Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why serious tournament poker players should give the $20 Early Bird a chance...

The $20 Early Bird is a great tournament to play in.  I know what you are thinking already..."The $20 is not enough money to keep me interested!"  Well think of the $20 Early Bird as a Satellite Tournament into a bigger tournament or a chance to try new things with your game!

Just imagine taking down a $2k first place prize when you are only in the tournament for $20.  This is what you should be thinking if you are not a normal $20 Early Bird Tournament poker player.  I mean first place on average is $576 in the $20 EB.  That is pretty sweet return on your money for a $20 tournament entry.  Not to mention you only need to finish in the top 5-7 to get your Deepstack entry paid for from this tournament.  There is also the benefit that you are going to get hours of tournament poker experience for $20. 

The $20 Early Bird is also a great venue to practice some new techniques and change up gears.  It is difficult to try new and intresting things when you are playing in a $100 Deepstack Poker Tournament.  Where as if you are only into the tournament for $20 you are much more likely to change up your play an really get in there an test the water, because you are only risking $20.  There is nothing more important to improve your tournament poker play than getting out there and playing in poker tournaments.  Play deepstacks, short stacks, turbos, marathon poker, knockouts or bounty's, and plenty of other poker tournament styles that you can get involved with and if you can do so with real live poker players (rather than solely online) you are getting even more live poker experience.

The $20 Early Bird is a great place to practice new techniques and a cheap way to satellite into bigger tournaments.  Where else can you get live tournament poker experience for $20 with an average of 100+ players 3-4 times a week?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flips and Showdowns... good for Cash Games or just for Action Junkies

A flip or a showdown is when players put in an amount of money into the pot, deal out the cards, run the flop turn and river without any more betting rounds.  So basically everyone gets two cards and you run out a normal Texas Holdem hand but there is no more betting, and the winner takes the pot.   You can play any poker game, and turn it into a flip or showdown.  Omaha, Holdem, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud, RAZZ, High Card, modified Blackjack, etc... anything will work for a flip or a showdown.

So the question is... do flips or showdowns increase the action in a cash game, or do they just slow the game down?

I have two schools of thought.  One, a flip increases the action in a cash game.  It will distribute funds to tighter players that are peer pressured into "flipping their money", which will increase the action in a cash game because money won is much easier to gamble with than money one worked for.  So with this theory the game is looser and money flows easier because with $140 flips exchanging hands every half hour (7 players in a $20 flip = $140 pot). Plus it breaks up the monotony of the poker grind at a cash table. 

Second school of thought, flips can break a cash game.  Whenever you involve luck into a cash game (more luck than is inherit in poker) people can get even more upset than when they are rivered a few times for a big pot.  For example, one player wins three flips in a row, second player gets frustrated by player ones incredible luck he decieds to up the ante and do $50 or $100 flips instead of the standard $20 flip.  Now the poker game turns into a raffle game and has become quite volatile.  Players that are not intrested in just rolling the dice for their money begin to leave or play other games.  Other players go broke, or one player wins all the chips on the table.  The point being is that you begin to stop playing poker, and begin to just gamble.

Flips and Showdowns... good for cash games if you can keep it under control?  OR is flipping starting down a path that will inevitably lead to straight gambling and no longer playing poker.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

$200 Mega December Deepstack on 12/26/09

The verdict is in there will be a $200 Mega Deepstack at the Odeum on 12/26/09 starting at 4pm.  Each player will start with 14,000 in chips plus their 1,000 chip pre-registration bonus (or $5 add-on) where blinds will increase every 30 minutes with antes. 

Chicago Charitable Games helped make deepstack tournament play the norm on the Illinois Charity Poker scene.  With a great tournament structure, and arguable the best volunteer dealers the last Mega Deepstack at Chicago Charitable Games should be a great turn out.  Last Mega Deepstack there were close to 70 players to turn up to test their charity poker skills against what some would say was Chicago lands best poker players (don't believe me just ask them).  Play stopped at the final table when the last two players in the field decided to "chop up" the tournament each taking home a sweet little prize pool. 

Here is a few links to some of the tournament information if you are unfamilar with Chicago Charitable Games and their tournament rules, and blind structure. 

Chicago Charitable Games Tournament Rules...

Chicago Charitable Games Tournament Blind Structure...

12/26/09 Charity Poker Event Information...

Good luck and live cards to everyone!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pot Limit Omaha/Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better Single Table Sit N Go Tournaments

This past Saturday night at Chicago Charitable Games (event hosted by the VFW in Warrenville), Zeus followed by his friend the Driller orchestrated a $115 PLO/PLO8 Single Table Sit n Go Tournament.  It was a really fun tournament where we switched rounds between PLO (pot limit omaha) and PLO8 (pot limit omaha high low).  We started with $6,000 in chips, and the blinds went up every 15 minutes.  Omaha is one of those games where a ton of action takes place, and people are more inclined to play because...well you have four cards to justify your play, which translates to twice as many reasons to play a certain hand.

I am a big advocate of Omaha and all its variations (except NL Omaha).  This is the poker game of the future in my opinion.  It gives card players a lot more options, and it is a post flop game (than pre flop like in No Limit Holdem) with more strategy and odds to calculate than any other game in poker.  I also really like the action, in almost any hand of Omaha you can justify a pre-flop call...typically all omaha hands are relatively even pre flop (worst off you are looking at 60-40 against any opponent's hand...with some exceptions).  Pot Limit Omaha is the game of the future because it is fast moving and has tons of action for us action junkies and no foldem holdem players.  This translates to a younger range of poker players, as well as the online poker players joining in on the Omaha fun.  I have heard that switching from No Limit Holdem to Pot Limit Omaha is similar to switching from Live Poker to Playing on the Internet.  The internet players are used to playing two or three games at once, and never waiting very long.  At least with Omaha, there are more cards to look at and poker players get to play a lot more hands.

So the next time you are getting board with your same old poker game, try switching it up and going for an Omaha SNG or MTT.  Chicago Charitable Games will be offering some mixed game single and multi table tournaments such as:

  • HA (Pot Limit Holdem/half Pot Limit Omaha)
  • HO (NLH/PLO)
  • PLO/PLO8

Just so everyone knows here is a key for some of the poker games and what their acrynomns are:
  • PLO = pot limit omaha 
  • PLO8 = pot limit omaha 8 or better (high low)
  • 08 = limit omaha 8 or better 
  • NLH = no limit holdem 
  • LH = limit holdem 
  • HA = half pot limit holdem and half pot limit omaha (games switch every round or dealer orbit)
  • HO = half no limit holdem and half pot limit omaha 
  • HORSE = limit holdem, O8, Razz, Seven card stud, and Seven card stud 8 or better
  • HOSE = limit holdem, O8, Seven card stud, and Seven card stud 8 or better 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

230 Players in Record Breaking $20 Early Bird

On Friday 11/27/2009 at 2:00PM Chicago Charitable Games and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy set a new record for the most players in a $20 Early Bird Tournament.  The old record of 203 players was blown out of the water with 230 players on the day after Thanksgiving.

Top 20 players were paid out in this tournament with the top prize being $1100*.  The whole tournament took close to 5 hours to complete, with over $690,000 chips in play and 12 minute blinds that is not too bad.  I am not sure if this is a record or not, but we had one player down on the third hand of play...I guess that is better than on the first hand.  

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Chicago Theater by playing at the Odeum this Friday.  We know you have a choice on where you choose to play poker and your friends at Chicago Charitable Games thank you for choosing CCG for your Charity Poker Events.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicago Charitable Games Black Friday Event.

The day after Thanksgiving "Black Friday" has typically been one of the busiest days of charity poker in the year.  Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Productions will be hosting an event at the Odeum in Villa Park from 2pm until 1am. 

There will be a record breaking $20 Early Bird Tournament at 2pm.  We are looking to have 300 players in this tournament and beat the current record of 203 players.  There will also be a $200 MEGA DEEPSTACK Tournament at 4pm for all you high rollers out there, and a $80 Mini Deepstack at 7pm for all of us medium stakes players out there.

Last year there was five or six cash games going all day, with plenty of action in the $1-$2 and $2-$5 games.  As well as some great mixed games including $1-$2 PLO and $3-$6 Limit Omaha 8 or better. 

Remember to be early for the tournaments that you want to play in, they will all sell out (minus the $20 early bird tournament) and there will be lots of Single Table Tournaments offered all day long.  Last year there was a little wait for Single Table Tournaments, but the hosting charity will have more tables to help accomodate all the charity poker players.

I really hope everyone comes out to support Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Productions on the biggest day of charity poker in all of Illinois.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Double Event Saturday

Double events on Saturday November 21st...Chicago Charitable Games will be helping the South Suburban Humane Society with their event at Balmoral Racetrack in Crete, IL...and there will also be an event supporting the VFW in West Chicago. 

Balmoral's event will have a $100 Deepstack at 3pm and a $30 KO Tournament at 6pm.  There is always some great mixed cash games going 7 card stud, and Omaha 8 or better. 

The event at the VFW will have a $100 Deepstack at 5pm and a $60 HA (half pot limit holdem and half pot limit omaha).  The VFW in West Chicago will also have a $40 40/40 Late Night Tournament at 10pm. 

I hope to see everyone out at one of the events on Saturday, and remember if you go to the event at the VFW in West Chicago you are going to enjoy some great drink and food specials...if you choose Balmoral you can fill your down time with betting the ponies. 

Good luck at either event. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Night Fight Knock Out Tournament

Chicago Charitable Games this Friday November 20th at the Marriott in Lisle on Summerhill Drive the hosting charity will be offering a $40 Knock Out Tournament at 8pm. 

3000 in starting chips with blinds going up in 12 minute rounds.  

The $40 Knock Out Tournament will have a $5 bounty on every player, when you knock a player out you will win their $5 Bounty...if you are knocked out of the tournament you will give out your original $5 bounty chip and would keep all the bounty chips that you won. 

This tournament is limited to the first 100 players, and has sold out the last two events.  This is a great tournament for you Friday night folks looking for something to do.  For $40 you can enjoy a fun filled charity poker night with friends and possibly walk home with some extra money. 

Any questions call the poker hot line (888-715-4837) or check out the website at

I hope to see everyone this weekend at an event soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omaha 8 or better Tournament 11/19/09

Second post of the day...Chicago Charitable Games will have a $40 Omaha 8 or better tournament on Thursday at the VFW in Summit on Thursday November 19th at 5pm.

This will be a Omaha 8 or better Pot Limit Tournament. The hosting charity will also have a $3-$6 Limit Omaha 8 or better cash game as soon as players are busted out of the tournament.

The VFW in Summit turned out to be a pretty good night by 7pm...come out and support the St. Rose Center on Thursday November 19th at the VFW in Summit.

See you poker fools there, and I am hoping to see some of you early for the Omaha 8 or better tournament.

Ken Kaulen
Chicago Charitable Games Inc

CCG Pokers first Poker Blog Post...

Not quite sure what we are going to blog about, but I wanted to have something that players could read and be a part of. The Chicago Charitable Games (CCG) Poker Community is one big happy family, ok maybe not everyone is happy but we certainly try our best to make sure everyone is at least having fun.

This poker blog will be specific to Chicago Charitable Games Poker Events and will be out there for players to respond to in addition to the CCG Poker Forum...

So by all means come and check out the newest addition to the Chicago Charitable Games online poker community...