Good Luck All In!?!

Luck BoxGood Luck All In!….I was dealing tonight at Sonny’s Game and I must have heard this 100 times (average 3 people per all in). Why do people say this?…they don’t mean it at all and actually wish the opposite. They want the person to go out, that is the whole point of a poker tournament.

I know for a fact most of those players get very angry if you don’t check it down in an all-in pot. Even if you are no where near the money. My view on that is you check it down if there is no side pot or you are on the bubble  and think the other player has the best hand and a chance to knock out the all in player. I think you can bet, if a player is all in, if there is a side pot and/or you have a hand that fairs well against the all in player but you don’t want the other player to draw out on you or of course you have the nuts.

Anyways the Tips were good tonight even though the tourney seamed to last forever as no one wanted to go out when we were down to 2 tables. I have never dealt the 500/1000 and this tourney went to the 1000/2000 level before we went to the final table of 9.

I also had a situation where 2 players knocked out one player in a split pot. Since there is a $5 bounty I thought the bounty should go to the out of position player, closest to the button, just like the odd chip in a split pot. Then I asked sonny and he said give it to the dealer I was all for that but I wanted to know the house ruling for future situations. I looked it up and this is what I found.

• Bounties are never split! If a bounty player is eliminated by two or more players who split the pot, the bounty is awarded to the winning player with the largest stack. If the stacks are equal, the winning player closest to the button receives the bounty.

I guess according to this stack size is criteria 1 then the position takes effect I guess I need to ask Sonny and the other players how they want to handle it in the future.

All in all I had a good night and was still done by 11pm to find out the Spurs had won and advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs. Go! Spurs GO!….and……Good Luck All In!!!


Squeeze Play?

I was dealing a Tourney on Friday night. I had arrived early and as usual a few guys were playing online poker on a laptop. I was looking over the players shoulder as he played a .50/$1 cash game. The player was one of the stronger tourney players in that game and had a good poker game overall. He was on the button with 44 when he made this comment, “Has anyone heard of the squeeze play”. there was one limper in the pot and he made it $8. I was thinking that is not a squeeze play it is just a button over raise…right? I thought about it later that night and it finally came to me that what the squeeze play was.

Squeeze Play: When there is a raise (preferably from LP as it could be a position raise), and a call infront of you – you push all in (usually from the blinds). This forces the initial raiser to call knowing he may get called behind him – he’ll usually fold unless he’s big. The caller is now forced to call a large bet when all he wanted to do was call the inital raise and see a flop. It’s effective when you have a big enough stack to push out your opponents, as you still have Fold Equity.

Also this play is not dependent on your cards it can be ATC if you know your opponents are weak and/or you have a tight image. I know the player had read Harrington on Holdem(HOH Vol 1), as I had, but if you are going to read a poker strategy book you have to follow what it says.

I know for a fact this player is going to the WSOP this year, as he has in the past, and I want him to do well. I was going to correct his mistake in the “play” on that had but I kept my mouth shut. Should I educate him on the proper use or definition of the play or should I I shut up and deal?

Serious Cigars

Saturday night I dealt at the Cigar Shop and I had forgotten what a bad game that was to deal. Since it is a cigar shop it is filed with 30 players smoking the whole time. Not only is the smoke filled enviorment bad but the structure is very strange, 25 min blinds starting at 50/100 and the levels more then double every time. They also start with 17,500 yes 17,500 and they have $50 chips for the 1 level taht has a small blind of $50. A new addition to the tourney is an ante in the 4th level so when the blinds are 1000/2000 I still need to keep the 100 chips in play. What adds to this donk fest is that the great players that bust out start a side tourney that they call a “$20 Throw Away”, winner takes all.

I  guess they call it this because after I explain the structure you will realize they are throwing away thier money. For $20 you get 1000 in chips and the blinds start at 5/10 and double every time time the main tourney blinds go up. They allow you to rebuy for $20 for another 1000 at any point as long as the main tourney is going on. They usually have 1-2 tables going untill the final table is over. At that point you have 1 rebuy left for the rest of the “throw away tourney”. so that means if you are 4 handed at the 500/1000 level and you go busto you can still rebuy for $20 for another 1000 or one big blind. Wow that seems dumb but it is done by quite a few players. They usually come up with some kind of chop but it is still a borderline version of poker in my opinion.

Oh well I made some money with a little loss of lung capacity and sanity. 

Poker Prohibition

I was going to play in the Thursday Tourney at Big Dogs last night but 10 minutes into the game there was an anouncemant that there may be police raids in this area. The 40+ players there decided to go home rather then risk getting the house in trouble and getting there buy in taken away. As people were cashing out they kept talking about what they were going to do that night see they just wanted to have a good time and kill 3-4 hours.

The Law is very similar to Prohibition as it penalizes people from having fun and under the guise of protecting them from themselves. All players know the risk when playing the tournament, $40. They know everyone has the same rules and the only other factors are Luck and Skill level. It is very funny that the name of the game attempted to be played is Texas Holdem but it is illegal to play in Texas. Other more progressive states such as California realize poker is a game of skill and has legalized and regulated it.

Wait a bunch of people will pay money to play a game and the state can make money from regulating it, create jobs and help fund schools..can you say economic stimulus? There is a great bill in the state legislature that could legalize and regulate poker but it was pushed back on the agenda in 2007 …but should be voted on in 2009…we will see. Until this bill is voted on in 2009, hopefully it passes, honest fun loving poker players will have to hide in the shadows and be scared that thier Aces might not be the only thing getting busted each night.

Houston Holdem Club

I dealt / Tourney Directed the Houston Holdem Club tonight. The Club is a group of 50-100 guys, mostly oil industry guys, who play a monthly game for seats to the WSOP every year. What they do is put up $250 and 50% goes to the prize pool for that night the other 50% goes into a pool and passed on rules and a point system through the year the top 5 or so players go to the World Series of Poker as representatives of the club.

It is a great concept and they run it pretty well. I would change a few rules but it is a great social event and way to go to the WSOP in Vegas. If I didnt deal and had a regular job I would defenitly ask about joining.

Well anyways everything went well we made good tips and I was out and home by 11pm, not a bad night…

H.O.R.S.E. Tourney Structure

Some tournament players were recently asking me about doing a Horse tourney and what the structure would be. I Read this article in cardplayer and thought I would repost it here for others to use.

Ask Jack
Have a question about a specific tournament poker rule or past ruling you’ve encountered? E-mail Bellagio Tournament Director Jack McClelland:

Jonathan: I run a weekly no-limit hold’em tournament in my home, but I am interested in turning it into a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. We tried it once, but ended up playing way too late. What is a good structure for a H.O.R.S.E. tournament with 10 people if I want it to last about four or five hours?

Jack: Here is a possible structure. Start players with 5,000 in chips and use 15-minute levels for the blinds.

H.O.R.S.E. Structure

Houston Tourney Raided

From Pokerati Houston Tourney Raided

Harris County sheriff’s deputies raided a poker room on the northwest outskirts of Houston this afternoon. There were about 8 tables of action — a $300 tournament had just gotten underway — and 11 were arrested. Police say the raid came after two months of investigation.

Hmm, sounds kinda like the Aces bust in terms of numbers. However some key differences are that nine of the busted were charged with organized crime. Yeow! No no no … Class C misdemeanor … maybe a Class A that can be pled down! Leave it to Houston to try to outdo/be tougher than Dallas.

From the local ABC news team:

Eleven arrested in gambling bust

Eleven people were arrested in a high-stakes gambling bust in northwest Harris County.

Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant on west road near yearling this afternoon, following a two month undercover investigation.

Authorities say they found a room full of card tables and about 80 customers playing Texas Hold ’em. And they weren’t playing ordinary poker matches. Thousands of dollars were at stake in the sophisticated operation.

“You gotta know somebody to get in. They have two doors to gain entry. It’s operated by a button to gain entry, as well as they have cameras to monitor who’s at the front door,” said an officer.

Nine people were arrested for organized crime.

Two other people were arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon and outstanding warrants. Police did not take any customers into custody.

Indeed, a button to gain entry. Case closed, obviously.

One of the other players arrested got cuffed for “unlawfully carrying a weapon” and the other guy ha an outstanding warrant.

This room had reportedly been around since late last summer. We’ll see if we can’t find out more about how this all shook down, where the room went wrong, and what’s really gonna come out of these organized crime allegations.

(Photo Above from the Palms raid on October 4, 2007)

The room was called “Our Place” and was very popular on the West Side of Houston.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on this topic in 2004 when i was dealing cards to pay for college. I think I received an A for the paper and my presentation that included some scenes from Rounders.