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December 2006 Archives

December 2, 2006

What’s YOUR Most Profitable Buy in

I have been changing my buy in for the game I play a lot lately. I have tried really short buy ins and really large buy-ins. I cant really say that one is always better then the other. They do have an effect on your game.

You should figure that on average a hand goes to the river with one raise of a big bet. Many hands don’t go to the river and many more have multiple raises. So you should figure that you should never have less then 5 big bets in front of you. Never be in jeopardy of going all in in limit holdem, it takes your skill advantage away from you.

A short buy in: Usually around the table min or 10x the big bet. I would never recommend this for a NL game. But for a limit game it can be used with some success. First off it may make you play a little tighter when you first get into the game. If you really try not to make your second rebuy then it may make you focus earlier. Also if you lose most of the min then make your rebuy, it will be a chance for you to analyze your game to check for mistakes. Sometimes people lose far to much money when they first sit down because they are excited to play. Some negatives are that it will make you realize that you are losing. If you are a negative thinker or worse, expecting to lose, this will reinforce your thoughts before you have given your solid play a chance to win. That can make you play worse. Small buyins also influence others first impressions of you. Small buy in’s can either mean that you are expecting to win or not lose a lot. People may also think that you are new to the game and have no idea how much you are going to need to play in the game.

Average Buy in: An average buy in is usually 20x the big bet. This is average because its average. People are not really going to think differently about you and it should handle most swings in any game. If you are playing well.

Large Buy In: 30-40x the big bet. A large buy in to a game will make you feel secure in the game and not think about losing all your money for a while. If you are playing good poker and on a cold streak this is a good tool to keep your mind on good poker and away from another losing day. It can make you lose more money then you expect to lose, and allow you to go on tilt far longer then you should with out reevaluating your game. People look at people who over buy as either people expecting to play another game, Someone who is new and does not know how much to start with and someone with lots of money.

There is really a lot more you can talk about on each buy in amount but I figured id just touch on each topic and if there was any interest I would discuss more. If you disagree feel free to voice your opinion.

December 5, 2006

Electronic Poker Tables

I have been seeing a few different dealer-less poker tables showing up at casinos. I don’t like them but I think that the wrong motivations will bring them into the Live Poker World. Now it is exactly like playing online with similar buttons and a giant screen in the middle of the table for all to see any community cards.
Here is why I don’t like them. They don’t require you to handle chips. How a player plays with, stacks, bets and raises with their chips makes a difference. One tell you will never have is when a player accidentally bets twice the bet on the flop, or half the bet on the river. There is so much information from how players fold cards after a big hand. Players also give tells about if they are going to call or fold after you. Poker should be about acquiring information from watching a player. Taking away half of his actions will take away skill advantages.

Here are the problems I foresee. Casinos are driven by the bottom line. They don’t care about the good of the game and only want to make more money. The electronic table is great for them because for a one time fee they can open a game anytime they want. They no longer need to have extra dealers or try to guess how many dealers they will need during a night. So the house will be financially motivated to bring them into the room.

Now the people who have been playing live all their life will not be quick to move to these tables but the new players who have only played online will easily switch to these games. If a game is full of players who are not use to playing live then its probably a good game. Some Sharks will reluctantly switch to these chum filled waters. Giving the house the impression that players want to play these tables. They then go out and buy more tables.

I love the fact that hands are dealt faster, players have time limits and in general there are less arguments. But I would never want to trade what little good for all the bad. I am sure that a lot of Live players have seen some of these tables out there. My advice is to voice your opinion to floor people and tell them how you feel. Let me know as well, I would like to know if I am the only one with this opinion.

December 7, 2006

Good Days and Bad Days

Everyone has there ups and downs. When I play I am at my best if I start out down a little and then after 2-3 hours go on a little rush. If I am up more then what I can lose it two hands I play great after that. I no longer think about if I am going to win I think about how much I am going to win. I play my worse if I win a bunch when I sit down and then don’t win another hand for hours. Then all I can think about is why didn’t I leave after the first five min of play.

Now I am sure I have read this online other places but I just thought it was worth repeating because its such good advice. Play long days when you are winning and play short days when you are losing. For me I only bring a small amount of money and no ATM cards so I need to go home if I go down. But if I am playing and am up a lot I try to keep playing. The main reason for this is because if you are up it means either you are playing well, or they are playing bad. Both are profitable.

I get ideas in my head like maybe I should lock it up. I don’t want to lose it all. Stuff like that. But as long as you are playing well you should stick around and play more. Now there have also been times where I was up a lot of money and I looked at how I was playing and I just plain got lucky. Sucked out a few flush draws that I shouldn’t have been involved in and 3 bet players far to many times but just got lucky and won. Now on those days I say, maybe you really should lock it up. That kind of luck is not going to keep going, and if you keep it up you will give it all back.

Also don’t fall into the trap that because you are up a lot you can play more hands. I have done that before and just wasted money on stupid hands. If you really cant break that habit then you should leave. My goal is to ALWAYS play perfect poker. If at any time I am not playing the best of my ability then I try to fix it or leave.

December 8, 2006

Trips vs. Set

Ok some people may call me crazy for this post but I believe there is a difference between Trips and a Set. I have had more then one argument at a poker table about these so let me know what you think. We will kind of have a little vote in the comments. Now I think Trips are ANY time you have three of a kind. But I think a Set is Three of a kind with the pair in the hole. Don’t ask me why I even thought of this, but it is one of the many stupid conversations I have had after 8 hours at a table with 9 strangers.

December 10, 2006

Why I Like Limit Holdem

I would think of Limit Holdem like a Cadillac and No Limit Holdem like a Porsche. No actually that’s not a great example but it’s the only one I thought of in the first few seconds of this blog. Anyway, in NL Holdem players at any time can make a full bluff with a big or sometimes small bet. But they can decide at any time to bluff at the hand. In limit hold’em a player must usually decide if he/she is going to bluff at least one street before they make the real bluff. To get away with a real bluff you have to play the full part of the hand you are trying to portray. If you want them to think you have AA you should re-raise preflop and on the flop if possible. If you want them to think you flopped trip 4’s, then you need to have just limped preflop, check the flop and smooth call any bets, and raise the turn. My Point is, there is more Art in a Limit bluff then in a NL bluff. Now I am not going to say that you cant put art into a No limit bluff, but you don’t always need it to be successful.

Another reason for liking limit holdem is that its very hard to lose all your chips if you play perfectly. I have played in many a nl tournament and got it all in with the best hand only to lose to a two outs and been down to the felt.

I also I like Limit Texas Holdem more is because you need to keep players in longer if you want to get paid off. In no limit texas holdem some times the best way to get all their money is to go all in preflop or on the flop.

I know many players say that in no limit you can protect your hands. I think that’s just bullshit. You cant protect your hands any better in NL then you can in limit. People are still going to call all their chips with draws and get there, maybe less often, but you’ll lose more when they do.

I also find that nobody really knows how to play limit holdem any more. it’s a very different game then no limit and the hands you should play are different as well. Everyone learns how to play N L because of TV. People also say you cant win enough in limit, to that I say just move up in limits, eventually you’ll get to a limit that you are happy with a win. I would call no limit dummies poker, except for the fact that you have to be extremely good to be a great NL Player. So that would be uncalled for. What im trying to say is that people who have never played before can just go all in all the time and until they get caught by a great hand they will do well. They don’t need to make any reads on other players just bet a lot. People just call you down if you do that in a fixed game. You may win, but you will need the best hand to win.

Now I know this cant be the feeling of most people out there, so I would like to hear from some NL players.

December 15, 2006

Poker Blog Links

If you have a interesting poker blog that you think my readers would like to read, drop me a comment. Put up a link to our site and post a comment in this blog entry and we would be more then happy to add you to the blogs I read. The post will not be made public right away, and you can request it to stay that way if you would like. Be sure that you are a blogger, not an affiliate or commercial site posing as a blogger. You can even add a little description of your blog below so that people know what they can find.

We are always looking for good writers among the many dull blogs so send us in the right direction. Here are the blogs we try to keep up to date reading.

Building Confidence

I was in a bit of a slump playing and had a number of days where I would make small wins and larger losses. Each time I would go back I was always trying to win more then I lost the last time I was there. I think that was hurting me, not focused on just playing well I was setting a goal that was possibly to large for the way I was playing.

To get out of this slump I decided to build my mental confidence back up. When I go to the casino I want to think I am going to win. I don’t want there to be any doubt in my mind. After a number of losing days you cant help but think you might lose. This is what I have done in the past and seems to be working again. First off I make sure I am playing well. I usually try to play at least 4 hours but after that if I am up at least 10 big bets I just go home. I like to do this a few days in a row. Now I can say that I have won the last 5 days in a row. None of them were large wins but the confidence it gives me knowing that if I play well I will win, makes it easier to fight through the bad luck and avoid tilt. Also I finished the week up 65 big bets. As the week went on I tried to play longer, but once I was up, making sure I never was losing again. If I got close I would leave. The key is to make sure that you go home and don’t play again until you sleep. I find this particularly tough with online poker. I always want to go back and win some more.

I have always found that its easy to chip away at the big losses and make it up over a few days. If I had tried to win it all back at once I focus on what I am down. Try to think positive and positive things will usually happen.

December 17, 2006

Wash Your Hands Often

The last few days I have been sitting around doing NOTHING. It really ruined the weekend. Some where along the way I caught an eye infection, aka. Conjunctivitis. Let me just tell you it really puts a damper on everything you do. Even writing this post is kind of painful. I can only look at the screen for a few minutes at a time and then I need to do something else. I don’t want to go to the casino, just because I don’t want to spread it to anyone else. I also cant look at the screen long enough to play online. So lets just say that I have been doing a lot of long awaited cleaning of my house.

This will probably keep me away from the card room for a few more days unfortunately. I have been doing as much reading of other blogs as possible. It has been helping to pass the time, live vicariously through others, but all the text isn’t good for my eyes.

So this is one minus for live poker and one plus for online poker. You don’t catch any where near as many communicable viruses. I try to follow all the rules like don’t touch your face and wash your hands often but I guess I missed one bugger. So just let this be a lesson, maybe not only a poker lesson, but a good life lesson. Keep your hands very clean, all those chips and money I was playing with really can hurt you.

December 20, 2006

What are the chances of THAT happening?

Something that always seems to bug me while playing is when something unusual happens and everyone is shocked! They cant believe when someone loses to quads on the river, or hits their one outer of any kind. It really bugs me when they say “what are the chances of THAT happening? “ Don’t people realize the number of different hands that could happen that would make them say that? There are a lot. In fact the chances of something amazing happening today is really good. If you ask, what are the chances of exactly that happening, may be rare. But common people, if you have played poker for any length of time you should know, it happens all the time.

December 22, 2006

Still No Poker

Well I have been busy doing lots of shopping and other fun things so I still have not been able to get to the casino. But I have finished all my Christmas shopping. I managed to get everything I was looking for with out going to the mall. It is always mobbed so I try to stay away, but one gift made me drive by the mall. It took me 30 min just to get past it. Its only about a mile long road and it was really backed up. So with family starting to show up this weekend and Christmas around the corner its looking like I have been forced into a long break from poker.

I found a website online that you can upload a little image as a link. So I did in hopes to get a little more traffic. http://www.pokerblox.com There is also a blog and other great topics to read about if you want to check them out. http://50outs.blogs.com/

Good luck to all those who have time to play, happy holidays to everyone else!

December 26, 2006

In Review: Christmas

Well this Christmas I got two funny cards. I am not sure that I can explain them as well as if I were to have shown them. But I don’t have my scanner going so I will give it a shot. The first one I got was just a hand drawing of a Christmas tree on the front. The inside has a note that says, “Money is tight, times are hard. Here’s your fucking Christmas card” I liked that one and thought it was a good idea, maybe someone else can use it for next year.

The second card I got was with a gift, the cover had a boy and a dog making snowmen. Inside said “here is a present from the dog” someone else had given me a gift from the dog. I thought that it was a good idea.

On top of all the gifts it was good to see all the family. With everyone moving around and starting new families it gets harder each year to get everyone together. So its nice to get everyone together.

The plan is that I will be headed to the casino tomorrow for some poker. I think I may be a little rusty after such a long break. I usually find it much more difficult to be patient when I don’t play at least once a week. After all the gifts I could use some extra money. Well to everyone expecting a poker blog I feel like I have not been fulfilling my obligations. Hopefully we will be back on track before the new year.

December 30, 2006


I finally got out to the poker room, I guess its still there. I am not sure if anyone ever moved. The poker today was a waste of time, I just put in a number of hours and didn’t make any money. Actually lost a little. That’s a disappointment because most of the day I was up money. Oh well it happens. This is what I got for you today. it’s a thought sparked by a comment I said to someone. This guy was not a regular and kept only enough money to basically see the flop. He kept buying in for another 4 bets (never went all in) So he finally comes back to the table and posts behind the button. The pot is raised by the big blind and there were several limpers. He, now the last to act on the raise, folds. Anyway he folded a 10,4 suited. He would have flopped a flush draw and turned the flush, thus winning the hand. He makes a comment on how he should have called and I said “if you won that hand you would have gone broke” he kind of looked at me funny and I explained that winning with that poor of a hand would only have made him play more bad cards. Citing that hand as evidence that they CAN win. I said if you fall into that trap you will have quickly gone broke after that. He was at much to high a limit for him anyway and I felt bad, knowing that he would most likely go broke anyway. So the situation got me thinking about the saying “careful of what you wish for” winning one hand with bad cards could ruin the rest of your day.

Other then that it was an uneventful day. One guy tried to explain how its ok to play all suited connectors even 3,4. I laughed to myself and didn’t really correct him because he was talking to another player. Although I don’t like any small suited connectors in limit games cards less then 5,4 start running out of straight draw outs. He is more then welcome to continue thinking the way he does but if you are trying to get better don’t ever play 3-4...

Good for me to get to the tables, bad for the bank roll I didn’t have a good day.

About December 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Ex Poker Pro in December 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2006 is the previous archive.

January 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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