This week’s tip is a two-parter:
ALL ABOUT POKER
This week’s tip is a two-parter:
It’s that time of year again–good intentions abound with resolutions and new beginnings. It’s no different with the poker world. We think of it as a fresh start. “THIS is my year! My losing streak ended with last year, and this year I am in the money!” Or, maybe last year was a great year of poker for you, and you are afraid that the new year could change or affect your “good streak.”
I enjoyed one of the articles I read in the December issue of Card Player magazine. The author, Dusty Schmidt, talks about why poker qualifies as a “profession”, a job, a game of skill. He makes the great point that it is possible to intentionally lose a poker game. Unlike roulette, slots, or most other forms of gambling which depend solely on factors over which you have no control–the roll of the dice, the slots hitting–you can deliberately lose a game of poker because you can decide to fold the winning hand, you can decide to call when you know you are beat. Likewise, you can intentionally win in poker. That isn’t to say your decision changes the odds or that it is ALL under your control…but some of it is.
That’s my intention, my resolution, if you will. I intend to win. I will study, learn, practice, and then do my best to win–deliberately.
Let’s see if it works!
Happy New Year!
So, we get to go to the Northern Quest Casino Fall Festival of Poker in Spokane, Washington. We are only playing one of the tournaments, as far as we know. Kind of sticking our toe in the water and see what happens. I’m more of a ‘dive in head first and find out how cold it is after it is too late’ kind of person myself, but we are taking the “smart” way this time.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about this tournament as we get ready to go. I know that every tournament has its own personality, its own “vibe” (to use a cliche), and I’m trying to get a feel for this one. It’s hard. I did some research online to see what the structure is–not much to be found. A couple of forum posts, none of which were favorable to be completely honest. I guess some of the past Northern Quest Fall Festival tournaments had some unpopular blind structures and starting stacks. I figured it couldn’t be “the worst” tournament though, because you do pre-register and it is my understanding that most of the Festival tournaments sell out all their seats before the day of the tournament. But still…the foreboding “not very good” posts about it had us wondering.
What we do know, so far, is that the starting stack this year for the one we are playing in is $15k in chips. What we don’t know is the blind structure. From what we have been told (verification not possible yet) is that in the past rounds were 15 minutes and the blinds doubled every round. One of our any14poker.com “group” (Yes, that would be you Bonnie) called the Northern Quest Casino poker room and no one seemed to know what the structure was. She said the employee sounded extremely busy, so she didn’t get to ask much.
Armed with the information we have, we are considering all our strategies. I would love to hear from others how they play a $15k starting stack, and anything anyone wants to post about deep stack tournaments in general. I love to read, so every chance I get, I look up deep stack strategy. The other day I asked a friend how they like to play them and they said they play very tight–especially at the beginning. It isn’t unusual for them to fold overcards, especially in early position. The person told me they folded AQ os, and probably would again. The same day I read an article written by a pro that said your range of calling hands from middle position to late position should be pretty wide, even to call overbets with unsuited connectors while the blinds are still small. The rationale was that nobody will ever put you on the made hands with those cards, and it tends to psyche out your table opponents and make them afraid to raise you because you will just call anyway with “junk!” They also tend to call you when you have the nuts because they can’t predict what you will play. The contrast to this is the conservative players have a much harder time getting paid off, and tend to blind out because they can’t get callers when they do make their hands.
Personally, I tend to think the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. I know that position is almost everything in poker these days, but not necessarily always the late position. I’ve seen some of the strategies start to use the psychology of the big bluff by the UTG, which other players automatically assume means a huge hand or the player would never play that position.
I haven’t settled on my strategy yet. I may develop it after folding for the first hour so I can see how the other players posture. Whatever we do, it will be an adventure. We will enjoy our time at the Northern Quest Fall Festival of Poker. Who knows, maybe we will be able to post a review for all the world to see on any14poker.com Be watching for it!
Tell us what YOU would do…we’d love to hear it.
WANT TO PLAY THE PENDLETON LADIES NO LIMIT HOLD’EM TOURNAMENT?? YOU CAN AFFORD THE BUY-IN….HERE’S A COUPLE OF IDEAS
Hey, we get it. We are in the same place as everyone else. Two hundred and fifteen dollars will at least fill one or two gas tanks, and maybe, just maybe buy some groceries. So how can we even think about paying $215 for a buy-in to ONE tournament? Even if that buy-in is actually pretty low for all you get, not to mention the chance to win thousands…it is a lot of money to put on the line. But there are some ways you can come up with that buy-in and still put gas in the car. We will start the conversation off with some ideas we have for coming up with the buy-in and then we are going to encourage all of you to come here and share YOUR ideas. We would like to make this the biggest turn-out the Wildhorse Casino has ever had for their Ladies Tournament. We would love to see one (or a bunch of) our friends, site visitors, any14poker.com players at that top of the money list. We would love to post your pictures here on the site and tell your stories.
So how can all of us get there without riding our bikes to work for a month? One of the easiest ways I know of is to play some of the local free-roll and low buy-in games at your local card room or casino. We play a free-roll game pretty much every Monday (and Thursday, if we have the time) at the Wild Goose Casino, in Ellensburg. The free-roll at the Wild Goose is a great example of how you can win enough for your buy-in to a larger tournament. One Monday night in August I (Michelle) played the free-roll. The way this particular free-roll works is you sign up before five o’clock that day and you can play for free. Not a penny. You get $500 in chips, and if you want to pay the $20 buy-in, you get $2000 more for a total of $2500 to start. After the first two fifteen minute rounds, you can also do a rebuy for $10 that gives you $1000 more in chips. So you have four choices in this game…play for free with $500 chips, play for almost free by starting with $500 in chips, last two rounds, and do the $10 rebuy, buy in at the beginning for $20 and play the $2500 chips…OR, play the whole thing for $30, with a total of $3500 chips. Any way you play it, it is a pretty low buy-in, and first place pays anywhere from $250 all the way up to $480 on the really busy nights when lots of college students are there. Number of players ranges from 30 to 70 (using alternates). This one Monday in August I opted to just do the initial free-roll, and had $325 after the second round, when I paid the $10 to get the $1000 add-on.
I won’t do a play by play for you, but I will say that I played extremely tight that night, I probably played a grand total of five hands right up to when we had six players left. I tried to pick my spots carefully, sometimes playing the players as much as I played my cards. Over the last two years of playing in these free-rolls, we have found that there is not a lot of point in doing a lot of bluffing, especially early in the tournament. People who don’t have much invested don’t have much to lose, and they will call you with a very wide range of hands. So I played patient, and tried to play the few decent hands I got to the best of my ability. I got two pocket pairs all night—sixes, and jacks. When I went all in under the gun with the jacks, two people called me, both with very marginal hands. I almost lost the hand when one of them paired her queen, (she held Q2os), but ended up winning with a jack high flush when four diamonds hit. That kept me in the game.
I ended up holding on and taking first place, which paid $247 because we only had 38 people that night, but it wasn’t a bad return on a $10 investment. And I gained a lot more than the cash, I gained some great tournament experience. I learned some things that night; I also was reminded of some basics…like NEVER FOLD YOUR HAND WITHOUT LOOKING HARD AT THE BOARD. One key hand for me made me feel pretty foolish, and if it weren’t for the diligence of another player, Brad, I would have been out $10,000—pretty vital to winning the tournament. I had two pair, the other player had two pair, I brain-farted and just accepted half the pot when the dealer split it between us (we had the same top pair but different bottom pair), and Brad, stopped the dealer and said, “HEY!!! Her two pair were higher!!!” I definitely owe Brad a dinner, because I missed it completely! I forgot one of the basics of poker, CHECK YOUR HAND AGAIN BEFORE MUCKING! Dealers are human and they can miss stuff. That one could have cost me over two hundred dollars that night!
So, one of the easiest, and best ways to make your buy-in for the Pendleton Wildhorse Poker Round-Up tournament is to start hitting those free-rolls. They are SO valuable because you can get your buy-in for a much lower investment. Even if it takes you $20-$30 and you play, say ten free-rolls, you are also getting a LOT of experience that can really pay off when you get to the bigger tournaments.
And if you don’t make your buy-in BEFORE the Wildhorse Fall Poker Roundup, you can still attend and play one of the hundreds of satellites available for $25 and up…play against ten people, win first place, and you have a $200 buy-in.
The second suggestion we have is for setting up a home game or two…or three…or more. They are a LOT of fun, you can set the buy-in for whatever you want, and you still get some experience. There are some real pros and cons to this suggestion, and I think I will write a separate column on the home game idea so that I can cover it more thoroughly. In the meantime, how about some ideas from all of you? Let’s brainstorm together and come up with some ways to get as many people to the Round-up as we can! Email us with your ideas or go ahead and submit them to this blog! We want to hear from all of you!
Welcome to the new any14poker.com blog!! We hope you return often to read and share your poker stories. We can use this to keep you updated on events, poker tournaments, and if you are involved in a tournament, we would love for you to post updates for all of us on your progress! This is all about YOU!! Have some fun with it!
Our first official blog article is going to be on how you can earn your buy-ins for the big money tournaments like the one coming up in Novermber at the Wildhorse Casino Resort Fall Poker Round-up. If you want all the details and the schelules, check the any14poker.com web site for links to all the information. We will have it posted in several places.
We can’t wait to hear from YOU!
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