Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun and Home Games

Hard-Boiled Poker Home Games, Standings for Season 1 (through Event No. 8)Had fun last night with Event Nos. 7 and 8 in Season 1 of the Hard-Boiled Poker Home League on PokerStars. Gonna have to think of a groovy name or acronym or something for the series, I think. Something more eye-catching than “HBP HG” or whatever.

Good turnouts last night, too, with 18 players joining both events. The way the league works points are awarded for finishing in the top third of the field, which meant the top six finishers in both tourneys got something points-wise last night.

PokerGeekMN won Event No. 7 (mixed hold’em), with **GMONEY*722 (@throwinrocks) taking second and AvoidOddLaw third. Then in Event No. 8 (2-7 NL) it was Grange95 coming out on top. SmBoatDrinks took second in that one (after finishing fourth in Event No. 7), while I managed to sneak into third.

Hadn’t played deuce-to-seven in a while -- long enough to have forgotten I enjoy the game. I continue to piddle around for small change on those Merge sites (Hero and Carbon), and while they do offer non-standard games there’s almost never anything but hold’em or PLO going.

Can’t say I ever really studied 2-7 NL that carefully. I did long ago read Daniel Negreanu’s short chapter in Super System 2 covering triple draw, though I don’t recall ever read anything specifically teaching how to play no-limit deuce-to-seven. I did learn from Negreanu the importance of starting with at least a deuce, though.

Discarding cards in draw games on PokerStarsIn deuce-to-seven NL and other draw games on PokerStars, you click on the cards you don’t want (i.e., the ones you want to discard) when it comes time to do so. Always seemed intuitive enough to me, although last night someone mentioned how he wished there was an option to do the reverse -- i.e., to click on the cards you want to keep.

In fact, I think he might’ve messed up an early hand after having gotten it backwards. He mentioned how when playing video poker you click the “hold” buttons under the cards you want to keep, and I could see how someone used to doing that might not think to click on unwanted cards.

As I’ve been doing every Sunday, the early tourney (starting at 20:00 ET) featured five-minute levels while I set up the later one (21:00) to have three-minute levels. As it happened, both events ended right around the same time, just after 10 p.m. my time.

I know that three-minute levels essentially turns a tourney into a turbo, but I don’t want to create tourneys that are going to run too late on Sunday nights. So I think I’ll keep with the same format for now, and if the fields continue to increase, I might push the start times back an hour earlier.

After last night’s tourneys, **GMONEY*722 has moved into the top spot in the league standings with thejim2020 and Gambit 727 close behind. That pic above shows the standings at the moment (click to enlarge). We’ve played eight out of the 20 events so far; thus there’s still a way to go and plenty of time for catching up. Will continue to do two events each Sunday night through the end of September, at which point “Season 1” will conclude.

As I mentioned before, the “Season 1” winner will get a copy of Poker: Bets, Beats and Bluffs by Al Alvarez, a nifty book of essay-like chapters that also includes a lot of cool photos and illustrations.

I’m starting a new semester of my “Poker in American Film and Culture” class today, and in fact in today’s first meeting I’ll have the students read and discuss part of the first chapter, titled “The American Game.” That opening by Alvarez does a neat job of explaining how poker is in many ways representative of American culture, a topic I think I might take up tomorrow in another context.

I’ll probably include a Badugi tourney this coming week, and perhaps Omaha/8 for the other. Feel free to pass along suggestions of all kinds for how I might conduct this here tournament series or any ideas I might want to consider for Season 2. Meanwhile, anyone interested in playing in these free tourneys is welcome. If you aren’t in the HBP HG, see the right-hand column for info on joining up.

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