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February 2007 Archives

February 7, 2007

Long time no eat 1st Rule

Well it has been a while since I wrote a post. And unlike the usual reason of “not playing poker” it is because I have been doing nothing but playing poker. Unfortunately it has not been all good poker. I think I played for 11 days out of 12. The first 7 days I was playing very poorly and was not sure exactly what my problem was. It really took a lot of self analyzing to realize where my leaks were. As a result I had to stop playing any suited connectors ever. Well for right now at least. The reason for this was that I was putting to many extra bets in on the flop. It is a form of tilt, trying extra hard to win every hand, and I am sure everyone does it sometimes. I would get stuck sometimes calling down or raising with second pair when everyone checks to the button and they bet. Now sometimes it was good, but with the number of other draws. over-cards that were possible for him to beat me, the fact that he could have top pair all made the move less profitable for me. At least until I can get my reads back off tilt. So I have been forced to play ultra passive for a little while. It has helped my game a lot. I do take a few more bad beats but I also catch more people with hands that I have dominated. AJ suited is a perfect example. If I raise the hand the only hands that call me will most likely beat me. But if I limp people with AT or KJ will call. You do want to be very careful that people don’t pick up on how you are playing or someone may move to your left and just raise you every time you play.

Like I said I have been playing all week long and have never gone on a “rush” . I would win one big hand, very big sometimes and every once in a while I would win two hands in a row. But I would almost always lose a large hand like two hands later. The last two days I played (one 8 and one 10) hour session I think I played the most patient poker in a while. Especially yesterday. I was able to control my small blind calls. (another very common leak) and even if I had not had a hand in a while I did not call KQ suited or AJ suited to any raise. What did happen to me that I cant ever remember happening to me is that for almost 5 hours I didn’t raise a pot pre-flop. I didn’t get AK AQ AJ (late) AA, KK, QQ, JJ KQ (suited late) in the entire time. I did get TT a few times but every time I did there was either already a raise and a call, which I then wanted to see the flop first, or there were a crazy number of limpers before me. One of those times I won a huge pot. I couldn’t believe that every time I looked down I had something big with a 4. And never pocked 4’s. I finally did get AQ suited and 3 bet someone who had been raising crap. I played it perfectly for a A, K, J flop but he sucked out his A6 on the river with the 3 outer. But I remained composed and in an impressively good attitude. I had played about 8 hours had no good cards and managed to stay even all day.

Well I want to get ready for another day of poker. I really think my game is coming back together so I want to play as much as possible. Ill try to get a few more posts in this week, I do have a story or two to talk about.

February 8, 2007

7 Card Stud Rules

Ok well since the name of my blog is 1st rule of poker I figured that maybe I should add more basic rules of poker to the list. So here is how to play 7 card stud poker. Some terms you should know for Stud Poker are forced bet (player forced to start the betting action), Ante ( amount all players put in before the hand starts to build the pot), 1st street (first 3 cards), 2nd street ( 4th card), 3rd Street (5th card), 4th street (6th card), 5th street (7th card).

7 Card Stud

This version of stud can be played with up to 8 players. You cant have more or else you will run out of cards to deal out. Some games are played with an ante before the cards are dealt and some just go with the forced bet. Players are first dealt 3 cards, two face down and one face up. The betting in stud always starts with the lowest face up card in the hand. This amount is predetermined and dictates the size of the game. Players are all dealt a 4th, 5th and 6th card face up with betting rounds after each card. The final and 7th card, if there are still two or more players in the hand, is dealt face down. This is the final round of betting which is followed by revealing all hands and the best 5 card hand wins the pot. The a 6th card is never used to determine a winner if there is a tie. In the event of a tie the pot is split in half.

The force bet is made only on the first round of betting, after that the betting action is started (but not mandatory) by the player that shows the best hand. They may check to the next player if they do not want to bet.

In a structured limit 7 card stud game the amount you may bet or raise is in pre determined increments. The player who must play the forced bet (pre determined amount up to the smaller amount in the structure). If you are playing a 5-10 game with a $3 forced bet then the person with the smallest card can either put in the $3 or $5. Every other player must either call that amount or raise in increments of $5. On the 4th card the normal betting size is the lower of the two structured amounts, however, if there is a pair showing any active player may choose to use the larger of the two.

7 card stud can also be played in a spread limit game like 1-5. This means that the forced bet would be $1 and at any time any player can choose to bet or raise in an amount from 1-5. If a player raises $2 the next player can re-raise $2, 3, 4, or $5. They may not raise less then the original bet nor more then the max limit. The total of all bets may exceed the limit.

There are more rules of poker on the home page if you are looking for a different game. If you have any problems or questions with this explanation feel free to ask and I will help to clarify anything. You can also print out these rules if you want to show others.

Texas Holdem Rules
Poker Hand Ranking

Analyzing a poker hand

I played a hand the other day that sparked some interest from a player who ended up losing the hand because of the way I played. It also started a discussion. First off I was in a rather loose game with lots of limpers and callers. I was playing lower then I usually do. The player under the gun limped and I limped behind him with AT off suit. There was one limper behind me along with the big blind in the hand to see the flop. The flop was Ts, 8h, 5h. The BB and UTG players checked and I bet. Everyone called and UTG raised me. I had some respect for this player and thought about re-raising him to get the others to drop, but I didn’t. Everyone called. The turn was a 5c. UTG bets into me again. I think about it for a while and then fold my hand. So does the person to my left and the BB raises. The river paired the 8s and the BB bets which is called by the UTG. I then told the UTG that I had him beat on the flop before seeing any of the cards. BB had A5 for trips (river full house) and UTG had QT hearts. He asked what I had and told him. He said that I should have 3 bet the flop to get everyone else out of the hand. I said that may have turned out to be correct in this hand but I went though all the hands he could have had and couldn’t think of one that I could beat. I usually would 3 bet top pair A kicker but in that spot he made such a strong move that it really showed power. I then said he would do it with hands like small set or over pair or even possibly AT. I then asked how many hands would he do that move with that I could still beat? Right away I thought about KT and said he wouldn’t make the move with KT so I must be either tied or way behind. ( I never thought of QT hearts) So my rule is if you are behind you want as many people as possible in the hand to give you better odds on your draw. That’s why I didn’t 3 bet the flop. Folding the turn was just a read I had on both players that I couldn’t be winning any longer so I didn’t want to get involved for 3 more large bets.

Let me know what you think of the hand and if you would have 3 bet or called the hand down.

February 13, 2007

Does this sound like you?

When ever I go to the card room I always seem to walk very fast to get to the sign up board. I really don’t know why. Its not like I am going to get there more then a few seconds faster then if I walked normal. I also seem to walk faster if I know there is going to be a large line. Its almost like I think I have to get there before one more person signs up on the 20 person list. I think I even map out the fastest route to the sign up board.

Sometimes I will be walking down the hall from the parking lot and I will get stuck behind a large group. You know the kind that wants to see every little feature of the casino, while all standing next to each other so that nobody can get by. I start to feel a little anxiety building up inside me like I am going to miss my chance to play poker today. Until finally there is a pause in the oncoming traffic that allows you to make a break for it around them and then back to the speed walking. I have several different parking places that I like for different days of the week. Some take less time to get in but some require more walking outside. It baffles me as to why I do this. I mean, I am really not ecstatic to play poker, I do it all the time. Also, I am usually a very patient person when it comes to playing cards. Although as stated above I am not very patient when it comes to people getting in my way.

So I was just wondering if I was alone in the world with this issue.

What Would You Do?

Ok I have two hands that I would like to see how many of you would play the same way that I did. First I would like to say that I was playing in a game that had been pacified by one guy that limped in every single hand and would stay to the river with anything. Oh and he was killing us all. So every hand was 4-6 players and usually limped preflop.

I was on the button with AT off. 4 people had limped before me and both the blinds called the hand. The flop was 7c 8h 10h. UTG opened the betting on the flop and two people called. I raised and the blinds folded, everyone else just called. The turn was Ts. The flop was checked to me and I bet. UTG raises and the other two players folded. I quickly 3 bet because I would have seen more action on the flop if she had a better hand, so the turn could not have helped her any more then it helped me. She just called the reraise. The river was a Queen, and she checked to me. Do you bet the river? Why?

Ok I am a little upset now because while writing this first post I cant remember the other hand I wanted to post. I am sure I will think of it again but for now ill just start with this one.

February 14, 2007

Poker Rule #96 The Chop

Chopping in poker, for those who don’t know, is when everyone in a hand folds and it is just the big blind and small blind in the hand. They both just take their money back and move on to the next hand. This is a courteous move but it is not always expected. It is primarily used in raked games and not time games. There are two reasons for chopping the blinds. The first is that most of the time the house takes the largest rake out on every flop, if there is no betting or only one bet and a fold in the hand then the house takes a big percentage of the pot. The lower the limit the larger the percentage. The second reason is that because neither of you looked at your hands you will most likely have bad hands and are happy to just move on to the next hand.

Etiquette of Chopping says that you decide in advance if you are either going to chop all the time (even if you have Aces) or never chop and play or fold every hand. Many people say why cant I just look at my cards and chop when I have a bad hand and play with my good hands? Here is my problem with that, it is a really good idea. You would get to raise and win big pots every time you have a big hand and if you had garbage you could just take your small blind back right. And the other person you are chopping with that will be more then willing to do that, right? Well if someone asks me to accept that deal I take it as an insult. That’s like saying I am so stupid that I will let you take advantage of me and only play against me when you have good cards. I find that very insulting. I relate it to two men going through a pair of doors. The first man opens the 1st door for the second man, who walks through. Would you open the second door for the first man or would you open the door for your self and walk through?

Now I in no way find it offensive to say that you don’t want to chop the blinds and want to play out every hand. I can respect that because we did come to play, especially in time games or when the blinds are large enough where the rake really does not matter anyway. I actually think that this is how everyone should play. It gives the largest advantage to the better player. But I am usually willing to just chop the blinds to remain friendly with everyone.

As a side note, if there is ever a player who chops his blinds and then suddenly does not want to chop and raises you, DON’T RE-RAISE HIM. Unless you have AK, AA, KK, QQ just fold. The reason for this is because most likely he has one of those hands. Show him your hand and say fine then you can just have it. They will usually show you their great hand and you will be happy that you saved a bunch of money with your AQ. Remember don’t take it personally, when you do it always costs you money. The right play is to make the read for extreme strength and just fold before it costs you anything.

February 18, 2007

Google, I thought we were friends?

This blog post is brought to you by my obsessive nature. I always like to check what my sites stats are, how many hits I have, how many return visitors and what key words people use to find my site. I know, from reading, other people like to do this as well. Well this month noticed something. Two new key phrases showed up, “I always lose in poker” and “drunk poker” now my first reaction was who is searching for drunk poker? Does that person really think that there is a correct way to play drunk poker, as if its different then regular sober poker.

I was also a little insulted by someone searching and finding MY blog for the terms “ I always lose in poker” I mean really what is Google trying to say? Now I don’t think I have ever used the second phrase before, so they are using their magical algorithms that say that I would be a good place to find out about “ I always lose in poker”.

Then I thought about it a little more and wondered if it was the same person searching the web. Maybe the guy looking for drunk poker also always loses in poker. That would make the most sense. In that case maybe they would be better off searching for sober poker, or good poker maybe even how to play poker. I think they would all be better then drunk poker.

For my own knowledge, I like to figure out why a person searched for a term, and if they made a mistake, I will usually guess what they were really looking for. It helps me to understand the psychology of searching. it’s a good skill to learn if you are trying to increase any sites traffic. If anyone is looking for a good tracking site I use statcounter.com It has lots if info and its all free. They ask you to pay for it if you get above a specific number of hits, but its not required. For use on a blog most people will not hit the free limits of like 9000 a month.

February 22, 2007

A little help on this one.

Ok I had a new visitor to my blog and he took the time to write two posts and I am more then happy to respond. His two posts are below if you would like to read through them all. They talk mostly about no limit poker so that really is not my strong suit but there are a few tips that I hope to add. I also hope many people who do play NL can help him more then I can.

I didn’t want to just include it as a comment in another post because it was an older post and I thought that others might have the same question. Also I need the help of my common readers to give the best response. Here is what they said:

Quote 1

How do I handle a loose player in a no limit or limit game that is constantly raising everytime you bet. When you have a short stack and the cards are not comming to you. You can't draw suited connectors or high pairs. and yours stack is getting dangerously short.

Quote 2
I do very good in local tournaments. usually placing third or better, and I also did fair on the internet in low limit limit cash games.
But I just resently went to a nearby casino with $300.00 and played in the no limit $100.00 max no limit game with $50.00 in chips to start.I intendend to start slow only playing go hands at first. hight pair and hight suited connectors.
The blinds were $1.00 & $2.00 I folded everything that came to me I couldn't get any starter cards. They soon spotted me as green and a tight player.when I bet went all in with my pocket rockets they all folded, even the one maniac that hammered the pot every hand. I had a short stack that I never got off the ground with, because of the maniac raising the hell out of my mid sizes pair after the flop knowing I had a short stack and if I didn't have an excellent hand I wouldn't risk it all,or most of it to call his constant raises. I was intimidated by the quick pace of the cosino games where I wasn't allowed to think very long on my betting.
I felt like a fool whom lost his $300.00 in a very short time.
I know I have the abillity to win in these games.Because I consistantly win at home with players that consistantly win at the cosino's
What is the difference in the two sinerios? and can you give me some help in developing a strategy that I can use in the casino's using the same size bank roll.
This is the only size bank roll I can use in cosino gambling.
I think the relitively small bank roll and the intimedation of the cosino are part of the problem. Is there a strategy that can help me overcome these obsticles.

Ok first step you should take when playing in a $100 max NL game is that if you are willing to lose $300 on the day then you should always buy in for the max of $100. When you buy in for only $50 that says that you are scared to lose $100. You cant play with scared money instead you want to scare them. If you only have $50 in front of you then you cant scare anyone else. When I see someone buying in for less then the max I think a few things. He does not have enough money to lose the max. He is afraid to bet the max. He does not think he will need the max. He is going to go all in all the time. They don’t know the lost value in buying in for less then the max. You don’t want to give players that much information before you even play a single hand. If you buy in for the max you look like everyone else in the game.

As for playing with the maniac, the first thing you should do is move to the seat directly to his left, or as close as you can. In online poker it is not easy to move seats at the same table. I a live game different seats have different values because of the players at the table. This will change all day long so its good to move your seat to maximize these potentials all day. If you sit to his left you will never get stuck calling a small bet and then being raised off the hand before you get to see the draw. One of the first things I do when I sit at a new table is ask the seat change order. Some places it goes by seniority at the table and some places have seat change buttons that you need to request from the dealer. If it is the latter you can hold onto the button and change seats once you figure out which is the best position at the table. There is a second thought I had about this and that is to move as far away from them as possible, 4 seats to their left. The reason for this is because you usually play most of your hands with the players directly around you. The further away from them the less hands you will play against them.

If you are playing in a game where a hand is always raised preflop then you should only play hands that you can come in with a raise. If you limp in games like that you will be isolated and picked apart every time you miss the flop. If you are playing in games where most pots have lots of players and are either just limped or very small raises then you can play small pairs. You still want to stay away from suited connectors unless you can usually see the turn for a good value. If every flop is raised and re raised then there is no point in playing drawing hands.

As for you not getting any hands and everyone folds when you finally do get aces there is not much you can do about that. You don’t want to change your game and play bad because that will be more counter productive then profitable. What it will do is give you a higher winning percentage with hands like AJ and TT. People are not going to fold their good hands before the flop but they will be scared of you on the flop. If everyone is playing you as an ultra rock and trying to come over the top of you all the time the only real defense is to play position even more. If you are the last to act you can get them to bluff away a lot of chips when you eventually do get a good hand. The only other option you have, which can be a good one, is to transfer tables. Most places you can ask the floor person and they will be more then happy to move you when another seat opens up.

The big difference with home games and casino games is often the comfort factor. That really only goes away by going to the same place more often. Some ways to get over that is to try to get to know peoples names for that day. Try to remember the dealers names and talk to them. Make sure you know the floor person for your area and introduce your self to the people near you. You don’t have to be chatty with them all day but just an initial conversation may be helpful for you.

There is really one magic bullet against these players. If everyone at the table tightened way up he would lose every time. These are actually my least favorite games, they are difficult to control. One positive thing I would like to say about your game is that your frustration is actually good. Playing good poker with bad cards is VERY frustrating and can be VERY boring if the correct situations don’t present themselves.

Those are just a few tips for you. I really think everyone else can give a lot of good advice on this and maybe even comment on a few of my points. I would personally like to know how many of you agree with me and or disagree. Either that or just help the guy out. I am happy to help others any way I can.

February 23, 2007

Nothing to analyze here

Just a quick question for anyone who knows; what does everyone get for all those full tilt banners on their blogs? Did they approach you and pay you? What’s the deal with that?

February 24, 2007

Another Poker Hand to Analyze

Ok here is another hand that I am curious about what others would do. There were three limpers in a limit game and the button raises. I have Ah, 8h in the small blind. I call looking for the flush draw and willing to drop the ace if it looks like trouble. Everyone just calls. The flop comes out Ad, 8d, 4d. Now the correct play probably should have been to check raise the flop to get players to drop, but I wanted to play the reverse scare by betting into the flop. This sometimes scared players more because they don’t want to get raised and re-raised. I was also scared that the flop would be checked around for a free card. So I bet out on the flop and the limper before the PFR raised me. P.F.R. folded. Now the person who raised me (OG -old guy) had been playing very tight. I had to give him a lot of respect for a strong hand. So I just called, so did BOTH of the other limpers. Let me know what you all think each player has here. I thought that one person has an Ace, one has a Flush and one might have just the K of diamonds. So the turn card comes out 6d. Now that there is a 4 flush I check to the OG who bets again. Its my turn to act with two other players behind me. What do you do here and why?

About February 2007

This page contains all entries posted to 1st Rule Of Poker in February 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2007 is the previous archive.

March 2007 is the next archive.

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