Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Going to California

California poker roomsAm headed to San Fran this morning for a week’s worth of R & R. Might well find my way to a cardroom while I’m there -- am not sure at this point. If so, I’ll surely report back what happens to transpire. I have never played a hand of poker in California before (not in a casino, anyway). So am definitely curious to get out there and see what’s what.

Have had a not-so-hot little stretch of online play here for the last few days, mostly at the PLO tables. And while I can’t say for certain, it seems like things should be going better.

Jeff Hwang makes a smart observation at the very beginning of his Pot-Limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy. “Pot-Limit Omaha is not a 50-50 game,” writes Hwang. He explains that while those “coin flip” situations do come up fairly often (e.g., a flopped set vs. a big wrap+flush draw), “it is a pure fallacy that you have to be in a gambling situation when the money goes in.”

He’s absolutely correct. There are numerous scenarios whereby one can get one’s opponents all-in drawing dead or nearly dead, if one is savvy enough to recognize those spots and take advantage of them.

Even so, been feeling as though I have endured more than my fair share of suckouts here lately where I have my opponent at a severe disadvantage and he or she gets there by the end. Seems like everyone gunning for that flush draw (and nothing else) keeps hitting after I get ‘em all in on the turn with my big set. Those are usually 85-to-15 type situations. Then, of course, there are the cases where I have a smaller edge, or it really is a coin flip, and I don’t seem be winning enough of those to make up for the other losses.

Then there are the hands I just simply screw up – mistimed bluffs, stubborn big calls with no redraws, etc. Ended up scampering back over to limit Hold ‘em just to clear my head a bit.

Probably a good time to get away, frankly. The online poker world is such a headachy mess, and I ain’t even referrin’ to them crummy beats. For more on that, go check out Frank Frisina’s latest over at Life’s a Bluff. Frank is discussing Ultimate Bet’s admission to a cheating “scheme” occurring on its site and how little coverage it has received.

In his post Frank invites readers to Google “Ultimate Bet cheating” and see what they find. Let me invite you to do the same. On that first page, sort through the old stuff -- and a couple of links pointing you back here to Hard-Boiled -- and you’ll find an interesting post from last week that appeared on Richard Marcus’ site suggesting the UB scandal might be a lot bigger than even the site has let on. (Marcus is the author of Dirty Poker.) Take a gander at that list of problems going on over at UB . . . just horrific.

Meanwhile, do stay tuned over at Life’s a Bluff for the interview with John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance coming forth later this week, which I think should prove interesting as well.

Not sure at the moment what sort of access to the intertubes I’ll be enjoying while I am in San Fran, so my streak of posting at least once per weekday may well be in danger. So I’ll talk to you next either from California or after I return . . . .

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Blogger cheer_dad said...


Enjoy the R&R downtime in San Francisco. I had no idea there were so many casinos in California. Win Big...



3/18/2008 7:49 AM  
Blogger OhCaptain said...

Enjoy the vacation!

3/18/2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Waldo's Wild Kingdom said...


Send me an email and I'll line you out on the cardrooms in the Bay Area...I live there.


3/18/2008 1:07 PM  
Anonymous CADmunkey said...

Enjoy your well deserved holiday Shamus ;-)

3/18/2008 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great blog and I've added it to my favourites as I want to become a 'more serious' poker player, with all that it entails.

Any tips on places to go to get better playing Omaha?


3/20/2008 6:39 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thx, anon. I'm liking Jeff Hwang's new book, Pot-Limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy, though it might be better to start with Bob Ciaffone's Omaha Poker or even Lyle Berman's chapter on PLO in Super/System II.

You might also add Plan3t Gong to your new blogs -- Mark posts a lot about Omaha. He also has another site called Omaha Planet where he's collected a bunch of strategy stuff.

3/20/2008 10:31 AM  

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