Poker

In the last few weeks I think I’ve seen more suck outs and bad beats and getting 2,3 or 4 outed on the river then I’ve ever experienced before in the 2 or 3 years I’ve been playing poker. And yes, most of them have been against me.

Now I know any experienced poker player will be shouting about the fact that, after all, this is poker, and this kind of thing happens all the time.

Granted.

But when you feel that you’re in a situation were your 80% hands (i.e. Hands were you are 80% favourite to win) are, in fact, losing more than 80% of the time, then I think a bit of a whinge, bitch and moan is in order.

Below are some examples from the last couple of days, of what has for me, become common place over the last few weeks:

Example 1:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 1.1 Tournament, 15/30 Blinds (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

MP2 (t1695)
MP3 (t1315)
CO (t1465)
Button (t2820)
SB (t1990)
BB (t2790)
UTG (t1170)
Hero (UTG+1) (t1460)
MP1 (t1785)

Hero's M: 32.44

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with Q, 9
UTG calls t30, Hero calls t30, 2 folds, MP3 bets t90, 3 folds, BB calls t60, UTG calls t60, Hero calls t60

Flop: (t375) 10, A, 4(4 players)
BB checks, UTG bets t30, Hero calls t30, MP3 raises to t120, 1 fold, UTG calls t90, Hero calls t90

Turn: (t735) K(3 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks, MP3 bets t510, 1 fold, Hero raises to t1250 (All-In), MP3 calls t595 (All-In)

River: (t2945) A(2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: t2945

Results:
Hero had Q, 9 (flush, Ace high)
MP3 had K, A (full house, Aces over Kings)
Outcome: MP3 won t2945

At the point that all the money went in on the turn, I was a 90% favourite to win the hand and my opponent had only 4 outs to win. This crippled me, leaving me with 145 chips, and I get knocked out a few hands later running Pocket 4’s on the Button into Pocket Queens in the Big Blind!

Example 2:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 0 Tournament, 25/50 Blinds (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

Button (t1350)
SB (t2100)
Hero (BB) (t1410)
UTG (t1425)
UTG+1 (t1425)
MP1 (t1415)
MP2 (t890)
MP3 (t4585)
CO (t3220)

Hero's M: 18.80

Preflop: Hero is BB with A, Q
7 folds, SB bets t100, Hero raises to t300, SB raises to t2100 (All-In), Hero calls t1110 (All-In)

Flop: (t2820) 10, 2, K(2 players, 2 all-in)

Turn: (t2820) 7(2 players, 2 all-in)

River: (t2820) 3(2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: t2820

Results:
SB had J, 10 (one pair, tens)
Hero had A, Q (high card, Ace)
Outcome: SB won t2820

A Blind on Blind battle with what was, with hindsight, a very loose opponent, and they hit on the flop. They had me covered, and that was that.

Example 3:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 0 Tournament, 1500/3000 Blinds 300 Ante (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

Button (t55470)
SB (t43958)
BB (t54385)
UTG (t23962)
UTG+1 (t34497)
MP1 (t15333)
MP2 (t91344)
Hero (MP3) (t43660)
CO (t74036)

Hero's M: 6.06

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with K, Q
4 folds, Hero bets t6000, CO calls t6000, 1 fold, SB calls t4500, BB calls t3000

Flop: (t26700) A, A, Q(4 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks, CO bets t6000, 2 folds, Hero calls t6000

Turn: (t38700) 3(2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets t16000, Hero raises to t31360 (All-In), CO calls t15360

River: (t101420) 5(2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t101420

Results:
Hero had K, Q (two pair, Aces and Queens)
CO had 10, A (three of a kind, Aces)
Outcome: CO won t101420

This time a cold deck/bad beat situation. Running this hand, and the flop through the Odds Calculator at pokernews.com, it reports the odds of winning as 86% against one opponent with unknown cards.

Example 4:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 1.2 Tournament, 25/50 Blinds (6 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

SB (t2280)
BB (t1630)
UTG (t3195)
MP (t1385)
CO (t4420)
Hero (Button) (t590)

Hero's M: 7.87

Preflop: Hero is Button with 7, 9
3 folds, Hero bets t590 (All-In), 1 fold, BB calls t540

Flop: (t1205) 7, K, 6(2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t1205) J(2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1205) Q(2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t1205

Results:
Hero had 7, 9 (one pair, sevens)
BB had 5, Q (one pair, Queens)
Outcome: BB won t1205

The history to this hand is that I got rivered twice in two previous hands which left me short-stacked and this was a Button shove. The point is, although I got it in with the worst hand, I actually hit the flop (Like my opponent in Example 2 did) which left my opponent in this hand drawing to either running cards after the flop or one of the 3 remaining Queens and then only one of the Queens by the turn, making me a 93% favourite to win the hand at that point, but got 3 outed.

And there you have it. These are actually the last 4 tourneys I’ve played online. 4 tourneys, 4 bad beats. That’s why I need a bit of a grumble :-(

They say (whoever they are!) that variety is the spice of life and the same can be said of poker.

When a major online tournament series is just around the corner (such as Pokerstar's SCOOP) and you look at the schedule of tournaments, you realise there is more to poker life than straight forward, full ring, No Limit Texas Hold'em.

You find that there are several different formats for Hold'em, such as 6-max, Heads Up, Shootouts and Knockout tournaments to name a few. But also there are a large variety of other forms of Poker around as well as the SCOOP reflects these different tastes in a variety of ways.

As well as you No Limit Hold'em there's Limit, Pot Limit and Mixed varieties.

Then there's Ohama. With Pot Limit, 6-max and Hi Low Split to name a few.

And then there are other varieties as well; such as Badugi, 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw.

For those not familiar with these other varieties of poker, Pokerstars have put up some videos both on pokerstars.tv and YouTube to give you a taste of what these are like.

For those who are interested in Badugi, Pokerstars have posted a video on YouTube "How to Play Badugi" and there is highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 15 - $320 FL Badugi here on Pokerstars.tv.

For those who are interested in 7 Card Stud, highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 13 - $320 7-Card Stud can be seen here and highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 32 - $530 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo can been seen here.

Also for those not familiar with Mixed games events here is a video on "How to Play 8 Game Mix" and highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 42 - $2,100 8-Game can be seen here.

Personally, I'm quite taken with 5 Card Draw, so will be playing Event 06-L; $11 Pot Limit 5 Card Draw. Pokerstars ran a Pot Limit 5 Card Draw event at last year's WCOOP and made a highlights show of the final table that you can find here.

So lots of ideas if there is anyone looking for a change from No Limit Hold'em.

With the upcoming Pokerstar's SCOOP Online Poker Tournament, as the S of SCOOP is for Spring, it set me to wondering if you could argue that Online Poker was environmentally friendly.

On the one hand you have thousands of people sitting in their own homes playing poker. This means they are not going out in their cars to travel, at times, long distances, to live venues such as casinos, so this cuts down on the potential for pollution for car journeys.

On the other hand you have large server farms running all the online poker systems (such as Pokerstars) which can require a large amount of power and electricity to function. As to the environmental impact of this, it is obviously not so easy to gauge as it is dependant on the companies that provide these server facilities and if they get their power from power companies that in turn use environmentally friendly power generation.

With the slow, but inevitable move towards power companies using more environmentally friendly power generation, you could argue that any negative impact of this will reduce over time, so, personally speaking, I would say, yes, online poker is environmentally friendly, or at least heading that way. 

Sometimes poker really, really sucks. You get times (in my case quite often) when you just can't get anything going. You become card dead or get sucked on constantly, or end up running into bad spots time and time again.

But......

There are times when playing poker is great and you come across the occasional hand that you can talk about again and again and again.

Last night I had one of those hands.

In the grand scheme of things, the significance of the hand will hardly be life changing, the last hand of a $1 SitNGo, with a first prize of a princely $5, but oh how that prize was won!

If I had to give this hand a title it would be '4 into 1 does go, sometimes!'.

How to beat 3 players in one go! Here it is:

[59/59]
##########################################
iPoker Game 2869301170 / Tournament
Table Toronto - 2010-03-03 01:39:31
Blinds : 200/400
##########################################

4 players
[SB] SaDJesteRRR (2190)
[BB] RickyPluto (1485)
[1] pinheiropkr (2985)
[But] ordinarymark3 (8340)

ordinarymark3 Q 9 Initial Pot: 600

pinheiropkr calls 400
ordinarymark3 calls 400
SaDJesteRRR is All in
RickyPluto is All in
pinheiropkr calls 1790
ordinarymark3 is All in
pinheiropkr is All in
### FLOP ### 2 8 A Pot: 15000
### TURN ### 5 Pot: 15000
### RIVER ### K Pot: 15000
SaDJesteRRR shows Q A
RickyPluto shows 8 9
pinheiropkr shows A T
ordinarymark3 shows Q 9
ordinarymark3 wins 5355 from side pot n°1 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 1590 from side pot n°2 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 2115 from side pot n°3 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 5940 from the main pot with A Flush, ace high

After waiting with baited breath/absolute anticipation Pokerstars have announced the schedule of events for the Spring Championship of Online Poker 2010, otherwise know as the SCOOP!

After winning a $33 ticket to a SCOOP event from one of the WBCOOP event last month I've been eagerly awaiting this news.

The one thing I will say, thank God this takes place in May this year. Last years SCOOP took place at the beginning of April which meant I couldn't play in any as a) it clashed with my birthday and my wife's birthday and b) we had my mother-in-law staying with us, meaning it would've proved difficult trying to have an all night poker session with a guest in the house, especially one who considers 11pm to be way past their bedtime (as most of tournements start at 7pm or later local time, chances are they will still be running well into the night) :-(

Unfortunately my mother-in-law is one of those people who still look at poker as gambling and it is difficult to explain that because you control what you do with the cards you are dealt, it's not easy to say to her "...which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill"

All I have to do this year is hope it doesn't clash with odd shifts at work

The following hand happened after getting Aces cracked with an opponent hitting a set of nines on the flop.

There were 10 outs between both of the remaining players after all the money went in on the turn:

My usual get-sucked-out-on-in-a-horrendous-fashion type hand (This kind of suck out is par for the course for me at the moment). According to the Pokernews.com Odds Calculator and the replay below, I was a 95% favourite to win the hand at the point all the money went in. Busted out of the Tournament 6 hands later running Pocket Kings into Pocket Aces :-(

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