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