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Recent Blogs:

Killed in Vegas Again

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Bodog in Canada!

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Variance kicked my ass in Vegas

Home Poker Food - Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

I will never lose in Vegas!

The Largest Pot I Lost!

Home Poker Food - Chili

Vegas Trip Report – MGM, PH & Hooters

Steve's Home Poker Blog

Steve, the creator of Home Poker Tour, is an avid home poker player who has been hosting home games with his friends for over 20 years. He is a poker chip aficionado, and his religion is bankroll management!

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Posted by HomePokerTour on 2012-01-21 09:16:58
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Killed in Vegas Again

Stayed at the Tropicana in renovated rooms which were nice. Played at the MGM which now offers .50/1.00 NL Hold'em. This is not good as it has taken some of the fish away from the 1/2 game. I probably wouldn't play 1/2 there again.

95% on turn vs 2 outer $133
93% on turn vs 3 outer $350
90% on turn vs 5 outer $150
53% on flop vs 12 outer $350
56% on turn vs AA - $500

-1200 overall.

Good times :(

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2010-11-06 13:03:37
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Variance kicked my ass in Vegas

This time I stayed at Aria. We got a room on 50th floor with a view of the Palms and mountains. Aria has great poker room rates for a 5 star - $99 on weeknights and $139 on weekends. You're "required" to play 5 hours per day but this isn't really the case. Kathleen, who booked my room for me, said it's not an official requirement. Aria also counts tourney hours towards the 5 hour/day requirement, and when I busted out of a tourney after 3 hours of play she credited me for the full 5 hours for 1 day. There was lots of 1/3 action in the poker room a little tougher than MGM, but still lots of bad players. The 2/5 was tougher than MGM on Wednesday and Thursday nights, but on Friday there were lots of bad players (too bad they sucked out on me). The afternoon tourney is a good structure - 8000 starting chips, 25/50 starting blinds, and 30 minute levels.

Unfortunately variance finally caught up with me in Vegas...here's a summary of how things went down:

- Lost a $250 pot when my King high flush ran into an Ace high flush.
- Lost a $200 pot when I got all my opponent's chips in on the turn as an 80% favorite to win.
- Lost a $200 pot when I got my opponent's chips in on flop as a 72% favorite to win.
- Lost a $475 pot when I got all my opponent's chips in on the turn as a 93% favorite to win.
- Lost a $475 pot when I got all my opponent's chips in pre flop as a 70% favorite to win.
- Busted out of a tourney on bubble when I was an 82% favorite to win on flop. I would have been chip leader, with a 25BB lead over the current chip leader, 5 players left, and the tourney paid $2200 for first place.
- Finally I figured I lost about $550 from being card dead/making bad plays.

Now I've had to drop down from 500 NL to 300 NL because my bankroll isn't big enough for 2/5 anymore!

So I'm 7 wins and 1 loss now in Vegas:

- Vegas Trip #1 +900
- Vegas Trip #2 +900
- Vegas Trip #3 +1000
- Vegas Trip #4 +680
- Vegas Trip #5 +425
- Vegas Trip #6 +700
- Vegas Trip #7 +770
- Vegas Trip #8 -2413

What a disaster! The only good thing that comes out of this is that there's no pressure on me to win next trip.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2010-05-24 12:27:35
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Bodog in Canada!

Bodog is FINALLY allowing Canadians to play in their poker room.

All new Bodog players (not just Canadians) that sign up through a Home Poker Tour link will receive a 110% bonus from Bodog, and maybe a $50 bonus from Home Poker Tour! HPT will be working with Bodog on the details.


Posted by HomePokerTour on 2009-09-03 12:06:09
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I will never lose in Vegas!

I just returned from my 6th Vegas poker trip and I made almost $40/hour playing 1/2 no limit.

This time I stayed at Mandalay Bay. It was a very nice hotel and poker room. The 1/2 NL action was pretty good, and there was an average of 3 1/2 NL tables going. They also spread 2/4 NL but I don't play that yet. There was a mix of good (locals) and bad players. I was fortunate enough to stack a few of the donks :)

I still think the MGM has the best 1/2 action though.

I just can't lose! Am I getting too cocky? I don't think so as I've played about 80 hours of poker in Vegas, and I'm averaging about $30/hour.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2009-08-20 18:09:21
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Google Ads Help

I'm having problems with Google Ads, and no one from Google will answer my support emails.

If you go to the .NET URL for Home Poker Tour, you see ads:


If you go to the .COM URL, you don't see ads:


Both URL's above point to the same server.

Any ideas?

I'm thinking of going to the .NET link above and clicking links over and over to get Google's attention :(

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2009-06-15 20:59:08
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The Largest Pot I Lost!

Well last night I flopped an Ace high nut straight and ended up losing a $1600 pot :(

I checked the flop in the BB, button bet, SB check raised, and I re-check raised all in.

The button had bottom set and ended up boating up on the river.

Good times.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-11-11 13:08:59
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Home Poker Food - Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

The chili was a hit at the last home game, so I needed to come up with something better for this one!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 pounds pork shoulder butt (AKA Boston butt)
1 (18 ounce) bottle of good BBQ sauce
1 (12 ounce) bottle of good root beer
dried onion
8 hamburger buns

Rub the pork butt with salt, pepper, and dried onion. Place poker in the slow cooker, add root beer, cook on low for 6 hours, turning meat 1/2 way through cooking. When pork shreds easily, drain the liquid, shred the pork, add the BBQ sauce, and cook for another hour.

This recipe serves 8, but I doubled it and we got about 10 sandwiches with leftovers for a few more. I served it with buttermilk coleslaw.

I liked this a lot more than the chili!

Now it's time to brag! I won my second tourney in our
2009 WSOP League last night, and I took a pretty good points lead over everyone else :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-11-09 12:37:56
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Home Poker Food - Chili

How about cooking up some chili at your next home game? Myself and another guy from my league did and it was a hit!

Here's the recipe I used:

Slow cooker chili

2 pounds cross rib pot roast cut into 1/2 inch pieces (substitude with 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey)
2 (28 ounce) cans tomatos, chopped
1 (24 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 Jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil on med-high in large skillet and brown beef in batches, adding olive oil as needed. Transfer to bowl with slotted spoon.

Pour off fat in skillet, reduce heat to medium, and soften onion, pepper, and jalepeno for about 5 minutes (or skip this step and put them right in the slow cooker).

Slow cooker: Put all ingredience, except kidney beans, into slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Stove top: Put all ingredience, except kidney beans, into dutch oven/large pot, bring to boil, cover and simmer on low for 3 hours or until meat is tender.

Add kidney beans in last hour of cooking.

Remove lid for last 1/2 hour of cooking and cook at temperature that will maintain a simmer (this will thicken it up a bit).
Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped green onion, and aged cheddar cheese.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-11-02 18:02:51
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Vegas Trip Report – MGM, PH & Hooters

This trip was all about the MGM Grand. I wanted to stay there to play as much as possible in their juicy cash games. Unfortunately I got really unlucky :(

In my second session at MGM, I got all in pre flop with AA against KK, and kings came on the flop AND turn! What a bummer that was! Shortly after my flopped set was cracked by a flush and I was stuck about 150 big bets. This was tough to take and I was dreading that this would be my first losing Vegas trip.

In my last session at MGM, my KK was cracked by AK who went runner runner aces, and my QQ was cracked by runner runner flush. At this point I was stuck 180 BB's but I managed to make back 120 BB's before I left.

I played in another Planet Hollywood poker tournament. Boy was this a tough one! I made a great call on the flop about 1/2 way through the tourney after a guy put all his chips in when he was a 2 to 1 dog. Unfortunately he caught his flush and I was short stacked for the rest of the tourney. I managed to win the rest of my coin flips and I cashed in 8th out of 70 players, barely bursting the bubble!

Again I cannot recommend PH poker tournaments enough! They are the best "cheap" tournaments on the strip! Compare the PH tourney to the MGM tourney and: PH gives you more starting chips, more relaxed blinds, and no antes! Example: The 5th level of the $80 buy in tourneys blinds/antes are 400/800/100 at MGM, and 300/600/0 at PH. This is SO MUCH better for experienced players like us.

Well variance didn't kick my ass that hard. After 22 hours of cash games I managed to come out ahead with a profit of $425.

I also played at Hooters. The poker room there was low-rent...there was only one table! However, there was a donk there that I had played earlier at MGM who like to make big moves. He pushed me all in on the river for 50 BB's with air and I called him down with second pair and a queen kicker...he mucked and I raked in a big pot! Even though the poker room at Hooters was weak, I would probably stay there next time as it is right across the street from MGM, and the rooms are dirt cheap.

So now I've had 5 winning trips to Vegas and my mentality has shifted from "I'm going to lose next time" to "I can't lose in Vegas!"

We'll see...I hope to squeeze in one more trip this year.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-10-03 20:29:25
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Vegas Trip Report - Mirage, Caesars, & Venetian

It was less than a month since my last trip to Vegas, but I was back again from August 1st to 3rd!

This time I stayed at the Mirage, and I also checked out the poker rooms at Caesars and the Venetian, and returned to the Planet Hollywood and MGM Grand poker rooms.

The Mirage poker room was pretty big – they have at least 20 tables. Unfortunately there weren’t as many fish as I hoped for. Unlike my last visit to Vegas at Planet Hollywood, I noticed a lot of older locals who regularly played the 1/2 No Limit games. There were still fish though, and they’re always easy to spot. The coolest thing about this room was the 1-4 spread limit 7 card stud game! They had one table going each day and it was packed with same seniors! I wanted to sit down with them, but I knew they would have taken all my money…although it probably would have been worth it just to hear some of their stories.

The Caesars poker room was huge! They also had 20+ tables, and a separate room for tourneys. I played the 3PM, $65+$5 add on, 50 person max tourney. The structure wasn’t that great: 2500 starting chips, 25/50 starting blinds, and 30 minute levels. I didn’t cash in this one. I got sucked out early and was crippled. I ended up placing 15th and busting out when my 55 ran into KK. After the tourney they had at least three 1/2 no limit tables, and two 2/5 no limit tables going.

I think the Venetian is my favorite poker room on the strip. This room was massive and gorgeous! There were at least 30 tables. I arrived just before the noon tournament started hoping to catch some fish that would be busting out of the tourney early. There were four 1/2 no limit tables, one 2/5 no limit table, and a limit hold’em table. The 2/5 NL looked a little tough so I opted for the 1/2. The first table I sat down at was no good. There were 3 dealers playing there, and only 1 action table. I immediately asked for a table change and when my turn came up I sat down at a table that had 3 guys that were there to have fun. Two of the seats were empty too, but not for long. Two guys sat down with 500, 100, and 25 denominated chips, and started talking about how there were here to gamble! Needless to say it was the BEST table change I have ever made :) I played for an hour and a half and made 1.5 buy ins after one of the gambler guys doubled me up.

I returned to Planet Hollywood as a couple of my friends wanted to play a decent cheap tourney. As I mentioned in my last Vegas trip report, the cheap tourneys here are really good. I didn’t do well here. I was mostly card dead and ended up busting out 40th out of 53 players when my AQ ran into JJ.

Finally, I returned to the MGM Grand to take a shot at 2/5 no limit! This was like coming home in a way, as it was the first place I played live 1/2 no limit. I bought in with 80 BB’s, and I was lucky to have a great start. A couple of hands after I sat down the guy on my right was on tilt and I picked up QQ. I re-raised him, he put all his chips in with 55, I called, my QQ held up, and I was up about 35 BB’s. A while later I got involved in a hand with a big fish at the table. Here’s how the hand went down:

- Hero ($575) raises $20 UTG with JJ.
- Folds to Villain ($500) who makes it $200.

My information and read on the Villain:

- He's a gambler with an ego and money who initially sat down with $500, $1000, and $100 chips. He was upset when he found out that the largest denomination of chip you could use on the table was $25 (he wanted to use $100's).
- He raised his first hand PF and took down a pot after everyone folded.
- He bluffed off 150 by betting to the river and getting called down by A high.
- He bluffed again and folded.
- He semi bluffed the rest of his stack by pushing all in on a flush draw and missed.
- Left table for a while and returned with 500, and now he's betting $200 into a $20 pot.

I knew I had him beat and I had to shove, but the only thing going through my mind was “He’s NOT going to fold, he’s probably going to hit an Ace and I’m going to lose 500!” However, I did man up and shove. He called, the flop came Jack, 10 2, showed pocket 10’s and my jacks held! Moving up in limits still isn’t that easy though. Immediately after this hand, Dutch, a regular 2/5 player at the MGM, told me he was surprised I made that move with ONLY JJ. This got me thinking that I could have been coin flipping for $500 and ruined my game for the rest of the night. I missed out on about 60 to 80 BB’s because I was playing scared. I’ll have to work on that part of my game.

Another great trip, and once again I profit in Vegas!

- Vegas Trip #1 +900
- Vegas Trip #2 +900
- Vegas Trip #3 +1000
- Vegas Trip #4 +680
- Vegas Trip #5 ????

My 5th trip will be in September and now I’m REALLY worried – when is variance going to kick me in the ass? I thought it would this time but it didn’t. It feels like it’s right around the corner...

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-08-11 23:12:14
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Premium Subscriptions 1/2 Price for August!

As the 2008 World Series of Poker finishes up, now is a good time to start thinking about how you can go from your home poker game to a WSOP event!

To encourage you all to get ready for the 2009 WSOP, premium league subscriptions have are now 1/2 price for Agust 2008! Just purchase or renew a 12 month subscription for $47.70 or 24 month subscription for $95.40!

Split the cost between the players in your home game and you're looking at about $5 each for a year!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-07-27 10:41:15
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Nickle Poker Chips

I added some nickles to my cash game set:

I got pink nickles for the girls (not that there's anything wrong with pink). When we play couples poker the games are REALLY cheap - usually $5 or $10 buy ins. Anyways I wanted to get something pretty for the girls to look at :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-07-26 09:58:25
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Vegas Trip Report – Planet Hollywood

Get this…my wife books a trip to Vegas with her friends and doesn’t even ask me!!! WTF?? It was a last minute decision…but she knows very well that I love the Vegas and any excuse to play some poker!

The girls booked Planet Hollywood, so I got myself a room there too. I stayed there a couple of years ago when it was the Aladdin (before I was playing poker competitively), and I really liked it because of its central location. Unfortunately we arrived around 11 PM and we got a smoking room that hadn’t been renovated since the Aladdin. It was still OK though, and I didn’t really care as I didn’t plan on staying in it much.

The poker room was pretty nice. It was very close to the strip entrance to the casino which helps bring in the fish. There were 15 tables, but I only saw a few with auto shufflers. The dealers were very efficient with their shuffling. They usually had multiple 1/2 NL games going, and at least one 2/5 NL game. The one thing I didn’t like was the fact that there was a Karaoke bar on the opposite side of one of the poker room walls. This started up in the evenings and went until late night…man was it annoying!

Other than our home poker games, I hadn’t played live poker for over 6 months. I have been itching to take a shot at 2/5, but I decided I better stick with 1/2 NL until I get back into the swing of things.

My first session was late night and there were LOTS of fish - I couldn’t spot any locals/pros at my table. Unfortunately I was card dead the majority of the time, and when I flopped the nut flush, buddy went runner runner to beat me with a full house. This was very disappointing as I played it perfectly – he even said after I mucked: "I thought you were on a draw."

The next morning I decided to play in the 10 AM tourney. The tournaments at Planet Hollywood are great! They are cheap, and you get a lot of chips compared to most cheap tournaments I’ve played in. The buy ins range for $60 - $80, starting blinds are 25/50, levels are 20 minutes long, and you start with 4500 in chips if you have a PH players card (which you can get right next door to the poker room). If you don’t have the card you get 4000 chips to start. I played in 4 of these tourneys:

- Chopped for 3rd place out of ~60 players.
- Chopped for 2nd place out of ~70 players.
- Busted out 10th place out of ~50 players.
- Busted out 48th place out of ~70 players.

Obviously the last tourney was my worst…I made a bad call early on and was crippled and in all in mode shortly after. I called because my opponent looked very uncomfortable but I guess he was acting. The problem I had with the call was that I knew I could only beat a bluff, I was calling off 1/3 of my stack, and I was only getting a little over 2:1 pot odds. If it was a cash game I would have felt better about it. I ended up busting out of this after I shoved all in with AQ and got called by JJ.

The other tourneys went well - I only got my money in bad once: I was chip leader with AcJc vs a short stack’s AK off. I sucked out trip jacks and busted him.

Also while playing in the tournaments, I ran into Dave, Jamie, and Rob from the All In Calgary league. This was pretty cool. I was pimping my website to them and they said "we use this site!" What are the odds of meeting another group of guys using HPT in Vegas? Not too bad apparently! These guys have been sending their season champion to Vegas for the 1500 WSOP event. This year it was Jamie and unfortunately his QQ got cracked by K3. Tough luck :(

The rest of my 1/2 NL sessions went well and I managed to get out of there with a 5BB per hour profit. If my nut flush held in my first session it would have been about 15 BB’s per hour.

Overall Vegas was good to me AGAIN! I left up about 1K. This is great, but does it mean a bad run is coming for my next trip?

- Vegas Trip #1 +900
- Vegas Trip #2 +900
- Vegas Trip #3 + 1000
- Vegas Trip #4 ????

I hope not because I’m going to take a shot at 2/5 NL next time!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2008-07-17 19:19:11
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New Contests!

Two new contest are available:

Playing Cards from Caragails

Home Poker Tour Baseball Cap

Remember, anyone can enter but you have to be a member of a Premium league when the draw takes place.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-11-17 12:55:41
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Premium Leagues Available!

The first version of premium leagues are now available.

Home Poker Tour is still FREE - a few hours of your time playing online poker will get a free subscription to Home Poker Tour premium leagues.

Upgrade to a premium league for free by becoming a first time real money player at one of Home Poker Tour's affiliate poker rooms.

If you would rather not play online poker, you can pay for a premium league subscription with your credit card, bank card, or Paypal (all orders are processed through Paypal).

Upgrade your league HERE.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-10-28 18:02:43
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Home Poker Tour Nevada Jacks Poker Chips

I finally got my order of the Nevada Jacks contest poker chips.

I skipped the September contest draw because: I'm a greedy bastard, I have a poker chip problem (I can't seem to get enough), and I wanted an official tournament set for my home league.

I got mine customized to say "Home Poker Tour" but remember if you win them you can change the wording to match your league's name.

I got the following denominations for T2500 and T5000 tourneys for up to 8 poker players:


Here they are:

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Remember as of Nov. 1 this contest will ONLY be available to members of premium leagues. So think about upgrading!!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-10-24 00:34:33
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League Polling Feature Added

The league polling feature has been added for Home Poker Tour premium leagues.

Now you can make your home poker games better by finding out what your poker players want. Create poll questions with answers on your poker league's message board and have your league members vote.

League polls are being tested over the next week to squash any potential bugs, and they will be ready for the November 1, 2007 premium league launch date.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-10-21 21:32:52
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HPT October News

The Home Poker Tour monthly newsletter is being sent out today.

Make sure HOMEPOKERTOUR.COM is on your email "safe list," and check your bulk/junk email folder if you don't receive it by tomorrow evening.

As always, you can access it online HERE.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-10-09 16:38:50
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Home Poker Tour Premium Leagues

Home Poker Tour will be launching a premium version that will be available for between $6.95 and $9.95 per month.

Here are the features you will see in the first version of HPT Premium:

- Event photos
- Custom league banners
- Priority email messaging
- Multiple league administrators
- Email lists
- League polls
- Entry into HPT contests.

The core features of Home Poker Tour (sending out email invitations, reserving seats, recording results, etc.) will remain free, and new leagues will have premium features enabled for 7 days so everyone can demo them.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-09-27 21:29:40
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Home Poker Tour - September News

The Home Poker Tour September e-newsletter was emailed on Monday, September 17th.

If you didn't receive this email, please check your junk/bulk email folder and ensure you have added HOMEPOKERTOUR.COM to your email "safe list."

You can access the newsletter online here.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-09-19 07:00:36
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Last Tournament of Season 3

My next home game will be the last tournament of season 3.

It looks like our league's most improved player, Erik, is going to become the Season 3 champion unless a miracle happens...I'm currently running in 2nd place, and I would need to win this tourney, and have Erik bust out 1st or 2nd. If this happens, I'll be the winner!

Erik used to suck at poker. In season's 1 and 2 he lost the most money by making stupid calls with bad odds and gutshot draws, but since then his game has improved tons - he dominated the first season of another poker league, and he's looking to come out on top in our league too.

We already have 5 out of 8 spots reserved, so we should get a full table again.

Good times!!!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-07-08 14:51:38
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Vegas Trip Report – Imperial Palace & Monte Carlo

I stayed at a couple of places in Vegas from June 11 – June 15. Here’s how it went down.

We checked in to the Imperial Palace on June 11. Our room was SOOOO ghetto!

- The live music coming from outside was super loud, and it goes until 3AM.
- None of the lights in our room worked.
- The shower drain was backed up.

My wife and I were sitting on our bed, in the dark, with our heads down. It was a sweet lower expectations moment.
Our friends were pretty upset with their room too (at least their lights worked), and we all decided to get rooms in another hotel (we tried to upgrade but got nothing from them).

After the wife went to bed I hit the poker room for some 1/2 NL. The poker room was ghetto too. There was only 7 tables that looked like they were built for a home game. The game was pretty fishy – I only spotted one person who may have been a local/pro. I played for 2.5 hours to get my AA cracked by some donkey who shoved the turn with a 7 outer.

The next morning we checked in to the Monte Carlo. We got poker room rates, and rooms on the 3rd floor from the top with desert views. After our night in the ghetto, it was like walking into a 5 star hotel. The poker room rate was great too – I saved about 250 over 4 nights and had to play 4 hours a day.

I really liked the Monte Carlo poker room. It only had 9 tables but it looked and felt classy. There was usually a few 1/2 NL tables going, but I didn’t see any 2/5 action. I played 4 sessions of 1/2 there (morning, afternoon, evening, and late night) and averaged about 16 BB’s an hour. There were more locals/pros here, but they were pretty easy to spot. They also offered tournaments and sit n go’s but I didn’t play any of these.

We went for lunch at the Pink Taco restaurant at the Hard Rock. I don’t recommend this place unless you want a mild version of Hep. A, and don’t mind spending the rest of your trip in your hotel room. I have never been so sick in my life!

If I didn’t get sick, I was going to take a shot at 2/5NL with a short buy in of 70BB’s. It was a real bummer, but I still made a profit of about $900 so I shouldn’t complain I guess.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-06-30 14:07:30
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Home Game Results

I thought I did well in the tournament, but I only placed 5th out of 8 players.

I got a lucky Big Blind special early where I flopped top 2 pair, and doubled up against my opponent who shoved with top pair and a King kicker.

Later on I flopped top pair against a short stack and put him all in on the flop. He called with bottom pair and a gutshot draw, and he rivered his straight! I lost about 1/3 of my chips here. "That's Poker" right?

With the blinds getting high, it was folded around to me on the button. I raised with KJ off suit, the short stack in the SB pushed all and I insta-called with at least 20:1 pot odds. He had my hand dominated with KQ off suit. I was hoping it was my turn to suck out (this was the same guy who rivered a straight on me), but his Queen kicker held. I liked my play here - King Jack is pretty strong when you're 5 handed and only up against 2 random hands in the blinds...just bad timing I guess.

I was really short in the BB and went all in blind when I was already getting about 6:1 pot odds. UTG raised with A8 off and I was lucky enough to have AJ which held!

I was card dead for a while, short again, and I finally picked up KQ off suit. I pushed and I got one caller with 55, they held and I was done.

The ring game went better. I'm starting to like cash games more - I'm finding the "luck" factor of poker tournaments a little frustrating these days. I ended up making a profit of 32 Big Blinds per hour! I won't tell you how small the BB was :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-06-30 13:35:02
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Home Game on Friday!

It has been a while since I've hosted a home game and I'm looking forward to this Friday!

So far I've got 7 out of 8 people signed up, and I'm pretty sure I'll fill the 8th seat. If I'm lucky I'll have my new custom clay poker chips too :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-06-26 08:10:35
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Vegas Trip Report

To sum things up...poker went well, but overall the trip was a disaster :(

Our flight out of Seattle was cancelled, and we had to fly to Phoenix, get on another plane, and fly back to Vegas. Because of this we bitched and complained to US Airways to allow us to extend our trip by two days.

The Imperial Palace was GHETTO! We entered our room, the music from outside was super loud (and it doesn't stop till 4AM), the bath tub was backed up, and none of the lights worked! My special lady friend and I were sitting in the dark holding our heads looking at the floor. We went to our friends room (their lights worked), and we all decided we would check out the next morning and pay for a decent hotel.

Next morning we checked into the Monte Carlo. It was SOOO nice. Our rooms were on the 31st floor with a view of a New York New York, the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and the mountains to the West. We also saved about $150 because Bob from the poker room gave us the poker players rate. This was awesome.

All the poker I played was at the Mone Carlo. The poker room only had 9 tables, but it was very nice. I only played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the competition seemed pretty tough. There were a lot of regulars who knew each other and the dealers, but I managed to make about $47/hour playing 1/2 NL.

I got the stomach flu on Wednesday afternoon and spent the rest of my trip in the hotel room! This really sucked because I heard that the poker room was packed (with fish visiting for the weekend) on Thursday and Friday nights, and Saturday afternoon too. I had also built my bankroll up enough to take a shot at 2/5 NL, and if I did well at that I was going to stick around for a WSOP event.

Hopefully next time I won't get sick!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-06-19 11:57:04
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Bankroll Management!!!

I like to remind everyone how the most important thing about playing poker is managing your bankroll.

Well here's a couple of examples of why you need a big bankroll:

Dealt to HERO [Ac Ad]
Villian raises to $4
HERO raises to $129.90, and is all in
Villian calls $105.70, and is all in
HERO shows [Ac Ad]
Villian shows [Kh Kc]
Uncalled bet of $20.20 returned to HERO
*** FLOP *** [Js Ah 4c]
*** TURN *** [Js Ah 4c] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [Js Ah 4c Th] [Qc]
HERO shows three of a kind, Aces
Villian shows a straight, Ace high

Dealt to HERO [Ks Kh]
Villian raises to $1.50
HERO calls $1.50
*** FLOP *** [Kc Js 2s]
Villian bets $5.50
HERO has 15 seconds left to act
HERO raises to $15
Villian raises to $79.95, and is all in
HERO calls $41.50, and is all in
Villian shows [As Ad]
HERO shows [Ks Kh]
Uncalled bet of $23.45 returned to Villian
*** TURN *** [Kc Js 2s] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [Kc Js 2s Ac] [6c]
Villian shows three of a kind, Aces
HERO shows three of a kind, Kings

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-05-07 10:38:45
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Home Poker in Surrey!

Today I played in a single table hold'em tournament at Dano's place.

I got lucky early on when I flopped a set of 7's and doubled up from a guy with top pair, but from there it was all down hill :(

- My JJ ran into "crazy guy" who limp called pre flop on the button with QQ. I had him covered and I pushed him all in when the flop came down low and ragged. This guy was IMPOSSIBLE to read, and I still like my move here even though I was beat.

- I raised pre flop 5 handed with TT, and the flop came down AJ8. My opponents bet out and I had to fold as I knew one of them had an ace. They ended up showing AQ and AK.

- Immediately after my hand with pocket tens, it was 4 handed and I raised under the gun with 88. I got re-raised by the guy on my left. I decided to fold because my opponenet was tight, and he saw me as a solid, tight-aggressive player. He didn't show but he said he had pocket Kings.

After that I was short stacked. I pushed all in a couple of times to pick up the blinds - once even in the dark (call me a degenerate gambler) because I was so short! A while later I got A8 and pushed, but got called by the chip leader with AJ. His Jack held up and I was done!

Well this home game was a bust for me...but I just remind myself that poker is all about long run results, and you can't get unlucky all the time.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-04-21 15:21:13
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Nevada Jacks Winner!!!

Congrats to Tim A from Loveland, OH! He has won himself, and his league, a set of 300 Nevada Jacks poker chips!

The next draw will be on June 15th...don't forget to enter again!!

Enter Here

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-04-15 09:10:30
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Cake Poker Rakeback & Contest

Home Poker Tour is working with Cake Poker and offering 33% rakeback to new players. This is a great deal and it will help you save a LOT of money in the long run!

As an added bonus, if you sign up today and complete 500 raked hands by April 17th, you'll qualify for a satellite tournament that can get you into the 2007 celebrity poker tournament at the Playboy Mansion!

Check out all the details HERE.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-04-09 10:30:37
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Live 1/2 NL Hand

I've started playing 1/2 no limit at another local casino. I've done about 10 hours there and averaged about 34 big blinds per hour - it gets pretty fish late at night :)

Anyways, I wanted to get some opinions on one of the hands I played there recently. Here's the info:

The Villian just sat down with about 150 in chips, played a few hands, didn't show anything down, and has about $200 now. My chip stack is about $175.

-1 limper in early position
-I raise to $10 in mid position with AdQd
-Villian re-raises to $25 2 seats behind me
-Limper calls, and I call
-Flop: A84 rainbow
-Limper checks
-I bet $40 into about a $75 pot
-Villian re-raises to $135

The pot is about $250 and I'm getting 2.5:1 to call $95 which puts me pretty much all in.

The only hands I can put him on are: AK, AA, KK, QQ, and maybe JJ (anything else?)

The chances of him having AK and AA are very slim.

Should I pay for info. here or fold?

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-04-02 11:01:11
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Neteller pulls out of Canadian (and other) Market

More bad news for online poker players.

Neteller has pulled out of the Canadian and Turkish markets.

Check out the Neteller press release for more details.

Can anyone recommend a good alternative?

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-03-26 08:55:24
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Home Game Results

My first home game of 2007 went great!

Well...not for me particularly, but it was nice to have a full table and good mix of players.

I was pretty much card dead in the Hold'em tourney. I tried to make a couple of moves and continuation bets to pick up pots, but I kept running into hands. Eventually I got short stacked, pushed all in with 55 one off the cut-off, and got called by two players: 77 and KK. Bad luck.

Erik went on a rush early on in the tourney and took a big chip lead, and Tim played solid and patient. The both made it to heads up, Erik with a slight chip lead, and Tim got lucky when he needed to to take first place.

After these results, Erik knocked me out of first place on our league's leader board! He is definately the most improved player of all of us over the last couple of years. In our league's first season he really sucked. Since then he took first place in another poker league, and now he's 5 points ahead of me in ours...I have some catching up to do!

After the tournament, we started up at .25/.25 No Limit Holdem cash game. John was the big winner for this. He went on a huge rush and hit at least 5 straights! I made about 18 big bets per hour, and we played for 3 hours (about $14).

I know some of you may think "big deal $14 is nothing," but you shouldn't look at it this way! If I was playing 1/2 NL at the casino, I would have made $36 per hour which is pretty good. I always say that the amount of money you are playing for shouldn't make a difference - you should always play the same style of game (as long as it's within acceptable limits of your bankroll of course).

My next home poker game will be on the Easter long weekend...hopefully I'll be at the top of the leader board after that :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-03-25 03:52:04
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Finally...a home poker game!

I haven't been able to host a home game since last year, and needless to say I'm jonesin!

Well next weekend is looking good because I have a full table of 8 players! We're starting off with a $10 buy in single table tournament (sit and go) which is structured similar to the tournaments at our local casinos:

- cheap buy in
- short blind levels
- short starting stacks.

I know it's a crapshoot but I figure it's good practice.

As people bust out of the tourney, we'll start up a ring game. We usually play a No Limit Texas Hold'em game with .25/.25 or .25/.50 blinds and a $10-$40 buy in (depending on what the majority of players feel like).

It's been sooo long since I've hosted a home game so I'm REALLY looking forward to this one :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-03-15 07:42:42
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Nevada Jacks Contest

Home Poker Tour is running a monthly contest for a free 300 piece set of Nevada Jacks poker chips.

Check out the details and enter the draw HERE!

The first draw will be take place on April 15th.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-03-06 07:11:37
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Home Poker Tour Featured in CPP!

Check out page 44 of the March edition of Canadian Poker Player, and you'll see a feature on Home Poker Tour!.

You can also read my "Playing for Fun or Profit" article on page 42.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-03-02 18:52:18
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First Time at River Rock for 1/2 NL

Tough night for me.

Started out where I made an awesome call on the big stack who was semi-bluffing a flush draw on the turn...he hit on the river taking my stack.

Later my image was soooo tight that I slow played AA, this got me into trouble and I lost another stack! No more slow playing!!! Especially at this table - where you get action EVERY time you raise to $15. It was just a horrible play on my part.

Then I ran into a super aggressive player in one hand that I should have called him on. This guy was crazy. He called with anything and would made big bluff bets at the pot with crap. I saw him bluff off his entire stack on a gutshot draw (he hit), and I saw him show a couple more bluffs. Here's how the hand went down:

- I raise 15 on button with QQ
- Super Aggressive and another guy call.
- Flop Ks2s6h
- I bet 30.
- 1 fold, Super aggressive calls.
- Turn Js (flush on board).
- Super aggressive checks, I check.
- River blank.
- Super Aggresive guy all in (he has be covered by about 100).
- There's about 225 in the pot and I've got about 120 left - less than 2:1.

This guy was showing so much reckless play earlier and I couldn't decide if he was bluffing or not. He knew I saw how much of a maniac he was, so I thought there was a very good chance he actually had a hand this time.

It was a very tough decision. I have second pair, and there's a flush draw on board.

Anyways I folded and he showed a pair of jacks. If his bet on the river was a little smaller I would have called. I was thinking anything over 2:1...oh well.

I managed to claw my way back, but I walked out losing $297 (a small portion of my bankroll). This brings my average hourly rate down to 13.5 BB's ($27)/hour after 43 hours of live 1/2 NL play.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-02-24 16:51:31
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Boulevard Donkey Action!

Once again I had to cancel my home game because not enough of my friends were interested. Pack your bags boys, we're going on a guilt trip!!

Anyways, a couple of my friends and I went to Boulevard to play 1/2 no limit. One of my friends said it was a LOT fishier in the early AM, so we ended up playing later than usual - we played 7 hours instead of the usual 5 hours.

BTW, I HIGHLY recommend deciding on how long you are going to play poker before you sit down at the table.

I bought in for a total of $260 (initially 200, and topped up 60 more after my boat was cracked by quads), and I ended up cashing out $890 for a profit of $630 - my largest profit from a live cash session yet!

Highlight #1 - Big Donkey Hand:

- The button (loose aggressive), raises to $15.
- SB (tight aggressive) calls.
- BB (loose) calls.
- Flop K64 rainbow.
- SB bets $30, BB folds, button calls.
- Turn J, and it puts a flush draw on the board.
- SB bets $50, button rerraises all in.
- The pot is about $275 and the SB only has $70 left in chips.
- SB thinks for a while and calls.
- Button shows AK off for top pair top kicker.
- SB shows a pocket pair - 88.
- River 8.

What a horrible call and disgusting suckout! How much money do you think this donkey is going to lose in the long run??? Hopefully not much, because the donkey was ME!

So why would I make such a shitty call? Here are my reasons:

1. I had played with the button about a month ago, and I knew he was a loose aggressive player: I saw him make aggressive bluffs at pots and show down nothing, and I saw him call a lot of flop bets and fold to turn bets.

2. The last time I played with the button, he made a very loose call pre flop and got lucky. See highlight #2 here. This was just wrong on my part. I should NOT be playing revenge poker.

3. I was getting close to 4:1 on my money, and I thought there was a good chance he was making a move.

4. I stared him down trying to get a read on him, and he didn't look that strong. How strong is top pair top kicker when you're betting into a tight aggressive player like myself? Good acting on his part.

Here are the things I didn't consider:

1. In my experience, when you play loose aggressive players like this, they generally don't put all their chips in the pot when they are bluffing (although he did have me covered). When they are bluffing, they'll put in a reasonable sized bet, but when they're risking all of their chips they usually have something decent.

2. When he went all in, he knew very well that I was pretty much committed to call if I had anything like top pair because of the pot odds and his playing style. He played this hand perfectly.

3. There are two overcards to my 8 on the board...what can I really beat other than a bluff?

Well this is the first big suckout I've been on the good end of for 1/2 NL, so I'll take it.

Throughout the remainder of the night, I was able to confirm his loose aggressive play, and bluffs on a number of occasions:

- He put in a big bet on the river with 9 high, against my friend Tim (who made an awesome call BTW).
- He made another similar bluff on the river with garbage.
- He over played his top pairs with mediocre kickers a couple of times.

I also made an awesome lay-down against him when I had top pair, King kicker on the turn, and he had a boat..

This made me feel better about my donkey call earlier. Should I feel better about it??? It was just horrible!

I would REALLY appreciate some thoughts on this hand! Feel free to berate my play...

Highlight #2 - Steve vs. Tim:

Now here's some friendly poker:

- Tim put in a raise in early position.
- Folded to me and I re-raise with JJ in mid position.
- Folded back to Tim who stares me down and smooth calls.

At this point I knew I was beat, but fortunately for me we had agreed on checking our hands down to the river if we got involved in pots with each other. Tim had AA.

Highlight #3 - The worst beat I've GIVEN at live 1/2 NL:

- I raise to $15 in mid position with TsTd. Sometimes I'll limp with this hand, but I had been playing tighter than a...well lets just say pretty freaking tight!
- 2 callers behind me - both of them appeared to be donkeys as I had seen them call with crappy pot odds and show down their hands.
- Flop: Qd9d2s.
- I bet $50, donkey 1 folds, and the BB calls.
- Turn: Jd.
- BB bets $50.
- I think about it for a while. I'm getting 3:1, I have 3rd pair, and an open ended straight flush draw. I also consider that this guy had bet into me in a couple of earlier pots and seen me fold (he knows I'm tight), he may already have a flush as he's made calls with crappy odds (like I gave him on the flop), or he may be betting the flush draw.
- River Kd - I hit my King high straight flush!
- BB bets $100, he's only got $70 left (committed), so I go all in.
- He show's Ad7c and the nut flush.

What do you think of my call on the turn? I guess it was right because he was making a move.

Highlight #4 - The worst beat I've TAKEN at live 1/2 NL:

I won't go into all the details (this post is getting long), but my TTT99 was cracked by 9999.

Tim also took a simliar bad beat - his 44422 was cracked by quad 2's..

We both handled them well with the "that's poker" mentality.

Again, I'm happy with my play overall. I made a big mistake, but I've learned and hopefully I won't make it again.

After 37 hours of play, I'm averaging 16 BB's and $32 per hour. I wonder how much tougher the competition is at 3/6 NL...that would be $96 hour..

Considering I SWEAR BY BANKROLL MANAGEMENT, I won't be able to try that until I double my bankroll.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-02-18 15:01:17
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Neteller has frozen US accounts

Another VERY bad beat for US players..

Neteller has frozen all accounts that were registered with US addresses - you cannot transfer your money to online poker rooms/casinos, or cashout your funds. Their FAQ and press release is HERE..

A number of Home Poker Tour members have recommended ePassporte as an alternative to Neteller.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-02-10 12:14:27
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River Rock Tourney Report

Yesterday I bought into the Early Bird tournament at River Rock. This was a $20+5 buy in with about 100 players.

I played solid tight/aggressive poker and made it to the first break. Shortly after, I made one mistake that cost me the tourney:

-Blinds 400/800, 10 handed, I have about 3500 in chips.
-One limper in early position, she has me covered.
-Folded around to me, and I check A2 off suit in the BB.
-Flop: Q52 rainbow, 2000 in the pot.
-I bet 2000, limper re-raises me all in.
-I'm confident I have 5 outs twice (6 if I include a back door straight, and with 5:1 pot odds I am break even to call.
-I call, she has QJ, and her Q holds up.

I think my mistake here was betting the pot on the flop. If I had bet 1/2 the pot, I wouldn't have been committed, and I could have waited for another spot with 2500 in chips.

Or...maybe I should have just pushed with this hand. She did have me covered, but not by much (she had an average sized stack), so pushing her really puts the pressure on...would you gamble with QJ off suit?.

Do you like the break even call, would you have waited for a better spot with 1500 chips and a 400 SB to post next hand, or would you have pushed A2 pre flop?

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-02-05 07:06:13
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HPT on Rounders - The Poker Show!

A while back I met Adam Schwartz, a local poker pro in my area, who hosts Rounders - The Poker Show (a radio show and podcast).

Last night he brought me on his show to talk about Home Poker Tour.

Gus Hansen, who recently won the Aussie Millions tournament down under, was on the show too, so I'm hoping a lot of people will tune in to hear what he has to say, and stick around to hear about HPT too!

I'm featured on the January 28th Podcast 47 minutes into the show. I know what you're thinking...I should have been ahead of Gus Hansen ;)

Check out Rounders - The Poker Show at BigPoker.ca

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-01-29 07:11:42
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No Home Poker...More Boulevard

Last night went pretty well at the Boulevard. I bought in with $140, played for about 4 hours, and cashed out $470 for a profit of $330 and $84/hour. After 24 hours of play, I'm averaging 10BB's/hour.

I made one mistake that cost me $30. In this hand I slow played JJ on a low ragged flop, and the turn was an Ace. I was heads up and my opponent put in a small bet on the river. I reraised him 3x, and he called. Will somebody slap me??? Why did I do this? Well I think it was because my table image was SUPER tight, but I really didn't bet enough to put any presssure on him and make him think. I think I should have just let this go.

Other than that, I played the same tight/solid game I always play, and made a few moves at small pots (with success and failure).

This night was the first time I didn't have to make any tough decisions in big pots. It makes me think my play was mediocre. Here are a couple of highlights:

1. First Hand of the night.

-About 6 limpers total, me with Qs9s in late position.
-Flop comes Td3sJs.
-A guy in early position goes all in for $16.
-Folded around to me and I smooth call with 15-18 outs to try and get more money in the pot.
-Button calls, everyone else folds.
-Turn is an 8, and I put in a 1/2 pot bet, and the button folds.

I'm not sure if I like my smooth call on the flop in combination with a bet on the turn. I think I should have either raised the flop to isolate, or smooth called and checked the turn.

Thoughts Anyone???

2. Flopped a Boat!

-5 limpers, I limp on the button with 44.
- SB limps, BB raises to 6, everyone else calls and there's $48 in the pot.
-Flop: 4c6d6c.
-Everyone checks to me and I put in a 1/4 pot bet hoping that it looks like a weak steal.
-BB reraises to $50.
-BB is a guy who I have seen show down a lot of hands, with the best hand, when he puts in big bets/raises.
-I reraise him $100 more and he calls immediately.
-Turn is a 7c.
-I go all in and BB calls with Kc8c.

Looks like the BB was making a move on the flop, and he called my $100 reraise with about $150 in the pot - 2.5:1 odds with a flush draw and two over cards he must have been counting as outs too.

What do you all think about this hand?.

What about home poker??? January and February have been pretty busy for me...boarding in Whistler last weekend, boarding at Sun Peaks next week, concert, birthday dinners, etc.. I'm dying to host a home game so I can use my kick ass poker chips! Did I mention I have a poker chip problem?

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-01-28 10:33:38
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Neteller - No US Customers

Since Neteller isn't allowing US customers to do transactions with online casinos, can anyone recommend an alternative for US poker players?

Neteller decided to do this a couple of days after its two founders were arrested by the US Department of Justice and charged with money laundering.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-01-23 10:41:22
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Boulevard Results

Another tough night at the Boulevard :(

My bankroll is $2900, so I bought in with $140.

I made one mistake that cost me about $100. I had 2 pair on a paired board, and my opponent had a set. I had an opportunity to check the river but I bet it and ended up having to call the reraise. Live and learn.

Other than that, I dont' think I made any mistakes (please enlighten me if you think I did). Here are some highlights:

Highlight #1.

Made a tough all in bet on a low ragged board with QQ after I was reraised. I was confident he wasn't that strong, I was right. My opponent had JJ and I won and I had about $350 in chips.

Highlight #2.

Immediately after the above hand, I got AA and raised the same guy pre-flop. He was tilting a bit and called. Here's how it went down:

- Flop KQT rainbow.
- I bet close to the pot because there's a straight draw on board.
- Tilting guy calls.
- Turn card is puts a flush draw on the board, so I bet the pot.
- Tilting guy goes all in for about $40 more in a $250 pot and I am committed to call.
- He had J9 off suit and flopped a straight.

Highlight #3.

Made and REALLY good call on the flop:

- a raise to 7 in early position
- with 3 callers, I call on the button with AJ suited and 4:1 pot odds
- old asian guy raises the BB to 20
- everyone folds, I call 13 with about 4:1 odds.
- Flop comes AXX all spades
- old asian guy goes all in for about 60.
- I stare him down and he looks weak and I think he's on a flush draw
- I call with just over 2:1 pot odds and he shows KK with the nut flush draw plus 2 kings - 11 outs total.
- he turns the flush and rivers a king.
- With 11 outs after the flop, he was about a 41% favorite to hit on the turn or river. I am very happy with this call as my read on him was correct.

Highlight #4.

I limped in late position with 45 suited and great pot odds, and flopped trip 5's. I ended up heads up with the old asian guy. I guess I played the hand well because I managed to double up through him.

Highlight #5.

Other highlights include check raising with TPTK and having to fold to a reraise from a guy with a set, laying down KK after cont betting a flop with an Ace on board, stealing with cont bets, and calling down a guy trying to steal on the river when I had TP with 4 kicker.

If I didn't get unlucky I would have been up a couple hundred dollars, but now my ROI is down to 19%, and I have only made $10/hour over 20 hours at Boulevard.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-01-13 03:10:35
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Happy New Year!

What's new for Home Poker Tour in 2007...the Bankroll Tracker!

You can use this application to keep track of all your poker buyins and cashouts, and calculate your profit and return on investement.

Login and click your "My Bankroll" link to get started.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2007-01-07 12:32:35
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Steve's Boulevard Results

Over the last few months I've been playing 1/2 No Limit Hold'em at the Boulevard in Coquitlam.

When I started, my bankroll was about $2600, so I've been buying in with 60-70 times the big blind (120-140).

With the exception of one stupid mistake (mucking the best hand cost me $60), I've managed to play solid poker the three times I've been there:

- The first time I played well and doubled my stack, but I ended up losing a good chunk of my profit when I was priced into calling drawing hands that missed.

- The second time, I played well but the fish continued to make bad calls against me and get lucky. This was pretty frustrating. I had brought 3 buy ins to play with, and at one point I was down to no money in my pocket and less than $100 in chips on the table. I managed to battle back to $180 so I only lost 50% of the money I brought.

- Finally there's last night's story. Again I played well, the fish kept calling, but they didn't get lucky! All of my hands held up and I won big - I bought in with $140 and cashed out $701!

Last night's win was very encouraging. I understand poker is a long-term game, but it is hard to play when you go on a long unlucky streak. It was nice to recoup my losses from the last time I played.

The competition at Boulevard is definately a mix of good and poor players. Once players have shown down a few hands, it is very easy to differentiate between the sharks and the fish.

Here's an example:

- I limp into a 5 handed pot with Kh 10h in mid position.
- Flop comes down Jh 2h Ac.
- BB bets $10.
- I call, and it folds around to the SB (now I have position) who calls too.
- Turn is a Qd.
- SB bets $25, BB folds, and I go all in (the SB only has about $50 left).
- SB calls with 2 pair and doesn't hit his boat.

IMO, the small blind's play his horrible! On a 5 handed flop with a flush and straight draw on board, you must protect your top pair. His actions here tell me that he is not a "student" of the game. I've seen the same guy at the tables every time I've played at Boulevard, so the fish are definately out there, and they keep coming back.

To summarize my progress at Boulevard, I've played about 15 hours of poker, made about $30/hour, and my ROI is 66%.

Good times...hopefully I can keep it up.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-12-09 02:42:29
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Want to play online poker with real money?


Before you throw your money away by playing online poker, check out my new articles:

Are You Ready to Play Online With Real Money?

Building an Online Bankroll with Home Poker Tour

Make sure you've read my bankroll management article too!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-12-03 13:27:31
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Johnny Chan Tourney Results

I played horrible in the tournament :(

Here are my mistakes:

1. I had a tight image and I reraised a loose player while I was in late position with TT. The BB went all in with his short stack and I had about 3.5:1 pot odds. I was 90% sure he had AA but I called anyways because I thought it was still possible he could have had AK, and I had him covered. I sucked out a 10 on the river and busted him. I am not happy with this call because my read of AA was correct, and I needed at least 4:1 pot odds.

2. I re-raised a new player at the table with KK. One K had been exposed pre flop. The new player went all in and had me covered. I didn't think the hand through. Here are some thoughts that come to mind that should have made it easier for me to lay it down:

- I didn't have much info. about this player other than that he hadn't played a hand at the table since he sat down. So he was tight for about 5 or 6 hands.

- He didn't have much info. about me other than I hadn't played any hands since he was at the table. So he saw me as being tight for 5 or 6 hands.

- The 3rd re-raise pre flop is usually aces or kings, and I knew it was not possible for him to have kings.

- I shouldn't be involved in large pots with a decent sized chip stack. I still had about 6500 in chips left and the blinds were only 200/400 with a 25 ante. Ironically Joe and Phil were talking about this yesterday. I guess I wasn't listening.

Of course the other player had AA. HORRIBLE PLAY!!! I need to get in a routine to go through a checklist or something...

Other than that I was playing good. I wasn't getting any cards (other than the TT and KK hands), but I stole a few blinds to keep my chip stack up, and I made a couple of lay downs too.

Oh well at least I am honest with my play so I can learn from my mistakes...

Advertising went well. Data capture for Sunday was up 3 times the average for this month, and I made some good local contacts.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-11-19 15:36:28
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Pimpin to the Pros!

Check these pics out:

Yukon Brad, HPT Brat, and WPT Brat

Johnny Chan

Yukon Brad Booth
Brad is a local guy who grew up playing poker in Vancouver's underground card rooms. He's a cash game specialist.

Joe Tehan
Joe is a professional tournament player who lives in Vegas. He is the WPT 2006 Mandalay Bay champion.

Tomorrow I play in the River Rock tournament with these guys. $250 buy in, 25 minute blinds starting at 25/50 with 5000 in chips.

This is way above my bankroll limits and I didn't really feel comfortable with it. I decided to do it for two reasons: 1. I effectively won a $500 prize in the bar tourney, and 2. they are going to be filming (so in a way it's an "advertising expense").

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-11-18 23:39:59
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Poker School with Chan & Hellmuth

Tonight I played in the GVPT freeroll tournament at Mosquito Creek Bar & Grill and I won a $500 seat to THIS!

Now I'll go pimp my website to the pros.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-11-14 00:22:52
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Nothing here.

Nothing here.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-10-21 08:59:26
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Find Poker Players!

I added a new feature to Home Poker Tour!

Now you can search through the Home Poker Tour database to find poker players in your area. You can search by city, state/province, or zip/postal code.

Make sure you're logged in, and check it out HERE!

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-10-14 11:56:25
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Bankroll Management!!!

Are you a degenerate gambler or a responsible poker player?

Check out my article on Bankroll Management on the resources page.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-10-01 12:22:18
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Another Bar Tourney!

Have I pimped my Poker League Management Website lately ;)

So I go to another bar tourney last night to pimp Home Poker Tour, and I end up getting seated with a guy who plays in my home game. BTW, I hate it when this happens...when I go out to play I like to play with new people!.

Of course I bust out care of the guy from my home game...well, we both busted out:

- Home Game Guy limps in early position.
- everyone folds to me, I raise 4xBB from the SB with JJ.
- BB calls my raise.
- Home Game Guy re-raised me 5xBB (about 1 time my raise).
- I think for a long time, tell Home Game Guy how I have very little respect for his game because I've seen him, and I've busted him, trying to make big moves like this early on in tournaments, but I give him more respect than I should and just call.
- BB calls too.
- Flop 246 with a flush draw on board
- I think for a bit about how I have no respect for Home Game Guy's game, and go all in.
- BB immediately calls with an open ended straight, and Home Game Guy immediately calls with trip 4's.
- turn 7, river Jack.
- BB busts both of us out with a straight.

I guess if I have little respect for a guy, I should have tried to push him off the hand pre flop.

At least I got to berate his poor play pre flop and tell him how I now have NO RESPECT for his crappy play :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-08-22 23:50:58
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Vancouver Bar Tournaments

So I went to the freeroll tourney at Jack Lonsdales and it was pretty fun. These tourneys are put on by Greg at the World Pub Poker Tour.

Everyone was friendly, there were a mix of players - people like us (home game enthusiasts who study the game), people who play in the casino, and fish. It started about 7:30 with 24 people, and I was out in 5th place around 10:30.

I ended up placing 5th out of 24. I was on the short stack and limped into a family pot. I turned two pair, went all in, and lost to a higher two pair.

Not bad for the first time out! I made it on their Leader Board too :)

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-08-19 17:47:19
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Erik's Stag Tourney Results!

After a long drought I FINALLY took down a tournament!

Best hand of the night was my quad sevens.

We also went to the Boulevard casino in the morning for the $25 early bird tourney. Here's a summary of what happened:

- Tim played two hands and busted out in the first level of blinds: AA & KK. Talk about bad luck :(
- Erik busted out in the 3rd level of blinds.
- I busted out about 2/3 the way through the tourney. I made two mistakes, but when I busted out I was all in with the best hand and a huge favorite.

Check out Erik's "gay poker guy" outfit we had him wear in the casino.

Tournament Details

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-07-22 23:53:50
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Response to World Poker Tour Lawsuit Threat

The lawyer I retained reviewed the letter from WPT and sent a response.

It basically says that Home Poker Tour is not infringing on any of their marks.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-07-20 16:44:25
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World Poker Tour threatens to sue Home Poker Tour!

Today I received a letter from World Poker Tour Enterprises, Inc. (WPTE) threatening to take legal action against the following "infringing marks:"

- Domain name www.homepokertour.com
- Logo with two diagonal cards
- Letters "HPT"
- Words "Home Poker Tour"

They said I have 15 days to cease and desist using the infringing marks, or they may explore further legal action.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-07-07 12:49:06
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Low stakes affecting gameplay?

As mentioned in my profile, I always try to play the same solid game no matter what the stakes are.

Something I find really annoying is that some of the players in my home game make bad plays when the stakes are low, and they end up getting lucky and sucking out.

For example, after we finished one of our League Tournaments, we decided to play a cash game.

-No Limit Hold'em
-$10 buy in
-.25/.25 blinds

A couple of my friends were playing like fish...

NL Hand #1:

-Villian (short stack) and I limp.
-I hit 2nd pair on the flop of 3 clubs with straight potential and bet 1/2 the pot.
-Villian re-raises my 1/2 pot bet all in for an additional $.25 for me to call.
-I call.
-Villian shows 2 overcards, no straight draw, and no flush draw
-Villian rivers sucks out the river with a higher pair.

NL Hand #2:

-Villian (short stack) limps UTG
-I raise 4x the BB in late position with 77 ($1.50 in the pot)
-Button and blinds fold.
-Vilian re-raises all in for about another $1.50.
-I call because I have a read that the villian has a medicore hand and I'm getting 2:1.
-Villian shows A8 off suit.
-Villian sucks out.

NL Hand #1 & #2 Analysis:
In both of these hands, do the players think they're in a tournament and have to push and get lucky because they're on the short stack??? We're playing a cash game here and there's no reason to gamble with mediocre hands when you can reload!

Here's a hand from a limit game we played...

.50/1.00 Limit Hand #1:

-Button folds
-Villian in the SB raises to 1.00.
-Steve in the BB with Q6 calls .
-Flop: J62 rainbow.
-Villian checks, I raise, Villian re-raises, I read that he has crap and call.
-Turn: X (low card, no flush draw).
-Villian bets, I call.
-River: 10.
-Villian bets, I call, Villian says: "you got it" and shows Ace 10 off suit for a pair of 10's.
- Steve shows Q4 off suit and says "I thought I had a pair of 6's."
- Erik takes down a $6.50 pot.

.50/1.00 Limit Hand #1 Analysis
OK I know I messed up big here because I mis-read my hand. But who's the bigger donkey? Me because I'm blind, or my buddy because of failed bluffs on the flop, turn, and river??? Q6 is pretty weak...was it a questionable call on my part? I don't think so as I'm getting over 3:1 on my money.

Now I know I shouldn't get pissed off about this (these are the type of fish you want to play against to make money), but..

-I always tell my friends that the object of my home game is to help you improve your game, and money should not matter.
-They play for higher stakes online. If they can't play disciplined poker, should they even be playing online???
-I'm not here to take my friends money...I just want the best player to win.

Why can't they play the same solid game no matter what the stakes are?

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-07-01 18:36:47
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River Rock Tourney Report

This was a 220 person $40+10 buy in tourney, and the 3rd live casino tournament I've played in.

The structure was the best I've played in: T2500, 25/25 starting blinds, and 20 minute levels.

I got no cards for the first 3 levels, I'm down to about $2000 in chips, and the blinds are going up to $75/$150 soon. Up until this point, I hadn't I put in a raise pre flop - I had just played the blinds when the odds were good, so my image was very tight.

- Table folds around to a tight player on my left who limped.
- I put in a $400 raise with J9s.
- Super aggressive player on the button called.
- Everyone else folds.
- Flop: QQ rag rainbow.
- I bet out 2/3 the pot and super aggressive guy goes all in.

Here's what I thought:

- This guy had been super aggressive with mediocre hands, for example, limping UTG and going all in with ATs, re-raising with JTs, and re-raising with mid level pairs.
- He made solid laydowns when his aggression wasn't working, re-raising the flop, and folding when people came over the top.
- Because of my table image, I had to believe this guy has some respect for me - I'm sitting on his right, and this is the first time I've come in for a raise.
- I fold and I'm down to about $1100 in chips.
- Super aggressive guy showed me a King. I think he was trying to put me on tilt, and I played it up a bit like I was tilting.

After that I stole the blinds a couple of times with AJ and AK and build my stack up to about $1500.

I doubled up with KK and my stack was $2500 at the break.

I get no cards for a while and continually fold.

Finally at 200/400 blinds, I'm in the BB with about 1800 left and JJ:

- Super aggressive guy limps UTG.
- New guy at the table raises to 1200. I have not info. on him, but he's got a decent sized stack and he could be raising with a wide range of hands.
- Everyone folds to me.
- I was suspicious of the limp UTG, but didn't think about it in detail. I thought if I've run into a bigger pair, it's just bad luck for me, and went all in.
- UTG thinks long and hard, calls and only has about $1600 in chips left after calling. At this point I knew I was in trouble as he was committing himself to the pot, but only calling (he must have a monster because he's giving the new guy pot odds to call).
- New guy at the table also calls.
- Flop 572 rainbow. Both players check.
- Turn K.
- UTG bets 800, and new guy calls. At this point I know I'm done.
- River A, UTG goes all in, new guy calls.
- I show my jacks, UTG shows pocket AA for trip aces, and new guy mucks (I put him on trips or an overpair).

I guess the big mistake was trying to steal with J9s. I was really relying on my table image to help me with this, but it didn't work. Going all in with JJ was a mistake too, but given my situation in the tourney, I couldn't see myself getting away from this hand.

I busted out about 135 of 220.

Any thoughts???

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-06-04 13:40:53
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Vegas Trip Report!

Myself & Nadine, Dano & Jeanette, and Glen & Shannon went to Vegas over the Easter long weekend, and boy did I ever do well!

I sat down at the MGM Grand tables 3 times:

- $65 buy in, 80 person No Limit Hold'em tourney.
- 2/4 Limit Hold'em cash game.
- 1/2 No Limit Hold'em cash game.

Here are the details.

$65 buy in, 80 person No Limit Hold'em tourney:

The structure tourney was: $1200 in chips, 25/25 starting blinds, and 20 minute levels, top 6 paid. The tourney started with 6 tables, but they also allowed 20 "alternates" to re-buy $1200 chips for the same amount as people busted out.

Like the Boulevard tourney, this is a fast blind, short starting stack structure I don't really like (all cheap tourneys seem to be like this). I didn't really like the re-buys. It was pretty frustrating to see people sit down with more chips than me half way through the tourney, but it did add a lot more money to the prize pool :)

I ended up placing 4th out of 80, and took $600 in prize money! Here are the highlights:

- A short stack moves all in, another short stack calls, and I move all in with TT. 1 short stack shows garbage, other short stack shows A8 suited, and he rivers a straight with his 8.

- 2 limpers, I limp with K8 off. Flop comes 852 with a flush draw on board. I bet the pot, and get a short stack calling me. Turn is a Q (no flush) and I put the short stack all in and he calls and turns over A8. His kicker holds up.

- 2 limpers, I check A8 off in the BB. Flop Q86 rainbow, everyone checks (I should have bet here). Turn 4, short stack SB pushes all in (the one who showed garbage), other limper folds, I call, and my 8's hold up.

- I raise with JJ, short stack goes all in, I call. Short stack has KJ and catches a K on the flop.

- Final table, UTG+1 raises, I'm short stacked and push all in with AJ suited. UTG+1 calls and shows QQ, I hit an Ace on the flop. I didn't feel too good about this...but in tourneys you have to get lucky at some point, and I hadn't been lucky until this hand.

When we got down to 5 players, 3 players had roughly equal medium sized stacks, and myself and another guy were short stacking. Everyone agreed to chop the prize pool. Myself and the other short stack got $600 each (I should have asked for more because he only had a little more than 1/2 the chips I had), and the other 3 players got about 900 each.

2/4 Limit Hold'em cash game:

I bought in with $100 for this game. This game was lots of fun as you never have to worry about losing your whole stack.

I played for about 5 hours and didn't get very good cards. Most of the hands I played I was drawing because of the great pot odds. Only two of my draws hit - a straight and a flush, and the majority of them didn't pay off. This was a little frustrating, but it will pay off in the long run. The only decent hand I had was QQ and these ladies held up all the way to the river!

I made a couple of mistakes:

- I called a re-raise when I had top pair after the board paired with fours on the turn. I had a tough time putting this guy on a 4 as he was in early position, he called my pre-flop raise, and he called my flop bet with J84 rainbow on the board. He was playing 43 off suit and won with trips. This cost me $8.

- I was drawing an open ended straight and a flush draw until the river, my opponent bet the flop, bet the turn, and he checked the river. My draw didn't hit, and I tried to make a move for the pot. He only called (I would have folded if he raised), but he had a full house. Nice play on his part to check the river. This cost me $4.

My stack size fluctuated from $135 to $35 during the time I played, and I cashed out with $60.

1/2 No Limit Hold'em cash game:

It was the Thursday night before the Easter weekend, and the casino was PACKED! I planned to start playing late-night when all the drunk fish were out - I sat down at about midnight with $120 in chips.

What a gong show! My table had the following people:

- Two older guys that I thought may have been Vegas pro's. They were playing a tight game and neither of them were drinking. I had one on each side of me.
- 2 tourists that were drinking and talking a lot. FISH!!
- A guy with an IPod. He was pretty serious, wasn't drinking, and had at least 300 in chips. May have been a pro...
- A hot blonde with a HUGE rack, and about 150 in chips.
- A SMOKING hot brunette with about 400 in chips.
- A high-roller who was bank-rolling the two chicks. This guy is my hero ;) He said he was in town on business, smiled, pointed to the hotties on his left and right and said: "And these ladies are my business, big business." They were all drinking and touchy-feely with each other, kissing and massaging each other. At first I thought they were strippers, but at this point I'm thinking high-priced ho's.

Here's how it went down:

- I play for about an hour, limped when I had the odds, caught no cards, and folded everything.
- Finally I get a hand - AK suited UTG. I end up tripling up after hitting a A on the turn, and King on the river. This was a weird hand with the two old guys - they were both in the hand with me until the river, and one of them had me beat with 2 pair until I hit the King on the river.
- I play for another couple hours, get no cards, and limp when I can. I had been playing really tight so I tried to make a couple moves at pots. It worked once, but I had to fold twice when I ran into people with hands.
- The guy with the IPod cashes out about $600 in chips (donated by the high roller and the hotties), the high-roller bank-rolls another hot blonde who's friends with the brunette, the old guy to my right busts out, and a younger drunk guy replaces him...FISH!!
- I play for another hour, getting no cards but enjoying the high-roller/ho gong show at the other end of the table. They did not care about money...sometimes they were raising and calling pre flop without looking at their cards.
- Dano comes up to my table and says: "Hey Steve we're going to find some chicks with dicks, are you in?" He doesn't whisper this in my ear either (nice one Dano). I turn around to see him with the wives, explain to them I've had very few good cards, and only played about 4 hands all night. They tell me it's four in the morning.
- I sit down to play my last hand. I get COWBOYS!!! UTG raises to 10, UTG+1 re-raises to 40. UTG+1 only has about $50 left, and I re-raise to $100. Everyone else folds, and UTG+1 calls with pocket 4's. My cowboys hold up, and I cash out $385.

Overall I was very happy with my play, solid tight-aggressive poker.

I didn't make any money from the high-roller and party girls...if only I had got some cards when they were involved in the pot :(


I gambled a total of $328 CDN, cashed out $1202 CDN, and made a profit of $874 - a 266% return on investment!

I saw a couple of WPT champs too: Gus Hansen and Martin De knijff at the Bellagio. I asked both of them if they wanted to play heads up, but they declined, trembling with fear.

Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-04-21 22:30:27
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First time playing poker at the casino!

My buddy Dano talked me into "manning up" and going to the Casino before we go on our Vegas trip, and I went to the Boulevard Casino for the first time to play the early bird tourney: $20+$5 buy in, T1500, 25/25 starting blinds, 15 minute intervals, 40 people.

I personally think this tourney structure blows - the starting stack is short (I prefer it to be at least 100 times the starting BB), the blinds increase quickly, and you are forced to make moves with mediocre cards - relying on a lot of luck to win.

I was very intimidated at first, but I was lucky enough to win the 2 of the first 3 pots I entered, and that settled me down a bit.

I was very happy with my play - I was lucky enough to get some decent cards, I got lucky when I needed to win races where I was facing elimination, when I got unlucky (sucked out/lost races) it didn't cost me all of my chips, and I only made 2 or 3 bad decisions that didn't cost me too many chips:

1. Trying to isolate an all in short stack after 1 person called. I re-raised, he called, and I knew I was beat. In retrospect, if I had just called, we still could have knocked a person out and it would have cost me less chips. Was this a mistake?

2. Pushing all in with AT suited 4 handed when I didn't really need to. I could have put in a standard raise and not risked my entire stack. Luckily I was 2nd in chips and everyone folded. This was definately a mistake.

Finally, the final hand. I'm debating wether or not I played this well:

- Heads up.- Blinds 1500/3000.
- Hero ($20000) calls on the button with 7T off suit: $6000 pot.
- SB ($40000)checks: $6000 pot.
- Flop: 468 rainbow.
- SB bets $2000: $8000 pot.
- Hero re-raises $6000: $14000 pot.
- SB re-raises all in for Hero's remaining chips ($11000): $25000 pot.
- Hero calls $11000.
- SB shows a 6X off suit.
- Hero shows a double gutshot straight and 2 overcards - 14 outs.
- Turn X.
- River X.
- SB wins with a pair of 6's.
- Hero comes in 2nd out of 40 players and wins a prize of $160.

The re-raise on the flop was very aggressive. I did this because:

- He appeared to be a solid player who was more than willing to take a stab at winning the pot on the flop no matter what he had.
- His bet was small, and I thought if he flopped top pair, he would bet more to protect it.
- I didn't think he had a straight, if he did I thought he would smooth call/check raise (he knows I'm aggressive).
- The chances of him having an 8 were slim.
- If he didn't have an 8, I had 14 outs, and I was small favorite to win after the flop (I calculated it and I was a 51% favorite to hit my hand after the flop).
- I felt that I would need to win at least one more coin flip to win the tourney, and was happy enough to be ahead at this point.

After he re-raised me all in, I thought I was wrong and he did have the 8. If he did have an 8, I still had 11 outs, and I was getting over 2:1 on my money (more than enough to call).


Posted by HomePokerTour on 2006-04-03 11:26:58
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