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You Are in the Wrong Place

If you are reading this post at HighOnPoker.blogspot.com, you are in the wrong place. HoP is now located at HighOnPoker.com and is also accessible at HighOnPoker.net.

In a short while, I plan on shutting down the blogspot address altogether. Therefore, please make your future destination is the new HighOnPoker.com - "All the same content, but none of the Google Overlords!"

And if you act now (or whenever), you can read my new post about cashing in another tournament at Tuna!

Until next time, make mine HighOnPoker.com!

posted by Jordan @ 10:12 AM, , links to this post




Bingo!

About a week ago, I was in Turning Stone Casino near Syracuse, NY for a poker tournament. Turning Stone is an interesting place. It's a casino on an Indian reservation (or at least controlled by Indians), so it has some peculiar rules. For instance, players can gamble as young as 18, and drinks are not comped.
One of the things that stood out to me was the fact that they offered, among other things, a Bingo hall.
That Bingo hall had me thinking. Bingo is a perfect game to play if you are looking for straight up gambling. Just pick a card, sit back, relax, and watch the balls fly. When I got home, I decided to see what opportunities there were online to play bingo, and stumbled upon Bingoport Online Bingo. Bingoport stood out to me because of its Bingo Port Promotions and Bingo Port Bonus for new players.
If you are looking to change up the old poker routine with some easy gambling fun, check it out.

posted by Jordan @ 9:36 AM, , links to this post




Roulette!

As some of you know, I'm not just a poker player; I'm also a "reformed" gambler. But when I am gambooling, I'm usually at a few particular games.

Aside from Pai Gow, my personal favorite, I tend to find myself playing roulette. Roulette is the one of those games that you can play with mindless glee. Even so, there seems to be a variety of roulette strategies that have caught my eye.

There is, of course, the guys who only play on the outside. These bets are usually of the coin toss variety, or maybe the shell game variety, where you choose either Red of Black (cointoss) or first, second or third column of numbers (shell game, since you are picking one out of three options. These people will stay with their outside bets, since you can put all of your money on one spot and still have the chance to double or triple up, without much stress or thought. My party poker buddies, like Roose, often pull the hit-and-run maneuver, stopping by a table with their profits or whats left of their chips and dropping it on Red or Black with wanton abandon. It's not much of a roulette strategie, but for a quick thrill, it gets the job done.

Other guys prefer to play the inside numbers. Of this group, there are two subsets, and maybe four, if you really want to go into detail. Guys like me like to play the bare minimum on the table and spread it out, with one or two chips per number, enough to total the table minimum. I usually play the same numbers, but others like to mix it up, changing their numbers regularly (hence the four subsets). The other players like to pile it up, stacking large stacks across the table. They are looking for the big score, and when they hit, they hit BIG! I've seen players walk away with racks of black $100 chips by overloading the board and getting paid. Quite frankly, it seems like a bit of a riskier roulette system, but I've seen it work too many times to discount it.

Whatever you choose, just remember that at its heart, roulette is like another lottery or a complicated keno game. You pick your numbers, you spin the wheel, and you wait to see what the gambling gods have decided. And when you are done, whether you win or lose, you better have had a good time, or you were playing the wrong game to begin with.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 AM, , links to this post




Online Poker and Online Bingo

How Does Online Bingo And Online Poker Compare To Other Forms Of Online Gambling?

If you have looked at an online casino or an online gambling site recently, you were probably overwhelmed with the wide variety of games available for you to choose from. There is blackjack, craps, roulette, and a whole variety of other games to choose from. But, how does online bingo and online poker compare to these games?

Blackjack

Blackjack is a simple, fun online game to play. However, if your goal is to make as much money as possible, you should probably look elsewhere. When you play bingo online at online bingo or play poker at your favourite poker room, there is a good chance that you will leave a winner. The possible winnings for these games are quite large. But, when you play a game like blackjack, the odds are stacked in the casinos favour, and more often than not, you will break even or lose money. From an excitement standpoint, blackjack is very fun to play, but from an overall profit standpoint, blackjack is not that great.

Craps

When most people think of casinos, they think of craps. It is one of the quintessential games that everyone recognizes. But, it is difficult to learn to play successfully, and much like with blackjack, the margin for winning is very low. If you do the math for all the permutations of playing craps, you will actually realize that you are a mathematical underdog to beat the casino in the long run. This is not good if you want to make some money, and who doesn’t? It is a fun game to pass the time, but it is not the best for making profit.

Playing online bingo and online poker is one of the best ways to experience excitement online and make money at the same time. There are many alternative games you can try, but none of them come close to offering the same benefits as these two games do. Try all the games you can, but make sure that the bingo-poker games are the core games you play.

posted by Jordan @ 12:57 PM, links to this post




2010 Manifesto

My 200 person staff is working around the clock to get the New HighOnPoker.com up and running. We ran into a SNAFU this weekend when trying to set up the new RSS feed. At the very least, the .COM site was up and running, even if I'd have to post twice (blogspot and .COM) in order to share my posts with RSS readers, but even that came crumbling down sometime Saturday night. Now, for some reason, the .COM site redirects to the blogspot address, even though I cannot see how that would be possible, considering the changes I made to the .COM.

Thank god I'm not a tech guy. As much as I enjoy tweaking with these things, it's just a hobby and when I hit a brick wall, I can go back to being an online ham-and-egger relying upon the actually talented to help me break through these road blocks.

On an entirely unrelated note, I had an epiphany this weekend. I still want to go pro, probably now moreso than ever. It's also still a pipe dream, but the passion is still there. In fact, I think I found the one path that will allow me to go pro yet not destroy the wonderful life I have created with wifey Kim.

The key, my friends, is to hit a big score. I know that this is a ridiculous statement on its own. We all want to hit big scores. But its more than just desire now; it's soon to be action.

Now, to be clear, this big score is not unbridled. There is a bit more to it.

When I started playing online poker, I was playing for pennies. I worked my way up through some online freerolls, eventually got together enough money to play higher stakes online (but never high stakes) and then allowed my live game to blossom.

My live game started with $20 buy-in tournaments or .25/.50, $20-max-buyin NLHE held at my apartment or at a friend's place. Over time, this too grew, and I began to play the cheaper under-$100 tournaments at AC along with 1/2 NLHE. I was still largely at this stage until I started to play more in the underground NYC clubs. There, I dabbled in 2/5, along with one 2/5 run in a single session up in Buffalo. I never felt the urge to play 2/5 in casinos because the action was so plentiful and soft at 1/2. I still am in no rush to play 2/5, but I feel confidence that I can do it competently. The main key was getting comfortable with the money that could be won or lost. Having a deeper bankroll and more experience has hopefully helped shed that concern.

The big change, though, were the tournaments. Whereas I used to seek $100 or less buy-in tournaments, now I am looking for higher buy-ins. In fact, that is the linchpin of the new poker thrust for 2010.

The only way for me to continue to grow organically into something that can someday lead to poker financial independence is to continue to play higher. The goal for 2010 is to enter tournaments with $200 or higher buy-ins, live only. Online, I could still give to shits, although I'll continue to play low stakes with the hope that I can have another $3k or $2k score every once in a while. But live tournaments are where I hope to make my nut, albeit in a very safe manner.

The key is to balance the goal with my current life. I don't want to eschew my life as a husband and lawyer. I embrace that life. But I also want to continue to grow as a poker player, and that means putting in the time, effort and, probably most important to my transition, the money.

I have amassed a decent bankroll this last year, even with random withdrawals to the bank of real life. So now, its time to put it to work for me.

The start will hopefully occur in Vegas in December. While others are making plans to actually socialize, I hope my weekend trip will be practically wall-to-wall poker. The blogger private tournament is that Saturday, so Saturday afternoon is out. Friday night is supposed to be mixed games at MGM and since I love mixed games, that's out too. So, I think I've decided on a 12:30am tournament to take place at Harrah's Las Vegas. It's not quite the buy-in I am looking for at $150, but for that late at night, its the best I can find in reasonable distance from my hotel (the Imperial Palace). It's also a $50 bounty tournament, meaning that aggression will likely be the key to earning some decent cash. Whatever the case, I probably know more about playing a bounty tournament then most casual Vegas players, so I like my odds.

After that, the goal will be to play some of the Borgata (AC) higher buy-in weekly tournaments when I can, specifically the $300 Saturday tourney. This'll be tough since my time is scarce, but I must commit to making monthly or so trips to AC if I really want to break through.

Maybe poker is merely that dream of mine, always destined to be at a distance like a mirage in the desert. It's certainly a possibility. But if I don't try, I cannot succeed, and I guess that is what this is all about. I love poker and I want to succeed; ergo, I must take more chances and play higher.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:21 AM, , links to this post




Blogger.com Test

If you are reading this on an RSS feed, that means I have failed.

posted by Jordan @ 2:21 PM, , links to this post




Hammer Play

Hey guys. I got a random email from Ultimate Bet and noticed that they have special tables with a standing prop bet that will earn you a couple of bucks if you win a hand with the hammer (72o). Most amazingly, this was part of the email/website:

That's right, folks. They used a silhouette of a hammer in the design. Now, for a bit of history, the Hammer isn't some 1800s nickname for 72o. It was dubbed the Hammer by fellow poker blogger Grubby several years ago. It was picked up by the poker blogging community, I am sure in large part to the hammer promotions Grubby ran at the time, and has spread thanks to the interconnectivity of poker blogs.

What's most interesting is that most people probably don't know the nickname, "hammer" for 72o. And, in fact, there is no reference to the word "hammer" on UB's page for their 7Deuce promotion.

So, my only guess is that whoever designed the hammer logo must've heard the term that originated from Grubby and incorporated it into the graphic design even though the promotion does not use the official hammer moniker. Either way, mad props to Grubby and the hammer.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:30 PM, , links to this post




Biography and Luck

While we are on the subject of poker books, I'd like to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite sub-genres: poker biographies. I've read a handful in my day, and really, only a handful, but they are probably some of my favorite poker books to read. Usually, you get a good story, interesting characters, a touch of poker history, and a smattering of strategy. Frankly, I think I just really love the insight into the world of a professional poker player.

Amonsg my favorites are the biographies of Stu Ungar, Amarillo Slim, Mike Matusow, and, surprisingly, Chris Moneymaker. For anyone truly interested in poker as it exists today, I highly recommend the Moneymaker book.

I was reading a piece by Change100 at PokerNews and it reminded me of one aspect of the Moneymaker book that has stuck with me to this day. Change100's article goes through the different possible 2009 WSOP Champions with a very astute analysis of the what each win could mean for poker. When discussing Ivey, she recalled a hand on the final table bubble of the 2003 WSOP:

If there ever was a single card that changed the game of poker, it came on the final table bubble of the 2003 Main Event. Holding {A-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}, Chris Moneymaker flopped trip queens and led out for 70,000. Phil Ivey called with pocket nines and hit his gin card on the turn with the {9-Clubs}, making him a well-disguised full house. Moneymaker did his bidding for him, firing out 200,000. Ivey moved all-in and Moneymaker called. Although Ivey was better than a 4-to-1 favorite to win the pot, Moneymaker rivered an ace for a higher full house, winning the hand and sending Ivey to the rail in 10th place.
This hand has been played so many times on TV, it's hard not to remember it. Regardless, what always amazed me about Moneymaker's book was his analysis of the hand.

Moneymaker's win was widely regarded as a fluke in most poker circles. He hasn't had much success since the win, so most people write him off as a guy who got lucky to win the WSOP.

Clearly, Moneymaker's book was meant, in part, to address this belief. Whether or not he successfully defeats his own luckbox image is another story, but he does make some great points about his "luck".

People looked at his AQ v. 99 hand with Ivey and said, "Moneymaker is so lucky to have hit the 4-outter on the river." But that isn't the full story, as explained by Moneymaker. And Moneymaker is right.

The hand started as a basic cointoss. But once the flop was dealt, Moneymaker took a commanding lead with trips against two pair. Ivey then needed to hit a 2 outter to take the lead on the turn. He hit his two outter, shifting the odds well in his favor and giving Moneymaker a meager 4 outs. Moneymaker then hit his four outs.

Some people think that makes Moneymaker a luckbox, and in a way, it does; just not in the way that they think. The story is not about how many outs Moneymaker rivered, but about the luck throughout the hand. Moneymaker was somewhat lucky to flop good, but no one can argue that he played incorrectly when he played AQ preflop with a solid stack. On the turn, Ivey was the one who got lucky; in fact, he got very lucky. Moneymaker may've finished off the hand with his own luck, but that's the thing about luck: it gets spread around.

This is not a hand about a lucky river. It's a hand about a fortunate setup. That's a key difference. In the first scenario, Moneymaker is a donk who called an all-in from behind. In the second, Ivey got coolered by getting "lucky" on the turn when he was way behind and then having Moneymaker retake the lead with a monster hand on the river. In scenario one, Moneymaker is a loser (not in a literal sense); in scenario two, it's Ivey.

Of course, I never meant to go into such detail. But I do recommend Moneymaker's book, if nothing else because it gives a novel view of the events that really brought upon the poker boom.

And while you are at it, if you enjoy self-destruction, check out Ungar's biography and Matusow's biography. If you like to get a feel for the old school gamblers' lifestyle, check out Amarillo Slims. All are great reads.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:03 PM, , links to this post




Omaha's Book Club

I love the 8-game SNGs. Last night, I took my last buy-in at PokerStars to a 6-person, 8-game, turbo SNG. I took 2nd, which was good enough to double my meager bankroll and give me enough to waste on another game shortly.

I've been thinking a lot about Omaha lately. When I first learned the game, I took to it like wildfire. My love of poker is really a love of games, and Omaha was another fun new game to learn. I felt I had a better intuitive grasp on the game than most because of the way my brain thinks (gamesmanship, mostly), but I've come to learn that as I acclimated myself to the game before moving on to others, a large portion of the online poker world (and bloggers) kept learning and probably know way more about the game than I ever did.

This was a humbling realization, but it spurred my next thought. I need to learn Omaha better. And what better way to learn Omaha (besides playing it) than to read up on the game. That's where hopefully you come in...

Can anyone recommend a good Omaha book? I'd like to cover all variations, including limit, pot limit, high only and 8 or better.

It's been a long time since I read a poker book. The last one was Gus Hansen's Every Hand Revealed, which I read about a year ago (highly recommended, by the way). So, I guess it is time, and if I act now, I'll hopefully ingest the book well in advance of my December to Remember poker tour.

And while I'm at it, if anyone else has a non-Omaha poker book they'd recommend, feel free to share. It'd help, though, if you gave a brief description of why the book is worthwhile. I like all sorts of poker books, including the biographies and narratives.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:32 AM, , links to this post




Another Blow to AC

It's more good news for my fellow degenerates, but more bad news to Atlantic City. For a long while, AC had a monopoly on legalized gambling in the North East. It was the home of the first casino built on US soil outside of Vegas (the now pathetic Resorts AC) and spent many years as the only legal gambling spot in the NE (and possibly the entire Eastern seaboard) until the Injuns finally realized that they could trade back our beads for casino megaplexes. I don't know the full history of all of the casinos in the North East, but we know from recent history that the taboo against gambling is dissolving, with PA first allowing slots and more recently giving the green light to table games which may include real poker. And it looks like Ohio is now in on the fun. (nod to Iggy's recent post for alerting me to Ohio's recent change of heart).

Ohioans recently voted in a referendum to legalize casinos in the city's four largest cities, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. This was a departure from past sentiment, as four prior referendums in Ohio have failed over the last 19 years.

Of course, this does not bode well for my second home, Atlantic City. AC didn't have any direct flights regularly scheduled from Ohio, but apparently they did have some regular charter flights bringing in the gamblers. Whatever the case, as gambling becomes more and more prevalent and legal in the surrounding states, the appeal of AC as a gambling haven continues to diminish.

I can't be too unhappy, though. For one, I can probably fly pretty cheaply to Ohio, not that I've checked. Aside from that, the expansion of legalized gambling will hopefully continue, much in the same way as we will continue to see strides in legalized marijuana and gay marriage. Ironically, of the three, gay marriage is having the hardest time, which just goes to show what America is really made out of.

Of course, this isn't really a move toward personal freedoms or libertarian values as much as it is an exploitation of the morons running this society (I mean the voters as much as the government). The big push was based on claims of new jobs and more revenue to be taxed by the government. All you have to do is look at struggling AC or Detroit to see that the benefits are not exactly what they seem.

But in the end, more casinos means more gamblers means less taboo. So you and I will eventually be able to talk freely about our unhealthy amount of sports bets or poker games in the not too distant future without the look of scorn from John Q. Public.

I love the deterioration of Puritanical principles.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:58 PM, , links to this post