East Texas Poker

I was invited to east Texas (Groves) by a fraternity brother of mine, Chavo, for a poker tournamnet. I helped him set it up as far as blinds and chips. I also told him I would deal and play so that we could use a full size table and keep everything moving along. The structure we made was a $20 buy in for 5k in chips and optional unlimited rebuys and an add on in the 1st hour. We started with 14 players (2 tables) and the blinds were 20min long:

  • 25/50
  • 50/100
  • 75/150
  • Break
  • 100/200
  • 200/400
  • 300/600
  • 400/800
  • Break
  • 500/1000
  • 1000/2000
  • 1500/3000
  • Break
  • 2000/4000
  • 3000/6000
  • 4000/8000
  • 5000/10000

I think i played well overall, i didn’t play that many hands before the break but after the break I had about 8-9k after doing the $20 add on. The blinds were 100/200 I picked up JJ on the button there was a preflop raise 600 I called along with the SB. The flop was 993 and the sb bet out 500 into the 2k pot the pf raiser folded and i reraised to put him all in and he called his last 1k. He showed TT and with no help on the turn or river i eliminate a player and move up in chips. A few hands later I get AK in the CO and I raise it and get 1 caller to my right. The flop is A rag rag he checks I bet 2/3 pot he raises all in for a small amount more so i call and he shows A9 no 9 on the board and I win another pot and eliminate another player. We play a few more levels and then we get down to 10 players right before the break and are ready to combine tables.

At the break I tally up the prize pool we have $640 in the pot and I had sent Chavo a payout that paid 3 spots for 1 table and 4 spots for 2 tables. So I do the math for 4 places 40%/30%/20%/10% but Chavo says no do it for 3 places I ask if he is sure and i do the math for 1 table 50%/30%/20% or $320/$180/$140.

We take a break when we come back we lose a few players and are quickly down to 6 players. I am a short stack after i get it all in UTG with AQ vs 5 players I hit top 2 pair the board shows a possible flush and there was river action but the bet was a bad timed bluff and was called by another ace to win a side pot but i survived and picked up the main to quintuple up. A few hands later 2 players get it all in and the middle stack wins putting us at 4 players, 1 away from the money. Chavo and I are really short and the other 2 have large stacks. The blinds are 4k/8k when Chavo moves all in on the button for 8k and I look down at 2s2c in the SB and I only have 4k left. I tank for a bit and realize that if i fold i may make it into 3rd but if i call and win i also get 3rd and have chips to go for 1st. I decide to fold and hope the BB has a hand or gets lucky. Chavo shows AK the other player shows 97 the flop is 45J the turn is a 6 and the river is a 3 giving the chip leader a straight and eliminating chavo in 4th. I go all in on the BB 2 hands later i hit a pair but 4 dimonds on the board gives him a flush and I am out in 3rd. As soon as I am eliminated they decide to chop $250 each and call it a night.

All in all i think the tourney was ran well, it lasted around 6 hours and i think everyone had a good time. I had fun and I think I played well.

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Paying Attention Costs Nothing

I have been reading a lot of posts on 2+2’s forums especially the Brick and Motor (Live casino play) section. I noticed many players have questions about rulings because a player bet the wrong amount or flipped their cards up at the wrong time or some little error that cost them money and/or caused a floor person to make a ruling.

In most of my replies I just say so and so should have won/lost the pot and end with “paying attention costs nothing”. I feel that if you dont pay attention and make a mistake you should pay for it then maybe you will learn not to do it in the future because you remember you lost money last time you did that.

The most common is betting out of turn, not seeing someone bet or raised, throwing out the wrong amount or number of chips, mucking cards when you have a winner or a tie without tabling them.

As a dealer I see these errors all the time, most of the events I deal are for fun or are friendly home games, but I try to enforce the rules as if we were at a casino.

Players need to learn to pay attention at the table so it does not cost them money or arguments at the poker table.

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. 

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…

The Dealers Playing?

I was preparing to deal on Friday when I decided to call Phillip and see what time the game started. He told me 7pm but that he only needed 1 dealer since he only had 10 players. I said I would come and play and if they needed me to deal I would. Well I show up and there is a few more then 10 players…there were 22 players! So I buy in and Sonny asks me if I want to Deal and play and I agree.

Since I am dealing and playing my plan is to play tright earlyt hope to hit a few hands and make it to the final table. Then at the final table, that pays the top 7, then play aggressive and gamble. I End up playing a few hands but never to showdown. And by the break I had just over 5k and we were down to 14 players. I had to outlast 4 players then we would be on the final table and I would be able to just play and not have to deal. We are down to 6 players when I get QT in the SB one caller ahead of me and I call BB checks. Flop is 36T rainbow I check BB goes All in for $2000 and it is back on me I think for a while then i cal. He shows 56o and I win the hand, get a $5 bounty and advance to the final table.

I get a good seat at the final table and I sit back to see how the table is going to play. The table is loose and the chip leader is calling a lot of all ins. I wnat to sit back and wait out the loose players but my stack is getting low also and the blinds are going up. We get down to 8 players when It is folded around to me on the button I decide if it is folded to me I am going to move all in on the blinds with ATC I push blind they both fold then I look and I had 22 so I show the table.

We get 5 handed when I get Qs8s in the SB with blinds of $1000/2000 and a $200 ante I have $2700 and half my stack in the pot. Everyone limps sp I decide to gam\ble and try to move up and raise another $700 all in. all 4 players call and we go to the flop 4582 then the big stacks bet on the turn and all call and one other player is now all in. I think I am dead whena Q hits the river. They all check the river and I had the best hand. I win the main and we still have 5 players. The next couple of hands go quick and we are down to 3 platers and I am the short stack against a medium stack, don and the huge stack Wendy who has over 10 bounties.

Don makes a comment that he has never played Wendy heads up as he is already counting me out. Since the Prize pool is so flat the differance from 3rd to 2nd is not that much so I can now gamble to try to get some chips and be competative if I go heads up. I win a few pots 3 handed when Don gets involved in a big pot with wendy and is elminated in 3rd.

I am now heads up but since Wendy knocked him out he adds more chips to his already huge lead. I am outchipped over 22-1 and I have to go all in in the BB for 3000 even though the blinds are 2000/4000. I get lucky and double up but again I can barely cover the BB. I need to get really lucky to win or get even in chips to even discuss a chop. I do not get that lucky and I am out in 2nd place. Wndy cashes for about $240 and 11 $5 bounties. I cash for $180 and 1 $5 bounty. Well It was fun and also I found out later that I was getting paid $550 for dealing the other table. so I made $180 plus I had a good time and I made the Weekly Email.

“Friday Recap… FROM 1ST TO WORST…..

We had 21 players last Friday and our ol’ buddy Randy Browning went
from the penthouse to the outhouse as he departed the game early.

We paid 7 places with Old Jack “Wendy” just running over everyone and
taking 1st place, Vinnie “the dealer” who just couldn’t take it
anymore “watching us donkeys every week”, asked to play and deal and
came in 2nd, 3rd was “hippie” Don Arnold who got lucky and survived
his short stack all in at the final table with 3 callers and won with
K high, 4th was Danny Fuentes who called my pkt 9’s all in with a
short stack all in of his own playing A-6 os and caught the A on the
river, 5th – Jimmy Deas, 6th – Roy Schnieder, & 7th – Mack Bell.”