.

Normal raised pot preflop with 2 protagonists, followed by a rainbow flop of K 7 3.

Postflop action was bet, raise, re-raise, all-in, call.

The board then ran out to (K 7 3) T J.

Following protocol, the called all-in sheepishly tabled AQ for the nut straight, while the other guy just stared in disbelief, throwing his AK faceup into the muck.

As the dealer was pushing the huge pot and before we all recovered, the young nerdy gentleman sitting next to me had already keyed in the hand into his smartphone app and whispered, "Geez, AK was 98.1% favorite on the flop!"

Yeah, that's sure to give me some comfort next time I get sucked out on when only a 93% favorite.