Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rush Poker Part 3

Yes three posts in a row about the same thing. But I probably didn't even have three posts all of last year, so you should take what you can get.

I'm really enjoying rush poker. I hope whoever came up with this at FullTilt got a promotion because its genius and they stand to make a ton of money on it.

I played 150 hands at the micro limits in about half an hour and doubled my buy in. Some more notes:

  • Stealing blinds is easy. People seem much less willing to defend their blinds when a better hand is milliseconds away. (small sample size, super low stakes, yadda yadda)
  • I always make sure that my preflop raise is the same amount, whether I have aces, or 9Ts, or I'm on a bluff so as not to give any indication of what I have. There's not really a point in doing that in Rush because no one will remember what your normal raise is. Maybe try to squeeze in a bigger raise with your super premium hands.
  • One of my weaknesses as a player is that I don't pay attention to my opponents as much as I should. I'll notice certain players, but in general I get distracted by other things than hands I'm not in. The Rush poker format neutralizes that by randomizing your opponent, and I think my skills against a random opponent are better than average.
  • I'm playing poker somewhat regularly again. Woot. Although Mass Effect 2 comes out tomorrow so this might be a short lived journey back into the poker world.

Originally posted at

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rush Poker Part 2

Hey wow two posts in one day! See the post below for an explanation of rush poker.

So I tried a little rush poker. I played less than half an hour at the $0.05/$0.10 table. Big money I know. In that time I played 110 hands playing a single table. Its intense. You fold and split seconds later the action is back on you. Here's some observations from my first exposure.

  • Its fast. The average hands per hour at a rush table was around 275 compared to 80 at a normal table.
  • I couldn't figure out how to leave a table because it won't let you stand up while you're in a hand, and as soon as you fold you're in another hand. (check the sit out next hand box, then stand up)
  • You can't build an image. There's not really a point in trying to build an image, or play sneaky or opposite what you were playing because you're not going to be at the table with these people next hand.
  • Play is tighter. I'm used to micro limit tables having more people see the flop than not. If you can exchange your rags, or even your somewhat playable cards for a new hand immediately why waste time with garbage?
  • Its fast.
  • Sometimes I miss watching a hand to completion. You know those hands where you kind of want to stay in, but know you shouldn't? And you fold, but want to stick around to see what the other players have? You can't. As soon as you fold you're off to a new hand and you don't get to see what happened in the one you just left. I think you can go back and look at the hand history, but by the time you do three or four more hands have completed and you don't remember what you were looking for anyway.
  • Its fast. Did I mention its fast? There were some pros playing at the $0.50/$1 tables four tabling. I have no idea how they can do that.
  • If I remember correctly, they have an iron man promotion that rewards you for getting X number of FullTilt points each day in a month. It wouldn't take long to get there playing Rush style.
  • I actually made a profit. I more than doubled my $10 investment. That in itself is a miracle as I am not a good cash game player. I think the tighter play, both for me and my opponents contributed to that. Plus the small sample size and quitting while I'm ahead thing.

Originally posted at

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Rush Poker

FullTilt poker has invented a new poker format. They're calling it Rush Poker.

The concept is this: Everyone joins into a big rush poker game. This is a multi-table ring game. As soon as you fold a hand you are taken to a brand new table and dealt a new hand. So if you know you are going to fold pre-flop you don't have to wait until the showdown to play another hand. Its the ADD player's dream come true.

In case you are wondering, they've put safeguards in so that even though you are at a new table because you hit the fold checkbox, no one at your original table knows it until the action reaches you. They also made it so you can't show up at a new table with any of the same players that are still in the hand of your old table, and if you are multi-tabling, you can't end up at a table with yourself. You can see all of the details on the FAQ page.

This sounds like a great idea from FullTilt's perspective. I would guess that players participating in this type of poker are going to play 5 times as many hands in the same amount of time, resulting in that much more rake for the site.

Its also good for the short attention span players that get bored waiting for hands that they aren't in to finish. The only problem I see is that it will almost be impossible to get a read on any of the players since you only see them for a hand, and often times wont' see the completion of that hand. Honestly, that probably won't matter much for me, because I tend to get bored and do other things like surf the interwebs instead of watching the hand and trying to evaluate my opponents. That being said, there are some players whose style I will make note of and adjust my play accordingly.

The other thing that might be nice is that it should cut down on the trash talking at the table. The asshole who has to insult everyone at the table for their inferior play isn't going to have an audience for more that a minute.

All in all, its an interesting concept. I don't really play much online anymore especially cash games, but if I happen to play in the near future, I think I'll check this out.

Originally posted at

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

PokerStars Blogger Tournament

These are always fun. I wasn't able to make any of the tourney's last year, but a year or two ago I came in 11th place and won an xbox. I think I prefer winning shwag instead of tourney entries for these types of things but, whatever. I'm not going to complain about a freeroll entry.

If any PokerStars rep is looking for some free advertising, I'd be more than happy to wear a pokerstars shirt that they send me to my next home game. Or PokerStars chips, or a Plasma Pokerstars TV. Free stuff for me, cheap advertising for them. Sounds like a win-win. I'm just sayin'.

Originally posted at

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kyl Still Wants the UIGEA enforced

There's an article over at about AZ senator Jon Kyl who is holding up confirmation of some treasury depart nominees because he's made the enforcement of the UIGEA has been delayed six months. According to the article that six month delay is intended to give Barney Frank time to come up with a bill legalizing online gambling.

Originally posted at

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Monday, January 04, 2010

New Year's Poker

The new year began with an almost unheard of event. After almost a year off, our regular “monthly” poker group actually got together and played some poker. To make things a little more special ,we even upped the buy-in from our usual $25/game to $100. We also increased our starting chip stack from $T700ish to $T1500.

We had 13 entrants, and I came in fifth, or maybe fourth. We both busted out on the same hand and I think the other guy had a few more chips than me.

Looking back at my play, I think I played fairly well that evening, with a few exceptions that I’ll get to later. I think luck just wasn’t on my side this evening. With getting into too many bad beat details I’ll just say that I had people dominated and all in on numerous occasions and they would hit their three outer to stay alive and seriously damage my chip stack. I lost an AJ vs KQ preflop all-in when my opponent flopped a straight. I lost AQ vs A9 all-in pre-flop when my opponent rivered a straight, plus a few other smaller hands that I don’t remember the exact details. I say this not to bitch about losing but as evidence that I think I was playing fairly well.

A big moment for me came relatively early on in the tourney. I had recently lost a fairly large pot and was failrly short-stacked. I had A9 under the gun and put in my standard 3xBB raise. Everyone folded except the BB who called. BB is a very loose aggressive player, and not someone who I would have wanted to call me. My plan is to go all in no matter what is on the flop. Its really my only choice at the time. Flop is rags, 236 or something similar. BB goes all in. Crap. He stole my move. He knew that was going to be my move so he had to beat me to the punch. I think normally I lay this down. I don’t think he has anything, but I can see him playing any hand in this scenario, especially from the big blind. He could K6, or A2 or a low pocket pair, and just gotten lucky. Or he too could have missed the flop completely. He could even think he’s bluffing yet still be ahead of me. Ultimately I figured I had to be better than him. If he has something he would have almost certainly checked, assuming that since I raised pre-flop I would bet here. If he has something he risks scaring me away with is all-in bet. So I do make the call, he does have nothing and I go on to win a big pot and coast into the final table.

There was a flaw in our tourney structure. We started with 13 players at two tables, and combined when we got down to 9. I don’t know if people were playing tighter than normal due to the increased buy in amount, or if the larger chip stacks played a roll, but no one went out until the fifth or sixth blind level. By that point the blinds were starting to become painful for everyone.

Once we combined the blinds were so high that any hand you played would almost certainly put you all in. That combined with the fact that the new bigger table meant you could see more hands for free, made everyone tighten up. No one hardly played more than a hand or two each orbit. No one saw a flop. It was real slow, and real boring. I don’t know if it was a fluke or if we just picked a bad chip amount/blind schedule but there was no action on the final table.

This is where I didn’t play so well. I had a lot of decent, but not great hands which I would continually fold. I was afraid that by raising I would run into a bigger hand and be pot committed into losing all my chips. Better to wait for a premium hand while the blinds squeezed out the lower players. The problem was the players with low stacks kept doubling up when they were forced all in, and eventually I was near the short stack list. Instead of taking advantage of the tight play I fell into the same trap as everyone else. When I finally did push, I ran into two hands both better than mine and it was over. The worst part is that had I folded that hand, then blinds would have forced out one of the other remaining players and I would have come in at least third and won some money.

Originally posted at

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