With the recent events of last week obviously a lot of US players are looking for new homes. The threads online at 2+2 are abuzz with players considering moving to merge network. I did my research and the rakeback offer from Drag the Bar at Black Chip poker is unbeatable so I am making Black Chip my new home.
Since my account was only funded this morning I spent last night looking at some of the SNG games available there and the volume on Merge is low. However the influx of new US players should quickly remedy that situation. One intriguing game that I saw was the 18 player SNG's that start 6 handed on 3 tables and payout the top three positions. For a skilled player these games look like they could be juicy because they are top heavy in the payouts. However, they will likely create higher variance since they pay out one less player than the standard 18 man structure I have discussed in videos on FTP and PS. I love the idea of short handed 18 mans though because I can take advantage of some of the short handed NL Cash game skills I have been working on. I suspect that a player with good understanding of the blind battle dynamics and stealing will have a field day with these games. Look for a video on this topic in the coming month.
Anyways, you know you can't go wrong when DTB's own Owen Gaines is one of their online pros and they are partnered with a great site like DTB. I highly recommend checking out Black Chip!
It’s hard not to get excited when within just a few days not only is Steve Wynn getting behind federally regulated online gambling but then the CEO from Caesars Entertainment piles on as well…
<a title="Legal On-Line Poker Would Boost Liquidity: Caesars CEO" href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/42569391/">Legal On-Line Poker Would Boost Liquidity: Caesars CEO</a>
In this article the CEO of Caesars mentions that they are working with Nevada state legislators to draft legislation for online state regulated gambling. Obviously intrastate (within one state only) gambling is not really the panacea that most online players are looking for because the player pool will be small for any given state. DC also recently announced that it can start online gambling and these two intrastate measures are really a great start, especially if they can start bundling player pools similar to how PowerBall or MegaMillions does with the lottery.
However, the really great news from this article comes from the CEO’s (Loveman’s) statement that… "We're advocates of this being legalized on a federal level because the state by state process is quite a cumbersome one ... in poker you need liquidity," Loveman explained. "You need a lot of players who want to play a game at a certain level, at a certain time and the best way to do that is to have a federal mandate."
This is huge! Not only is B&M getting on board they are getting on board the right way, after years of blocking our right to play poker online, we are getting a complete 180 degree turnaround.
I am so excited about this turn of events. The PPA narrowly missed getting legislation introduced last year to legalize online poker at the federal level. Getting the B&M folks backing us could easily swing this thing into reality and soon, with much less restrictive measures in place. The one downside to all this is that I would speculate that the poker sites that we play at are likely to have a much harder time getting their foot in the door if the B&M folks want to crowd them out of the market. But it finally looks like we have gotten dealt AA and someone just raised us from early position. Now all we need is for our hand to hold up! I am now officially using my ONE TIME DEALER!
PS. Hopefully John Kyl’s recent fiasco over how much funding of planned parenthood goes to giving abortions has shown the world that he completely lacks credibility and will keep this idiot from imposing his social agenda over our freedoms.
Recently I’ve been focusing a lot on what it means to make good poker decisions. When we start out learning poker we are pretty much at the mercy of others telling us what is a “standard” play. We utilize other people’s knowledge to build a database of standard plays and start to try to incorporate them into our game. A lot of times this can be a treacherous path since if you are frequenting the free or pay forums sometimes even with the best of intentions you will receive bad advice. The best part about pay forums is that at least the people participating are a cut above the standard enthusiast and they are trying to work on their own games. Plus you have access to the pay forum’s coaches who usually have much more experience and are rarely incorrect in their advice. Beyond the forums paying for direct coaching is usually a good way to go because presumably a well vetted coach is going to be giving you mainly good advice.
However the question of what is “standard” is constantly changing. Poker is evolving and frequently people will state that the way to get ahead of the pack is to be looking for places to either exploit or go beyond “standard” play. This puts new players in a tough spot. Should they learn standard poker or should they be trying to get ahead of the pack from the beginning?
It is my honest opinion that what is standard is somewhat like a marble sculpture and we are constantly in a state of “almost done.” There are places where you can chip off more to make the sculpture more complete but doing more than slightly reworking what is already there is a mistake because it is likely to do more harm than good. Mostly beginners do not have the foundation to judge whether a non-standard play is profitable which is dangerous. To take the analogy one step further, their sculpture of a beautiful woman might end up lacking a hand or some other vital element if they decide that “doing this is different so it must be better.”
Usually in poker taking a non-standard line is actually giving up value. For example in a SNG, you might find that a certain shove is –EV but you are making it for the sake of creating an image. That image is an intangible thing of uncertain value. The –EV play can be immediately quantified. Its hard to judge whether a non-standard play would be good or bad.
Overall it is my opinion that the best thing a beginning student can do is to learn the basics. It’s not to say that they need to stay there forever but learning a proper foundation gives them the ability to be creative in a controlled way. It allows them to say, “well I know that the standard play would be to do x… but I did y because I felt that I gained some extra advantage for later in the tournament.” Without that proper foundation it is impossible to say whether taking the nonstandard line is a well calculated play or simply a mistake. In my next blog I plan to follow this concept up so stay tuned.
Good Luck at the Tables
I am excited to announce that I am now officially writing for the Wolrd Poker Tour magazine.
As you may know if you have been following my blog, a few months ago I wrote an article discussing chip utility for WPT magazine in a feature spot for Drag the Bar. It was a concept that I have been working on for a long time that resolves a certain paradox about the value of chips as they change in a poker tournament. The article was well received and landed me a more permanent position writing about Sit and Go strategy.
I am really excited about the opportunity to flush out some lesser known strategy points and do some in depth hand analysis. However, the first few articles will be discussing my signature concept, "Pivot Points." I want to lead off with pivot points because I think it is a crucial part of understanding basic tournament strategy and I also want to lay proper claim to the idea since even writing about it on the internet blogs is probably not enough to keep someone from swooping in and claiming my idea as their own. So I am planting my flag and staking my claim to it.
Anyways, if you have not had a chance to pick up WPT Magazine in the stores, I highly recommend it. There is a regular feature every month from different Drag the Bar coaches and you will also be able to get an update from me so I think its well worth a look, if not a purchase. ;)
Good Luck at the Tables,
Regardless of whether you think this hand was well played or not it set off a funny firestorm with a HU opponent tonight...
Villain: "donk luck box"
Villain: "kp on goin like an idiot"
Villain: "stpid american scm"
Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk" Villain: "donk"
By the end of this tournament he had called me a donk 26 times!
Accept a rematch? Gladly!
And it kept coming. In fact he hit me with donk so fast and furious that within a few more hands
Chat Monitor (Support): wolffyro has lost their chat privilege for 5 minutes. Spamming the table is prohibited.
zerosum79: "donk" :) :) :)
Followed briefly by"zerosum79 finished in 1st place"
Don't forget poker is supposed to be fun.
Recently a suggestion was made to me by DTB's own Qtip that I thought was intriguing enough to make a blog post about. We were looking at a cash hand together. The hand in question was against a guy with pretty taggish stats and we were talking about what range he would call a river bet with vs what range he would fold. the question was would he fold AT type hands? I was betting a bluff.
Owen mentioned that one great way to get feedback would be to edit the hand history so that I was now in villain's position with AT and that I hide my cards to see whether the community at large would call or fold to the river bet.
To me this was a very unique way to gain insight into the way that other people play poker. Since poker is a game where much of the play is never revealed due to nonshowdowns its really hard to figure out what your tough competition would do. Posting the hand unedited calls into question too many variables and guesses about what villain would do. However editing the hand so that it is us making the call decision gives people a concrete situation to digest and tell us what they would do. If a bunch of TAGs would all fold then we have actually gained valuable free insight into how other people play that they would never reveal to us if we just ask.
I hope that the new year is treating everyone well and wish everyone good luck at the tables in the new year.
It's taken me a while but the new website is almost up and running. Right now Zerosumpoker is like the death star, not fully operational but still dangerous. I am creating new coaching packages, new products, new videos and new strategy blogs to be posted regularly. So keep checking back because with the new user friendly interface I am making rapid upgrades and you should see this site blow up with content and exciting stuff!
I expect to have all of my old strategy blogs updated and on the site in a few weeks and will be pulling all the blogs from Drag the Bar and Team Moshman over here soon. I will also be updating any future blogs to this site as well as those great sites.