The Big One

“If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.”
–Vannevar Bush
First off, thanks to everybody for the overly kind comments about my last post. I really wanted to write a lot more about the “stages”, but I ran out of steam at around midnight. Maybe I’ll win enough money to have the time to really write something good and put it on paper in book form. The odds of that happening are probably about the same as me winning the WSOP.
That’s right. Yours truly will be rolling up the WSOP pipe dream and smoking it tomorrow night, as I play in a couple last chance super satellites against a field much better than me. What better way is there to wrap up my first year as a poker player? It’ll probably take me the whole weekend for me to recap my losses from the satellite losses, but hopefully Iggy will by my side, up to his famous shenanigans. That’s right, the prodigal son is returning to Vegas, and I’ll be there to bail him out see it unfold. I’ve heard Iggy’s got a great rack, so I can wait to meet “him”. Felicia and Glenn will also be making the trip, so between the three of us, we can probably put all the pieces together and come up with a comprehensive trip report.
I had never planned on playing in the WSOP, as I feel it’s a sucker bet… even Phil Ivey has got to be 300:1 at best. I’d planned this trip as a chance to get away from the 9 to 5 grind in the City of Angels. But hell, I’m gonna be there, I have to at least take a shot right?
I’ll be staying at the horrible Hard Rock Casino, thanks to a free room hooked up by my buddy M (Monk’s younger brother). We leave bright and early tomorrow morning, giving us a full 48 hours of pure Vegas. In the remote chance that
1. My right hand isn’t wrapped around a beer
2. I spend more than 1 hour in my room
3. There is an internet connection in the Hard Rock
4. I am able to type coherently
I’ll post updates when I get a chance.
For my few readers who like to gamble, I’ll be giving out some sort of prize (to be determined) to the person who has the most correct answers to the following questions:
1. Best hand of the weekend?
2. Number of beers consumed total, rounded to the nearest 10 (Iggy + HDouble)?
3. Number of big bets won/lost HDouble (if I can keep track)?
4. Number of posts made from Vegas?
5. More money won (or less money lost) on blackjack or craps?
So send your karma in the general direction of Vegas, sacrifice a virgin or two to the Poker Gods, and we may end up with a poker blogger in the WSOP.
Poker Blog Patrol
There is so much great poker writing going on out there, I don’t have a chance at keeping up. Check out Pauly’s “best of the poker blogs” wrap up for some of the great stuff of the past week. A big “Welcome Back” goes out to Sean, who’s writing about poker and life again. And I was ecstatic to find a comment in my latest entry from the great Andrew Prock, whose old RGP posts have won me many big bets over the course of the last year. Andrew coded up one of the first poker software simulation packages, PokerStove way back in 99, and is a fellow computer scientist. Check out his blog for a veteran take on the poker scene.
More tomorrow night before the big one…

A year in the making: the development of a poker player

“Whether he likes it or not, a man’s character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life.”
–Anthony Holden, “Big Deal”
Although the first recorded session I have is May 25th, this week marks the first birthday of my poker career. As I’ve lamented in previous posts, I’ve hit a bit of a plateua– the learning comes in baby steps, rather than the exhilarating leaps and bounds that pushed me up the learning curve in earlier days. As I’ve been thinking about my game and how to improve, I’ve wondered what my game will be like a year from now. This got me thinking of how my game has developed, and coming up with a discrete set of stages that characterized my play during the past 12 months. I speak mainly from my own personal journey, although my generalizations are bolstered by the paths I’ve seen others take in their first year.
Stage 1: Crawling on all fours (months 1 and 2)
The first month or two of serious poker play involves figuring out the mechanics of the game. You learn how to read the board, and find yourself getting blindsided on the river when somebody hits a gutshot straight that you didn’t see. In one of my first sessions, I remember proudly slamming my two red cards on the table when the third heart hit the river, only to discover that one of them was a diamond in an embarassing showdown (baffling the players who pegged me as weak-tight). Stage 1 is characterized by the attempt of the beginning player to connect his hand with the board, accompanied by almost complete ignorance of the dynamic of the table and the meaning of bets and raises. Your opponents are sending signals, but their raises are received only as garbled signals. The beginning player begins to see the importance of odds, but rarely goes beyond the Lee Jones style of ABC poker. This results in winning a lot of small and medium size pots, since reraising without the nuts is a dangerous play without a good read on the other players at the table. This type of play can still get the money in soft low-limit games, but this weak-tight or tight-passive style leaves a lot of money on the table.
The crawler reads voraciously, not fully understanding the advanced strategies presented to him, but storing them away in memory nonetheless. Attempts to apply concepts without full understanding often result in disastrous results (e.g. trying to apply Skanskly’s tactics to loose no fold’em games). The stage 1 player struggles to remember which starting hands can be played from each position, and often calls before being able to calculate the odds of hitting his draw. Uncertainty rules, but he is intrigued by the rhythm and beauty of the game. He struggles in thought, but feels that there is much to learn…
Stage 2: Learning to walk (months 3-6)
A couple of months have gone by, and the beginner starts stretching his legs, teetering on two limbs in an attempt to walk. This stage is often characterized by overaggressiveness and a general loosening up in starting hands, as the learning player becomes a bit too wise for his own good. The stage 2 player can outplay the worst players easily, and begins cold calling bad players with hands like KJ and QJ in early position, only to be punished by a more experienced player in late position. A few rushes turn this medium-tight aggressive player into a loose aggressive player, and he ends up giving back a lot of his profits in fits of hubris while trying to “put moves” on players who will call them down with anything. Fancy play syndrome is common in Stage 2, and ill-timed bluffs and top pair with no kicker are frequent losers in months 3 through 6. I remember thinking that I could make more money by playing 30% of the flops, feeling that QT and JTo were ok to call a raise with, since I felt I could outplay people after the flop. This resulted in high variance– big winning sessions that reinforced this idea, and big losing sessions that I attributed to bad beats rather than my own poor play.
This stage of development is easy psychologically. Since you’re relatively new to the game, you can shake off the bad sessions pretty easily– half of you thinks you’re Mike McDermott, the other half thinks, “well I’m just starting out, I shouldn’t expect to win”. So the bad sessions leave you with only a tinge of pain. It is in this stage when the big question is born, quietly floating through the sounds of the clacking chips in your head: “Am I good enough?” But you’re just learning to walk, so the question never really makes it to the dangerous realm of the conscious mind.
The complete uncertainty of stage 1 begins to disappear. Starting hands have been memorized, and the player can begin to focus on the flow of the game and the actions of his opponents. Pot odds are still troublesome to calculate, but the stage 2 player begins to see that with more experience and study, he can beat this game. The competitive recreational player belongs in this category. Without working on their game through study and analysis, they never gain the confidence and deep understanding required to be a consistent winner, but have enough experience to beat the truly terrible players.
Towards the end of stage 2, the player goes through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He is overconfident in his skills, and will often play in games above his bankroll since he has yet to learn to deal with variance and the importance of protecting his winnings. Full day sessions of losing provoke him to recoup his losses in bigger games, often when he is on tilt. Rushes can end in “parlay attempts,” where the player takes his winnings to a bigger game, often resulting in erasing the session’s hard-earned profit, with an occasional glorious monster session thanks to a little luck. Stage 2 tests the emotional mettle of the developing player.
Stage 3: Walk like a man (months 7-11)
You’ve got some play under your belt. People recognize you in the casino, and are beginning to respect your raises. You know your pot odds cold, and you’ve pored through all the books and internet wisdom until your eyes hurt. You’ve become tight-aggressive, playing solid poker, but throw in the occasional move when the time is right (which separates you from the “rocks”). You develop more complex rules of thumb, and know how to build the pot with your big draws. You learn when you can steal blinds, and how to induce bluffs from overaggressive players. The difficult middle pairs begin to be profitable hands: the stage 3 player develops a gut feeling that tells him when that pair is good and when it isn’t based on the actions of the other players and the “texture” of the board cards.
The player treads in calmer waters– he has felt the agony of tilt and the exhilaration of a rush. He has grown wise to the fickle ways of the poker gods, and uses patience as the oar to guide him through the rocky waters of variance. Bad beats are only a bee sting, and lucky suckouts bring only a chuckle. The player has his legs, and has stopped cold calling with marginal hands like QJ, happily mucking coin flip calls, saving his money for when he knows he’s a favorite. He’s become a grinder, seeing around 23% of flops, and punishing anyone who dares to call with dominated hands. The wisdom of the poker greats has slowly crept into his game, and a healthy diet of ramming, jamming, and semi-bluffs grow his bankroll slowly and steadily.
Struggling over which hands to play from which position is a distant memory. Pot odds are calculated without effort, almost automatically as the stage 3 player absorbs the flow of the game. He begins to play more by instinct, and has become aware of all of the signals sent by his opponents. The game becomes beautiful, a dance between drawing hands and made hands, and he begins to hear the music.
The player has his feet now, and the variance in the loose games no longer clouds his vision. The loose games full of suckouts that cost him lots of big bets are now where he makes the most money. His reads are rarely wrong, and the pots he wins are much bigger than those he loses. He learns to see the schooling fish as a Leviathan, and he lies in wait like a hammerhead, waiting to strike when the moment is right.
The calm waters are soothing to the psyche, and the stage 3 player’s rapid improvement begins to slow. This provokes a bit of boredom, but this is overcome by the steady growth of the bankroll. Frustration begins to set in, as challenge of the game begins to fade– the player has outgrown the low-limit game, and is itching to move up to fry bigger fish.
Stage 4: The slow jog (months 12-?)
After a year, the player puts a little spring in his step and begins to make great bets and calls that don’t make sense when taken out of context of the game. His rules of thumb are well-defined, and he plays mostly by instinct and feel, peppered with the occasional moment of careful thought and deliberation when facing an unusual situation. If the player has not moved up in limits, he begins to yearn for the challenge of playing bigger, and may “take a shot” at the bigger game, confident he can recoup his losses by crushing the usual low-limit game.
Thus begins the psychological struggle. Learning has slowed down considerably and comes in slow, tiny drops, unlike the splashes he’s felt in earlier times. The intellectual aspect of the game is dampened by a detailed knowledge of odds and probability, and the stage 4 player begins to seek further challenges. He may explore other forms of poker in order to recapture the rush of learning again.
It becomes difficult for the stage 4 player to improve his game. Finding leaks is much more difficult when you’re a consistent winner, and spending time analyzing hands seems like a negative EV activity. It is this crucial stage where the player reaches for greatness, and attempts to lengthen his stride and run. I believe that the majority of players who put in the time and effort to improve their game can reach stage 4, but not many get to stage 5. The stage 5 player represents the young expert– on the 5% of hands where a difficult decision is required, the expert player makes the play that most players cannot even understand, but is usually correct. The stage 4 player has developed his vision through diligent study and thought, and can see the top of the mountain. But he lacks the experience to know what the right play is in these delicate situations that are few and far between.
Run HDouble, Run
I am no expert player. But I feel my game has come a long way after a year of hard work at the poker tables and on the pages of the poker books. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m not even sure what the next stage will hold for me, let alone the succeeding stages. Keep in mind that these stages are only an attempt to categorize development: poker development is not discrete, but there are certain things that characterize players of different experience levels. I’d like to think that all my years as a student helped me to move along the learning curve at a somewhat accelerated pace, although it’s possible I’ve gotten more than my fair share of good cards and I’m nothing more than a break even player. But maybe the most important thing I learned from playing football my whole life is that if you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t succeed in anything you’re trying to accomplish. The perpetual struggle in poker is the attempt to answer the question, “Am I a good player?” Since all we have is chips to keep score, the answer to this question is often clouded by the always doubt-provoking variance.
For me, poker’s biggest appeal is its ability to wipe the condensation from the mirror, forcing you to behold your true image. You struggle with your successes and your failures, and only a cold, hard stare will tell you if you’re a winner, a loser, or a winner who needs to clean up a little bit. I’m looking a lot better than I did on day one, but I know I have a lot of cleaning up to do in the next year.
Good luck and thanks for reading.

The Next Level

“We’re not gonna get rid of anybody. We’re gonna stick together, just like it used to be. When you side with a man, you stay with him. And if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal, you’re finished.”
–Pike Bishop, “The Wild Bunch”
Let’s see, where to begin? As the WSOP main event gets closer, poker is hitting a feverish pitch, ready to crescendo next weekend with the 2000 player main event. And I’ll be there, or at least I’ll wander by every couple hours to watch the insanity. I’ll probably be playing at the Golden Nuggest, although the side games are going to be pretty dry with the entire poker world huddled under the roof of the Horseshoe.
There are some unusually thought provoking writing about poker out there, and as usual, I wouldn’t have found them if Iggy hadn’t pointed them out. Jesse May’s State of the Game Address expands upon a theory that I (and many others) had of “new school” tournament poker. Basically the idea is that the new tournaments have such a large field, that optimal strategy is completely different than the older, smaller tourneys. I believe there is a threshold number of players where the optimal strategy changes… and while these young players may not have the overall playing experience as the old guard, they (including Mr. Moneymaker) have a lot MORE experience playing in tourneys with huge fields. They’ve had a lot more chances to figure out optimal strategy, and thus have an advantage over the Brunsons and Hellmuths in the game. The game is changing. Adapt or lose.
I was reminded why I don’t play tourneys to make money yesterday, when I got the chance to play in Paul’s no-limit birthday tournament. I made the 45 minute drive south to Huntington Beach, and as I cruised down the 405, I felt a little nostalgic about my days in the OC, when I got a monthly stipend to study, do research, and sleep till 11 every day. I highly recommend graduate school. Anyway, I met Paul out front, and after sitting down, his Mom and his sister immediately suggested we start a cash game while we waited for the tourney players to show up. I have to say that the majority of people I’ve met from Orange County are ummm… not so nice, but the Paulsburbon clan (his Mom, Emily, and sister Meg) were great people and unfortunately for me, excellent poker players.
On to the tourney: The buy in was only $10, but the game got pretty serious quickly, and the 12 players involved definitely all wanted to win. We split up into two tables of 6, and I had Paul and Emily to my right, with Meg on my immediate left. I’d played with Paul and his Mom on Stars before, so I had a little bit of a read on them, but I had no idea about the other 2 at the table. I was dealt trash for the first few orbits, so I had a chance to sit back and watch. After about 45 minutes of folding, I got T6o on the big blind, and checked after Meg limped UTG and Paul limped in middle position. The flop came Ac Tc 6d, and I couldn’t have asked for much more. I had the 6c, which weakened the flush draw, and I put Paul on a middle Ace. I checked it to Meg, who also checked, and Paul put out pot-sized bet. I knew he would fold when I came over the top, but what about Meg? I pushed all-in, and Paul frowned, but Meg asked me how much it would cost. Uh oh. A6? AT? She shoved her chips in and called with… KJc! A royal flush draw, but I was a big favorite. She had 8 clubs and 4 queens as outs, making me a 57% favorite. Of course, the Queen came on the river, and I was the first one out.
Paul ended up winning 3 monster pots in a row to become chip leader, while Meg’s chips eventually dwindled down to 200. But she kept her head, and doubled up a few times and began doing her Phil Ivey impression, picking off short stacks steadily. Brother and sister ended up heads up, and little sis put Paul to the test several times, coming over the top of his raises. After losing most of his stack folding TT to a big flop raise when an Ace flopped, Paul went out making a move with 83o against Meg’s QJs. Birthday boy gets second, and Miss Meg is the champ. Some excellent poker players in that family… happy birthday Paul!
I hate going out on a hand that I played perfectly. This is why I hate tournament poker–perfect play is only half the battle. The cold hard cash games are where it’s at. When you lose an all-in bet in a tourney, you can’t win the next hand. Although I do feel tournaments are much more exciting and conceptually more beautiful than the limit grind, beating the limit games fits my current lifestyle better than the high-variance tournament trail.
THE online pro discusses his tournament dabbling in his latest post, as he prepares for his WSOP journey beginning Thursday. But Davidross’ comments on the $15-30 games at Party just make my mouth water:
“I guess it’s possible that my play is improving, I hope it is, but I don’t find these games much tougher than the full table 3/6 games I used to play. There are some horrible players in these games… My 3 weeks since my last post have included my 2 biggest weeks ever. In order I made $5,717, then $4,576 and this week I made $6,084…”
It’s enough to make you want to run up your credit card debt to get the bank to play in this game. I’m a little too risk-averse for that, so I’ll grind it out and build up the bank the hard way, and hope the games stay good long enough for me to capitalize. In the little I played this week, I had plenty of suckouts at $3-6 to give away $110 in 620 hands. The suckouts drove me to $5-10 full games (which for some reason didn’t have the usual 15 minute wait) and was rewarded with a nice run of cards in 70 hands to pull in $225 of profit. 700 hands for the week, I think that’s probably the least I’ve played this year.
Although my first recorded session is May 30th, 2003, I know I played a few sessions before that which never made it into the books. So I suppose this week marks the first birthday of my poker career. I’m trying to organize my thoughts about the development cycle of the first year player, so look for that in my next post. Oh yeah, I’ll also let you know how I fared in Iggy’s Poker Blogger tourney (I was knocked out first in the last one, so I should be able to beat that). Thanks for reading.

Reflections on the faces of poker

“The darkest moments are when you have the most to gain
moments worth the repetition of any pain”

–Monk Eastman
A while ago my best friend looked upon my headlong dive into poker as something temporary and trivial, a curious waste of time. But it’s been about a year now, and I’m still putting in the hours. Every once in a while, while grinding away at the tables, I wonder if he’s right– is all this time spent sitting in front of the computer, pushing “raise” or “fold” really worth it? Surely there must be some nobler deed that needs being done by a young, semi-intelligent writer-type who wants to make the world a better place.
At its worst, poker is a crude hobby in which mercenaries prey on the unknowledgable and impatient to make a small profit. These grinders play the percentages, minimizing their risk and exploiting the mistakes of their opponents in order to win their measly two big bets per hour.
In this view of poker, we see the winning poker player as a leech. His advantage comes from experience and knowledge, and not from brilliance, courage, or creativity. In many poker games, creativity is a trait that is punished rather than rewarded. Deviating from the time-tested “rules of thumb” that generate profit may work in the short run, but creativity is lost on players who refuse to lay down their hand no matter what.
To make matters worse, poker is a dynamic game of incomplete information. This means that for every decision point in the game, there is no definite “right” answer. Throw in a dash of bad luck, and the optimal play becomes more costly than a bad decision. Although good decisions are rewarded in the long run, bad luck can turn the best hand into a big loser.
Ahh, but it’s easy to see poker at its worst. Gambling is bad! Poker is a game, and no way to earn money. Produce! Consume! Feed the machine!
At its best, poker is much more than a game. Money acts as the scorekeeper for a contest of wits, where brilliant champions use their knowledge and experience to outsmart their opponents. Not only must the expert player use all his skill and knowledge, his resolution must be unshakable if he is to survive the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.
Poker is a mirror of life. Superb knowledge and skill is not enough– the successful player must be able to ride the waves of luck, and separate bad luck from bad play. Self-awareness and “knowing thyself” is the only weapon the poker player has against the temptation to tilt away hours of hard-earned profit.
The great poker player does not simply prey on the mistakes of others. He’s the lion in the jungle, fighting for domination of the table through cunning, courage, and perserverance. After paying his dues at the lowest limits, he no longer makes a living from the donations of the fish. He pits his skill against proven winners, and goes home many days having lost money for a full day of work.
Unlike the typical 9 to 5 job, poker is a place where intelligence and courage are immediately rewarded. Performance-based pay is rare in the corporate world, and no matter how well you do your job, you’re more likely to get a pat on the back rather than a stack of chips. Likewise, bad decisions on the job won’t usually lose you money, but too many mistakes on the poker table will cost you a lot of hours of steady grinding.
Poker is a beautiful game. It’s not pretty like chess, or graceful like football, but it’s a lot like life. Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, and never beyond the grasp of luck. It’s got plenty of bad in it, but if you pay attention, you’ll learn a lot about yourself playing this game.

It’s not really a social game

“Boredom is a sign of satisfied ignorance, blunted apprehension, crass sympathies, dull understanding, feeble powers of attention, and irreclaimable weakness of character.”
–James Bridie
Nothing too exciting to report, after a ho-hum weekend of “social” poker. It’s tough to bring intensity to the table when you’re playing among friends, but I did enjoy the social aspect of the game this weekend. So here’s the run through of the weekend’s happenings…
1. I got some great comments about the upcoming magazine article I wrote for All In Magazine— thanks to everybody for all the positive feedback. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but I think it serves as a good introduction to the poker blog scene for people who’ve never heard of a blog. The article explains a little bit of my story, and how I started writing about poker, as well as a tour through the “best of” the poker blogs, with some of my favorite quotes from each one. I believe the first issue of All in comes out next week, just in time for the WSOP, but I’ll write more when I find out the details.
2. Spent Thursday night at a home game playing against my boss and a few co-workers. The buy-in was only $25, so I tried to use the night to develop my reading skills and just to have some fun. I mostly treaded water in the limit portion of the night, as the newbies would play any pair to the river, and I did my best to see every flop. But the night ended with an alcohol fueled heads-up no limit showdown with the boss, who turned up the aggression and came over the top of my raises several times. I resolved to wait until I was sure I had the best hand, and then turn her aggression against her. Of course, I get Q9 in the Big Blind and see the flop come 6 6 Q. She puts out a medium size raise, and I sense weakness, so I push all in, only for her to turn over 65. Ah well, I’m sure we’ll square off again…
3. Spent most of last night playing with the fish at Hollywood Park. I staked my buddy M in the $3-6 game, an up and coming player that I’ve been friends with forever (he’s Monk’s younger brother, for my faithful readers). The place was packed– Friday and Saturday nights are always an adventure at the old HP, full of drunk fish and people giving away their money. While we waited for our names to be called, I found an open seat in the $100 buy in NL game. Pretty loose, so I limp in on the button for $3 with QTo. 5 players in, and the flop comes QT rag. Checked around to me, I check, and the turn is the Q, giving me the boat. Checked around to me again, I throw out a $5 chip and everybody folds. Horrible play by me, but I was busy getting a drink and trying to lock up my seat at the $3-6 game with M, so I was a little distracted. Probably wouldn’t have made any money on it anyway, but why not wait to the river? Oh well, a great start to the night.
I reluctantly gave up my seat to join M– I came to play with him, so I put away my fishing gear, sadly giving up the soft NL games and action-packed $6-12 game with mountains of chips on the felt. I hadn’t played $3-6 in a long time, and I planned to play as many hands as I could– go home a big winner or a big loser, ramblin and gamblin and rammin and jammin all the way until the wee hours of the night.
The table was perfect- the most loose-passive players I could remember, and every other hand was a family pot. This made for plenty of bad beats, and M quickly dropped $100 in the first hour and a half after getting sucked out on a few times. Meanwhile, I doubled my stack after catching a few ridiculous flops. True to my strategy, I played any two suited and any one gapper, and the implied odds justified playing these hands. The night wore on, and my loose play caught up with me, and I had a number of bad beats put on me, knocking me back to half my buy-in after 5 boring hours of play.
Luckily for me, M kept played a lot tighter and smarter than I did, and I was happy to pocket half of his $140 profit after his cards warmed up towards the end of the night. I ended up breaking even for the night… I definitely am not made for seeing 50% of the flops, but it was fun to try to outplay people after the flop. Who knows, maybe I would have dropped a couple racks in the $6-12 game…
4. Wanting to take my game to the Ted “The Freak” Forrest level, I ran my first set of simulations using Turbo Texas Hold ‘Em. The TTH interface isn’t the best, and it took around 30 minutes at full CPU usage to finish each sim. KQo is a trouble hand for me, so I set up some simple sims to determine under what table conditions open raising with KQo is profitable. I set up a trivial 2 million hand simulation that compared always open raising with KQo on a loose-aggressive table vs. always limping with KQo. Somewhat surprisinlgy, the limping strategy showed a slightly higher win rate, averaging a net of $6.71 per hand ($20-40 structure), compared to $6.25 when always open raising. The open raise strategy had a slightly higher win rate (28.4% vs. 27.7%), but made less money. I believe this reflects the idea that limping with dominating hands in loose games is often more profitable– you want to be called down or raised by loose aggressive players when you have them outkicked.
These results were pretty trivial, but the experiment showed me that it’s not as easy as I thought to set up these simulations. And this is as it should be– poker greatness shouldn’t be easy to come by, and if you’re trying to squeeze that expert knowledge out of a simulation, you’re going to have to work to get there. I picture Ted Forrest madly collecting printouts of simulation results, putting in months of research to reach that next level of poker knowledge. Picture Izmet and Abdul pounding away on a laptop in Slovenia, cackling at the discovery that you can limp reraise with small suited aces. Just as in any field, the money and glory goes to those who are willing to push past common knowledge through research and study. Hopefully I’ll get there one day…
5. The Blogfather is running the next blogger tourney, which will take place at Pacific Poker. Unlike previous tourneys, this one has been opened up to the readers, so come on in and square off against your favorite (or least favorite) bloggers. The tourney will take place next Sunday, May 16th at 6pm Pacific– $20 entry, and with that buy in you get plenty of smack talk. I’ve had fun losing my money to superior No-Limit players in the previous tourneys, and I’m sure Iggy’s tourney will be a blast.
That’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods, hopefully I’ll be back to my usual focused grinding this week, as well as digging in deeper to the simulations. Good luck to everybody out there– be patient and the chips will come…