Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Joining Team Moneymaker

Had great fun last night playing a poker tournament. Feel like I haven’t been able to say that much lately.

If you happen to follow Chris Moneymaker on Twitter, you might have seen him yesterday inviting people to join his new PokerStars Home Game. He has a new website -- Team Moneymaker -- which is part of a few new projects he’s developing, among them the PS Home Game. And the good news for those of us in the U.S. who aren’t able to play real money games, his Home Game is for play chips.

I signed up during the afternoon and then participated in the first of a few tournaments Moneymaker scheduled during the evening. Eventually he got his Twitch channel up and running as well, and provided commentary and feedback as we played.

I have to say I got a big kick out of Moneymaker’s stream, especially one time when I mistyped an opening raise with pocket jacks from UTG -- making it nearly 5x the big blind when I had been aiming for just under 3x -- and a couple of minutes later Moneymaker was commenting and making a note on me about my oversized open.

There were only 17 in this first tournament (including “Money800”). I stumbled early on, with none of my steal attempts or c-bets seeming to accomplish anything other than my dribbling away chips. But then I managed to pick up some decent hands and get paid for them, and eventually made it all of the way to having a chip lead with three players left.

Ran into some hard luck at that point -- if I were tweeting my progress, my followers would’ve gotten an “Out. QQ < AQ, then AJ < A8” note like those we’re all always seeing in our timelines -- and went out in third. The buy-in was exactly 1 play chip, my prize for finishing third was exactly 3, but the entertainment derived from those two hours was considerable.

So was the instruction, as I found myself genuinely challenged by certain decisions along the way and appreciating Moneymaker’s advice to players as he talked about bet-sizing and other decisions made by others (and himself) on Twitch.

I believe his plan will be to host Home Games each Monday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of hundred at least taking part -- maybe more -- by the time word gets around and some momentum is built up. If you’re curious, you can join Team Moneymaker here, then join his Home Game using the Club ID 1954662 and Invitation Code TeamMoneymaker2015.

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