Friday, October 26, 2012, 10:28 AM
A very noble statement and the first rule of gambling, but it’s missing a vital ingredient
This will really be a continuation of the MDP thread I posted here http://my.888poker.com/go/thread/view/111146/29444839/m-d-p
Everybody knows you should only risk money you can afford to lose, but without the missing ingredient to the statement all you have is the rule that gamblers live by, it’s what drives the fish, the donks and the calling stations of poker sites, they believe they are doing the right thing because it’s money they can afford to lose, and if they can afford to lose it they are prepared to risk it! They have no need of knowledge of the maths because they will just deposit more “money they can afford to lose” if they bust, some of them might even save up just to deposit money they can afford to lose.
And that’s true of any gambling be it horses, football, dogs or poker, bookies bank accounts are full of money people could afford to lose, poker sites make their money from the rake people pay from the money they can afford to lose, and the more money deposited that people can lose the more money there is swilling around the poker site meaning even more rake for the sites, but to understand the difference between the poker sites and the book makers you have to look at both separately.
Poker sites make their money from rake paid, they do not gamble to win their money they charge people to use their service, they really don’t care if Joe from number 6 in your street has won over a million dollars, Joe is paying his rake and the site is making its money, all the poker sites need to do is constantly grow its player base and encourage people to deposit, and that’s why conspiracy theories about people being set up to lose are so ridiculous, poker sites don’t care who wins they just care about being paid.
Bookies are a totally different animal, they make their money by setting up the book in such a way that they win whatever the result, but they don’t like people constantly winning from them because they are gambling themselves, you bet with them and they then lay that bet off elsewhere but they do suffer big losses on some events, if you have ever used an online bookie you will know that if you constantly win they will restrict the amount you can bet, or they will just refuse to take your bet, that seems strange as the profits bookies make can be astounding and they are flush with “money they can afford to lose” but the fact is somebody constantly winning is beating the bookie and bookies don’t like that because they know what the full statement should read.
“I only gamble with money I can afford to lose! But I never gamble with money I’m PREPARED to lose”
If you gamble with money you can afford to lose and are prepared to lose it then you may as well sit next to a window throwing pound coins out every 10 minutes, when you collect them up later that day you may not find them all! Or you may find a couple extra! That’s the gamble.
So you can see the difference adding one more phrase to the statement makes, think about it next time you think of calling to hit your draw just because you can afford to!
Friday, September 21, 2012, 11:55 AM
Firstly we have to understand what the stop and go is! Secondly we have to understand what it does.
The stop and go is a short stacked strategy and involves calling a raise short stacked to shove any flop instead of just shoving pre flop, for example when the hand starts you have 6BB’s left in your stack and are on the BB (blinds 100-200), it folds to the cut-off who raise’s to 600 and it folds to you, you look down at Ah Qs and shove for your remaining 1000 chips, your opponent now needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot (3/1) with 5 cards to come it’s an easy call with cards he was prepared to raise with, with 5 cards to come you have very little fold equity shoving pre flop, so playing the stop and go here could improve your chances as it will give a much harder decision to your opponent on the flop.
So to understand that lets look at the example again but this time we will stop and go.
When the hand starts you have 6BB’s left in your stack and are on the BB (blinds 100-200), it folds to the cut-off who raise’s to 600 and it folds to you, you look down at Ah Qs and decide this is the hand to make your stand with, but instead of shoving here and now you just call the raise, the flop comes Kd 7c 4h and you shove your remaining 600 chips into the pot, you have played the stop and go but what have you achieved?
In example 1 your opponent needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot with 5 cards to come, he is getting 3/1 pre flop against an all in range and should be making the call if his hand was big enough to raise a short stack with.
In example 2 your opponent still needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot so is still getting 3/1, but now there are only 2 cards to come, and you may have just hit this flop or slow played a monster, it’s a much tougher decision for him and he may just fold if he’s missed or was playing a PP below Kings or an AQ AJ hand, and don’t forget statistically you only hit 1 in 3 flops!
So by playing the stop and go here we have given our opponent a much tougher decision on the flop than we would have pre-flop, and it really doesn’t matter what he does now as we identified this hand as the one we were going to make a stand with, and that is what we have done! If he calls and we lose we had decided we were all in pre flop anyway so it really doesn’t matter, but by making his decision that much harder of the flop we gave ourselves some fold equity as he might just fold and look for another spot
As with all strategies of this type overuse will soon see you being called more often as people expect it from you, so use it sparingly, you should also only use it in heads up hands as with more than 1 opponent in the hand your fold equity decreases again
Friday, September 14, 2012, 11:50 AM
A powerful weapon to have in your armoury if used right! A costly exercise when you get it wrong!
There has been some hand history discussion on the forum pages where the check raise has been suggested, I’m going to concentrate on two in particular and give my opinion on what has been suggested and why I think it’s a good/bad move
Hand 1 (5 handed), we are on the SB (75-150) we have Ah Qc the player utg+1 has min raised to 300 and it has been folded to us, we raise to 806, the BB folds and utg+1 calls the re raise, the flop comes 2s 3h 4h, the hand now pauses for discussion and a post is made saying “this is where I get into trouble with these hands check raise”
Hand 2 (6 handed), we are in the BB (100-200) with Kh th, the table folds to the cut-off who raises to 525, it then folds to us and we make the call, the flop comes Ah 7h Tc, what happens next isn’t really relevant to this, what is relevant is a comment in the discussion saying check raise
So 2 hands both from the blinds, 2 very different flops, out of position in both and first to act and 2 suggestions to check raise, so let’s look at hand 1! AQ off suit on a 5 handed table from the sb is playable, but in my opinion you need to isolate the original raiser, this is what we attempt and it works, but the flop is horrible for us all low cards with the possibility of a 5 giving us a str8, our opponents pre-flop raising range is likely to contain some big aces and most pocket pairs down to 88-77 and he was strong enough to raise and then still want to see a flop when re raised! He must have something! Potentially we are drawing to 6 outs here 3xQ and 3xA if he has a middle pocket pair, if he has Ax we are drawing to 3 outs as a 5 will split the pot, so if we check raise here and he re shoves we have to fold as we won’t have enough outs to make the call
Hand 2 is a much better opportunity; calling 325 into a 825 pot to try and protect your blind isn’t a bad play as you are capping the action, the flop is good for us even if the A is worrying, assuming his pre-flop range includes the same hands as hand 1 we could potentially be in front with our TT and behind to any A, AA-JJ, if we check raise here and are re shoved we have enough potential outs to make the call
It doesn’t matter if you sometimes get it wrong or sometimes miss your outs revealing you were drawing to the str8/flush, this can be used to your advantage later when you check raise with top 2 pair, people will look you up expecting you to be drawing to the str8/flush
The check raise is a good move to have but don’t over use it or people will never believe you, and if you miss a couple of draws and people start looking you up more regularly just swap to check raising big made hands, people will still look you up as they will put you on a draw
As always take care all, and win or lose enjoy your poker it’s still only a game
Monday, September 10, 2012, 10:06 PM
Yep I’m back and I didn’t expect it either tbh, but now I’m here I might as well say something so here goes.
Using your range finder! What does that mean? Well if you’re reading this then I’m hoping you play at 888poker, and if you play at 888poker then you have a very handy tool available to you! It’s in the lobby under my profile and named “game history” this fantastic little free tool gives you the opportunity to go back over every hand of a tournament you play in video playback whether you played them or folded, you can replay any hand step by step, you can also right click and add notes to players while in there as well, “but what has that got to do with range finding”? I hear you ask.
We’ve all see the replies to hand discussions asking “what range did you put them on” we all know how important trying to put players on ranges of hands is when we play them, and right here for free is the opportunity to do just that, so grab a coffee/tea/beer or whatever floats your boat and open your game history because that’s what we are going to do.
Open any game history cash/sng/mtt it really doesn’t matter! What we are looking for is hands with the river dealt because these hands have the potential for a showdown, and wherever there’s a showdown you are going to see the winning hand, this means you know exactly what the winner played and you can now play the hand through taking notes on what he had and how he played it, you are going to see showdowns from the same players occasionally and this is where their range comes into play, you will see what type of hand they open with (opening range) and how they bet with them going forward (narrowing the range) all of this can be put in your notes and when you play them again you will have an idea of their range.
You will find that you will meet a lot of the same players in your games, especially at cash tables and sng’s if you mostly play the same levels, and the same is true if you usually play a set selection of mtt’s on a regular basis, or restricted games, so over a period of time you are going to find a lot of information on what they open with and how they play those hands in different situations.
It’s called game history, but it’s the perfect range finder
Until next time enjoy your poker and may all you losses be miniscule, and all your winning pots floweth over
Monday, January 2, 2012, 12:17 AM
For the 4th year running the team I represent was invited to the end of year charity event on the 30th of December, this is an invitation only event which sees 9 teams of 6 play 6 tables with points awarded for finishing positions on each table
The format is quite simple, you play a 1 table sng between the players of each team, and points are awarded for the top 5 on each table as 10pts, 7pts, 5pts, 3pts, and 2pts, the prizes are provided by local companies with the view of local charities benefiting (it’s why it’s invitation only) this event gives £2,000 to charities of the winning teams choice, the winners get 1st £1000, 2nd £600 and 3rd £400
In the previous 3 years we have won the event once and come 3rd twice so we sat down in high spirits, 2 of our players were eliminated before the points, one was unlucky and the other ****ed his stack because he thought he had a read, he did! he put him on Ax and played his AQ as if it were the nuts, Ax proved to be better (but we’re not doing bad beats) the unlucky one had JJ on a J67 board and got called for a 3/4 pot bet on the flop he shoved the 6 turn to get called by 66 and go out in 8th to quads
That left 4 of us one managed 3rd place on a table he described as ridiculous, and lasted the shortest time, we got another 3rd place when another called an all in against a short stack with AQ and the short stacks A9 paired, he shoved 2 hands later with 77 and lost to a turned straight, looking at the standings we needed two 2nds at least to get 3rd place and a pay out, one was in first with a massive lead and I was 4th and short, our massive leader won his game and it was down to the tightest table of the night, 3rd place would probably give us a pay out and I was now 2nd
And from then it was downhill all the way, I was dealt AQ and raised I got called by the guy in the BB who hadn’t played many hands at all during the game, the flop came KK8 and he checked to me, I put in a bet of just over half the pot and he snap re raised, I had to fold and he mucked KQ face up, 2 hands later I lost a pot to the short stack when I put him all in after a pre flop raise with my TT, he called with KJ and river was the J, I was now the short stack and looking for paint or an ace to shove with, I got it all in with AT and the chippo called with T 4 suited and he hit the flush on the turn, we finished 4th overall
But it was an enjoyable night and 3 charities win £2000 between them
Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 10:57 AM
I noticed earlier that the term community is thought to be over used, maybe its right? Some people use it all of the time others won’t use it at all, but it’s really about how you view the place you post your thoughts and the people who visit that site
A lot of our members have been here for years; I’ve been here 4 and a half years myself and can name others who have been here from the start when we were the 888fourms, and that brings me on to my first point
When we were just a forum everybody was part of a community, people posted about how the community spirit was and how we were an extended family, people wanted to feel a part of something bigger and the result was we called our forum a community, when we moved to this new home we were given a community platform with forums, blog sections and groups, and now some of those same people refer to themselves as forum members, strange really isn’t it? Maybe it’s a way of saying we feel at home in certain sections? I really don’t know and to be honest it really doesn’t matter
So let’s have a lighthearted look at some descriptions of community and see what we get
The people living in one locality
Do I live here? Well sometimes it feels like it, and to be honest my.888poker is usually the first site I load when I turn on the pc, so yes maybe I do
A group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics in common
This is a bit more difficult to define, all cultures are welcomed, all ethicalities and all religious beliefs, but it’s not something that’s going to be a massive discussion point on a poker/social site, other characteristics in common? Well we’re all nuts does that count?
The public in general; society
I am general public just ask anybody! They don’t come more general, but don’t ask them about me and society I couldn’t bear the shame
Similarity or agreement
We all agree that we love what can at times be the most frustrating game on earth, so we have that in common
But to me the most important part of a community is the support given to each other, and we have that in abundance here, when people are suffering hard times we offer support and condolences where needed, we are happy to see any member making cashes and improving their game no matter how small a step it may be, people are encouraged to look at themselves first before deciding others are playing badly, that’s how we learn this ridiculous game, and people are encouraged to post hands and be prepared to have their plays ripped to shreds, because it’s what helps us to improve, and all of this is given at any time free of charge, all you have to do is ask
Our members also meet up at various live events through the year, the most popular being the superstack events in London and Birmingham, and at those events we try to encourage people to join, and we take the time to get to know them and try to answer questions, in fact most members will actively encourage people at the tables to join us here
And then there is the annual live event, this is an event set up by the community for the community, it’s organized by members according to what members want to happen, 888 have been fantastic in their support of this event in the 2 years we have run it and have done us proud, but this event would happen anyway whatever happened, it’s not about what we can get from 888! It’s about a group of friends getting together and having a great time over 3 days, all of the bonuses 888 throw in are fantastic and much appreciated but I would go even if 888 offered nothing, to me it’s not about games or the prizes it’s about meeting old friends and making new ones, I can worry about the games and prizes 362 other days of the year
I have met a lot of people through this site and consider them to be friends, I’m a community member and happy to be
Friday, December 9, 2011, 10:30 PM
Yes I know what you’re thinking! The guy writes nothing for months and now you can’t shut him up, well I promise to keep this one short
I have moaned in previous blogs about running badly online and it’s true, this has been a very poor year but after going through my hand histories and tracking data I have the reason, I was caught up in the game
But what does that mean?
Well in a nutshell I have been playing the table instead of playing poker, I convinced myself I hadn’t changed my game I was just suffering badly due to the nature of the game, how wrong could I be, I have been reacting to plays at the table and loosening my range because others are winning with KT so I should be able to, that’s not how it works! You can adjust your range on a loose table but it has to be position related, this is where I have been going wrong!
I was so caught up in the game that I was reacting to bad plays with equally bad plays because I wanted to be in pots with weak players, but that just leads to a world of trouble when your calling loose with lots of players still to act behind you, the winning hands then seem to validate your new style and you can convince yourself you got unlucky when it all goes wrong , by the same measure I was tightening up on tight tables when I should be acting not reacting, convincing myself I was playing well while truly just caught up in what was going on, what a mess; and what an unwillingness to actually use the tools at my disposal to identify the problem instead of just telling myself I could turn it around
So now it’s time to re start, and it’s time to play a game that will teach me to actually concentrate, that game is limit poker! If I get caught up in the game instead of playing my best game it’s going to be expensive, but hopefully it will get me back on track and I will have some good news to blog about for a change
If your struggling with your game use your time to evaluate your play, but do it honestly and really look for the problems, you wont see them if you don’t want to see them
Happy pokering all, may you gain the success you crave
Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 11:20 PM
888 get a lot of stick within the community when things go wrong, or when games are removed/added and also when new software updates don’t live up to expectations, I can be outspoken about them at times but it’s not intended to be malicious or derogatory, I just like to ask the tough questions when I see things I think lets the site down, or see basic mistakes in lobby information, but I do it because I want to see the site I consider to be my poker home move on to bigger and better things, and when they get it right it’s only fair that they get the deserved praise.
On November 30th 2011 888 won the poker operator of the year award, this is well deserved in my opinion, over the last year the site has gone from strength to strength and the new software is fantastic, it’s clear crisp and easy to navigate, the beginners section makes it easy for new members to find what they are looking for, the tool tips and video tutorials make the site less daunting for new members, and the benefits for new members are a great incentive for people to join.
The rewards programme has also been tweaked to encourage new members to play, with new levels and a lot more freerolls available for the micro stakes players there’s never been a better time to join
888 have also released some innovative software, like 3D and the poker cam tables, it’s actually been very nice to watch the site I want to see be the best it can be become innovative, too many sites just follow the standards set and only release things they see on other sites, my home site is an innovator and I will happily recommend it to anybody who’ll listen, they deserve that much
The multi table tournaments have improved so much in the last year that I don’t ever remember them having a better selection (and I’ve been here almost from the start) 888 have shown a willingness to listen to it’s customers and try new things, they don’t always work out but that’s just the way it goes sometimes, and there are some exciting new games coming soon like knock out tournaments, the guarantees are constantly being increased and with that comes increased traffic, it’s a win win situation and bodes well for the future, so hopefully 888 will be celebrating more poker operator of the year awards in the future
So big congratulations to 888 and all of its staff on a well deserved award, onwards and upwards guys, here’s to an exciting future
Sunday, December 4, 2011, 11:36 AM
I know it’s not actually the end of the year yet, but the rest of December really doesn’t mean much to me right now, I don’t have kids so Christmas is pointless, and I really don’t feel up to celebrating a new year
I started the year with high hopes (as always) I was looking forward to playing more live poker and improving my online play, but once again life conspired to throw a spanner in the works and this year has been much the same as the last 3 years, but with one massive difference!
I’m not going to go into that here, anybody following my blog or reading my forum posts knows all about my earlier health problems and the home situation I found myself in, they also know what the outcome has been
The times I have been able to play live this year have been as enjoyable as ever, I’ve had a mixed bag of results but no major cashes to speak of, although it seemed when I needed funds for special events like the forums birthday bash and my trip to France, I managed to get lucky and cover my expenses, I haven’t managed to play the super stack events as much as I would have liked this year, but maybe next year will be different
Online I’m still running like a three legged ****ey on stilts, but most of that has been down to me and a lack of concentration, so it’s time to knuckle down and play the way I know I can play, time constraints and constant interruptions shouldn’t be an issue now, I just need to be able to deposit a decent starting bankroll and stop faffing about with just a few dollars, but I will be back working soon so hopefully that wont take too long (And if it does that’s tough luck)
Ah yes work! I remember that
We downgraded our company from a profitable skate park constructing company to a repairs only business due to my issues, that was the only way to we could manage to keep it going or we were going to lose the lot, we also started a sideline business so we could cover the bills which has gone well, so now it’s time to revive the skate park company and grow the sideline as well, I already have an official order for a skate ramp which will go ahead In December, and am awaiting official confirmation of another order which is for February, the sideline business is making Timber garden products so that’s slow until the spring; but it gives us an opportunity to build up some stock which is badly needed, and if it fails this time we will only have ourselves to blame
I will also be back wandering the fairways next year, I really couldn’t play much golf over the last couple of years because of working weekends, and that’s been the one thing I have missed badly, I can handle not playing poker or not going to meet the lads in the pub on a Sunday afternoon, but not playing golf? That’s been torture!
I am having a new set of clubs fitted in January and will be gearing up for a new season over the winter, it’s going to be expensive but it’s something I know I am good at and it’s worth the expense (I have a handicap of 7) it’s also the only exercise I get so I have turned into a fat ******* so maybe a diet is in order as well
So to finish off, what I hope for next year is to return some stability to my life, to get out and play the live poker I promised myself this year, to play the online game to the best of my ability, and to be back playing competitive golf for my club, I also hope to re build my presence within this great community of ours and continue to help drive us on to bigger and better things (starting today)
It really is great to know that during tough times there is a community here who show their fantastic support for others, the camaraderie is excellent and the sense of belonging is overwhelming at times, and all of this is given freely, of course there are issues at times, but what community doesn’t have issues? But at troubled times the support given is simply unbelievable and has to be experienced to be believed
Take good care of yourselves people, and I wish you and yours all the health, wealth and happiness you deserve
Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 10:44 AM
PLO sng, 6 players, 2 prizes
I get off to a flying start and eliminate a player early when I flop a FH, about 6 hands later I flop the nuts flush and eliminate another player giving me a massive chiplead, the blinds had just gone to $15/$30 when I eliminated my third player when I hit my flush draw, at this point we have been playing for 29 hands and from starting stacks of $1500 we now have
I have called opponent 1 idiot and you will see why shortly, opponent 2 is called sleeper because he timed out on the first hand and has been sitting out ever since, he hasn't played a single hand
I never like letting sit outs win prizes, but I also wont suggest at a table that we blind him out as that can be seen as collusion, so I decided to show the other live player that I was prepared to blind the sleeper out by not playing hands against him, I folded when the sleeper was in the BB with the live player in the SB and me on the button, he auto raised so I was sure he knew the other player wasn't there, then when I was in the BB he raised me; I folded and decided he hadn't noticed what had happened, I did the same the next round and once again he raised my BB, this went on for 4 rounds
Now I don't mind splitting dead BB's 70/30% in the position I was in, but I'm not giving up 100% of the dead BB's and most of my SB's and BB's on top, so the next time he raised my BB I played back at him with a pot bet which he called, I flopped a nice drawing hand and put in another pot bet which he folded to, I then went back to showing him I would blind the sleeper out but over the next 3 rounds he had raised my BB everytime
Now I had the hump and decided he was going out as soon as I got the chance, I took chips off of him a couple of times with pot bets on flops or rivers before I eventually got him, he made his standard pot bet on my BB which I called with 8d, 9h, 5d, 5h the flop came 7d, 5c, 4d and I checked, he made a pot bet which I re raised with another pot bet and he called, the turn was Qs and I made the pot bet to put him all in, he called and showed Jc, Tc, 7h, Jh the river was the 2h and he was out with the blinds still at $15/$30, it took me another 53 hands to blind out the sleeper and take the win, giving the sleeper an 80% profit on his buy in without playing a hand lol
Now I couldn't have made my intentions any clearer without actually saying in the chat "blind him out" but the idiot decided to take the chance he could beat me instead of waiting for the sleeper to be blinded out
Some people get exactly what they deserve