I don’t post much. Ive been on here for about 8 years, So this post is wayyyy to long but, believe it or not, it was wayyyyy longer (cliffnotes at bottom). I have a lot of random thoughts and I deleted about half of them before posting this.
VERY very brief history (booooooring) cliff notes at bottom.
I was born and raised in a trailer outside Eugene, OR. My parents were hippie/survivalists. As such I learned to live off the land and had a VERY outside the box approach to life. At a young age I scored ridiculously high on a WAIS IQ exam and was immediately whisked off to special classes. Maybe because I scored too high (lol) or was just a general fuq up/malcontent, I never got along…ever. At an early age I was obsessed with games and from about the age of 9 I can remember betting people that I could beat them at Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk…etc. for their baseball/football/basketball cards (I got a ton of cards).
School was just a joke to me and, after my senior year of HS, I snuck into the U of O without ever applying or taking my SAT’s just so girls I liked wouldn’t think I was a loser who didn’t go to college. At the U of O I discovered frats, parties, sororities and POKER!
DATELINE 1990. I was broke, broke as a mother fuxxing joke, and these frat dudez were playing poker. $20 buy in 10 cent ante, pot limit, draw and stud…oooooh FUN! Well…this was right up my alley and by my sophomore year I was playing in no less than 4 frat games a week and making no less than $100 a week playing ??poker??!??. $100 a week was a mint, I also volunteered for experiments w/ the psychology dept. which paid another $100. That plus loans and grants and I was a pimp balllla.
I became obsessed with poker. In 1993 I realized that in Eugene there were bars w/
signs on the wall and they played POKER inside! I went into one and, although it was mostly draw, they also played ??holdem??? from time to time. I found a book called “super/system” at Powells and tried to learn holdem…I also learned a ton about stud and draw (which I thought I was a master at). For the next 4 years (after college)I played cards and worked at a golf course (my idiot years). During that time my brother moved to Los Angeles and repeatedly called and told me how awesome it was.
1998. I go to L.A. for the first time and never look back. Around this time my brother was going to the El Dorado and playing “limit holdem” wha wha what??? He also was a computer geek so he had found rec.gambling.poker and 2+2 to post questions on. Upon my arrival I immediately started playing the mid level stud and draw games as well as the ONLY pl game in L.A. …the 5-5 holdem at Hollywood park. After he started a family I also started using his 2+2 account under the name “Limon” (taken from the documentary My Brothers Keeper).
Long story short...ive been a host, a prop (live and on line)and played over a million hands at party 600nl+ at 5ptbb/100 (no big deal nowadays).
Now I play any game you can name any amount you can count (if I like it)…mostly what I like is 10-20nl at the commerce…
A lot of people ask…whos the best player in the world? Well…I think im the best player in the world. Why? Because ive achieved all my goals. I went through college with poker, Ive bought an engagement/wedding ring w/ poker, ive paid for 2 houses with poker. Ive bought and/or invested in multiple businesses with poker. I live a life at my speed w/ poker. Can I beat most of the people who would like to play “hu 4 rollz”…probably, because they want the same things I have but they haven’t figured out how to get it yet soooooo they have to be intellectually inferior to me. Can I beat phil ivey HELLLLZ NO! because he wants to be the best evaarrr (he may well be) and I have no interest in that. YOU MIGHT BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD! That’s the beauty of poker…just figure out what you wan t and achieve it….no one can take that away from you! (hopefully these weren’t the lyrics to a Whitney Huston song)
ON PAYING ATTENTION
Most players think they pay attention but they don’t.
If you’re in a good “reg-less” 10-20nl game or ANY game smaller than 10-20nl:
1. how many times per hour do you see at least one of your opponents hole cards when they are checking their hand?
2. Once in about how many sessions does one of your opponents flash one or more of their holecards nearly every hand?
The answers should be 2 and 5 or better (sometimes you need to deduce the card from the pips), (if you play 5-5 or lower and always sit in seat 5 your answer could easily be 10 and 2). If these are not your answers then you are not paying attention.
Note: I make no effort (NONE!) to see the holecards of my opponents but I always watch everyones hands as they check their cards especially the players to my left. The way a player checks, protects and prepares will tell you a lot about what his intentions are. I would say I make at least one small bet per hour doing this, that’s 20k a year, little things count.
ON THE “MODEL MINORITY”
10 years ago if I saw a table of gypsies and a table of dudes wearing jade I wouldnt know which one to join… I was going to print money in both. Now I would run, not walk, from the jade table and pay double rake to stay at the gypsy table.
You might be a gypsy if:
1. You have more hair on your knuckles that your head
2. You’ve end sentences w/ “my good friend”
3. You have one or more gypsy pilot fish sitting or standing behind you at all times
4. Your circumference is larger than your height
5. You have to sit out for certain dealers
6. You count the minutes until you can ask for a new setup
7. You have a watch the size of a dinner plate but live w/ your parents
8. (feel free to add more)
Side note: the jade table is filled w/ tough aggressive players BUT…another reason I wouldn’t play the “jade” table nowadays is because I most assuredly would be cheated…INADVERTENTLY!(I hope)…but its cheating none the less.
ON BET SIZING
Im always amazed at how poor the bet sizing is in the games I frequent. Even among “good” players. The next time you go to make a robo/standard pot size bluff …STOP! and ask yourself, “could I bet $10 less and get the job done? $20 less?” Really think about which chip is the breaking point and bet size to that chip. Same goes for that PS value bet, would PS +$10 be a deal breaker? If not then why are you wasting $10 on all your value bets? In fact I think players bet size much worse when they are running hot than they do when they are running cold. Many times I have said to myself when I see a player rushing, buried in chips, “wow he is losing a lot of money, why’d he leave that guy with his last $100 on the end?”. I would say I make at least one small bet per hour doing this, that’s 20k a year, little things count.
ON DEEP LIVE PLAY
Someone here recently was brave enough to say that while he was an established HSNL online winner he was having trouble in deep live games. I have seen this many times. Here’s a suggestion: get a few of your friends together, hopefully a mix of very good players who play much bigger than 1-2nl and a couple of rich friends if you have any. Now put together a 1-2nl home game with a minimum buy in of 1000. My guess is you will find a lot of adjustments will need to be made but you will have no problem making them. Don’t get too drunk because I want you to think about the interesting situations of the night and ask yourself if you could be as clear headed at 10x the stakes.
Most young on line winners are like young fighters who have never gone past 6 rounds. Its just that the on line guy has never gone past 6 bets. By the time he gets to the turn raise he thinks the hand is over but his opponent knows it just started.
Full disclosure: I am NOT a fan of playing deep unless you are covering a player who you can felt w/o coldecking him. I see sooooo many young guys putting their balls on the table for no reason. The only way the money will get in the middle is if one coldecks the other and that is just a crapshoot, there is no overlay. ( I, on the other hand, get a huge overlay having a med/small stack in between them)
ON ADAPTING TO LIVE GAMES/DEALMAKING/CRAZYPEOPLE (AKA…DON’T BE A NIT)
There are lots of things the uninformed find annoying and try to abolish or avoid
2. Checking it down
3. Splitting pots
4. Dealing it twice
5. Folding for less
7. All in blind
…and many others
I LOVE these things. Show me a table where these things are happening and ill set up a tent. The thing you need to ask yourself is: why are these people doing these things? What does it mean when they do them? When should I do these things? How do I exploit these situations?
Also note lots of this shyt goes on in very juicy home games and if you want to play in these games or get invited back you need to expand your mind.
Second note: for those of you who think some of this stuff is soft collusion well…it sorta is but id much rather it happen in front of my face where I can adjust/join in than have it happen silently and settled up in the parking lot after im broke.
ON POKER AS A RELIGION, WINRATES, ON-LINE GODS, THE TV ERA, ETC…
This is something ive believed for a long time and I see its even becoming a mainstream assertion. A CASINO IS A CHURCH. In the wayyyyy olden days gambling was a religion and religion was gambling. People went to the witch doctor and “rolled the bones” to see if they were in gods favor. Cards came from Tarot which came from early religions. The sick part is that as people get less and less religious they turn more and more to gambling as religion and big WINNERS (not great gamblers) as their gods.
Have you ever talked to a jesus freak? When it comes to the bible they lose all logic. Jonah lived in a whale, 2 of every animal was on the ark, the bible says to stone adulterers but somehow the bible is wrong…EXEPT when it comes to gays then its right and crystal clear...yawn.
This is the same as talking to a poker freak. All of their “gods” are flawless on the way up. Doyle raises UTG, “god” calls in the bb w/ 57o…HOW CAN THIS BE CORRECT?!? Because “god” knows a way to win in this situation! Until god is broke but who cares he’ll be replaced.
This really was hi-lighted in the discussion over 10-20nl win rates. I gave many real world logical reasons why NO ONE was making 400k+ yr. over any reasonable timeframe in the 10-20nl game and yet the faithful refused to believe it. I was perplexed until I remembered, “theyre Jesus freaks, not actual winning poker players”. If this assertion, 400k+ a year, isn’t true then…their GOD is dead!
I wrote about this years ago. Its one of my essays about how poker is hard, boring, and no way to get rich (unless you diversify**).
Another place you see this is in televised cash games. Contrary to many of the posts on 2+2 these games are BORING! Doyle is boring, Patrick is boring, ivey is boring, jman is fuqqing boring, reese was boring, chan is boring, greenstien ohhh so eye gougingly boring and, don’t say it, ZOMG!, im gonna say it…DURRRRRRRRRRRRRR is boring! (sans 1 hand but that just proves the point). Guy isn’t boring, gold isn’t boring, the gyno isn’t boring, negreanu isn’t boring, hellmuth isn’t boring, elezra isn’t boring, matusow isn’t boring…etc…do we see a pattern?
Over the billion(possibly 2 billio0n) hours of televised poker for the last 6 years you can come up w/ (MAYBE) 20 minutes worth of clips from IVEY, DURR, PATRICK, DOYLE, REESE, CHAN that shows them doing ANYTHING different than ABC poker.
Im not going to convince any of the born again that winning poker is basically a hard ass, thankless, grind of a job…but for those of you who can rub two brain cells together…be forewarned.
**here’s the light at the end of the tunnel…once you see poker for what it really is, if you have the talent, intellect and self control to succeed its actually a pretty kick ass way to diversify and live a REAL life
THESE GUYS ARE GOOD
Heres something that internet kids don’t understand. There are people milling around casinos, golf courses, horse tracks, etc. who are just damn good at gambling. They don’t gamble OR go to college. They don’t gamble OR take that job at the law firm. They don’t gamble OR anything…there is no OR. These people, and they are few mind you, just seem to know near perfect odds on anything…instantly. If you start any sentence with “I bet” youll quickly here a number come out of their mouth and it will sound like a good number but you will learn the hard way it wasn’t quite as good as it looked. And if they offer a bet…RUN! In the poker room these guys frequent mixed games and they thrive on weird variants because they know they can solve the game quicker than you can.
BEWARE OF TABLES "PROPPED" BY A GROUP OF FRIENDS
When GOOD friends or who are decent at poker sit together at the same table they either advertently or inadvertently besthand collude. Good friends generally either play off the same bankroll or take percentages of each other AND have a gentlemans agreement about bluffing each other and playing in each others pots. 2 guys at a table doing this is bad 3 guys makes the game nearly unbeatable unless for each of them there is a world class loser to balance things out. Maybe you are one of the people im talking about. Maybe you don’t think you’re cheating people well…YOU ARE! Have the common courtesy to openly check hands down in front of the rest of the players so they have the option of getting up and leaving.
SOME MORE POKER ADVICE…
I love all of the posts that say disregard everthing I did before I got check raised all in on the river and just tell me what to do now. Its like, “hey Dad its me billy and im in jail. Don’t ask me why I got drunk (standard). Don’t ask me why I drove (yawn). Don’t ask me how my car ended up in a 7-11 (meh). Just tell me how to keep from getting buttfuqqed tonight.
The truth is the beginning of the hand is the MOST important part…BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Just like w/ 9 ball every shot sets up the next shot(s).
Heres what I do:
1. I look around the room and figure out which table I want to be at
2. I sit down and buy in for the amount of the the loosest player at the table
3. If I don’t know anybody I buy in for 70 BB’s
4. I watch very closely and try to come up w/ an individual plan for how im going to break every player at the table. The plan includes a lot of factors but im really keen on whether the player is a “fit or fold” type, what the players weakest holding they’ll go broke with are, what the player is capable of in regards to running bluffs and how many bets the player needs to see before he considers a bet “significant”
5. Now I might add more money…a lot more money.
Notes: 4c5c is “any two cards”. Trouble hands go up in value once the money gets really deep. If your plan is to raise in position and then pick up the pot on the flop be sure youre in w/ an opponent who will go along with that plan. If your plan is to call out of the BB, flop a hand and then felt your opponent be sure youre in w/ an opponent who will go along with that plan.
CLIFFNOTES: READ THE FUQQING POST YOU SNIVELING LIMP WRISTED YOGURT GUZZLING NEEDLE DICK.