Friday, December 14, 2007

Pressure on Poker:'s Texas Close'em

Recent busts, crackdowns, and related press stories have gotten many of us thinking about the societal impacts and legality of the game, and the rights and concerns of people who play it.

Author Lou Krieger has this to say about the poker:

I believe in poker the way I believe in the American Dream. Poker is good for you. It enriches the soul, sharpens the intellect, heals the spirit, and - when played well, nourishes the wallet. and Drew Carey present their perspective in "TEXAS CLOSE'EM: COPS RAID POKER GAMES"

Jack Binion mused:
I've often thought, if I got really hungry for a good milk shake, how much would I pay for one? People will pay a hundred dollars for a bottle of wine; to me that's not worth it. But I'm not going to say it is foolish or wrong to spend that kind of money, if that's what you want. So if a guy wants to bet twenty or thirty thousand dollars in a poker game, that is his privilege."

Other famous poker quotes.

John Luk√°cs, in Poker and the American Character -"Poker is the game closest to the western conception of life, where life and thought are recognized as intimately combined, where free will prevails over philosophies of fate or of chance, where men are considered moral agents and where- at least in the short run- the important thing is not what happens but what people think happens."

Mark Twain - "There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a 'flush.' It is enough to make one ashamed of the species."

Krieger again - "Poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy. It can be rough-hewn or polished, warm or cold, charitable and caring, or hard and impersonal, fickle and elusive, but ultimately it is fair, and right, and just."

And finally, Steven Wright - "Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."

”There's opportunity in poker.... If Horace Greeley were alive today, his advice wouldn't be "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country." Instead, he'd point to that deck of cards on table and say, "Shuffle up and deal.”
- Krieger

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Full Tilt's Charm - Art of the Uneccessary Suck Out

I've been meaning to pull together a couple new posts since I got home from Vegas a week ago. Something about catching up on business and in life always seems to get in the way. Look for a couple new posts soon.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this Full Tilt hand. Are you sick of seeing these every time you play? I know I am.

I was in an $8 + 0.70 two-table Sit-n-go. The top 5 finishers win a $26 token, which I had planned to use in the Ante Up AIPS Main Event this Sunday. I was merely treading water by playing tighter than O.J. Simpson's glove, when I was pushed off a pre-flop raised hand by two opponents with worse hands (of course). I was left with less than 700 chips and blinds were at 120-240.

Under the gun plus one, and I find myself with a middling Ace - which I normally don't like to go broke with, but the blinds would wipe me out in two hands. I pushed all-in, and miraculously no one called.

The very next hand, under the gun, I find myself with Ace-Jack off. Save the AJ salvo, please. 8-handed, with players trying to get into the cash (top 6) or pick up a token (top 5) I shoved my remaining 1230 chips. The average stack was around 2400, and a double up would put me back in a position to get my token. That said, the 360 in blinds would have been just fine.

It folded around to the big blind, who had 9700 chips, the prohibitive favorite, who insta-called with 3-4 off. (You expected a face card?)

The flop came 6, J, 7 rainbow, giving me top pair top kicker and 90%+ equity in the hand.
He had only four 5s in the deck for a gut shot straight.

If you could have paused time for an instant and offered me even money that a 5 would come and eliminate me, I would have bet $1000 right then and there, calling you a sucker for taking the bet all the while... The turn brought the 5c, of course, and I was drawing dead.

Full Tilt.

The Aristocrats!