The Weekly Poker Mantra

Often funny - Sometimes strange - Sometimes inspiring. Check in every Monday for The Weekly Poker Mantra.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Red chips black chips purple chips green
Own the felt and wipe 'em clean

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Online Pokershow Freeroll Password

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good freeroll.

Sometimes I post freeroll passwords here because everybody loves a freeroll.  Please take some time to check out the articles and other posts and links here as well.

The Online Poker Show Freeroll on stars has a first prize worth $215.  An entry to the Sunday Million.
So good luck everyone and the password is...





Monday, December 6, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Sometimes it's fun to be a fish to generate some more action at your table
But don't have too much fun you might turn into a perma-fish

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Whatever happens happens
Just play the best game you can
And if you catch a card or two and get lucky sometimes
So be it

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Online Poker Show Freeroll Password For Nov 18

Sometimes I post freeroll passwords here because everybody loves a freeroll.  Please take some time to check out the articles and other posts and links here as well. 

The Online Poker Show Freeroll on stars has a first prize worth $215.  An entry to the Sunday Million.
So good luck everyone and the password is...





Monday, November 15, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Think of your chips as a liquid
Not as a solid
This may help your game
It may hurt your game
Whatever happens it will be interesting

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Poker can be a lonely game at times
Just remember as nice as people may be at your table
They are probably more interested in your chips than being friends

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Pay to see the river when you suspect you're ahead
If it's clear that you're behind once the river hits  
Don't let pride prevent you from folding

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Million Dollar Challenge Freeroll Password Oct 10th

There is a big freeroll on stars today under the regional tab in the lobby.
It is the Million Dollar Challenge Freeroll.  This one is a real long shot as only the top ten players get paid however there are some good payouts at the top.  You will have to run like a God to take it down but it's worth a shot.

It starts in a couple of hours so if you want to play along good luck!  You're gonna need it....

The password is case sensitive and needs to be entered in all capitals. Please take some time to vote on my surveys or look at some of the great books and poker merchandise to the right.  Thanks and have fun!

Password = VANESSA

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Online Poker Show Freeroll Password Oct 7th

Freerolls are great, however the ones with huge fields can be really tough to place in.  If you do manage to make the prizes they can be well worth your time.

The top prize for this event is a ticket to the Sunday million on Stars.  If you're interested in playing register for the game under the freeroll tournament tab.  The game starts in about two and a half hours.

 password = kari


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Everyone has good runs and bad runs
The trick is to make the good runs count
And fall asleep or play dead during the bad runs
If this doesn't work steal like a crazy monkey 
That cares only for chips if they are made from bananas

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Taking a bad beat is a
Bit like getting food poisoning
But don't give up fish forever
Most of the time they won't make you sick

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Million Dollar Challenge Freeroll Password on Stars (Sept 19th)

There is a big freeroll on stars today under the regional tab in the lobby.
It is the Million Dollar Challenge Freeroll.  This one is a real long shot as only the top ten players get paid however there are some good payouts at the top.

It starts in a couple of hours so if you want to play along good luck!  You're gonna need it....

The password is case sensitive and needs to be entered in all capitals

password = BROOKE

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If you're up against a maniac or Mel Gibson
It's just not worth getting involved with Q4 offsuit
Even though you know unequivocally that it is the best hand at the time...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Clean House - Clean Mind - Can a Clean Environment Add Some Zen Focus to Your Poker Game?

Sometimes we all let things stack up a bit.  This can be anything from dishes to newspapers.  For you it could be cigarette wrappers or just general clutter.  Perhaps your pet bird just died and you forgot to clean up the carcass.  For most of us it never gets quite that bad but my point is how does your environment affect your poker game?  If the only thing that ever stacked up was the chips then it wouldn't matter but that isn't always the case.  I want to give you the tools to improve your game by whatever means possible and that includes looking at your lifestyle. 

I find that if the area around my desk or wherever I'm working is clear then I seem to be more focused and better able to get deeper into big field online no limit hold' em tournaments.  This is all theory at the moment but since I'm mostly involved in deeper fields these days I'm going to try a little experiment and I welcome you to try it as well.

Lately the abode has been a little cluttered to say the least.  This morning I decided to skip one tournament and do a bit of cleaning in hopes that my performance in later tournaments would be improved by having a more focused mind and a more tidy environment.

There are a number of articles floating around the web on the subject of health and focus when it comes to tidiness.  I'm going to list a few here but there are many more out there.

Over at Annie B. Bond writes,
"When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life. When you clear it... you can think more clearly, and life decisions become easier. Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids I know to discovering and manifesting the life you want."
full article has this handy list to help you keep your home clean and stress free.  Poker can be very stressful at times and anything that we can do to reduce this stress is welcome.

Sarah Jio for Glamour writes,
"People who clean regularly, may be more motivated, disciplined and active in general...I know for a fact that I'm not at my best mentally or physically when the laundry pile begins to resemble a small mountain, or the dust bunnies appear in the corners of the living room. A clean house, for me, personally, is a sign of a clear mind and a healthy bod"  Click here for full article.

Rebecca Thorman over at blog alice writes, "I envy the people that can let go. Even just a bit."
She might not really envy some of us that seem to live in a perpetual state of clutter but it's interesting that she has the opposite problem and thinks that she is too tidy.  I wish I had this problem.

Here's a Fox Business video on organization and productivity.

Marissa at Sparkle and Reflect writes,
"...I actually just Googled what that quote was, in case I totally made it up and it seems I might have. Cleanliness is next to godliness?  I don't think that was it.  I've never been entirely sure what that meant, anyway.  But, you know when you clean and organize everything around you and your mind feels suddenly at ease?"
I really hope she shows up at one of my tables.

You might think it makes no difference whether your desk is clean or whether there's eight months worth of chip bags strewn around your apartment.  Maybe you don't give a rats rear if there's something living under that pile of clothes in the corner.  I think it does make a difference and I think it will help your game if you take some time to focus and set up your chip stacking fortress of zen!  I challenge all who read this to give it a try and let me know if your tournament focus improves.  While you're cleaning up your home you can think about odds, relax and get your mind into a good space for the next tournament.

So tidy up those peanut shells you've been walking over in between SNGs.  Sweep up that mug you broke two months ago. Put the dirt devil to work on that pile of bat guano on the mantle... okay perhaps I went a bit too far with that one. :-) Good luck on the felt everyone and see you at the tables!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If you're playing heads up against Stephen Hawking 
It might be best to say your prayers
Cuz you know he's better than you at math
And God sure isn't going to help him out any

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What was Phil's Biggest Mistake?

 This is an excellent example of why you should never play J5 suited.  Once Hellmuth sees the flop there is just no getting away from the hand.  He gets kind of unlucky in this clip, however the whole situation could have been prevented had he folded that terrible starting hand before the flop. 

Online Poker Show Freeroll Password

The Online Poker Show Freeroll Starts in about 2 Hours on Stars.

If you are looking the password is: calypso

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

It's only plastic  There is no money involved at all
Just pretty coloured chips drifting back and forth
Fire again cause it just don't matter

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If you are playing in an aggressive fashion and raising many pots
Keep a weather eye on the horizon for traps

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Watch out for falling bricks

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

There is no shame in folding

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Silence is usually the best policy
It is almost always better to shut up than to not

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is Mel Gibson on Life Tilt? Can He Regain His Composure and Return to the Table?

If  Mel Gibson is on life tilt then this is the craziest, most gut twisting type of tilt that a 'player' can catch.  I'm sure many of you have been watching and listening as this horrific Hollywood tale unfolds.  If you can bear to listen, the conversations in question can be found over at Radar Online and unfortunately for Mel all across the internet.

This is a little off topic for this blog, however there is a good lesson here.  Before he flew off the handle, before he lost his stack Mel could have counted to ten, taken a breath or two and stepped away.

This is of course easy for me to say.  I don't know what he's been through.  I don't know if the the tapes are real or fake.  I don't think these tapes should ever have been released and it is of course deplorable that they were.  If this were a game of cards Mel has indeed been dealt a really really crappy hand.  Actually he's probably been dealt a series of crappy hands.  And now he's on tilt.  He lost his composure at the table.  This is an understatement.  He had a nervous breakdown at the table and took a fast ferry to crazy town. 

Is Mel Gibson the angry racist sexist maniac that is depicted on these tapes?  I don't know.  I certainly hope not.  It is really sad to see him portrayed in this light.

Let's suppose for a minute that Mel is playing some poker and he has just taken a really bad beat.  It's as if Mel Gibson has just been kicked out of the casino by the poker room manager (for the second time) after throwing a king kong sized hissy fit and now everyone is sitting at the table wondering if it actually happened and if he will come back and apologize.  Will the apology be enough?  Will it be heartfelt and sincere?  He did say some horrible things after all.

Some of the players at the table think he should be banned for life never to return.  Some think he should be allowed to return but only after a real explanation, apology, rehab, therapy or a combination of these things.  Some think it's none of their damn business and just want to be dealt the next hand and hope they never get tilted like that.  Some of the players might even feel a little sorry for him, realize that he is going through a really difficult time and although he didn't handle it well certainly needs some help and a chance for redemption.  Some think he is rich and influential enough to host his own games and doesn't need to return.  There are even a few sick individuals that want him to come back to the table and spew more chips.  After all, these crazy rants are entertaining aren't they?

What kind of player are you?  What do you think should happen to Mel?

Perhaps this first analogy is flawed.  Perhaps this scenario would be better described as a private home game where Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva are playing heads up NL hold em and things get out of hand.  Insults are thrown and there are some really ugly exchanges in this private home game.  There is probably some cheating going on as well.  There is definitely sandbagging.  Mel takes some bad beats and loses his mind.  The only thing is this dirty private game of celebrity poker somehow gets reported to the world...

 Well if this is a great poker table that we are all playing on and that grass outside is really just the fuzzy felt of life,  then I wanna be the sucker and still see Mel Gibson as the quirky level headed Maverick and not some broken, low down player that got thrown out of the poker room they call Hollywood.

8. How to React to a Downswing in Your Bankroll.

Hello Railers and Rounders

Current Challenge Bankroll: $10.46  Holy Donkfish!

Well my tiny challenge bankroll took a hit.  It is even smaller than it was!  Oh no!  It's going down instead of up.  The beautiful AK suited I got dealt just went down to KQ and my incredible bankroll just became the incredible shrinking bankroll.  What can I do!?! 

Have you experienced this?  Do you see all your hard work going into a tailspin with a crazy losing streak that just won't end?  Did your full house just get busted by a runner runner backdoor straight flush?  The downswings are inevitable in poker unfortunately and all one can do in a situation like this is just keep truckin'.  You may have to go down in stakes.  You may have to give your head a shake and quit for a while or even for a few days.  Or a month...

What you should never do is allow yourself to get frustrated and start chasing your losses.  Do not become an enraged chip bleeding Eeyore...unless of course you're at my table.

Another hazard to avoid is the tendency to go up in stakes to try to recover losses more quickly.  If anything you should go down in stakes or sometimes quit playing all together.

Think about the hands where you lost big pots.  Were they avoidable?  Did you get unlucky or were you playing badly.  Be honest with yourself.

I hope you are in an upswing and not in a downswing as you are reading this.  Remember stay positive and good luck at the tables everyone.  Minimize your losses maximize your wins.  If you are able to stay focused and play a solid game, you might lose sometimes but you will never go broke.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Is it possible to be recklessly pragmatic?
If it is then this might be the best approach I can think of.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7. Slow and Steady...Winning the NL Holdem' Race

Hello Rollers and Bloggers,

Current Challenge Bankroll: $11.82  Holy Fish Sticks!

Slow and steady is certainly the strategy I continue to employ in this challenge.  It is really hard to stick to the plan and avoid any larger buy-ins.  It is always in my plan to take the occasional shot and I believe that should be a part of anyone's plan.  You have to move up in stakes at some point and I think I'm about to take the leap up to the $0.30 ($0.25 + $0.05 rake) single table tournaments. 

Don't let that guy who seems to play every pot and also to win every pot get to you.  Do not go on crazy monkey tilt... while it may seem like fun at the time it never is.  If you are that guy... well I'm not speaking to you anymore.  Just kidding.

I'm a firm believer that if you think you can continue to improve and continue to build your bankroll then you will succeed.  Just don't forget to keep learning.  Read articles.  Read books.  Talk to other players.  Talk to yourself.  Talk to God.  Talk to that lucky rabbits foot that you have stapled to your underwear.  Of course the best way to learn is to go ahead and play poker and multi-table and see 1000s of hands, but a break never hurts and you never know how an outside point of view might help your game.

This studious approach works great with a disciplined slow but steady approach to the game.  No matter what the size of your bankroll you can employ solid tactics and a positive outlook to build it up to the next level.

Keep a winning attitude and good luck at the tables everyone.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

There is more than one way to skin a Leprechaun

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Even if you think you are paying attention to everything at the table you probably aren't
Use every sense to achieve a deeper level of observation
Tune in and focus on every tiny detail
Use everything you notice and everything you don't notice
To be the most informed you can be
Before making any kind of decision

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6. Back from a long hiatus. Still building up this little bankroll that could.

Hello Felt Lovers,

Current Challenge Bankroll: $10.31  Holy Fat Tuna!

I suppose that some of you might have been wondering what happened to my challenge.  Well I took a long break from it because playing at this level will make you crazy after a while!  Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha drool...
I have been working on other bankrolls and this one took a back seat for a while but I'm back to build baby build!... or die trying...

For those of you wondering what I'm talking about click here to read about the beginning of the challenge.

I still don't think I'll be able to donate too much time to this particular poker challenge, however I will be updating about it more regularly for those of you that are interested.

My following here is slowly growing and I appreciate those of you that stop by to read my posts.  Good luck on the tables everyone and happy blogging.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If you can convince the table that you're holding AA when you 
Actually have Q2 you might be a maniac wizard
If you can convince yourself that you're holding AA when you actually have Q2 
You're sick
Seek help

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Lady luck can be your friend
It's probably not a good idea to marry her

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Be predictably unpredictable

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Follow good strategy
Listen to your instincts
Stay away from inferior holdings

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Take chances by all means
Gamble it up and take some risks
Listen to your gut and make a hero call or two
Do all these thing
Know that you are doing them
And do them under the sharp edge of discipline

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If you think you know everything you probably don't
If you think you might have something to learn 
You're on the right track
If you think you're an idiot, you might just be a genius

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

When life gives you lemons, write a list.

by Parvin

(Parvin was the contest winner for the mantra writing contest last month and the first part of this month...congratulations Parvin!)

Congrats to the mantra contest winner.

Parvin is the winner of the mantra contest for April!  Congratulations Parvin. Thank you to all that participated.  I may run another one of these again sometime.  It was fun to see what people came up with...although I really was hoping for more entries.  All of the entries that did come in were great and I hope you will all take part in the next one.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Contest Reminder

Last chance to enter the mantra contest!  Winner will be announced tomorrow with feature article to follow!  Click the link below to enter.
Do you have a poker or life mantra?  Join the mantra writing contest this month for your chance to get your blog featured.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

There are some enormous pitfalls to avoid 
Both in life and at the poker table
The largest most dangerous ones reside in your own mind

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Think of your bankroll as a tiny seed
With the potential to grow into a mighty tree
You had better hope and pray nobody has a chainsaw

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Never underestimate the power of lucky underwear...

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

There are many fish in the sea, however some of them have really big teeth.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If a one eyed mule comes along and eats all your chips
Don't get all huffy and steam your way into oblivion
Be jovial
Buy in again
That same stubborn stinky station
Will pay you off in the end

Do you have a poker or life mantra?  Join the mantra writing contest this month for your chance to get your blog featured.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Submit Your Poker Mantra - Get Your Blog Featured

Okay blog weasels here's your chance to get creative.  Lay your best poker or life mantra on me.  It's so easy to enter just leave your most inspiring, weird or funny mantra in the comment area.  You may take this seriously or you may mock it like a chimp taunting a law enforcer.  The only rule is there are no rules.

The contest winner will be selected in the first week of May.  The winner will be featured in the Weekly Poker Mantra.  The best mantra author will receive a review of their blog in a feature article.  Don't forget to leave the address to your blog just below your submission.

This contest is open to all writers and bloggers.  The judging will be assisted by a third party and will not necessarily favor poker writers.  You may enter more than one submission if you like, but please go for quality before quantity.  Above all, don't forget to have fun with this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

5. Bankroll Management, Fluctuations and Breaking the Rules

Hello Micro Crushers,

Current Challenge Bankroll: $9.07  Holy Blowfish!

Well, I'm still struggling with the challenge trying to grind myself up to the next level.  I am being super conservative with my bankroll management at this stage so any progress is expected to be slow.  It would be really unpleasant to go broke with this challenge so I'm building up from zero very very patiently.  For now I am sticking with the 12 cent buy-in single table tournaments and enjoying success when I play a disciplined game and pay attention to the betting patterns of the other players.

 In this low limit tournament arena I really think it's best to stick to a basic strategy and not try anything too fancy.  The players at this level will make mistakes.  When I play too loose too early in these tournaments it sets me up for trouble because most of these guys don't know how to fold.  If you're going to break some basic strategy rules and start raising in position with any two, be sure that you know your opponent is smart enough to fold when he or she should.

Because discipline isn't always the easiest thing in the world it's easy to say "oh it's only twelve cents" and just open shove with any decent hand.  I know when I'm playing bad sometimes but continue to do so due to boredom.  Don't be like me!  Don't trap yourself with too many raises and thoughtless aggression.  Aggression is good, but only when you're in control of yourself and your table.

Good luck at the table guys and dolls.

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Give yourself permission to win
Determination and strength of will 
Line the path to victory

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

It is better to raise and be wrong
Than to limp and be right

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Surveys Reminder

If you haven't voted on the surveys yet then please do!

There is a great Phil, Antonio or Mom survey that I am leaving up for a while because I'm really curious to see the results and I want to get as many participants as possible.  There is some reason for concern however as Hello Kitty seems to be winning at the moment. I am a huge Phil Laak fan so it's a little distressing to see that he is trailing.  So please if you know anyone that would like to see Antonio Esfandiari or your Mom taken down a notch or two, get them to come out and vote.  Who is the better NL holdem player?!

Also I have added a new blog that I'm following in my blog roll.  It's AJ Benza Neat!  He hasn't posted in a while but still an interesting read.  I think he got a really rotten deal from GSN so I've put up a poll here for him as well.  Please vote for AJ it only takes a second.

Finally I have a Hellmuth survey that I will leave up for a while.  That one speaks for itself I guess...

So please participate!  Thanks for all your votes and good luck on the felt.

The Weekly Poker Mantra

My focus will not waver
I am as calm as a glassy sea on a windless day
As rational and relaxed as I can be at this table
Until, of course, the tournament is attacked by armed gunmen
I'm a mess...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's Your No-Limit Hold'em Strategy? Tight Aggressive vs. Loose Aggressive.

If you've been playing no-limit hold'em poker for a while then you've probably heard the expression "Tight is right", but is it really?  What is the correct poker strategy to adopt?  Whether you play in cash games or tournaments you will need to decide what your approach to the game will be.

Are you missing out on taking down some of those pots that you could lay claim to because you're playing too tight?  Or is tight truly right and the loose aggressive card players are dooming themselves with their reckless tendencies?
Let's examine some of the pros and cons for each style of play and see what we can discover;

Loose Aggressive: 
(raising many pots without as much concern for pre-hand selection - may also involve betting and raising out of position or raising from the blinds)

1- You will probably get more action on your premium hands.
2- Poker tends to favour the aggressor and this style is aggressive more often.
3- You will get more comfortable playing a wide range of holdings post flop.
4- You will create more opportunities to steal pots.
5- It will be difficult for your opponents to put you on a hand (provided your pre-flop raises are similar for both strong and speculative holdings).
6- It's less boring than waiting for cards.
7- Players may be less anxious to enter a pot with you.  You may put them off their game with your relentless bets and raises.
8- You will get more practiced at knowing when you can bluff and when you're beat.
9- You will win a fair share of pots with the worst hand.
10- Seven deuce off-suit can be your friend.

1- Your raises might not get as much respect if you are raising frequently.
2- You are more vulnerable to being trapped.
3- If others at the table are running really well then you could bust out in a hurry.
4- Your chip stack and probably your bankroll will take more volatile swings.
5- You are more likely to end up with the worst hand in a showdown.
6- You might be called a donkey more often.
7- By loosening your pre-hand selection you may be hurting your discipline.
8- You will bleed chips.
9- It's easier to trap yourself against players that are incapable of folding.
10- It's a very precarious style of play and probably won't be successful over the long run if used exclusively.

Tight Aggressive:
(raising and betting in profitable situations preferably in position with the best possible holdings)

1- Your raises will generally get more respect.
2- Your chip stack shouldn't take as many volatile swings.
3- You will learn to be patient.
4- You will get into less trouble by only playing quality holdings.
5- You will stop any chip bleeds or leaks in your game.
6- When you do need to bluff you may be given more credit for having a hand.
7- You won't be called a donkey as much.
8- The loose aggressive players will sometimes donate large amounts of chips to you when they are betting into the nuts.
9- Generally when you use this style it is harder to go on tilt.
10- Over the long run you will be giving yourself the best possible chance to win. (that being said everyone needs to bluff sometimes to win)

1- By playing a tighter range of hands it may be easier for your opponents to read you.
2- Your premium hands may get less action.
3- You won't get as much experience playing a variety of hands post flop.
4- There will be less opportunities to steal pots.
5- If the good hands never come you could get blinded out particularly if you are playing too tight.
6- Because the game is so aggressive these days it may be easier for loose aggressive players to walk all over you.
7- It may be tougher for you to win tournaments or adjust to heads up play.
8- Taking bad beats may seem worse if you've waited patiently for a premium hand to play.
9- You might fall asleep waiting for a playable hand.
10- You will never know the joy of getting someone to fold AK when you hold 72 offsuit.

Well I do hope that this list offers you some food for thought when it comes to no-limit strategy.  Of course every situation that you run into at the card table may call for a different approach or a combination of  different styles.  I would never suggest that someone should adopt a passive tight playing style, however perhaps in certain situations this could be profitable too...The best teacher of all is experience so my suggestion is to try a style that is out of your comfort zone and perhaps you'll learn something new.

I am very anxious to get a discussion going on this topic with readers and I hope that you will contribute in the comment area.  What do you think is the best strategy?  Loose aggressive, tight aggressive or something else altogether.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Eat a good healthy breakfast everyday
Get some excercise;
Even whales need to move around a bit
Have some omega 3 rich fish for lunch
But, whatever you do don't eat your chips
Unless of course you have some barbecue sauce...

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Today I will not fear the maniac because
Today I am the maniac
There is no danger of check raising myself

Monday, February 15, 2010

4. Slow going - Patience and Poker

Hello Donkey Killers,

Current Challenge Bankroll: $7.02

I'm still playing many 12 cent No-Limit tournaments and learning much as I go.  These tournaments can be really tough because there can be quite a few donkey pots.  It seems that as much as you may try to avoid coin flips eventually you will have to call some of these guys with a marginal hand particularly if they are shoving too much.

Recently I played heads up with a guy that was shoving on me every single pot and I just wasn't getting any cards.  Such a frustrating game.  I eventually ended up the shorter stack against this seemingly mindless aggression and shoved on his blind with K6 suited.  The villain called with Q5 before the flop and caught both cards.  This seems to happen to me quite a bit heads up and I'm working on making my game more reckless to avoid getting walked on... however it's really tough when your opponent is going all in every hand with little or no thought.

I have had some success with these guys by waiting for a decent pocket pair or an ace and letting them hang themselves.  Unfortunately in a heads up game you don't always have the luxury of waiting for cards and if they never come you'll have to resort to other means.  Slow playing really isn't the best idea either as it's too easy for them to beat you with an inferior hand if you let them see a cheap flop, however if they are shoving on you every hand then it might be worth it to limp - call with some of your better hands.

So for now the word of the day is patience.  I really was hoping to be at least over the $10 mark with this challenge but for now it's break even city.  Good luck on the felt everyone and good luck to you in your challenge whatever the level.

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Bring your best game today 
Win or lose take heart that your chips went in good

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

I am NOT a donkey
My aces got cracked five consecutive times
Okay, I'm a donkey now

February Poker Haiku Roundup

The Daily Poker Haiku will be replaced by the Weekly Poker Mantra.  I hope you all enjoyed the Poker Haiku.  It was a short lived experiment, however I hope one that will live on to entertain and inspire.  Here is a complete list of the haiku posts; 

Poker Haiku Feb 5th, 2010
Pass the sweet sugar
A mountain tall and patient
Victorious bike 

Poker Haiku Feb 4th, 2010
Follow the rabbit
A glade of freshly burnt cards
Dealer rolls his eyes 

Poker Haiku Feb 3rd, 2010
Fortune smiles again
Great bloated whale will feed me
Holy mackerel 

Poker Haiku Feb 2nd, 2010
Casually I call
Full house a ship with great guns
She flips over quads 

Poker Haiku Feb 1st, 2010
Patiently I sit
Leafless oak still and silent
Tiger sleeps inside 

Poker Haiku Jan 31st, 2010
I doubled up yes
Now I will raise every pot
Why don't they love me? 

Poker Haiku Jan 30th, 2010
Oh what a suckout
Why won't my aces hold up?
Laugh then cry inside 

Poker Haiku Jan 29th, 2010
I climb the mountain
A ridiculous journey
Where will it take us?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Poker Room Chat Bans - PKR issues a Permanent Chat Ban for Telling the Truth

Recently I was the recipient of a permanent chat ban from PKR. I haven't been playing there very long and ended up in an unfortunate forum skirmish due to a software glitch. Long story short the software had registered me for a tournament that I did not click on. Other players confirmed that they had also experienced this bug, yet PKR informed me that I was somehow responsible for this mistake even though they gave me a credit to cover the loss (less the rake).

For those of you that have never visited PKR it is an online poker room that boasts 3d graphics and detailed avatar customization.

I believe that it is important for players to respect one another in the chat box and to respect the language rules in the chat box. Those that do not respect these rules should be banned. There is a time and a place for chat bans and the consequences of handing them out unjustly should be weighed heavily. I agree that profanity, name calling and abuse should be punished. Those who are open and honest in the forums, however, do not deserve to be persecuted for it.

In the forum debate I was merely telling my account of what happened and was berated and accused repeatedly of being a liar in the forum. Some of these forum attack dogs even resorted to personal attacks which included profanity. I don't think any of these people were banned. Shockingly, the end result of this lively debate was a permanent ban on my chat and forum privileges. It would seem that forum 'participants' would do anything to brow beat me, break me down, ruin the credibility of my story and eventually ban me just to win the debate.

The truth is not a story that I was allowed to tell. Merely disagreeing with PKR was their real reason for banning me.

If you can accuse me of anything it is sticking to my guns and defending my own honour and that is all. While I will continue to play on PKR as a part of this zero to the sky challenge, this unjust ruling does raise some serious doubts in my mind about their policies, particularly those surrounding chat bans. If you thought the PKR forum was a place for open and honest debate, think again. If they don't like what you are saying they will ban you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adsense and Poker Blogging - Why Does Google Hate Poker Players?

Recently this blog was turned down for an application to have some Adsense advertising content.  While I wasn't planning to plaster the place with ads, I figured a few couldn't hurt.   As I am very new to blogging any expected revenue would not be huge and I was quite shocked to be turned down.

I received the following notification after applying;

"Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense. Unfortunately, after reviewing your application, we're unable to accept you into Google AdSense at this time.
We did not approve your application for the reasons listed below.


- Unacceptable site content"

I am assuming that they mean "Gambling or casino-related content" as this is one of the unacceptable site contents that they list for those that are applying to use Adsense.

This blog certainly is NOT an advocate of underage gambling.  This blog recommends gambling responsibly if you are going to gamble at all. 

The focus of this blog is poker and poker related stories.  I am not suggesting that anyone go on a roulette binge or risk an insane amount on the lottery.  I mean come on...

Feeling stumped I looked around for some other options for posting advertising on a blog and there seem to be a few out there.  Adbrite and Bidvertiser looked like they might be good alternatives but I have no idea if they would work well in blogger.  If any of you poker blog pros out there have some good advice for me please give it.

Well I've put in my two cents.  This being a blog about micro-stakes two cents seems to be about right.  I hope that I haven't ruined anyone's life suggesting that you should risk a few dimes to try out some poker strategies. 

I am not one to bite the hand that feeds me, or in this case doesn't feed me.  This blog certainly isn't about crying over spilt milk and will remain fearlessly optimistic.  I love you google even if you don't love me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

3. Sit and Go Grind - Avoiding Tilt in a NL Holdem Session

Hello Poker Piranhas,

Tilt is the single most dangerous thing that can damage your bankroll.  I know what you're thinking;  "Oh no, the silly micro stakes tournament player is going to try to tell me something about tilt".  We are all subject to tilt regardless of what level we are at.

Here is a one of my recent NL holdem sessions;

Starting Bankroll:$6.59

Game One - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank:6th

Game Two - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank: 3rd

Game Three - Rebuy freeroll Mtt:
Buy In:$0.00
Spent on rebuys:$0.05
Finishing Rank:230

Game Four - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank:7th

Finishing Bankroll: $6.38

Anyone can see that this is a losing session.  But this does not mean that it is an invaluable session.  To avoid tilting I can ask myself a few questions.

1)Q - Am I playing my best at the moment?
   A - No.

2)Q - Am I running well?
   A - Not fantastic.

3)Q - Have I made mistakes this session?
   A - Yes.

4)Q - How can I learn from these mistakes?
   A - Study the hand histories pay more attention to the bet sizes of other players.

5)Q - Should I play higher to try to make up losses?
   A - No, This would be a terrible mistake and could result in damaging all of the work to get to this stage.   

6)Q - Should I quit for now and take a break?
   A - Yes, this session isn't going great and I'm feeling a little tired.

7)Q - Will my next session have better results?
   A - Yes!  A positive attitude is an excellent defence against tilt.  Play your best and if the cards are against you even when you've played your best game, be proud that you played your best game.

These are the seven questions that I'm currently working with as I play NL holdem tournaments.  I would welcome you to try them too and let me know if they help your game.


Friday, January 29, 2010

2. My Poker Bankroll from Zero

Hello Poker Fans,

Current Poker Bankroll :  $6.59

Wow $6.59 a new milestone in my tournament poker challenge.  I made something from nothing.  While this seems completely and hopelessly ridiculous...for me it is about the challenge.  It is not the amount that is important it is the potential that it represents.  This is about proving to myself that I can climb this micro tournament mountain and either survive to tell the tale or die trying.

The journey so far has taken me about a month of single table tournament grinding.  The hardest part was getting up to $1.00 from the $0.00 mark.  The ten cent giveaways are ten seat tournaments and you must place in the top two to get paid.  First place pays $0.06 and second place pays $0.04 so you can imagine how impossible this seems at first.  This is particularly true if you manage to cash in one and then bust out of three.

I was very strict with myself and didn't allow myself to buy in to any of the $0.10 tourneys until I got up to ~ $1.00.  (PKR will only allow you to register in the ten cent giveaways if you have less than $1 in your poker account.)  Once I got up over $1 it became slightly easier to start making progress as the top four spots pay in the $0.10 + $0.02 tourneys.  (they actually cost 12 cents to enter with 2 cents being the rake

1st - $0.40
2nd - $0.28
3rd - $0.20
4th - $0.12

They call these micro poker tourneys Level 1 beginner SNGs.  (These extreme low level tournaments are only available to players that have never deposited or those that have made their first deposit within the last 60 days.)  At this point I'm trying to stick to the 10 cent poker tourneys.  There is little risk of going bust as the buy-in is a small percentage of the tiny roll I've built.  There is always a chance that I'll go on some mind bending terrible run and lose ten tourneys in a row but I'm going to play my best to try to avoid any big downswings.

I have taken some shots at some of the multi-table freerolls but so far haven't managed to get to a final table.  I will keep you posted as it's only a matter of time until I do make a final table.  :-)

1. The Poker Challenge - Starting at Rock Bottom

Hello poker enthusiasts,

  I have been an online poker player for a few years mostly at the micro level. Recently I found myself looking around for a new poker site to try out and I came across PKR.

This site boasts 3d avatars to simulate the feel of live play. I'm not sure any website will ever come close but this is the next best thing.

I figured I would try out this new software and was about to deposit when I noticed they offered 10 cent giveaways. A slightly painful (and not so original thought) entered my mind. What if I could build a substantial bankroll from nothing baby?

If Chris "Jesus" Ferguson can do it why can't I? Okay well wait a minute I'm not a pro. I'm not even close to being a pro and have only messed around at the micro level.  This is not a pro trying to prove something, just an average guy trying to build a bankroll and have a story to tell.  I hope you will join me on this journey and I welcome your comments.

This poker blog will document the ultimate quest of discipline and endurance. The quest from $0.00.  So thus begins my journey. Please check in for updates on my quest and feel free to comment on your own poker marathons.

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