Better Poker Through Linkage

“How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.”
–William Shakespeare
I’ve been neglecting the blog again, but there’s a decent reason for that: both work and poker have been going very well, and time spent away from either endeavor is a huge sacrifice in expectation. According to PokerPulse, a certain online poker room is now in the top 8 of all rooms, and we continue to grow rapidly. So hopefully that means the long hours are paying off… but not quite as well as the $30-60 game on another unnamed site– I’ve been running very well in the last few weeks. It’s hard for me to believe that the games will ever be this good again, although the online poker boom shows no signs of slowing down (naysay all you want, but the signs just aren’t there).
To make up for my lack of anything really interesting to say, in today’s post, I’m going to deliver a few links to some things you may not have seen yet.
Best Press Conference Ever
I’m not going to say much about it, but part one and especially part two of the Matusow press conference (which took place immediately after he got knocked out) is by far the best footage I’ve every seen in any press conference. The Unintentional Comedy value of these videos is off the charts. Say what you want about Mike, but he’s obviously a genuine guy who wants to win more than anybody.
New PokerTracker Overlay
I first heard about this from Matt, who claimed that PokerAce is the best PokerTracker plug-in available. PokerAce adds two key features to the already excellent functionality of PlayerView:
1. Mucked Hands at Showdown: Instead of fishing through the hand history after a hand and interrupting my multi-table rhythm, PokerAce shows the cards of every opponent who goes to the river, even if they have their “muck losing hands” option turned on. Very useful.
2. Postgres support: As far as I know, PokerAce is the only PokerTracker overlay that works with PokerTracker’s new Postgres database.
Check out The Poker Tracker Guide for more PokerTracker tips.
Starting Hand Guides
It’s been a long time since I’ve thought much about starting hands, but I came across the starting hand system I used when learning the game (no memorization required!):
Bill Chen’s Starting Hand Formula. Note that the creator of the formula is game theory expert Bill Chen, one of the brightest and most underrated minds in Poker.
Weighted Coin Flips?
The most common problem I see among new players is the lack of understanding of statistical concepts, especially variance. The looser the game, the more likely the chance you will lose big (and also win big, but nobody complains when they’re winning). I came across another Bill Chen nugget of wisdom which explains variance in poker:
“When we sit down at a table, every hour we’re essentially doing a coin toss for a rack of chips. Now if you’re a skilled player you may have an overlay of half a stack (assuming 100 chips in a rack and 20 in a stack). So if you’re a skilled $3-6 player, it’s like flipping a coin and getting $120 if you win and losing $100 if you lose or if you’re a 15-30 player it’s $600 if you win, $500 if you lose. Now this is a pretty huge edge when compared to blackjack on a per-hand basis but we shouldn’t be too surprised at all if we get on a bad streak and lose $3000. How easy is it to flip tails 6 times a row? It’s bound to happen if you flip coins all the time — now 10 or 15 in a row is a little unlucky but nothing too phenomenal.”
Coming Soon
Yes, I’m biased, but I’ve seen an advance copy of what may be the best book on tournament poker yet. Trust me on this one. I also heard a rumor from a reliable source that a mind-blowing book on game theory is right around the corner…
Enjoy the poker boom and remember that poker is supposed to be fun.

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