Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Blog has moved!

Chicago Charitable Games Blog has moved to

Check out our new poker blog!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Tap the Tank! Poker Tips and Strategy Talk from CCG

Don’t Tap the Tank! Poker Tips and Strategy Talk

Had it with bad players making bad calls and ruining your poker game?  Well don’t tell them how bad of a play that was! Like the pros say:
” Don’t tap the tank and scare all the fish!”
Every poker player has had his or her aces cracked by some idiot who called a huge bet from out of position and cracked your monster with two stupid cards that he had no business playing.  The worst thing you can do after a terrible beat is to berate the other poker player for how bad they are.  The reason for this is you do not want the other player tightening up at the game, hanging on to your money, or influencing other players into not making bad calls like he just did because they are afraid you will lay into them.  Let that fish call those huge bets you make, that he/she has no business making, in hopes of winning your money back and then some from the fishy.
I personally never want to make another poker player feel bad at the table because 9 times out of 10 that player is going to do one of a few things:
  1. Leave the table – you do not want a big juicy fish fresh from his basement home game money to leave your table, especially if he just cracked your monster with a total garbage hand.
  2. Tighten up his play – most players when they are embarrassed are going to play much much tighter and stay to themselves.  There will not be a bunch of chit chat and the guy is going to go from super fish, to super nit.  Plus he might cause other players to tighten up and not make bad calls like super fish just did.
  3. The guy follows you to the parking lot to beat the crap out of you for making fun of him in front of the entire table – worst case scenario
The moral of this blog post is not to upset the players that are holding onto your money.  Berating another poker player at the table will not give you any advantages, and it most certainly will have negative effects.  I suggest using some of these techniques to get what you want from bad poker players.
Give a compliment or two:
Any poker player who wants to be successful wants to play with bad poker players, and you want those players to play as poorly as possible.  Being genualy nice to other players will always work to your advantage.  Complimenting another poker player on a big pot, or well played hand is a great way to earn the other players trust, and it will brand you as the nice guy at the table.  And no one wants to take the nice guys money, or at least less than the table jerk.  But be careful to not sound insincere when complimenting your fellow poker player, the worst thing you can do is say nice hand after you take a bad beat.  Everyone knows you are basically saying the poker equivilant as giving someone the middle finger in traffic.  So be nice to the bad poker players, they will always pay you off and they will love you for it.

Don’t Teach or Preach to the table-
Do not discuss previous hands or high level poker strategy when you are sitting at the poker table.  There is a time and a place for hand analysis, and playing at your local charity poker room, or casino is hardly the place to talk about strategy.  There is no reason to point out how much you know about poker to the other players at your table.  All this does it teach the bad players at your table a thing or two, and make you look like a narcissistic jerk who talks to much about how great he is at poker.
Be the crying sholder-
When bad poker players loose a hand, they always perceive it as a bad beat.  “dude I was playing cash the other night and my aces got cracked by 89off”  What the bad player doesn’t say is that he limped into a multi way pot with his aces and got drawn out on when the flop hit 89 in the face.  Remember don’t teach at the table!  Don’t tell your new poker buddy that he should have raised pre-flop to reduce the flop seers down, console him.  Tell him that you cannot believe that happened, and you can’t believe how bad that sucked.  Let the bad poker players continue to believe that they are getting unbelievable bad beats and let them continue to be bad players.

The bottom line for this poker strategy post is to remember the golden rule in poker:  “Don’t tap the tank”.  Poker players spend more time than any other hobbyist on learning this game, don’t just give your knowledge to other poker players without at least winning money off of them.  Remember that you should always be percieved as the nice guy, not the calculating shark that you are!
This is the first of many poker playing tips, and poker strategy blog topics from your friends at Chicago Charitable Games.  If you have a tip or a particular strategy topic that you would like to learn more about, or that you want to share with your favorite charity poker experience feel free to email CCG at or post a reply to one of our poker blog posts.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poker etiquette and how to keep the game moving faster…

Poker etiquette and how to keep the game moving faster…

As a poker player we all should want to get the most amount of hands as possible.  A dealer effects the game very much, and how fast the dealers can get those hands out to players and push those pots out really helps.  But there are lots of factors that players can control that will help speed up the game.

  • Using the largest denomination chips to call the blinds and bets while in the hand – when someone raises to $1000, use one orange chip, and not 5 black and 1 purple.  The dealer can’t burn the turn until the pot is correct, so the faster you can get your poker chips in the pot the faster the dealer can continue on with the hand. It never fails when you see poker players in the small and big blind call the blinds with the smallest denomination possible.  When the blinds are $25 and $50, then use those green chips for the blinds… But when the blinds are $300 – $600, don’t call the small blind in all $25 Green chips, and the big blind with a few black and a ton of green.  The reason for this is that it slows down the game, when players use the smallest denominations the dealers have to count more chips to ensure the pot is correct, and players take longer to count out bets when placing their bets.
  • Keep your poker chips in an orderly fashion – it is easier to count out bets when your chips are in stacks of 2o.  This way when a bet of $20,000 comes out you can easily count out your call, and you will not slow down the game when a player has to count out their chips to call or place a bet.
  • Pay attention when it is your turn to act – poker players are famous for when a big bet comes out, and everyone gets quite because there is a lot of action on a hand, everyone is waiting on pins and needles, and after a good 30 to 40 seconds the dealer says sir it is on you and the poker player responds with “oh is it on me, I fold”.  So make sure you do not space out until you have already checked your cards and you have folded, this will dramatically increase the amount of hands that you will get in each round.
These are just some of the ways that poker players can help keep their game going faster, so that we all can get more hands in an hour.  The more hands we all get in the more poker we get to play and the more we will learn in a shorter period of time.  If you have any questions no how to not be the slow player at the table please feel free to email for more information.
Remember if you have a poker tip or subject that you would like to hear more about please contact Chicago Charitable Games and let us know.  If your topic becomes a CCG Poker Tip, you will win a FREE Deepstack Seat worth up to $190.  So send us those poker questions, tips, or strategies!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Chicago Charitable Games Blog

Check out the new Chicago Charitable Games Poker Blog at or you can access the Chicago Charitable Games Poker Blog from the website at

Please tell your friend and family and other poker buddies about your favorite Charity Poker Blog in Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Thank you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The two deck shuffling system and the integrity of charitable poker games

There has been some talk about game security and the integrity of the game, and how the two deck shuffling systems is a sure fire way to encourage cheating.  This is 100% false, and I believe to be a marketing plan from competitors to drive business their way, and to plant a seed of doubt into the collective Chicago charity poker players mind at large.  

I would like to let everyone know how the two deck system works, why it works, and why the integrity of the game could not be more carefully watched.

The two deck system is as follows.  Deck one is shuffled and dealt out on the first hand of a new table.  While deck one is being used the button or dealer will shuffle deck two.  The player in the dealer seat will shuffle the second deck.  When the hand is completed the dealer will move the button, give deck one to the player on the button, and deck two will be used for the second hand.  BEFORE STARTING HAND NUMBER TWO DECK TWO IS SHUFFLED ONCE, AND THEN CUT BY THE DEALER PRIOR TO THE START OF THE HAND.  Every dealer at least shuffles once (some of the faster dealers will shuffle twice) and then cut the deck on top of a cut card so no one can see the bottom card.  Therefore if a player was dexterious enough to manipulate the cards to his advantage, any and all manipulation would be void when the dealer shuffles and then cuts the cards prior to the next hand.  So there is no way a player could manipulate the deck, because every dealer shuffles and cuts the deck prior to dealing the next hand.  

A perfectly shuffled deck of cards, or a truly random shuffle, requires the cards to be shuffled twice, cut into thirds, shuffled and then cut one more time.  That is how the single deck shuffle without a shuffle master works.  This is how the dealers shuffle at the WSOP and WSOP Circuit Events shuffle the cards.

One large accusation of the two deck player shuffle nay sayers is that players could mark cards.  This is 100% true, players could mark cards while shuffling the second deck.  However it would be much easier to mark a card that was dealt to you in normal game play, then when shuffling the second deck.  For example, it would be much easier to mark a card that was delt to you, rather than shuffling the second deck finding the card you want to mark and then marking it with no one noticing you doing anything funny with the second deck.  So experts would say that if a player wanted to mark a card, it would be eaiser to do during regular play, and not when shuffling the second deck.

Marked or Damaged cards and decks (the picture to the left is a small portion of the decks that are pulled from play due to damage or wear and tear) are pulled from regular play at every event.  Typically the cards are removed because players squeeze their hands out so hard that the corners become bent.  OR the cards have been in use for a while and they are becoming faded and beat up.  The charity poker dealers count down their decks before and after every shift, and if a card is beat up they chuck the whole deck into the bad deck box(pictured on the left). This common in every card room in the world, and it is no different at Chicago Charitable Games poker events.  

With all that being said in the last year (2009) Chicago Charitable Games, to my best ability of estimating the number of hands played at each event, has dealt out over 675,000 hands.  That is averaging 25 hands an hour (a very reasonable guess) on 150 events a year.  I think that is a conservative estimate on the number of hands played in the year.  Out of those 675,000 hands, 150 events, and the last year of charity poker, there has not been one accusation of cheating, not one instance of cheating, and not one reason to believe any foul play.  In fact in over three years of business and arguably 2 million hands of poker, there has never been any instances of a player cheating at these charitable poker games.

I hope this helps clarify the validity of the two deck shuffling system and it eases players mind.  If anyone has any questions about the two deck system or about charitable poker games in general please feel free to contact me on the 888 Poker Hot Line (888-715-4837) or on my email address at

Thank you and good luck on the tables,

Ken Kaulen
President and Co-Founder
Chicago Charitable Games Inc. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

February is Cash Game Give Away Month!

Cash Game Player Incentives and Rewards!!!

The month of February will have a cash game player give away. For every hour of cash game that you play from 2pm until 5pm you will receive two give away tickets per hour. At 5pm at every event in February one give away ticket will be pulled for a $100 Deepstack Tournament Seat.  You must have played at least one hour of cash game in order to qualify for the $100 Deepstack Give away tickets.

Therefore, if you have played from 2pm until 3pm you would receive two give away tickets. Then from 3pm until 4pm you would receive another two give away tickets...and so on. At 5pm one ticket will be pulled and the winner will receive a $100 Deepstack Tournament Seat for that event.  Players will receive two tickets for every hour of cash game play, and will have a great chance at winning a FREE $100 Deepstack Seat at every event.

I hope that this will cause more cash games so start up earlier at each event, as well as some new and different cash games like $2-$4 LIMIT, and $3-$6 Omaha 8 or better and so on.  This is also a great promotion for the cash game players.  So often only the tournament players receive any bonuses or benefits and the hosting charities and Chicago Charitable Games would like to give back to the cash game players.  

So come out and play cash games at every event in February.  At the beginning of every event there will be a $1-$2 NLH and a $2-$4 Beginners Limit Holdem game started right away.  Any players playing in any cash game will receive two tickets.  Good Luck Everyone!!

Also, if you have a promotion or player appreciation idea please feel free to email Chicago Charitable Games at

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chicago Charitable Games Player of the Year Points List and South Side Poker Tour Points... What are they?

What are Chicago Charitable Games Player of the Year Points?
Player of the Year points are accumulated by playing in Multi-table tournaments and cashing (making the money).  When you win money in any CCG charity poker tournament you will give the tournament director your ID, he or she uses your ID to write down your name and give you player points.

What is the South Side Poker Tour or SSPT? 
The south side poker tour is abbreviated SSPT, and is a bi-yearly points list from the SSPT events in Tinley Park, IL.  How do you know if an event qualifies for a SSPT event?  Every event in Tinley Park (VFW, American Legion, Viking Lodge, and Eiche Turner Lodge) make up the South Side Poker Tour events.  A prize package of cash, tournament seats and CCG cash will be given away to the top winners on the SSPT points list.  Each year the SSPT is made up of events prior to July 4th and events after July 4th.  So from January 2010 to the end of June 2010 will consist of SSPT Season 4.   

How are player points determined?  
Now that you know how player points are won, how many are you winning?  Well, the player point algorithm takes into account the total number of players, the buy in of the charity poker tournament, and what place you finished.  Therefore, if you won the $20 Early Bird Tournament with 100 players in it, you would not receive as many player points as a person who won the $100 Deepstack with the same number of players.

Where can I check to see if I have player points?  
The player points are uploaded via a PDF file on the Chicago Charitable Games website ( for those of us who did not know) underneath the points list tab at the top of the website.  Once on the player points page you can click to download the PDF file which will have the player points listed and when they were last updated. The PDF file will include both Chicago Charitable Games player of the year points list, and South Side Poker Tour Points list.

What can I win if I am on top of the Player Points List? 
The Chicago Charitable Game Player of the Year points list is a year long points list, and at the end of each year a CCG Player FREEROLL will be scheduled.  The top 40 players in the CCG Player of the Year points list will qualify for the CCG Player FREEROLL.  Chicago Charitable Games will give away $500 in CCG Cash to the winners of the Player Freeroll. 
For the South Side Poker Tour, the winners will take home cash, prizes and tournament entry seats into major tournaments such as the W.S.O.P, HPT, and WPT.  The SSPT Season 3 winners will be splitting up over $2500 in cash and prizes.

How does the Player Freeroll work for the Chicago Charitable Games Player of the Year points list? 
The Freeroll will be announced at the end of the year and will be open to the top 40 players and 5 alternates.  The starting chips will be determined by where you are on the player points list.  For example:
  • 1st place finisher would start with 6000 in starting chips
  • 2nd place finisher would start with 5500
  • 3rd and 4th place finisher would start with 5000
  • 5th through 10th place would start with 4500
  • 11th through 20th place would start with 4000
  • 21st through 30th would start with 3500
  • 31st through 40th would start with 3000
This way everyone who qualifies for the Chicago Charitable Games Freeroll would have a chance at the $500 in CCG Cash, but the players who are farther up on the points list are at an advantage.

The 2010 year Chicago Charitable Games is also going to be giving away a player of the month prize to anyone who wins the most player points in any given month.  This way if you do not find Chicago Charitable Games until halfway through the year you still have a chance at becoming the player of the month.  Prizes will include Deepstack Tournament Seats, CCG Cash Prizes, CASH, and preferred seating in cash games, and several other promotions happening every month. 

Who do I contact if I have questions about my player points, or if I believe there has been a mistake? is your best place to ask about player points.  At the events there is not really any way for someone to help you with player points.  When you have a question about player points remember to specifically include the tournament you played in, what place you finished, and what the situation was.  This will help Chicago Charitable Games rectify the situation as quickly as possible.  As always if you have questions about Player of the Year Points please feel free to email me at or ask me at any of the events.  Please refrain from asking when I am yelling at another player, or running around like a mad man, or playing spades with friends :)  But 9 times out of 10 I am ready and able to answer all of your questions.

Happy New Year and Good Luck and no bad beats to all my favorite poker players, which happens to include myself!