Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lou Krieger Calls Out Absolute Poker

I have read many forum posts asking why people still play at and still trust Absolute Poker, but I haven't seen anyone with a good amount of credibility come out and ask that question until now. Lou Krieger hits the nail on the head:

HURRY! Only 2 days left to vote in my blog music poll. The fate of music on my blog is in YOUR hands!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Outlook and New FTP Mod

Well, I've taken some more hits to my bankroll this month. But, like last month, I think I've played well. I've just run across some evil suckouts. However, the point is that I have been reading a new book that says that this attitude of mine is a good thing. It says to the affect that when analyzing your losses, it is best to understand the quality of your own play more than the monetary amount of your losses. So I guess I have that half right. I do appreciate when I lose but make the correct plays, but my precise tracking of my monetary gains and losses could be hindering my progress. I just might have to change my spreadsheet/graph tracking to be more general in nature. The book I'm reading makes it a point to say that a good player can't be hung up on the value of money. I've heard this said before, but this book explains it in a way that hits home for me. I think I'll start the new year with a more general method of bankroll tracking.

BTW, I'm only 30 pages into this book and it seems excellent. Exactly what my game is needing. It's so great that I am thinking of NOT doing a book review for this blog since I might want to keep the advantage to myself and not share it with possible opponents. But I'll think about it.

MUSIC POLL: The poll ends on Dec. 31st, so make sure you get your vote tallied before then. The "Yes", music is distracting selection is winning by a small margin.

NEW FTP MOD: On Crummy's request, I have made an FTP table with the logo of the NHL's Columbus Bluejackets.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Book Review: "Texas Hold'Em Odds and Probabilities" by Matthew Hilger

I have to say that this book took me a while to finish for a few reasons, but the main one was that I stopped in the middle of it to read "Why You Lose at Poker" because I was losing at poker. LOL.

The case with this book is that you CAN judge this one by its cover. It is about the calculations needed to excel at Hold'em. No techniques, no plays, no moves. Just pure numbers and how they affect your poker decisions. Very precise, very complex, very involved.

It basically has 4 sections. The 1st one is about how to calculate. Hilger calls it "Basic Math", but I'd say it's far from basic. I'd consider myself of slightly above average overall intelligence & uptake and I achieved average grades in high school algebra, but we never got this far. Judging by how he quickly explains all of his "basic" calculations in this section, I think he assumes his average reader took some college calculus. I would have liked more explanation in a way that your standard beer-drinking, ball cap-wearing, foul-mouthed poker player could grasp a bit better. You don't need a college degree to succeed at poker, but you might to read this book. Anyway, it's a short, but important section since it shows the formulas he uses for the rest of the book. I should have put a permanent bookmark in this section since I was constantly flipping back to it to grasp things mentioned later in the book.

The 2nd section is on applying the formulas to Limit Hold'em and the 3rd is for No-Limit. Aside from the above mentioned backtracking I needed to grasp the formulas as they were applied to specifics in this section, the information in these sections is very useful. Much of the Limit applications could be applied to NL. The part in the NL section that helped me the most was on "Effective Implied Odds". This concept has more to do with "expectation" than "potential". It really shed some light for me. The "Test Your Skills" hands in these sections were a bit tedious, but overall these were good sections.

I think the 4th section is the most helpful in the book. It contains a ton of charts used for commonly-needed calculations in Hold'em. Though there are a few charts scattered throughout the other 3 sections, I think this section is the meat of the book. Did you know that 65s has a better chance against AA than KQs? I didn't until I read a chart in here. This is definitely a section I will reference many times in the future.

The book comes with a CD ROM, but it is mostly just an advertisement for a pay service that has pros that are supposed to help you analyze your play. Not much else to it.

Overall, I'd recommend this book as a good reference much like I would a really good dictionary or encyclopedia. But as a read straight through, I would have to warn folks that it could be a difficult read for most and that they should try to digest it in small parts. I think it actually helped me when I took that break in the middle so I could soak it in before continuing until finished.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bad Luck November Not So Bad

Well, I feel like I played fairly well in November (mostly) but just couldn't catch enough breaks. I ended up -$160, but it could have been worse:

I've gone over many hands from November and I think I only played a small minority of them badly. Plus, I don't remember much tilting going on. I do know one thing: I need to work on my game selection. IMO, the lobby numbers don't always paint the correct picture. So now I've made a commitment to re-analyzing the table I am at after 20 hands. If I don't feel like I can beat the table by then, I'll move. Sometimes while multi-tabling, I get tuned into the cards and not the players. So before I know it, my stack at one table is down 20% after 30 hands or so. I'm finding I'm beginning to be able to "feel" 4 tables now, when I could previously only feel confident with 3. By "feel", I mean reading my opponents and being able to correctly anticipate how to play them. I don't like to play tables unless I can feel them, even while multi-tabling.

Anyway, I'm not going to blame my bad month completely on bad luck since my play was far from perfect. But I still feel good that my problems with tilt and bad hero calls weren't as prominent as last month.

POLL VOTING: Amazingly, the top 3 vote-getting selections in my music poll are currently even and there has been a decent amount of votes. I have the poll set to close on Dec. 31st, so hopefully one selection will take a lead. Otherwise, I'll have to try another one with just "Yes" and "No" as the selections. I've put a new song on the site that is from Duran Duran's latest album. I actually think it fits the blog a bit better.

Coming soon: I just finished the "Odds and Probabilities" book by Matthew Hilger, so expect a book review soon.